T20 World Cup: Erasmus, Wiese power Namibia to Super 12 stage
Sharjah, Oct. 22 (IANS): A terrific performance by Gerhard Erasmus (53 off 49) and David Wiese (28 runs and 2 wickets) powered Namibia to the Super-12 stage with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Ireland in the 11th match of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, here on Friday.
Namibia became the fourth and final team to qualify for the Super 12 stage from Round 1 of the tournament. They will now become part of Group 2 featuring India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, and Scotland.
A clinical bowling performance led by Jan Frylinck 3/21 and David Wiese helped Namibia restrict Ireland to 125/8 in 20 overs.
Chasing the target on a challenging Sharjah pitch, Namibia had a slow start. They were 27-1 after 6 overs at the cost of Craig Williams’ (15) wicket. However, Zane Green and Erasmus gave some pace to the innings and took Namibia to 49/1 after ten overs.
Thereafter, a terrific catch from O’Brien sent Green back to the dugout for 24(32) as the required rate was beginning to rise to dangerous levels. But, the dismissal of Green brought big-hitting Wiese to the crease, and his 53 runs unbeaten partnership with captain Erasmus took Namibia over the line and helped record the most famous victory in the country’s cricket history.
Earlier, batting first, openers Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien gave Ireland a flying start. The duo played attacking cricket and took Ireland to 55-0, their highest powerplay score of the tournament so far.
Bernard Scholtz finally provided Namibia the much-needed breakthrough by dismissing dangerous Paul Stirling (38 off 23 balls), who lofted a catch to Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton in the deep in the 8th over. Jan Frylinck then got rid of O’Brien, who was into a risky shot, with Michael van Lingen taking the catch.
The loss of openers in quick succession slowed the run rate as Ireland reached 71 after ten overs, with eight wickets in hand. If the first ten overs belonged to Ireland, Namibia dominated the later part of the innings. The Namibian bowlers bowled with complete control and didn’t give any freebies to Irish batters. It was Frylinck and Wiese who did the damage with the ball, taking five wickets between them as Namibia restricted Ireland’s innings to 125/8 in 20 overs.