Dubai, Oct 23 (IndiaToday) – Namibia skipper Gerhard Erasmus was in tears after David Wiese smashed a wide full delivery through the cover to clinch Namibia’s first victory over a Test-playing nation.
Erasmus’ unbeaten half-century and David Wiese’s all-round brilliance secured Namibia’s memorable eight-wicket victory over Ireland in Sharjah.
The win not only helped them qualify for the Super 12s, but also guaranteed them a spot in next year’s T20 World Cup to be held in Australia.
Erasmus led by example with an unbeaten 53, while man-of-the-match Wiese remained not out on 28, sealing the victory with his second boundary.
“I said in the press conference that we run a tight ship,” an emotional Erasmus said after the win.
“It’s a small country, and a small number of people play cricket. We should be proud of ourselves.”
Namibia currently sits at 19th on the ICC Men’s T20I rankings, making it the lowest-ranked side in the entire competition.
When Namibia was awarded ICC status two years ago, the country only had three full-time contracted players. According to ESPNcricinfo, Namibia only has nine cricket fields and five cricket clubs.
The Namibians previously beat the Netherlands in Group A of qualifying for the country’s first win at a World Cup and went a step further by taking down an opponent seven places higher than them in the ICC rankings.
They enter Group B of the Super 12s, which start Saturday, where they will play India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Scotland.
Namibia head coach Pierre de Bruyn said: “It‘s ultimately a dream that’s come true for these players. They were seven or six-year-old boys dreaming of playing against India or Pakistan in a World Cup and it’s happened.
“All they had the last few years until now was to watch these guys on TV and dream about it and they‘re going to wake up in the morning thinking it’s real and I’m just so pleased for them.
“We‘re ecstatic. We’re 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 the last three years.”
Namibia has only competed in an ICC event once before, losing all six games they played in the 2003 Cricket World Cup.