Wednesday, May 22, 2024

ICC: Namibia not just making up the numbers in Super 12 after historic Ireland win

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Photo Credit: Cricket Namibia

Namibia coach Pierre de Bruyn warned cricket’s big boys that Namibia will not lie down in the Super 12 stage after a historic eight-wicket victory over Ireland saw them progress. 

Gerhard Erasmus’ captain’s knock of 53 not out from 49 balls plus David Wiese’s explosive 28 from just 14 helped Namibia chase down Ireland’s 125 for 8 to ensure they finished second in Group A. 

Wiese also starred with the ball, taking two for 22, alongside the impressive Jan Frylinck, who finished with Namibia’s best-ever World Cup figures of three for 21, as Ireland made just 70 runs in 14 overs after racing to 55 without loss in the powerplay. 

“We are ecstatic, I’ve got to remind myself what just happened out there, but it has happened to a really good group of people,” said De Bruyn, after a win that also secured his country’s automatic qualification for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. 

“It’s time for us to reflect and also enjoy this moment, but we certainly didn’t come here to go and lie down now. 

“Facing India, Pakistan and New Zealand, those types of teams, is going to be a great experience for these players but we want to be competitive in whatever we do, with ball, bat and in the field. 

“The way we present ourselves, we are going to compete, and we are looking forward to that. We’ve made history now, advancing to the Super 12s, it’s the first time ever we are going to play against these guys in a T20 World Cup.” 

When Wiese struck the winning boundary at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE it sparked wild scenes of celebration among the players and fans at the ground and De Bruyn admitted the party would go on long into the night back home. 

He added: “I can just imagine what is going on in Namibia right now, it is a Friday afternoon there so they will be ecstatic. It will be a late night for the supporters back home. 

“We are not an organisation with the luxury of a lot of resources around us. I’ve got 18 players to pick from in my national squad and I know what they’ve put in for the last three years.

Pierre de Bruyn, Namibia Men’s National Team Head Coach after the victory over Ireland which ensured Namibia's spot in the ICC T20 World Cup Super 12 round

Photo Credit: Cricket Namibia

“It sounds like a cliche that the hard work has paid off, but it certainly did and I’m really ecstatic for the players.” 

Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie revealed he was gutted his side came up short in the winner-takes-all clash but insisted his team are still making forward strides. 

He said: “Our T20 cricket has been inconsistent, and it has been a big issue and you can say that this tournament has been inconsistent for us, but guys are improving, I’m seeing it day in and day out. 

“They are a young and inexperienced squad and they are going to learn from this, they are going to hurt from this, of course, like all of us but we’ve got to keep moving forward and trying to adapt our game. 

“We came up short today, but I know the guys, once we’ve had a week or two off at home, will want to improve their skills so that the next time it comes around they’ll be better for it.” 


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