Shane Getkate leads Ireland Wolves to comprehensive victory to level series 1-1
A Shane Getkate half-century led Ireland Wolves to a 32-run victory over Namibia at the Wanderers Cricket Ground earlier today, squaring the series at 1-1 with tomorrow’s third T20 now a decider.
Ireland Wolves v Namibia Men, 2nd T20, Windhoek, 23 March 2022
Wolves 173-4 (20 overs; S Getkate 54, M Commins 37, N Rock 25; B Shikongo 2-41)
Namibia 141-6 (20 overs; JJ Smit 46, S Fouché 31; M Ford 2-10)
Ireland Wolves won by 32 runs
Murray Commins and Jeremy Lawlor opened the batting after Namibia won the toss for the second straight game and put the Wolves in to bat. They started comfortably enough, with Commins scoring a boundary in the first over off Ben Shikongo when flicking it off his pads down to the third boundary.
Unlike in the first T20 on Monday, the Wolves played with more patience, taking their singles and focussing on building partnerships early.
With the score on 22 in the 5th over, Lawlor was caught by the wicket-keeper Lohan Louwrens when he played late at a ball from Shikongo. Stephen Doheny then came to the crease and scored a quick-fire 23 - including 10 from two balls to bring up the Wolves 50 - before he was stumped by Louwrens.
Namibia’s spinners came into the attack and slowed the Wolves’ momentum for a few overs, but once the seamers came back Getkate and Commins started to command the attack. Getkate found his rhythm quickly, knocking the ball around with aplomb. He scored 54 off just 34 balls, which included six fours and one six to put the Wolves in control.
Commins played steady throughout, but was fortunate on a couple of occasions as he was dropped when on 23, and another effort fell between two fielders when it looked like he would be out shortly after. Fortune they say favours the brave and Commins went on to score 37, following on from his top-scoring 29 in the first game, before he was clean bowled by Dylan Leicher in the 15th over.
Captain Neil Rock (25) and Curtis Campher (16) then hit out in the final overs, two big sixes from Campher, as the Wolves finished up with 173-4. All up, the final final five overs went for 72 runs, with the Irish batters rewarded for attacking strokeplay.
Namibia’s response started slowly, with the Wolves bowling attack settling on a good line at the top of off. At 31-3 in the 8th over, the home side needed to counter-attack quickly before the required run rate got too out-of-range before the innings’ halfway mark. And counter-attack they did, with Shaun Fouché (31 from 25 balls) and captain JJ Smit (46 from 25 balls) finding their range. The pair hit four fours and six maximums between them as the momentum began to swing back to Namibia. However, Smit tried to bring up his half-century with a lofted on drive off Campher, only to pick out Getkate’s safe pair of hands at long on.
From there the Wolves bowlers tightened their lines and the Namibian run chase fell 32-runs short – finishing 141-6 from their 20 overs.
For the Wolves, spinner Matt Ford took 2-10, while Curtis Campher 2-30 and Graham Hume 1-25 were also in the wickets.
It sets up the series for a winner-takes-all clash tomorrow (Thursday) at 10am local time (8am GMT)
After the match, Neil Rock said:
“We put it right after the first game. We kept wickets in hand throughout and managed to get away at the end. We took momentum into that second innings and then the way the guys started, to not go for many in the powerplay probably got us ahead in the game. We pushed him up the order a little but and gave him time to do what he does, run deep and play that big innings, which we were short of the other day.”
Player of the Match Shane Getkate said:
“I felt good, myself and Murray put on a nice partnership there in the middle and kept wickets in hand. It was bit of a two-paced wicket. It was nice to put in a better performance today than our batting performance the other day. It would be nice to finish the series 2-1 now.”