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HomeCricketIreland Wolves overpowered in deciding T20 against Namibia

Ireland Wolves overpowered in deciding T20 against Namibia

WINDHOEK: A powerful batting performance in a challenging run chase saw Namibia claim an 8-wicket victory over the Ireland Wolves.

A 2-1 T20 series win at the Wanderers Cricket Ground today.

Unbeaten half-centuries to Nicol Loftie-Eaton (74* from 46 balls) and captain JJ Smit (63* from 31 balls) – who combined for a 143-run partnership – saw the home side to the win with more than three overs to spare.

Disappointingly for the Wolves, the successful run-chase followed an excellent batting display from Wolves top-order batter Stephen Doheny (74* from 54 balls) as the visiting side posted 165-5 from their 20 overs.

Earlier in the day, the Wolves lost the toss and were sent in to bat for the third straight game. They didn’t get off to the best of starts to their innings, with Murray Commins losing his wicket in the opening over, slashing at one on the leg side but caught a leading edge.

The Namibian bowlers were getting some early movement from the pitch, which was causing some early consternation for the Wolves batters. However, after early challenges, the batting side soon started to play their shots, and runs followed.

Jeremy Lawlor (45) and Doheny looked increasingly comfortable at the crease, and after seven overs had moved on to 60-1, with Lawlor hitting over the top for 6 off spinner Mauritius Ngupita.

The Lawlor/Doheny partnership of 64 was broken in the 10th over when Lawlor was clean-bowled by Helao Ya France and was followed shortly afterwards by Matt Ford who went lbw.

Curtis Campher was undone a couple of overs later by Loftie-Eato – but Doheny was still looking composed, hitting an excellent six straight down the ground, then another two balls later to bring up his 50 (off 36 balls) as the Wolves moved to 115-4 after 15 overs.

Captain Neil Rock joined Doheny in the middle and they linked up well as the Namibian bowlers struggled to find their line for a couple of overs. Rock (22) batted with aggressive intent, before he fell to a catch on the boundary by Ben Shikongo. The Wolves finished by setting the home side a target of 166 to win.

With the ball, Josh Manley and Graham Hume took the wickets of Lohan Louwrens and JC Balt in the opening five overs. However, once Smit joined Loftie-Eaton in the middle in the sixth over it all went downhill for the Wolves.

The pair struck 12 sixes between them, and took 63 runs from what turned out to be the final three overs of their innings, to run out eight-wicket winners with 19 balls to spare.

The Ireland Wolves will now look to re-group and ahead to the five 50-over match series which gets underway next Tuesday at 7.30am (Irish time) or 9.30am (local time).

MATCH SUMMARY

Ireland Wolves v Namibia Men, 3rd T20, Windhoek, 24 March 2022

Wolves 165-4 (20 overs; S Doheny 74*, J Lawlor 45; H Ya France 2-27)

Namibia 169-2 (16.5 overs; N Loftie-Eaton 74*, JJ Smit 63*; J Manley 1-24)

 

Namibia won by 8 wickets

Picture Credit: Cricket Namibia

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