Captain’s Century Leads to Victory Over Namibia
The Irish captain, Harry Tector, led from the front hitting his maiden U19 ODI century as Ireland defeated Namibia by 102 runs to claim 13th place in the World Cup and finish the competition on a really positive note.
Ably assisted by Jamie Grassi and Neil Rock with the bat and by the full team in the field, this was a team effort around and in support of Tector’s innings.
Asked to bat first, Jamie Grassi (51) set off at a rapid rate and brought up his half-century in just 38 balls which included nine boundaries. When Grassi fell and was immediately followed by Sam Murphy, Ireland were two down for 80 after 11 overs.
When two wickets, Donegan (30) and Topping (3), fell in relatively quick succession again to leave the score 121/4, there was a danger of the bright start fading away.
However, that brought Tector and Neil Rock together and, not for the first time in this competition, the pair put on a big partnership to calm any nerves that may have been present. Both batted without showing nerves though, as they put on 106 for the 5th wicket. When Neil Rock was bowled by Fouche for 55, Ireland were 227/5 and had 7 overs remaining to push the score as high as possible.
Tector played with more aggression and upped the strike rate as his innings continued, taking 20 balls less for his second fifty runs. It was a fantastic captain’s innings from Tector, the only pity was losing his wicket to the third last ball of the innings.
That did allow Josh Little (28) to smash his second six with the last ball of the innings and take the total to 288/6. A century, two half-centuries and other contributions a fine effort with the bat in Christchurch.
With the ball, it took a little time for the breakthrough to come as Namibia moved to 52 without loss after 10 overs.
Josh Little was the one to strike first and six balls later Mark Donegan popped up with his second run out in as many games. Suddenly Namibia were 58/2 and Ireland were looking to build the pressure.
The prize wicket looked to be opener Lohan Louwrens who was not only looking comfortable but scoring at a relatively quick rate. JJ Garth was the one who emerged from the bowling pack to claim that wicket, bowling him for 62.
That was the 4th wicket to fall in the 21st over and came as part of an incredible spell when Ireland took 4 wickets for just 8 runs in four overs. Ireland had Namibia 99/6 and well behind the required run rate as well.
The pace attack was brought back in the 33rd over in the form of Aaron Cawley and he took a wicket with his first delivery. Josh Little took the last two wickets either side of a Graham Kennedy run out as Ireland won by 102 runs.
Harry Tector’s century stands out in this victory as the wonderful achievement it is but this was also a team effort with every player contributing to a victory that secured 13th place and positive end to an amazing experience for Ireland’s Under 2018 Under 19 World Cup squad.
Ireland U19 v Namibia U19, ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 13th Place Play-Off, Christchurch New Zealand
Ireland (50 0vers) 288/6 H Tector 101, N Rock 55, J Grassi 51
Namibia (39.1/50 Overs) 186/10 Louwrens 62, Lottering 46; J Little 3-33 JJ Garth 2-39, M Neville 1-15