It is a do or die match for Namibia against Ireland today as the winner will progress to the next stage of the T20 Cricket World Cup underway in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Notwithstanding the outcome of today’s clash against the Dutch, Sri Lanka have already booked their place in the Super 12 stage, leaving Namibia and Ireland – who have both won against the Netherlands and lost to Sri Lanka – to square off for the second and last spot out of Group A.
Eagles’ captain Gerhard Erasmus is aware the match against Ireland is crucial, saying: “We have to put in a special performance for us to be able to win the match. Overall, we will be ready and prepared for the tough encounter and hoping to make more history”.
Namibia made history Wednesday when it won its first-ever Cricket World Cup match against the Netherlands.
The Eagles will be hoping to get revenge over Ireland, who beat them in the qualifying rounds for this world in Dubai in 2019. Ireland won by 27 runs.
Ireland coach Graham Ford has acknowledged Namibia’s “dangerous” players, saying they are “very hard-working cricketers”.
“Quite a few of them have learnt a lot of their cricket in South Africa, and they pushed us close in the last game of the qualifiers. We know that they’re going to be tough - if we’re slightly off our best, we will struggle,” said Ford.
The heat and humid conditions will be challenging during the match today, with temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius forecasted.
The top two teams from each group will progress to the next round – the Super 12s, joining the world’s eight top-ranked T20 side who will be divided into two groups. After the group matches, the top two teams from both groups will progress to the semi-finals set for 10 November in Abu Dhabi and 11 November in Dubai. The final of the tournament will be taking place in Dubai on 14 November.
West Indies are the defending champions, having beaten England in the 2016 final. West Indies are also the only team to have won the tournament twice – they beat Sri Lanka in the final of the 2012 edition. Sri Lanka won in 2014.