Namibia rubber-stamp qualification with comfortable win

Namibia secured qualification for the 2024 T20 World Cup with a game to spare after a comfortable win over Tanzania

The Namibia team take a team-talk during their game against Tanzania
The Namibia team take a team-talk during their game against Tanzania - Photo: Cricket Namibia

Namibia secured their place in the 2024 T20 World Cup with a comfortable win against Tanzania on Tuesday. With a 100% record over their first five games, the Eagles had made certain of their qualification for a third consecutive T20 World Cup with a game to spare.

Tuesday’s 58-run win over Tanzania was spearheaded by JJ Smit’s 40* off 25 balls, raising a total of 157/6. Though Tanzania had fought well to keep Namibia in check during the middle period of the first innings, the total quickly proved too much for the Tanzanians. Economical bowling from Gerhard Erasmus and Bernard Scholtz kept the runs down, and Tanzania ended 99/6.

Namibia have dominated the tournament from the off. Their opening game against Zimbabwe was a crushing win over the full-member, chasing 133 with 32 balls to spare thanks to Niko Davin’s 89 off 45. Next, they defeated Uganda by 6 wickets, chasing 115. Uganda might have threatened had they held more of their catching chances, but the Eagles held on to win with 3 overs to spare.

Next they defeated Rwanda by 68 runs on DLS. After raising 207, again led by 80 from Davin, the chase was cut short with Rwanda 46/5 after 10 overs. A brief wobble in a chase of 105 against Kenya created a dew nerves, but Jan Frynlick helped the side home with 57*.

Despite their qualification, Namibia have one more game to play, facing Nigeria in the last game of the tournament on Thursday afternoon. Although Nigeria still have a mathematical chance at the time of writing, the yellow-greens require a precise set of results, leaving the final game a likely dead-rubber. Namibia will still aim to finish with a clean sweep.

Namibia’s qualification formallises the three-way battle for the second qualification spot, with Uganda, Zimbabwe and Kenya all with a realistic chance. Uganda and Kenya both control their own fate, both knowing that two wins in their final two games will secure qualification. The two sides face each other on Wednesday in perhaps the most significant edition of the East-Africa derby in cricket. A win for Uganda would leave them only needing a victory over Rwanda on the last day to achieve a first senior ICC World Cup. Kenya, if successful, would require victory over Zimbabwe to return to the global stage for the first time since 2011.

Zimbabwe, meanwhile, are reliant on Uganda and Kenya both losing games, as well as Zimbabwe winning both of theirs. Zimbabwe have to beat Nigeria and then Kenya to stay in contention, but also rely on Uganda losing in order to draw level on points. If Kenya defeat Uganda but then lose to Zimbabwe, the three teams could end level on points, separated by net run rate, where Zimbabwe hold the advantage.

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