The Ireland Men’s national cricket team will take on Namibia in their final match in Group A of the 2021 ICC Men’s T20I World Cup.
The loss to Sri Lanka on Wednesday means that Ireland must beat Namibia if they are to be part of the Super 12.
Namibia made history when they beat the Netherlands on Wednesday to claim their first-ever victory at an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
This year’s instalment of the World Cup is their debut in the competition and they will want to make the most of the chance they have to progress.
The winner will move on to the next round to meet New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the highest-ranked side in Group B (currently Scotland).
Bowler Josh Little was a bright spark for Ireland in the heavy loss on Wednesday and his captain Andrew Balbirnie thinks that the Dubliner has been fantastic for the national side in the past year.
The 21-year-old returned career-best figures of four for 23 in Abu Dhabi, which featured two wickets in his first over and took his 2021 T20I wicket tally to 12 from nine matches.
Balbirnie said: “Josh Little bowled to his plans and he has been a real find for us this year, he has bowled beautifully for us up top and we put them in real trouble…Josh is a huge asset. He has been a force in ODI cricket this year and really come to the fore.”
Head coach Graham Ford has said that his side are “desperate” to progress to the Super 12 with a win over Namibia.
Ford said: “I think for us, we come to the tournament with a slightly different view to some of the bugger countries, in that we are gaining and learning with every single outing – trying to make as much progress in our cricket as possible.
“So, every game is important as far as that is concerned – to try and make those little improvements here and there and to sharpen our skills, and adapt to the extra pace in the pitches.
“Win or lose, we are gaining and we are learning, so that’s a big plus for us – but quite obviously we are desperate to go through to the next phase of the tournament as well.
“Despite the loss [yesterday] we are still alive and still in the competition, and that’s the important thing.”
Namibia: Gerhard Erasmus (C), Stephan Baard, Michau Du Preez, Zane Green, Bernard Scholtz, JJ Smit, Michael Van Lingen, Craig Williams, Karl Birkenstock, Jan Frylink, Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Ben Shikongo, Ruben Trumpelmann, David Weise, David Wiese, Pikky Ya France.
Ireland: Andrew Balbirnie (C), Mark Adair, Gareth Delany, Joshua Little, Kevin O’Brien, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Benjamin White, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Neil Rock, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
Where To Watch
The match will start at 11 am and will be available to watch on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket – coverage begins at 10:30 am.
You can keep track of the live score on the ICC website and Cricket Ireland will provide Twitter updates throughout the match.