John Mooney's man-of-the-match winning spell of 3-23 restricted Namibia to 124 for 8 before Ireland, riding on captain William Porterfield's unbeaten half-century, knocked off the runs with 16 balls to spare
He may have eased off on plans to wear a black armband to protest the 'death of Associate cricket', but John Mooney followed through with an impressive spell of seam bowling to launch Ireland's 2015 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier campaign in a seven-wicket win over Namibia at Stormont, Belfast. The allrounder's man-of-the-match winning spell of 3-23 restricted Namibia to 124 for 8 before Ireland, riding on captain William Porterfield's unbeaten half-century, knocked off the runs with 16 balls to spare.
After Namibia's Stephen Baard pulled a six and four off the opening over bowled by Tyrone Kane, Mooney replaced Kane for the third and peeled off an impressive four-over spell to quell Namibia's top order. Baard fell slashing to Niall O'Brien at third man off Mooney's third ball before Gerrie Snyman edged an attempted drive to Gary Wilson in the fifth over. Mooney capped off his burst with a brilliant yorker to remove Raymond van Schoor as Namibia slipped from 20 for 0 to 45 for 3.
The spin tandem of George Dockrell and Paul Stirling kept the clamps on Namibia's middle order from the 10th through the 16th overs. After Stirling started off with a maiden in the 10th, Dockrell struck in the first ball of the 11th when JP Kotze's tame cut floated to Alex Cusack at backward point where he dived forward for the catch.
Dockrell started the the 13th over with a wicket after Sarel Burger skipped down the track but failed to clear Kevin O'Brien at long off. Craig Williams then lofted Stirling to Andrew Balbirnie at sweeper cover in the 14th to make it 73 for 6.
Namibia's biggest partnership of the day - 32 for the seventh wicket between JJ Smit and Nicolas Scholtz - came to an end when Smit edged an attempted cut behind to Wilson off Cusack. Scholtz failed to fend off a short ball two balls later to give Wilson his third catch of the day.
Ireland's chase got off to a sloppy start with Stirling spooning his second ball to short extra cover off Jason Davidson where Baard claimed a low diving catch. Three balls later, Porterfield nearly ran himself out on nought when he set off from the non-striker's end for a single behind point. He was sent back by Niall O'Brien but the throw to the bowler's end bounced over the stumps.
Porterfield and Niall O'Brien survived another pair of chances, on 5 and 18 respectively, before settling down to notch up a 71-run stand. Niall eventually holed out to long off against Burger on the first ball of the 11th for 45 before his brother Kevin was dismissed in identical fashion in the next over off Bernard Scholtz's left-arm spin for 3.
Porterfield and Balbirnie shared an unbroken stand of 48 runs to ensure Ireland had no further alarms. Porterfield hit his sixth four through extra cover to bring up his half-century off 43 balls, and level the scores. He ended the match the very next ball with another four .