Ireland and Namibia will rue their missed chances in the semi-final when they lock horns in the 3rd place playoff in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers tomorrow. Both teams lost their semi-final clash against the Netherlands and Papua New Guinea respectively which has meant that they will play the 3rd place playoff.
Both teams looked in good shape during the group stages. While Ireland topped their group, Namibia occupied the 3rd position in Group A. Ireland was thrashed by 21 runs in the semi-final clash against the Netherlands while Papua New Guinea also made light work of Namibia as they defeated them by 18 runs to reach the final of the tournament.
Venue- Dubai International Stadium
Time: 3:40 PM
Ireland has played some impressive cricket in the tournament which saw them top Group B. The likes of Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien have done a good job for them. However, their knocks of 29 and 22 against the Netherlands in the final weren’t enough to help them secure a place in the final. Meanwhile, ahead of the semi-final, David Delany was ruled out of the rest of the tournament.
Paul Stirling, Kevin O Brien, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Harry Tector, Gary Wilson (c & wk), Craig Young, George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin, Stuart Thompson
Namibia produced an impressive bowling performance in the semi-final against Papua New Guinea. However, the batting department wasn’t up to the mark. They batted pretty slowly and had 5 wickets in hand when they finished on 112 in their allotted 20 overs.
They didn’t manage to get a single boundary in the last few overs and finished 18 runs short of the victory target. Despite the loss, it is unlikely that Namibia will change their combination for the final game.
Predicted Playing XI
Stephan Baard, Niko Davin, JP Kotze, Craig Williams, Gerhard Erasmus (c), Zane Green (wk), JJ Smit, Christi Viljoen, Zhivago Groenewald, Bernard Scholtz, Ben Shikongo
Both Ireland and Namibia have played some impressive cricket which ensured their semi-final berth. However, both teams were found wanting in their semi-final clash which has meant that they will fight it out in the 3rd place playoffs.
Ireland won 4 out of the 6 games in the group stage and also lost the semi-final. Namibia, on the other hand, had a similar record in the group stage winning 4 out of 6. They also lost the semi-final.
Ireland vs Namibia Dream 11 Team Combination
Wicket-keepers- Zane Green
Batsmen- Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Kevin O’Brien, Stephan Baard
All-rounders- Stuart Thompson, Jonathan Smit, Gareth Delany
Bowlers- Boyd Rankin, Bernard Scholtz, Craig Young
Paul Stirling- The hard-hitting right-handed batsmen has been one of the most consistent performers for Ireland over the years. He has also been consistent in the tournament. Stirling started off the tournament with twin half-centuries against UAE and Hong Kong.
In the last match against the Netherlands, he started off well with a knock of 29 of 22 deliveries before getting perished. In his T20I career so far, Stirling has scored 1904 runs at an impressive average of 30. Hence he is a sensible captain option.
Kevin O’Brien- Like Stirling, O’Brien has also been a member of the Irish team for a long time. He is due for runs in the tournament. Kevin O’Brien has chipped in with important knocks in the tournament but hasn’t scored big. However given his big-hitting prowess and potential, tomorrow might well be the day.