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Ireland beat Namibia in ICC Twenty20 Qualifers opener

Updated: Friday, 15 Nov 2013 11:03 | Comments

Alex Cusack claimed two wickets as Ireland opened with a win
Alex Cusack claimed two wickets as Ireland opened with a win

Paul Stirling's man of the match performance ensured Ireland got their defence of their ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers crown off to the perfect start as they beat Namibia by 34 runs in Abu Dhabi.

Having been inserted by Namibia, Stirling and William Porterfield both benefitted from dropped catches by the Africans to set the Irish innings up with an opening stand of 84 in just 53 balls.

Stirling made 52 from 36 balls (four fours, two sixes), while Porterfield proved the perfect foil with 33 from 25 balls (three fours, one six).

The Irish top five all contributed with Kevin and Niall O'Brien making 28 and 26 respectively, while Gary Wilson (20*) provided some late impetus, striking consecutive boundaries in the final over to help Ireland to an above par 166 for five at the halfway stage of the game.

Namibia started their run chase steadily, adding 34 for the first wicket, before Alex Cusack removed the dangerous Louis van der Westhuizen for 12.

The Irish attack then strangled the life out of the Namibian chase - not conceding a boundary for 50 deliveries between the third and 12th overs, which saw the required run rate rise into double digits.

Raymond van Schoor - Player of the Tournament in 2012 - top scored for Namibia with an unbeaten 48, but Ireland were always very much in charge, despite a number of uncharacteristic mistakes in the field.

Cusack (2-22) was once again the pick of the Irish attack, receiving excellent support from Tim Murtagh and George Dockrell in particular as Ireland closed out the game to win by 34 runs as Namibia ended on 134 for seven.

Ireland are back in action again tomorrow when they play Canada, with the action getting under way at 6am Irish time.  

Ireland 166/5 (20 overs, P Stirling 52, W Porterfield 33, K O'Brien 28, N O'Brien 26, G Wilson 20*) beat Namibia 134/7 (20 overs, R van Schoor 48*, C Williams 20, A Cusack 2/22) by 34 runs.

Fans can follow the action live via the ICC live stream on www.icc-cricket.com

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