Former South Africa international David Weise produced an all-round masterclass as Namibia beat Ireland by eight wickets to advance to the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup on Friday. Namibia thus recorded their first-ever win over a Test playing nation and are the second team after Sri Lanka to qualify for the Super 12 from Group A.
Namibian bowlers made a strong comeback after Ireland made a brisk start to restrict them to a modest 125/8. It hardly ever looked like Namibia were going to slip up in the chase, with captain Gerhard Erasmus (53 not out) putting up a partnership of 48 runs for the second wicket with Zane Green (24) and then putting up an unbeaten 53-run stand to with Weise (28 not out) to lead Namibia to victory.
Weise earlier took two wickets for 22 runs.
The game was a virtual knock-out tie for both the teams as whoever wins will qualify for the Super 12s stage alongside Sri Lanka from the group.
Ireland started brightly after opting to bat with Paul Stirling (38) and Kevin O’Brien (25) sharing 62 runs off just 44 balls for the opening stand. But Namibia pulled things back by removing both the openers in quick succession as Ireland slumped to 67 for two in 8.4 overs.
After the opening partnership, Ireland innings literally fell apart as, barring skipper Andy Bilbirnie (21), no other batter could reach double-digit score. The dismissal of Gareth Delany pegged back Ireland considerably as their batters found it difficult to keep up the scoring rate, reaching just 95 runs for the loss of three wickets at the end of the 15th over.
Balbirnie tried his best to lift the innings but he also struggled to rotate the strike against some incisive bowling by Namibia in the second half of the innings, picking up six wickets by conceding just 54 runs in the last 10 overs.
Ireland’s problems were compounded when left-arm pacer Jan Frylinck snarred two wickets in the 16th over — first Bilbirnie LBW and then Curtis Campher. Wickets continued to tumble as Weise next accounted for Harry Tector as Ireland’s innings went from bad to worse
- Jan Frylinck led a comprehensive bowling performance from Namibia
- Ireland were restricted to 125/8 with Frylinck taking three wickets
- Captain Gerhard Erasmus and David Weise put up an unbeaten 53-run stand to lead Namibia to victory
In the first ball of the last over, when Safyan Sharif’s ball reaches the gallery, J.J. Smith could not contain his joy; And Namibian fans gathered in the gallery. What more could they want to enjoy. Every Namibian player would have said inside when Manam was on his knees after beating Scotland by four wickets at the World Cup; That it was to be celebrated. They may not have slept that night. Pace bowlers Ruben Trumpman and all-rounder Smith, who led the team to such a resounding victory, have elevated local cricket fans to the pinnacle of excitement.
When the toss was won and Scotland were sent to bat, the first over gave the Namibian players a dream start. History was born in that over of Trumpman. Three forwards went into the tent with four balls to spare. Wicket on the first ball. George Munsey’s Batilurasia smashes the ball. In the third ball, wicketkeeper Sean Green was caught by Kallam McLeod. Trumpman show with the fourth ball and the wicket! Scotland captain Richie Berrington narrowly missed the wicket.
They could not recover from the impact of these three falls. All they had to do was escape unscathed. Thotampia Orma, who was all out for 60 against Afghanistan for 130, may have bothered Scotland anyway.
The Man of the Match is the Scottish-headed Trumpman, who took three wickets for 17 runs. Trumpman is the fourth bowler to take three wickets in the first over of a Twenty20 match; And Namibia’s first bowler. The other three are West Indies’ Fidel Edwards, Pakistan’s Shuaib Akhtar and Yasir Arafat. The young star of Kochunamibia with the greats!
It has not been long since Namibia stepped into cricket with their right foot. They played their first Twenty20 match in May 2019. It was against Ghana in the African regional qualifier for the Twenty20 World Cup. It was there that they came out on top in the World Cup and beat Scotland. Captain Erasmus is the senior in terms of the number of games he has played so far. Erasmus, 26, has played 27 Twenty20 matches; And eight ODIs. Everyone else on the team is below that in experience.
Scotland scored 109 for eight in 20 overs, surviving the initial setback without further injury. Michael Leesk (45) and Chris Greaves (25) escaped the embarrassment. Leesk took two wickets. Namibia chased down the target by 6 wickets with 5 balls to spare. Four-wicket win. Smith was unbeaten on 32 off 23 balls. Opener Craig Williamson (23) was also strong.
The rise of countries like Namibia is a sign that cricket is becoming more popular. When India and Sri Lanka won their first trophy, it was a turning point in world cricket. Kapil’s Devils defeated the Caribbean power to win the ODI title in 1983. This victory is the beginning of the journey of dreaming of such crowns for any Namibian. The strength of this country is its African strength. It has not been long since independence from South Africa. Namibia, with a population of close to 2.6 million, declared independence on March 21, 1990. Now they have declared independence with a resounding victory in world cricket as well.