Another fantastic day of cricket at Desert comes to an end; today’s two matches were played in between Ireland and Namibia while Scotland faced Netherlands in evening match.
It went to final over when eight runs needed off the final over; Andy McBrine smashed two fours in quick succession to give Ireland their first win of the Desert T20 Challenge. This match wasn’t easy for Ireland, during many stages in the game, Ireland looked second favorites to win. But it was all about their experience which finally came through.
After winning the toss Namibia opted to bat first, when Namibia opener Louis van der Westhuizen went desolate and slammed a fifty off just 24 balls to take his team past 80 for no loss in the ninth over. But Ireland fought back hard to put the brakes on the scoring rate and take wickets. Craig Young, Joshua Little Jacob Mulder and Kevin O’Brien all took two wickets each as the rest of the Namibia line-up wilted. Namibia was limited to 146 for 9. They managed to score just 69 runs in the last 12 overs and lost 7 wickets.
Ireland had a mix start, they kept losing wickets but at the same time they scored accordingly. This chase wasn’t enough to defend but it was a challengeable target. It seemed a big target when they had lost 4 wickets for 83 in eleventh over. However their experienced batsmen came into act and batted sensibly. Stuart Poynter, with a well-paced 38, Kevin O’Brien, with a run-a-ball 22, and Gary Wilson, with an attacking 38, put them in a match winning position.
Kevin O’Brien was awarded as a player of the match because of his all-round performance with bat and bowl.
In evening match Netherlands won the toss and opted to field first. Scotland put a challenging total of 148 for 7 on the board. Scotland overcame a horrible top-order collapse to put up a decent total on the board thanks to Richie Berrington’s fighting 38 off 30 balls. Berrington aside, Scotland saw their middle order come good with Calum MacLeod (20 off 18), Craig Wallace (21 off 21), Con de Lange (22 off 10) and Safyaan Sharif (20 off 11) all adding vital contributions to the team’s final score.
Netherlands’ chase had been anchored well by opener Michael Rippon, who was involved in a fifty-run opening stand with Ben Cooper. At 95 for 3 in the 13th over, Netherlands looked favorites to win the game and confirm themselves of a spot in the next stage. However, a double blow, that saw Captain Peter Borren and the well-set Rippon depart in the space of three balls left the Netherlands innings in disarray. Josh Davey, who had already picked up two wickets earlier, added two more in quick succession, including the big wicket of former South Africa player Roelof van der Merwe, to leave Netherlands in deep trouble.
With pressure rising in the final overs, Netherlands needed 16 off 12 balls with three wickets in hand. The Netherlands lost the plot and two run outs in the final over sealed the game in Scotland’s favor.
Josh Davey was awarded as a player of the match on his superb bowling.