Ireland join Afghanistan at World Cup
The Emerald Isle qualify for their second consecutive World Twenty20 after defeating Namibia by nine wickets in Dubai.
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2012 16:25
 Ireland are growing in stature after competing in all Twenty20s since 2009 and the last two World Cups [GALLO/GETTY]

Ireland will appear in their third consecutive World Twenty20 after qualifying for the tournament with a comprehensive, nine wicket victory over Namibia on Saturday.

The win sent Ireland into the final of the qualifying tournament later on Saturday, where they meet Afghanistan to determine the group in which each team will play when the competition proper starts in September in Sri Lanka.

Afghanistan beat Namibia on Thursday, sending the war-torn nation to their second consecutive World Twenty20.

"It's obviously massive"

Ireland skipper William Porterfield

"It's obviously massive,'' skipper William Porterfield said of the team's ninth straight victory after losing their opener to Namibia.

"We came into this tournament with the goal of winning. After losing the first game, we were going to have to do it the hard way. We managed to do that up to now. We have to concentrate on the final which is a big game for us.''

Ireland's bowlers again were the stars, restricting Namibia to 94-6 before their batsmen rattled up 96-1 in reply.

Crumbling wickets

Namibia's openers failed to deliver, as in the team's defeat by Afghanistan, with Louis van der Westhuizen caught by Andrew White off a Trent Johnston delivery for 14 runs and Raymond van Schoor - who was out for a duck against Afghanistan -  was trapped lbw by Johnston for one run.

After losing wickets at regular intervals, Ian Opperman finished with a flourish, scoring 26 runs not out, but it was too little, too late.

Johnston finished with figures of 2-19, while Max Sorensen, the man of the match, took 2-8 and also bowled two maidens in his four-over spell.

Ireland had little trouble reaching the modest target, with openers Porterfield and Paul Stirling combining for 41 and Stirling finishing with an unbeaten 59 off of 32 balls. The Irish reached their target with 59 balls to spare.

"I'm absolutely delighted with my performance today,'' said the South African-born Sorensen, who was playing in his first tournament for Ireland.

"It's great to be playing for this team, enjoying every second of it,'' he said.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.