Erasmus, Wiese Fashion Historic Win As Namibia Storm Into Super 12s

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Erasmus, Wiese fashion historic win as Namibia storm into Super 12s. Gerhard Erasmus scored 53* off 49 balls

Erasmus, Wiese Fashion Historic Win As Namibia Storm Into Super 12sGerhard Erasmus scored 53* off 49 balls

In a nutshell

With his father in attendance in the crowd, Gerhard Erasmus produced one of the finest moments in Namibia's cricketing history as his fighting half-century powered the team past Ireland and into the Super 12 stage of the men's T20 WC. In the company of David Wiese, Erasmus fashioned a late partnership worth 53 runs off just 31 balls to down Ireland's 125/8, which at one point appeared enough for the Irish side.

First, the Erasmus-Wiese Show

When David Wiese walked in, Namibia needed 52 off just 40 deliveries as Ireland were starting to strengthen their grip on the proceedings. But Wiese made an immediate impact to squarely put the pressure back on the bowling side, as he carted two sixes off Craig Young in the 15th over. When the equation was down to 26 off four overs, Andrew Balbirnie turned to Josh Little, who produced a fine over of just five singles to keep his side in the game.

But Erasmus and Wiese, who were content nudging the medium pacer around, found compensation in the following over off Simi Singh. Simi, who'd read the conditions well and was bowling back of a length to make batters work hard for their runs, followed the same plan, only for Erasmus to walk out and cart him for a big, straight six. That 12-run over brought down the equation to just 9 off 12, which the two batters peeled off in just three deliveries of the penultimate over.

Erasmus finished unbeaten on 53 off 49, while Wiese made 28 not out off 14.

Namibia's slow start

That Namibia needed such a flying finish to secure the win was down to their shaky start in chase. They went away from the tournament pattern of needing to dominate the PowerPlay overs with the bat, and were rather cautious, limping to just 27/1 in this phase.

It was down to Ireland's tight bowling and sharp ground fielding that made Namibia work hard for their runs in that early period. They struggled for momentum even after the PowerPlay, even as Erasmus and Zane Green got a stand going. Their 48-run alliance came off 49 balls, but the slow start meant they were still behind the eight ball. Green's dismissal in the 14th over however was a game changer, ironically in Namibia's favour as it brought out Wiese to the middle.

Earlier in the day…

Stirling, KOB light up the PowerPlay

Batting first in a must-win game, Ireland had a near-perfect start via Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien. The pitch was an ally early on and the Irish duo maximised it with 55 runs in the first six overs – the best PowerPlay score in the tournament so far. Stirling made the most of deliveries bowled in his arc, taking on each of Namibia's five bowlers in the PowerPlay. He blazed away to 33 off 18 with six fours and a six in the first six overs. It took Ireland to 55/0 – the highest PowerPlay score in the tournament so far.

Namibia hit back in the middle

The notoriously low and slow Sharjah pitch, witnessed during the recently concluded IPL, made life tough for batting again.

Bernard Scholtz brought the first breakthrough, when he induced a false shot from Stirling. Kevin O'Brien fell while trying to find the next gear in the middle-overs, leaving Namibia in control of the proceedings in that phase.

They picked an extra spinner in Pikky Ya France, who bowled shorter and slower through the air to frustrate the Irish batsmen. In the second half of the innings, even the quicker bowlers resorted to a lot of change of pace and cutters. Ireland went from 55/0 in 6 overs to 71/2 in 10 and 95/3 in 15 overs, desperately in need of a late blitz.

No change at the death

Jan Frylinck's double-wicket over in the 17th further cramped the batting side as Balbirnie and Curtis Campher departed in that over. David Wiese and JJ Smit then capped off the last couple of overs giving very little away, keeping Ireland down to 125/8. With that Ireland went from 55/0 in the first six overs to 70/8 in the next 14 – an insufficient effort in such a big fixture.

Brief Scores: Ireland 125/8 in 20 overs (Paul Stirling 38, Kevin O'Brien 25; Jan Frylinck 3-21, David Wiese 2-22) lost to Namibia 126/2 in 18.3 overs (Gerhard Erasmus 53*, David Wiese 28*; Curtis Camper 2-14) by 8 wickets

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