Ireland who has been a visitor in almost every ICC World Cup tournament held since 2007 have now successfully qualified for their 3rd consecutive ICC World Twenty20 Tournament and will make an appearance in an ICC World Cup level tournament for the 5th time after they beat Namibia in the preliminary final match held today by 9 wickets.
Team Namibia who won the toss today, elected to bat first could not capitalize in their first few overs due to some strict bowling by the Irishmen who were able to control the scoring to a low amount. Witch some strict bowling and wickets falling at a small intervals Namibia were restricted in their scoring. Ian Opperman top scored for Namibia with 26 runs not out while skipper Sarel Burger chipped in with 20 valuable runs to post a formidable score. In the bowling department, the Ireland bowlers were very strict with their line and length as only 1 bowler conceded more than 20 runs while all other bowlers gave away 20 or less runs only in their allotted 4 overs. Trent Johnston and Max Sorensen picked up 2 wickets each.
Ireland who was just 95 runs away to score from 20 overs with 10 wickets in hand to qualify for the last remaining spot in the ICC World Twenty20 were determined not to fall apart in their chase. Openers Paul Stirling and William Porterfield who have successfully chased down the target score without losing a single wicket twice in this tournament got off to a great start punishing the Namibian bowlers by hitting their all around the grounds.
The openers put on a partnership of 41 runs in 4.2 overs for the 1st wicket when Poterfield fell for 20 runs. Ed Joyce who joined Paul for the 2nd wicket then put on a partnership of 55 runs in 5.5 overs to qualify Ireland to play in the ICC World Twenty20 2012 in Sri Lanka this September. Paul Stirling who scored 59 runs not out off just 32 balls with 9 fours and 1 six was instrumental in the fast chase that Ireland did to win the game. Ed on the other end scored 12 runs not out and kept company to his partner. Like with the bat, the Namibian bowlers also didn’t have much luck in the day. Namibia used 7 different bowlers in the 10.1 overs they bowled to Ireland yet failed to make an impression. Louis Klazinga was the only bowler from Namibia today to get a wicket.
With the two spots available in the ICC World Twenty20 2012 being now filled, the question of who will be allotted to which group remains and the answer for that question would be answered in a few hours’ time when Afghanistan meet Ireland in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Finals later on today. The winner of the tournament will be allotted to Group B in the big tournament alongside Australia and West Indies while the runner up of the tournament will be allotted in Group A along with England and India.
With the tournament coming to an end in a few more hours’ time, it can be seen that quite a lot of talent has come out of this tournament. Afghanistan who were the favourites of the tournament have lived up to their expectations while Ireland also have proved that they are the next big team to watch out for.