Namibia’s dream of dancing with the big boys of cricket at the forthcoming T20 World Cup were all but dashed today by little known Oman in Malahide, Ireland by five wickets.
The defeat effectively sealed the fate for a rather expectant Namibia that had expectant home fans gathered at a local hotel waiting to celebrate a world cup berth.
Namibia batted first posting what on paper looked like a competitive total of 148 for 9 to chase but Oman had other ideas chasing down the total in the allotted 20 overs much to the disappoint of the Namibian funs. The defeat also send chills on the spines of Namibia cricket as the opponents are five levels below Namibia and are never at any point expected to pull such a stunt.
Although it looked like Namibia would go on to claim the victory, Oman came out strong, beating Namibia by five wickets and an over to spare, scoring 150/5.
Oman join Scotland, Ireland, Hong Kong, Netherlands, and Afghanistan that have qualified for the T-20 World cup. This defeat means it is the third T-20 World Cup in a row that Namibia has missed out on.
Speaking after the match, Namibian captain Nicolaas Scholtz said, "Obviously, I'm very disappointed. I think we lost quite a few wickets in the last 5 overs, and that put us on the back foot. They bowled pretty well and I think we went a bit too hard too early. I think we were about 10 short. 149 was just about par,” he added, “Good luck to Oman. The tournament's been great. Sorry to all our fans back home that we couldn't make it."
Meanwhile the jubilation from Oman players and supporters could not be hidden as even they could not believe they pulled off this upset. Oman plays in (International Cricket Council) ICC 5th division while Namibia plays in the Championship, which means that there are five divisions that separate that the two sides.
A celebratory Oman captain Sultan Ahmed said,"This is very important for our team and our country. I am very glad. Credit goes to all our team mates and support staff. We started poorly, but we decided against Canada when we were chasing we could beat any team. It will be a party tonight!"