Namibia have qualified for the 2024 T20 Cricket World Cup which will be held in the West Indies and the USA as they ensured a top-two finish on the Africa region qualifiers points table required for the qualification of the showpiece event next year.
Riding on their resilient performance in the Africa Qualifiers with a perfect record of five wins from five games, the Eagles thumped Tanzania by 58 runs in Windhoek to set up their third straight T20 World Cup appearance. In 2021, they qualified for the Super 12 after placing second in the group stage, but they were unable to emulate the same in 2022.
The hosts now sit top of the table with five wins from five after previous victories against Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.
While Namibia have already qualified after winning its first five games, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Nigeria are in contention to grab the last remaining spot in the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup.
From the seven teams (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Nigeria and Namibia) that advanced to the continental tournament's championship round, Tanzania and Rwanda have been eliminated from the competition.
Which Teams Have Qualified?
The next edition of the showpiece will comprise 20 teams split into four groups of five teams each and twelve teams have already qualified for the event.
The top eight teams from the 2022 T20 World Cup —Australia, England, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka—as well as the two host countries, the USA and the West Indies, gained automatic qualification for the 2024 T20I World Cup.
The two next-best unqualified teams as per the ICC Rankings on the cut-off date of 14 November, 2022 - Afghanistan and Bangladesh were also granted automatic qualification.
Teams that emerged victorious from the regional qualifiers occupied the final eight spots. The ICC hosted the matches; two slots each were given to the regions of Europe, Asia and Africa. The American and East-Asia Pacific regions received one slot each:
Host Nations: USA and West Indies.
Top 8 from 2022 Edition: Australia, England, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka.
Top two best-ranked unqualified teams in the ICC Men's T20I Team Rankings: Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Europe Qualifier: Scotland and Ireland
East Asia Pacific Qualifier: Papua New Guinea
Asia Qualifier: Nepal and Oman
America Qualifier: Canada
Africa Qualifier: Namibia and TBD
With the South West African nation qualifying for the T20 World Cup, let's take a look at their journey in the Qualifier tournament so far:
Namibia Beat Tanzania By 58 Runs
Namibia’s 58-run win over Tanzania that booked their tickets for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 was spearheaded by JJ Smit’s 40* off 25 balls, raising a total of 157/6.
Tanzania demonstrated impressive skill by taking regular wickets to limit Namibia's scoring, but when the lower order was called upon, Zane Green and Nicol Loftie-Eaton produced significant cameos to add 157 runs to the total.
The total proved too steep for Tanzania as they only managed to 99/6. None of the Tanzanian batsmen scored more than a run-a-ball thanks to economical bowling from Gerhard Erasmus and Bernard Scholtz.
Namibia Beat Kenya By 6 Wickets
After deciding to field first, Namibia bowled brilliantly and allowed Kenya to only score 104/6. Despite a collapse caused by Irfan Karim's 43*Kenya were ultimately unable to find the big hits.
In the second innings, after losing four wickets in nine overs, Namibia found themselves in trouble. But Jan Frylinck (57*) and JJ Smit (14*), who combined for a match-winning partnership of 59 runs to lead the team to victory, were crucial in saving the day for the team.
Namibia Beat Rwanda By 68 Runs (DLS Method)
Against Rwanda, the batters showed off their strength by going to bat first for the first time in the competition. Opener Niko Davin led the innings with a 59-ball 80 and the other hitters contributed significantly as they amassed a total of 207/3 in their 20 overs.
Rwanda lost three wickets in the first two overs, putting them in a precarious position. They were 46/5 at the halfway point when play was stopped by persistent rain. Namibia gained two more points by using the DLS method, putting them in a strong position.
Namibia Beat Uganda by 6 Wickets
Namibia achieved a successful chase after the bowlers restricted the opposition to a low total. This time, veteran bowler David Wiese took command of the game with a 4/17 average that helped Uganda be bowled out for 114.
With a 43-run partnership in the Powerplay, the openers laid the groundwork once more. With three overs remaining, Jan Frylinck and Captain Gerhard Erasmus led the team to victory despite a brief setback with three quick wickets.
Namibia Beat Zimbabwe By 7 Wickets
In their opening match of the tournament, Namibia made a big impression by routing tournament favourites Zimbabwe. The bowlers demonstrated exemplary skills as they held Zimbabwe's score tightly and limited them to 132/2 in 20 overs.
Opener Niko Davin scorched to 89 off 45 balls in response, and the Eagles won by seven wickets.