Namibia creates history

Dubai: Debutant qualifies for the Super 12 stage with stunning 8-wicket win over Ireland.
Gerhard Erasmus led from the front with an unbeaten fifty to guide debutant Namibia to a historic eight-wicket win over Ireland in a First Round Group A match here on Friday and seal a qualification spot in the Super 12s of the Men’s T20 World Cup.
Erasmus (53 not out off 49 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) helped Namibia chase its target of 126 in the company of David Wiese, who made an unbeaten 28. Namibia made a quiet start to its chase as its batters dealt mostly in singles and twos. The team’s struggle can be gauged from the fact that it found the fence only four times in the first 10 overs, scoring 49 for one.
Needing 77 off the last 10 overs, Erasmus and Zane Green (24) shared 48 runs for the second wicket to keep Namibia in the contest on a slow surface. But, Green failed to clear Kevin O’Brien at mid-off to make the match interesting.
Wiese came to Namibia’s rescue by hitting Craig Young for back-to-back sixes in the 15th over to bring down the equation down to 33 off the last five overs. Erasmus lofted off-spinner Simi Singh over the long-off boundary and then struck two boundaries in the 19th over off Young to finish off the chase in style. Namibia has joined Sri Lanka in the Super 12s from Group A. Earlier, asked to field, the Namibian bowlers made a strong comeback to restrict Ireland to a modest 125 for eight.
Ireland started brightly as Paul Stirling (38) and Kevin O’Brien (25) shared 62 runs off just 44 balls for the opening stand. Left-arm pacer Jan Frylinck (3/21) was the pick of the bowlers for Namibia, while Wiese (2/22) snared two wickets.
Already qualified for the Super 12s, Sri Lanka thrashed the Netherlands by eight wickets in its final First Round match in Sharjah on Friday, with the spin duo of Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana bamboozling the opposition batters.
The inconsequential match ended inside two hours as Sri Lanka first bundled out the Netherlands for a paltry 44 – the sixth lowest total in T20 history – and then cantered to the target in just 7.1 overs. The chase was a walk in the park, with opener Kusal Perera blazing his way to an unbeaten 33 off 24 balls.
The day belonged to Sri Lankan spinners Hasaranga (3/9) and Theekshana (2/3), who spun their web around the Netherlands to bowl them out in 10 overs.

NT Bureau