Game 11 of the T20 World Cup and it’s the final day of round 1 fixtures. Namibia were up against Ireland. Namibia were smashed for boundaries and maximums in the powerplay but staged a good comeback with the ball to restrict Ireland to a 125. Namibia in reply comfortably went on to bag the win.
Ireland having won the toss opt to bat first. IRELAND’S XI : Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, Andy Balbirnie (C), Gareth Delany, Curtis Campher, Harry Tector, Neil Rock (wk), Simi Singh, Mark Adair, Josh Little, Craig Young.
NAMIBIA’S XI : Zane Green (wk), Craig Williams, Gerhard Erasmus (C), David Wiese, JJ Smit, Jan Frylinck, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Pikky Ya France, Ruben Trumpelmann, Michael van Lingen, Bernard Scholtz.
Ireland out to bat see a cautious start in the first couple of overs and then launched on everything, smashed a few maximums and boundaries making overs count big. There wasn’t much acceleration from Kevin O’Brien as he looked to rotate strike, it was Paul Stirling causing all the damage and Ireland’s fiery start saw them get to 55-0 at the end of 6. Scholtz picked up a key wicket as Paul Stirling after providing an absolute flyer start departed on 38(24) and the 62 run opening stand saw curtains. One wicket got another, next over Jan Frylinck picked up Kevin O’Brien on 25(24). Namibia were disciplined post powerplay and at halfway stage restricted Ireland to 71-2. Balbirnie and Delany, two new batters in the middle and Namibia built pressure, singles were on offer and odd boundaries, Wiese was brought back into attack and picked up the wicket of a struggling Delany on 9(18) and the 27 run defensive partnership saw curtains. 100 was on board for Ireland in the 16th over. Frylinck picked up a couple in an over as Andrew Balbirnie on 21(28) and Curtis Campher on 4(5) made their way back. A welcome boundary had come Harry Tector’s way but departed next ball and Wiese had his 2nd. No boundaries conceded in the last couple and Neil Rock on 5(5) departed and Simi Singh on 5(5) was ran out before a comedy of errors saw Ireland get 3 off the final delivery that saw them finish on 125-8.
Namibia conceded 55 runs and didn’t bag a wicket in the powerplay, they picked a wicket and set a strong comeback as in the remaining 14 conceded just 70 and bagged 8 wickets. Jan Frylinck, JJ Smit and David Wiese in their respective 4’s were economical and bagged 3,1 and 2 wickets respectively. Ruben in his 3 and Pikky in his 2 were both economical but weren’t rewarded with a wicket. Scholtz the only expensive bowler on show in his 3 but had a wicket to his name.
Namibia weren’t chasing a big total and put up a cautious start, just one big over in the first 5 before Curtis Campher striked a wicket for Ireland as good looking, Craig Williams on 15(16) walked back, was a great grab by Kevin O’Brien, the 25(31) run opening stand saw curtains and Namibia finished powerplay with 27-1 on board. Green and Erasmus stitched a partnership but were intentless, didn’t make good use of the powerplay overs and continued with the same tempo that was slowly starting to effect the run rate, just a boundary, 1’s and 2’s was all that Namibia were dealing in and at the halfway mark were 49-1. The need was to get a few boundaries to ease the run chase and skipper, Erasmus got a couple welcome boundaries before Curtis Campher again got the breakthrough wicket in the next over as Green’s defensive stay on 24(32) saw curtains and so did the 48 run partnership. The required rate was climbing over 8 and David Wiese was in the middle and a couple of maximums off his bat straightaway eased the pressure and soon 100 was on board for Namibia. Runs and boundaries were flowing with ease for Namibia as Erasmus too got a few away to the boundary. Namibian skipper, Erasmus got to his brilliant half century and in style with a boundary sealed the win for his side, 8 wicket win for Namibia and are through to the super 12. The Wiese – Erasmus 53* run attacking partnership saw the side home as Wiese and Erasmus remained unbeaten on 24(14) and 53(49) respectively.
Ireland with the ball upfront failed to bag wickets and missed it completely towards the end, it was always hard to defend a low 125. Joshua Little in his 4 and Curtis Campher in his 3 were economical with Curtis being the only successful bowler for Ireland having bagged 2. Kevin O’Brien and Simi Singh had decent outings. Mark Adair and Craig Young were real disappointments.
Namibia make it through to the super 12 handing a major upset to Ireland. Namibia comfortably chased down the low total of 125 that Ireland set despite being off to a flyer. A comprehensive win this for Namibia ahead of the super 12, a huge confidence booster.