Namibia eye Ireland scalp

Limba Mupetami

WINDHOEK

Namibia, whose only previous World Cup appearance saw them lose all their matches in a one-day showpiece in 1983, won their first match against Netherlands on Wednesday. The Eagles, who faltered against Sri Lanka on Monday but made a heroic recovery, are due for their third Group A clash with Ireland today at 12:00.

In a sweltering Abu Dhabi, where temperatures soared to 36 degrees, former South Africa international David Wiese hit five sixes and four boundaries as Namibia chased down their target of 165 with six balls to spare, winning the match.

Looking at Wednesday’s performance, the Namibians could secure another win against Ireland, as they bring a lot of confidence into the match. A win could keep alive their hopes of making the Super 12 stage, a tournament for eight automatic qualifiers.

However, Ireland, who saw off the Netherlands in their opening game, know that victory would put them on the brink of qualification. They are second in the group after they were beaten by Sri Lanka as well. They were thrashed after losing wickets regularly and succumbing to a 70-run defeat after being bowled out for 101 with nine balls remaining.

Making history

“We look forward to the match so that we can make more history. We are going to put in another special performance to be able to win against a full test playing nation like Ireland. We are ready to go into battle,” Namibia’s captain Gerhard Erasmus said.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka, the 2014 champions, have won back-to-back matches and sit at the top of Group A ahead of a dead rubber against the Netherlands in their last group match today.

Defeat almost certainly means the Dutch, who lost their opener to Ireland also by seven wickets, will be eliminated.

Even a win over Sri Lanka in their concluding game may not be enough.