Ireland capped of their ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier campaign with a thumping win over Namibia to finish third in the tournament.
The win would mean that Ireland will be slotted alongside Sri Lanka in Group A and the loss sends Namibia to Group B with Bangladesh, in the first round of the T20 World Cup in 2020.
Opting to bat at Dubai in the match for the third place, Ireland made a good start but a spectacular middle-order collapse saw them being bundled out for 135 in 19.1 overs.
In the chase, captain Gerhard Erasmus’s knock was the lone spark in a dismal effort from Namibia as they succumbed to defeat to settle for fourth spot. Erasmus has a had superb tournament, finishing with 268 runs.
Ireland Crumble in the middle overs
The Irish top order made a bright start, scoring 49 runs in the power play and they were well placed even at the end of 10 overs, at 77/3. However, they couldn’t capitalise on it as Namibia strangled them in the middle overs. If it was the spinners who did the damage in the game against Oman, it was the medium pacers in this match as Zhivago Groenewald, Craig Williams and JJ Smit combined to pick up eight wickets for just 73 runs. JJ Smit cleaned up the tail with three wickets in the space six deliveries.
Andy Balbirnie was the top-scorer for Ireland as he cantered to 46 off just 35 deliveries before holing out to deep square-leg with five overs left in the innings.
Irish spinners trouble Namibia before Erasmus’ fifty
Leg-spinner Gareth Delany and off-spinner Simi Singh bowled wonderfully with the new ball and prized out three key top-order wickets in the powerplay of the chase.
Namibia’s skipper and talisman, Gerhard Erasmus once again came to his side’s rescue and brought them back into the game with a fighting half-century. He notched his fifty off just 29 deliveries and with the required rate in control, the game was swinging towards Namibia. However, once he was caught at short fine-leg off the bowling of Mark Adair in the 14th over, the game turned on its head.
Boyd Rankin struck twice in the 18th over, importantly picking up the wicket of JJ Smit before Adair came back to polish off the final wicket. Nambia were all out as the Ireland completed a win with 1.4 overs to spare.
Ireland: 135 all out (Andy Balbirnie 46; Smit 3-19, Williams 3-34)
Namibia: 108 all out (Erasmus 51; Simi Singh 3-25, Adair 2-9)
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