Namibia make history, qualify for the super 12s stage for the first time ever

Namibia make history, qualify for the super 12s stage for the first time ever

Gerhard Erasmus’ cruising half-century and David Wiese’s whirlwind 28* off 14 balls drove Namibia into the Super 12s of the 2021 T20 World Cup. This eight-wicket win over Ireland also meant Namibia have booked their spot in next year’s edition as well, which will be played in Australia.

Batting first in a virtual knockout, Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien laid the platform by adding 62 in 7.2 overs but the incoming batters failed to take advantage of it. Ireland were 55 for 0 at the end of the powerplay but could score only 70 in the next 14 overs. Excluding the top three, no one else reached the double figures.

Given the slow nature of the Sharjah pitch, a target of 126 wasn’t an easy one, especially with Namibia playing one batter less. They could manage only 27 for 1 in the powerplay, and needed 49 off 36 balls at one stage. Wiese then smashed back-to-back sixes off Craig Young in the 15th over to bring the asking rate down.
 
With 19 required off 17 balls, Erasmus, who had hit only two fours in his first 44 balls, danced down the track to Simi Singh to launch him for a straight six. That all but sealed the game for Namibia. When Wiese hit the winning boundary, there were still nine balls left in the game.
 
Gerhard Erasmus, winning captain: “We run a tight ship. Small country, small number of people play cricket. We should be proud of ourselves. I count on my senior men to stand up when the pressure is on. And two of us did it tonight. Hopefully we can do it through the tournament. Hasn’t sunk in yet, maybe on the way home.
 
Andrew Balbirnie, losing captain: “Hurts a lot. Really wanted to win. We didn’t get enough runs. It will be hard to get over it, and it hurts a lot. I think Wiese played a brillant hand when the rate was at 8, and their skipper saw them home. There are lot of good cricketers in there in Namibia, it wasn’t to be.”
 
David Wiese | Player of the Match : “It’s completely overwhelming. I don’t think I deserve to be sitting here. I think the captain Gerhard Erasmus deserves to be Man of the Match. This is really his moment and the rest of the team has put in so much work before now to be here. I’ve played in Sharjah a few times and know the wicket deteriorates to suit my bowling a bit more.”
 
A historic day for Namibia, and for the entire Associate cricket community!

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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