Ireland end the group stage of the CWC 2011 qualifier unbeaten after defeating Namibia in Johannesburg today. The defeated Intercontinental Cup finalists soon regretted their decision to bat first as accurate Irish bowling and good out-cricket in the field left Namibia reeling at 66-6. However, Ireland were not able to clean up the tail which wagged effectively enough to set a target of 214 and give the Namibian’s something to bowl at. It was soon clear that the total was nowhere near enough and Ireland cruised home with 5 overs to spare, skipper Will Porterfield top scoring again with 84 and picking up another MOTM award. Special mention must go to Boyd Rankin who has bowled with great accuracy and no little hostility throughout the group and finished with the miserly figures of 2-17 from 10 overs.
Namibia scraped through into the next stage on net-run-rate (don’t ask) despite the defeat after Oman broke Ugandan hearts with a nailbiting 1 wicket victory. Scotland got whupped by Canada – both progress from Ireland’s group. Ireland will play The Netherlands, Kenya, UAE and Afghanistan in the super eight round as the qualifiers from group B but Bermuda who played in the last CWC lose their ODI status after failing to qualify. Top six in the last eight get ODI status, top four get World Cup places. Ireland start top of the table by 2 points and have the comparative minnows of Afghanistan on Saturday and UAE on Monday before meeting the tougher sides – wins in those games should be enough for a World Cup place but the Irish should be focussed on going through unbeaten and confirming their position once again as the best associate side in the world.
Match summary Namibia 213-9 (50 ov) Scholz 62; Rankin 2-17 Ireland 214-3 (45 ov) Porterfield 84, N O’Brien 64* Ireland win by 7 wickets