Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Ireland book World Twenty20 spot

Paul Stirling

Ireland barely needed half their overs to cruise to a nine-wicket victory over Namibia and book their place in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka this September.

Ireland restricted Namibia to just 94 for six, and then knocked off the required runs from 61 balls to reach the final of the qualifying tournament, in which they will play Afghanistan to determine which group they will play in.

A loss would see them face England in September.

Ireland had lost by four runs to Namibia in the group stage of this competition, but Saturday's result rarely looked in much doubt once Ireland began their reply as they knocked off almost a quarter of the required score in the first two overs.

They could not quite match their own achievement of twice chasing down targets without losing a wicket in this tournament as William Porterfield went for 20, caught well by Sarel Burger off Louis Klazinger.

However, fellow opener Paul Stirling carried Ireland through to the finish with 59 off 32 balls, smacking a four off the first delivery of the 11th over to win it.

Earlier, Ireland had taken wickets at a steady clip to prevent Namibia building any rhythm.

Trent Johnston accounted for openers Raymond van Schoon (1) and Louis van der Westhuizen (14) and when Craig Williams became the first of Max Sorensen's two victims, having made just three, Namibia were on 25 for three with seven overs already gone.

They continued to score at well under a run a ball as Gerrie Snyman made just 17 off 39 deliveries and Sorensen then had Burger caught for 20 - helping him to figures of two for eight off his four overs.

Ian Opperman did his best to up the scoring with an unbeaten 26 off 15 balls, including one six, late on, but Namibia were only delaying the inevitable.

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