Ireland and Namibia are locking horns in a virtual knock-out match in the T20 World Cup 2021 in Sharjah. The winner of this game will advance to the Super 12 stage of the tournament while the loser will go home.
Ireland won the toss and opted to bat first. Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien gave a good start to Ireland in the powerplay and proved captain Andrew Balbirnie’s decision right.
Both Irish openers were going berserk inside the powerplay and scored 55 runs without allowing Namibia to make any breakthrough. Stirling got out for 38 to Bernard Scholtz but by then Ireland had scored 62. One brought two as O’Brien also got out in no time.
Balbirnie kept one end tight but the wickets kept falling from the other end. He couldn’t get any assistance from any of his teammates. Ireland scored just 63 runs in the last 13 overs of their innings and lost seven wickets. On contrary, they looted 55 runs in the powerplay.
Balbirnie scored 21 runs in 28 balls as Ireland scored 125/8 in 20 overs.
In response, Namibia got off to a slow and cautious start in its pursuit of history. Craig Williams and Zane Green scored 25 runs for the opening wicket while only 27 runs came in the powerplay. Williams got out for 15 to Curtis Campher. Green scored 24 runs in 32 balls before Campher dismissed him as well.
Namibia skipper Gerhard Erasmus was calm at the other end while holding things together. He found a good ally in David Wiese as the duo scored unbeaten 53 runs for the third wicket. Erasmus scored his fifty and remained unbeaten on 53 to guide Namibia home with eight wickets in hand and nine balls to spare.
They made history by qualifying for the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2021. This will be their first appearance at this stage of the tournament. They will join India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, New Zealand and Scotland, the other qualified team, in group 2.
See how Twitter reacted to this monumental achievement of Namibia;
Given the kind of player he is, and the experience he has, David Wiese will get a lot of attention. And truth be told, he turned two matches around. But I have been hugely impressed with Gerhard Erasmus, not just with his batting but with the way he carries himself. #Namibia
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 22, 2021
On the @EmergingCricket podcast series done in Namibia by @HeliocentCric, captain @gerharderasmus said he was inspired to play cricket by seeing Namibia at the 2003 World Cup. Imagine who will be in Namibia's team in 2043 after today. This is why Associates must be in World Cups!
— Peter Della Penna (@PeterDellaPenna) October 22, 2021
Well done Namibia Cricket 🇳🇦
— Mpumelelo Mbangwa (@mmbangwa) October 22, 2021
We feel all the joy for Namibia as a crocket nation on the qualification to the Super 12 stage of the #ICCT20WorldCup2021 Well dome to Gerhard Erasmus and his wonderful team👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻.
— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) October 22, 2021
— Venky Mysore (@VenkyMysore) October 22, 2021
Namibia is an incredible story. Glenn McGrath's haul in 03. Years as a defacto domestic team in South Africa. And now through to the main part of the tournament by defeating a Test nation, and the winner of the ICC qualifiers.
They just make so many good decisions on the field.
— Jarrod Kimber (@ajarrodkimber) October 22, 2021
Congratulations Namibia, amazing moment for the game 🏏
See you in the Super 12s 🏆#T20WorldCup
— England's Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) October 22, 2021
What a story #T20WorldCup #IREvNAM @CricketNamibia1 send out a strong message to all Associate nations on what can be done .. it can be done .. Well done guys 🤸♀️🤸♀️🤸♀️👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/IdXGc5NLmO
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) October 22, 2021
Namibia are into the Super 12s of the #T20WorldCup. Africa is represented twice in the tournament. What a result! This is the first time they've beaten a Test playing nation. And their best result at at a major tournament. Halaaaaaala! #cricket
— Firdose Moonda (@FirdoseM) October 22, 2021
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) October 22, 2021
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) October 22, 2021
What a moment for Namibia. #T20WorldCup
— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) October 22, 2021
It’s a measure of the depth in the world game now that there’s a real risk Ireland now don’t make the 2022 T20 World Cup. Only four more qualifying places left and Zimbabwe, Nepal, Netherlands, Oman, UAE and PNG all also in the hunt
— Tim Wigmore (@timwig) October 22, 2021
— WV Raman (@wvraman) October 22, 2021
David Wiese's inclusion has made the difference for Namibia ultimately. No doubt that the entire squad is highly talented but Wiese's all-round performance was crucial.
— Prasenjit Dey (@CricPrasen) October 22, 2021