T20 World Cup Qualifying: Ireland beat Namibia to finish third

Andrew Balbirnie of Ireland
Ireland's Andrew Balbirnie hit five boundaries in his 46
ICC T20 World Cup Qualifying third place play-off, Dubai
Ireland 135 (19.1 overs): Balbirnie 46, Stirling 25; Smit 3-19
Namibia 108 (18.2 overs): Erasmus 51; Singh 3-25
Ireland won by 27 runs
Scorecard and standingsexternal-link (external site)

Ireland have finished in third place at the ICC Twenty20 World Cup qualifying series after beating Namibia by 27 runs in Saturday's play-off match.

The Irish, who had already secured qualification for next year's final tournament in Australia, batted first and were dismissed for 135 in Dubai.

Captain Gerhard Erasmus hit 51 for Namibia, who appeared to have Ireland's modest total in their sights.

But they lost the last five wickets for 18 and were all out for 108.

Off-spinner Simi Singh claimed three Namibian wickets to earn the man of the match award.

The Netherlands claimed the title with a seven-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in the final.

Chasing 129 to win after Papua New Guinea posted 128-8, the Dutch reached their target with an over to spare as Ben Cooper hit 41 and Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate made an unbeaten 34, clinching victory with a six as his side finished on 134-3.

Ireland bowlers end Namibia resistance

Gerhard Erasmus is captain of Namibia
Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus reached his half-century in 29 balls

The inclusion of Singh and Shane Getkate, in place of Stuart Thompson and George Dockrell, were Ireland's two changes from Friday's defeat by the Netherlands.

Irish openers Paul Stirling (25) and Kevin O'Brien (17) both fell to catches in the outfield when beginning to look dangerous.

Andrew Balbirnie looked in control of his innings and appeared comfortable picking off runs with the odd boundary, but he top-edged the last ball of the 15th over and was caught at backward square leg for 46 from 35 balls.

Mark Adair (17), with two consecutive sixes down the ground, gave Ireland's total a late boost, but wickets tumbled and they were bowled out in the last over for 135.

Gareth Delany (2-23) struck in the second over, quickly followed by Singh (3-25) in his first appearance at the qualifying tournament. Singh's dismissal will undoubtedly be on a shortlist of catches of the tournament, grabbing a reflex, diving caught and bowled opportunity to have Namibia at 11-2 in the fourth over.

Delany struck again with an lbw decision before Stephen Baard (17) and Erasmus (51) stabilised the Namibian innings with a promising 22-run stand.

However, having done the hard work Baard pulled Getkate high into the air and Singh once again claimed an eye-catching catch, this time in the outfield.

Erasmus tried to wrestle control of the match away from the Irish bowlers with a powerful half-century, but after passing the milestone he was caught scooping a ball to Boyd Rankin at short fine leg.

The African team's resistance then faded and Ireland's bowlers turned the screws with tight bowling and regular wickets.

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