With a spot in Super 12 up for grabs, Ireland and Namibia were up against each other in Sharjah in a potential knockout match. Although the Irish side came to this contest as strong favourites, the destiny had other plans. Ever since Namibia scripted a heroic win against Netherlands in their previous match, they had started to believe that they could pull off the unthinkable.
A brilliant bowling performance from them on Friday restricted Ireland to 125/8 in 20 overs, setting up a perfect platform for their progress in the main round of the mega event. However, it was never going to be an easy task for the batters on a tricky Sharjah wicket and they were certainly feeling the pressure when Craig Williams got out, with the score reading 25/1 in 5.1 overs.
This is when their captain Gerhard Erasmus walked out in the middle to lead from the front. Although he had all the potential, you need some luck going your way in these matches and the 26-year-old certainly had the cricket gods on his side.
Gerhard Erasmus rode his luck during a historic knock
When he was batting on 2, a Mark Adair delivery struck his pads right straight in front of the stumps but the umpire turned down the appeal. Ireland also did not take a DRS which turned out to be a game-changing decision. The replays showed three reds but Erasmus had survived, with a big task up his sleeves.
The right-handed batsman slowly and steadily got his side back into the contest and just when he needed a little bit more luck to help his case, he got it! In the 15th over, Craig Young beat Erasmus with a delivery that nipped back in and there was a huge sound when the ball passed the bat before going into the gloves of wicketkeeper.
Ireland took a DRS this time around and it seemed like a plot twist with Nambia set to lose the wicket of their captain. However, the replays showed that there was no bat involved but there was a huge spike when the ball passed the stumps. Further replays confirmed that the ball had actually hit the stumps but luckily for Namibia, the bails did not get dislodged in a dramatic sequence of events.
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It turned out to be a huge moment in the game as Gerhard Erasmus did not give any opportunity to Ireland after that and went on to smash a brilliant unbeaten fifty (53* off 49) to guide his side home, taking them through to Super 12.