Namibia Secures T20 World Cup Spot After Beating Oman
Dubai: Namibia will appear at the T20 World Cup for the first time after beating Oman in Dubai, joining the Netherlands on Tuesday in qualifying for next year's tournament.
All-rounder JJ Smit blasted 59 off 25 balls as Namibia beat Oman by 54 runs to progress to the eight-team first round of the World Cup in Australia in October 2020.
Namibia posted 161-7 after choosing to bat, with Smit smacking five sixes in a match-winning innings following a steady 45 from Craig Williams.
Oman, who took part in the 2016 T20 World Cup, began well in reply as Khawar Ali and Aqib Ilyas put on 57 for the second wicket after Jatinder Singh was removed for a first-ball duck.
Left-arm spinner Bernard Scholtz trapped Ilyas (18) in front and then had Ali (41) stumped as Oman staggered to 64 for 4 before folding meekly.
Scholtz finished with 3-14 while Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus took three wickets of his own, including that of opposing skipper Zeeshan Maqsood (2), as Oman slumped to 107 all out.
"We got so many messages from people back home believing in us, and we did it finally," said Smit. "I'm relieved. We've been on the wrong side of many of these tournaments." Erasmus hopes Namibia's qualification for the global showpiece can help spark wider interest in the game back home.
"We want more people playing cricket in Namibia and we want to spread the game and if they see us do well on the world stage then it gives them an incentive to play and think of a career," said Erasmus.
Namibia, who lost all six of their games at the 50-over World Cup in 2003, meet Papua New Guinea in the competition semi-finals, while Oman can still qualify if they beat Hong Kong in a playoff.
Earlier, the Netherlands punched their ticket to Australia after thrashing United Arab Emirates by eight wickets.