Namibia on Tuesday (October 29) confirmed a historic maiden appearance at the T20 World Cup for itself next year after defeating Oman by 54 runs in the second play-off of the ongoing global qualifier in Dubai.
Batting first, the team posted a fighting total of 161/7 on the back of Craig Williams (45) and JJ Smit (59) and later defended the 162-run target with Bernard Scholtz (3/14) and captain Gerhard Erasmus (3/19) delivering stand-out spells and the rest providing them able support with the ball.
The Namibians, who have previously missed out on qualification to major ICC events by a whisker on so many occasions, finally enjoyed their moment.
"We got so many messages from people back home believing in us, and we did it finally," said the jubilant Smit, whose quickfire innings, glint with five sixes, helped his team recover on the day after early jitters.
"I’m relieved. We’ve been on the wrong side of many of these tournaments."
Captain Erasmus was equally jubilant and hoped that his countrymen making it through to the pinnacle event down under will help the wider interest for the sport back home.
"We want more people playing cricket in Namibia and we want to spread the game and if they see us do well on the world stage then it gives them an incentive to play and think of a career," he said.
Namibia will now take on Papua New Guinea in the tournament semi-final on November 1, while Oman strives to topple off Hong Kong in the playoff 4 two days earlier in its last chance of qualifying for the World Cup.