Namibia miraculously qualified for the next round of the ICC World Cup qualifiers despite losing their final Group match to Ireland on Wednesday. Namibia had to thank Oman for their progress after they scored a sensational one-wicket victory over Uganda after chasing down a mammoth target of 299 to win with almost 13 overs to spare.
After Joel Olweny’s innings of 85 helped Uganda reach 298-5, some spectacular hitting from Farhan Khan, who smashed 95 off 49 balls, in a bid to improve its net run rate, helped Oman reach its target in a dramatic finale.
The result meant that Namibia, Oman and Uganda all finished joint fourth in their group on two points each, but Namibia edged the other two countries out on a slightly better run rate. According to the competition’s official website Namibia finished fourth in Group A with a run rate of – 0.506, followed by Uganda (-0.928) and Oman (-1.144).
The CEO of Cricket Namibia Laurie Pieters was a relieved man, admitting that they were lucky to get through.
“It was a great escape and we got through by the skin of our teeth. What Oman did, to reach 300 runs in 37 overs, is nearly unheard of in the 50 over game,” he said.
Namibia now go through to the Super Eight stage but they are at a disadvantage since they will not carry any points through to the next round. Their opponents in the Super Eights Kenya, Holland and the UAE will all start off with four points from the first round. Only Afghanistan will start the second round without any points, like Namibia.
Namibia’s Super Eight fixtures are as follows:
Saturday April 11
Namibia v UAE, Pretoria
Monday, April 13
Namibia v Holland, Benoni
Wednesday, April 15
Namibia v Kenya, Johannesburg
Friday, April 17
Namibia v Afghanistan, Krugersdorp
The positional playoffs for places one to eight take place on April 19.