NAMIBIA finished fourth at the T20 World Cup Qualifier after losing to Ireland by 27 runs on Saturday, but by then the greater prize of qualifying for the 2020 T20 World Cup had already been achieved.
In the third place-play-off Ireland were dismissed for 135 runs, which proved to be more than adequate as Ireland’s bowlers skittled Namibia out for 108.
After winning the toss, Ireland went in to bat and got off to a good start as Kevin O’ Brien and Paul Sterling put on a brisk 35 runs for the first wicket.
Ben Shikongo got the breakthrough, dismissing O’ Brien for 17, while Stirling soon followed, dismissed by Bernard Scholtz for 25.
Namibian spinner Zhivago Groenewald kept the pressure up with the wickets of Gareth Delaney for four and Harry Tector for seven as they crashed to 85/4, but Andy Balbirnie revived Ireland’s hopes before he was eventually dismissed by Craig Williams for 46 runs from 35 balls which included five fours.
Williams also bowled Gary Wilson for 11, and when JJ Smit dismissed Shane Getkate (6) and Simi Singh (0) within four balls, Ireland were reduced to 120/8.
Mark Adair, however, added a rapid 17 off seven balls, including two sixes to take Ireland to 135 all out.
JJ Smit with three wickets for 19 runs and Craig Williams (3/34) were Namibia’s most successful bowlers, while Groenewaldt took 2/20.
Namibia were immediately under pressure when they lost some early wickets in their run chase, with Niko Davin (5), JP Kotze (4) and Craig Williams (1) all going cheaply and when Stephen Baard was out for 17, Namibia were struggling at 42 for four wickets.
Gerhard Erasmus led Namibia’s revival, hitting some classic boundaries, but runs were hard to come by, while Ireland’s bowlers maintained their grip with some regular wickets.
Erasmus was eventually out for 51 off 34 balls which included seven fours, but he received little support as the whole team was out for 108, still 27 runs short of the target. Simi Singh (3/25) was Ireland’s best bowler.
On Friday, Namibia missed out on a place in the final when they lost by 18 runs to Papua New Guinea in another low-scoring match.
PNG were restricted to 130 for five wickets off their 20 overs, while Namibia could only respond with 112/5.
Namibia got off to a good start in PNG’s innings, as the first three wickets fell with only 31 runs on the board, but Charles Amini and Sese Bau led their revival with a 50-run partnership before Erasmus dismissed Amini for 31.
Bau went on to score 40 not out, while Norman Vanua added 20 from 13 balls at the end as they recovered to post a competitive total.
JJ Smit was Namibia’s best bowler, taking two wickets for 29 runs.
In their run chase, Namibia lost Niko Davin early on for a duck, but JP Kotze regained the initiative with an assertive knock, before Amini trapped him LBW for 30 off 27 balls (2×6, 2×4).
Craig Williams added 14 and Stephen Baard a top score of 34, but PNG’s bowlers, led by Norman Vanua, turned on the screws with some tight bowling, as Namibia fell 18 runs short of the target.
Vanua won the man of the match award with two wickets for 16 runs to go with his innings of 20 runs.
The Netherlands, however, won the T20 World Cup Qualifier title on Saturday, when they comfortably beat PNG by seven wickets in the final.
PNG were restricted to 128/8, while the Netherlands reached the target with seven wickets and six balls to spare.
Namibian captain Gerhard Erasmus, meanwhile, won the Player of the Tournament award after some great displays.
He was the second top scorer with 268 runs at an average of 38,28, while he also scored three fifties.
“Captain Erasmus was also at the heart of everything Namibia did as they brilliantly qualified for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 and his brutal innings in the middle order were just the tonic for either a rebuild, or a frantic finish to set up a score throughout the tournament,” the ICC reported on its website.
Erasmus and all-rounder JJ Smit were also selected to the team of the tournament, while spinner Bernard Scholtz is the twelfth man.
Asad Vala of PNG was appointed as the captain, and Erasmus as the vice captain.
The team is as follows:
Jatinder Singh (Oman), Paul Stirling (Ireland), Asad Vala (PNG), Gerhard Erasmus (Namibia), Ryan ten Doeschate (Netherlands), Matt Cross (Scotland), JJ Smit (Namibia), Roelef van der Merwe (Netherlands), Norman Vanua (PNG), Paul van Meekeren (Netherlands) and Bilal Khan (Oman). Twelfth man: Bernard Scholtz (Namibia).