Dubai: Ireland had to remain content with third position in the World T20 qualifiers when they defeated Namibia by 27 runs in the third place play-off before the final at the Dubai International stadium on Saturday, Papua New Guinea (PNG), the surprise package of the tournament, will lock horns with The Netherlands for the title later in the evening.
Electing to bat first, Ireland openers Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien put on 35 runs before O’Brien fell for 17. Stirling hit a quick 25 runs. Andy Balbirnie kept the scoreboard moving through a fine knock of 46 runs even as wickets fell around him.
Zhivago Groenewald struck twice to remove Gareth Delany (4) and Harry Tector (7). Jonathan Smith and Craig Williams chipped in with three wickets each.
Chasing Ireland’s moderate total of 135 in 19.1 overs, Namibia got off to a poor start. Opener Nikolaas Davin got trapped leg before by Delany for five while Simi Singh had JP Kotze caught and bowled for four. Delany also trapped Craig Williams leg before for one. Though captain Erasmus hit a fighting knock of 51, his effort went in vain as Namibia were bowled out for 108 in 18.2 overs. The fifth place was won by Scotland while Oman finished sixth.
Earlier in the second semi-final on Friday, PNG were restricted to 130 for five. The main scorers for PNG were Sese Bau (40 off 38 balls) and Charles Amini (31 off 28 balls). However, it was the cameo innings of 20 runs from 13 balls from Norman Vanua that gave PNG a challenging total.
Namibia lost their opener Nikolaas Davin for a duck. Opener Stephan Baard (34) and JP Kotze (30) put on 35 runs for the second wicket. However, the run-rate dipped after Damien Ravu had Baard caught and bowled and Vanua removed Craig Williams for 14. Vanua also bowled skipper Gerhard Erasmus for four. Smith fired an unbeaten 16 but he could not take his team past the target.