Story Anmol Pundir Image Source Twitter

Tears of joy felt around Namibia camp as David Wiese hits Kevin O Brien’s ball to four runs and qualify for the world cup for the first time ever. Namibia were chasing 126 and got off to the target in 18.3 overs, Skipper Erasmus scored an unbeaten 53 off 49 balls to help his team to get over the boundary to qualify for the next round of the ICC tournament

It was a do-or-die match for both the teams, considering that Sri Lanka had already qualified, there was only one spot to get filled and Ireland opted to bat first at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The pitch at Sharjah had displayed the virtue of getting slower as the innings pass by and similar nature was witnessed in this match as well.

Ireland started well off where openers Stirling and Kevin O Brien carried their team to get 55 runs in the powerplay without losing a single wicket. It was a needed start for Ireland as the pitch was meant to get slow in the latter half of the innings and that’s where Namibian bowlers capitalized on striking in consecutive overs. Scholtz and Jan Frylinck got rid of both the opening batters and kept ticking pressure on Ireland batters.

Skipper Balbirnie batted a long way to get into double figures but none other than him and both the openers were able to get into double figures. After a dream start in the powerplay Ireland could only get to 125 runs in 20 overs.

Namibia had to chase 126 which is easy to get the target but looking at the previous records at Sharjah cricket stadium and Ireland being a more senior team than Namibia, Ireland was still the favourites to win the match.

Namibia got to a slower start where they could only get 27 runs in the powerplay, losing one of their openers Craig Williams in the 6th over. Skipper Erasmus came at number 3 to the pitch with the will to take his team through the fence and batted responsibly. Namibia was slow in scoring runs but made sure not to lose wickets and remained in the game.

This was such a mature cricket from an associate nation with batting responsibly on the pitch where one of the finest batters had succumbed to the pressure in the IPL, but Skipper Erasmus with wicketkeeper Zane Green and later with David Wiese made sure, Namibia was playing the next level of the tournament.

The fate of the match was decided in the 18th over when Erasmus hit Simi Singh for a six, and only 9 runs were needed in the last two overs. Then it was the third ball of the 19th over when Wiese hit the boundary to officially qualify and join Sri Lanka from Group A.

Contrasting of emotions in Namibia and Ireland dugout, Namibian players were emotional and thanked their fans to support them, to come a long way. Namibia lagging a long way back in net run rate is set to join Super 12 Group 2, however, the match between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands will give the final confirmation.

Also Read:- First win for Namibia in T20 World Cup, beats Netherlands by 6 wickets


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