Ireland defeat Namibia in opening Twenty20 qualifier match

Stuart Thompson celebrates with Ireland team-mate John Mooney after the fall of a Namibian wicket
Seamer John Mooney (right) took 3-23 for Ireland
ICC World Twenty20 qualifier, Stormont:
Namibia 124-8 (20 overs): Mooney 3-23, Dockrell 2-15, Cusack 2-25
Ireland 128-3 (17.2 overs): Porterfield 56 not out, N O'Brien 45
Ireland won by seven wickets
Scorecard (external site)

Ireland got their ICC World Twenty20 qualifying campaign off to a winning start by comfortably beating Namibia by seven wickets at Stormont on Friday.

Brilliant bowling spells by John Mooney (3-23) and George Dockrell (2-15) helped Ireland restrict Namibia to 124-8 from their 20 overs.

Alex Cusack (2-25) and Paul Stirling (1-20) were also among the wickets.

William Porterfield scored 56 not out and Niall O'Brien contributed 45 as Ireland won with 16 balls to spare.

For Namibia, only one batsman, JJ Smit (21), passed 20, while JP Kotze managed 18.

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William Porterfield scored 56 of his side's 128 runs against Namibia

Ireland suffered an early setback in their innings as opener Paul Stirling was dismissed for one in the first over, but O'Brien and Porterfield steadied the ship with a 71 partnership.

Porterfield's unbeaten 56 came off just 44 balls and included seven fours and a six, while O'Brien accumulated three fours and a six in his innings.

Kevin O'Brien exited for three, but Andrew Balbirnie helped his captain steer the hosts to victory.

Jason Davidson, Bernard Scholtz and Sarel Burger took a wicket apiece in the Group A encounter.

Ireland's preparations for the qualifying tournament were hampered when their first warm-up match against the United Arab Emirates on Monday was rained off and their second against Oman on Tuesday was abandoned after the visitors had been bowled out for 91 in 18.5 overs.

John Bracewell's side take on the United States at Stormont on Sunday, followed by matches against Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and Jersey.

Fourteen teams are involved in the two qualifying groups with six going through to join the 10 Test nations for the ICC World Twenty20 in India in 2016.

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