Job-done but old concerns remain
Ger Siggins (Sunday Independent)
Ireland duly finished the World Cup Qualifier with a win, their fifth in eight games. The ticket for Australia was secured last weekend so the job-done box was ticked, but the old concerns refuse to go away, even in victory.
The top three in the order got most of Irelandís runs, as they usually do, and the middle order wilted against left-arm spin. The captain tapped the ball around for singles, and finished the tournament with 33 runs, average 8, in 38 balls.
Happily, the youngsters again came good, with Mark Adair biffing a couple of sixes and taking a couple of cheap wickets. Gareth Delany finished behind him as second-best wicket taker with nine, helping Ireland defend a sub-par total of 135 to beat Namibia by 27 runs.
Simi Singh was given his first run of the competition and took 3-25 including a spectacular catch off his own bowling.
There are big issues to be solved this winter, with leadership, middle-order batting, third seamers and spin-bowling all on coach Graham Fordís urgent list. Failure to deal with them will spell a miserable T20 World Cup for Irelandís supporters and ruin the progress of the past year.
T20 World Cup Qualifier
Bronze Medal Match
At Dubai Ė Ireland 135 all out (19.1 overs; A Balbirnie 46, P Stirling 25, JJ Smit 3-19, C Williams 3-34) beat Namibia 108 all out (18.2 overs; G Erasmus 51, S Singh 3-25, M Adair 2-9, B Rankin 2-17, G Delany 2-23) by 27 runs.