Irish cricketers through to knockout stages

Ireland completed a perfect Group A campaign of five wins from five matches at the World Cup Qualifying tournament with today’s easy seven-wicket success against Namibia in Johannesburg.

The Irish qualify for the Super Eight stage – their first match is against Afghanistan on Saturday – as clear table-toppers, on 10 points.

Will Porterfield led his team to their latest victory with 84 at the top of the order, as Ireland coasted past a victory target of 213 with five overs to spare.

Namibia chose to bat first and posted a working total on the back of a battling half-century from number six Nicholaas Scholtz (62), who did most to rescue his team from 66 for six – seamer Boyd Rankin (two for 17) making it hard for them.

Scholtz’s eighth-wicket stand of 67 in little more than 10 overs with Ian van Zyl ensured Ireland would need to bat well.

They lost opener Gary Wilson, clean bowled by Louis Klazinga, for a third-ball duck in only the second over. But Gloucestershire batsman Porterfield and his fellow left-hander Eoin Morgan shared a second-wicket stand of 84.

Niall O’Brien (64no) then helped Porterfield add another 101 for the third - and after the captain had gone, the Northamptonshire wicketkeeper finished the job with his brother Kevin (12no).

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