Delhi: Namibia created history on Friday as they qualified for the Super 12 stage of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 after beating Ireland by eight wickets in a first-round match in Sharjah. Both sides had won once each prior to this game. A terrific performance by captain Gerhard Erasmus (53 off 49) and all-rounder David Wiese (28 runs and 2 wickets) powered Namibia to the Super-12 stages of the ICC’s marquee event currently underway in The UAE and Oman. The match between Namibia and Ireland was full of excitement and drama. However, there was one particular incident that attracted everyone’s attention – the last ball of the final over of the first innings when Ireland was batting.

Ireland’s batter Simmi Singh was facing the last ball of David Wiese’s final over – Simi attempted for a swat hit towards the third man but barely managed to get an under-edge of his bat and the ball went towards the bowler. Simi started running for a single as soon as he played the shot. Craig Young, who was standing at the non-striker’s end, also responded to Simi’s call. Wiese’s throw at the striker’s end missed the stumps and the ball blazed past towards the third man boundary.

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A sequence of comedy of errors continued as the ball kept missing the target and Namibia fielders made a series of mistakes during the closing stages of the first innings. However, in the end, that extra run didn’t cost much to Namibia as they overhauled Ireland’s 126-run target with eight wickets in hand and nine balls to spare.

With that, 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 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.