History for Namibia as they pip Ireland to progress to the Super 12s

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22 Oct 2021 | 01:33 PM
authorPramod Ananth

History for Namibia as they pip Ireland to progress to the Super 12s

Chasing a modest 126, the Eagles got home with eight wickets and nine balls to spare

Namibia create history and go into the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup for the first time. Skipper Gerhard Erasmus led from the front, playing a calm and composed innings finishing unbeaten on 53 off 49 deliveries to guide his side home.

In pursuit of a modest 126, Namibia got off to a slow start managing just 27 for 1 in the powerplay, less than half of what Ireland got in the first six. Ireland kept things tight, despite Mark Adair walking off due to a side strain. Gerhard Erasmus and Zane Green put on a 48-run stand at almost run-a-ball rate, but David Wiese changed the course of the game with two big sixes off Craig Young to ease the pressure on Namibia.

(NOTE: Namibia chased down the target in 18.3 overs)

The match was on a knife’s edge with the Eagles needing 32 off the last 30 deliveries, but with eight wickets in hand, they had the edge. However, the Irish were not giving up just yet.  Erasmus and Wiese did not press the panic button and in the end, took their side home.

In a must-win game, things went according to plan initially when Andrew Balbirnine won the toss and put his team to bat. Paul Stirling who did not have a good outing in the first two games, lit up the Sharjah Stadium with some exquisite strokeplay, that saw Ireland reach 55 for no loss in the first six. Kevin O’Brien too got into the groove during the first six, which he largely spent playing second-fiddle to Stirling.

However, Bernard Scholtz had his man as he got Stirling to play a big shot and the Irish opener holed out at long-on for a 24-ball 38, putting up 62 off 44 for the first wicket with O’Brien. With a good platform set, the onus was on Balbirnie and O’Brien to set a solid platform in the middle-overs, but eight balls later, O’Brien flicked Jan Frylick straight to deep square-leg for run-a-ball 25.

Ireland further lost their way when Gareth Delany was cleaned up by David Wiese for just nine off 18. Ireland had managed just 40 runs in the middle overs and lost three wickets, which brought Namibia back into the game. Frylinck further added to Ireland’s misery as he returned to get rid of Balbirnie and Curtis Campher in quick succession.

With momentum lost completely, Ireland, who would have been eyeing at least 150 at the start managed just 125 for 8. They managed just 70 runs fromeir last 14 overs, largely due to outstanding spells from Frylinck and David Wiese, who finished with combined figures of 5 for 43 from their eight overs.

Namibia finish second in Group A, behind Sri Lanka, who have already beaten both Namibia and Ireland to book their place in the next round. Namibia will be in the same group as Afghanistan, Scotland, India, Pakistan and New Zealand in the Super 12s.

Brief score:

Ireland 125 for 8 in 20 overs (Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien 25; Jan Frylinck 3 for 21 lost to Namibia 126 for 2 in 18.3 overs (Gerhard Erasmus 53*, David Wiese 28*; Curtis Campher 2 for 14) by 8 wickets.

Player of the match: David Wiese

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Namibia vs IrelandICC World Twenty20, 2021NamibiaIrelandGerhard ErasmusDavid WiesePaul Stirling

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