[QODLink]
Cricket
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.

Source:
AP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.