No one was really expecting Namibia to make it through to the 2021 T20 World Cup to begin with.
A tough start
Namibia had Sri Lanka, Ireland and Netherlands in their group and Ireland were expected to qualify alongside Sri Lanka to the super 12 stage. However, Namibia had different plans.
Namibia did not get off to a great start but their 7-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka in the first match of the qualifying round of the T20 World Cup 2021 was only expected.
However, they turned it around with a 6 wicket win against Netherlands and then an 8 wicket victory against Ireland.
The Ireland upset
Ireland for one were certainly expected to make it to the super 12 stage given how far the team has come in their cricketing journey over the last few years. But, Namibia held strong and ended up finishing the qualifying round at the second spot in the group A points table with two wins and one loss.
Gerhard Erasmus, Namibia skipper, had this to say after the team made it to the super 12 stage alongside the big boys.
“We said in the previous press conference that we are in a pretty tight ship and I think for a small cricketing nation, we are very proud and it means a lot. I think the achievement is one heck of a one and I think we should be proud of ourselves tonight. Hasn’t sunk in yet, maybe on the way back home or maybe only tomorrow or maybe at the end of the tournament.”
If that was not already a dream-like situation, they even won their first match of the super 12 stage, beating Scotland, a strong associate nation, by 4 wickets.
Back to square one
As it turned out, that was all the happiness that the Namibia fans would get out of the competition as they ended up losing their last four matches by 62 runs against Afghanistan, by 45 runs against Pakistan, by 52 runs against New Zealand and finally by 9 wickets against India to finish at the 5th spot in group 2 of the Super 12 stage.
“We haven’t quite been able to really soak in the experience due to the quick turnaround between games. Only once we get back home, we’ll be able to realise that we played awesome levels of cricket and were to compete against some strong teams,” Erasmus signed off as Namibia bowed out of the tournament with their heads held high.