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Preview: Ireland 19s v Namibia U19s

Ireland and Namibia conclude their ICC U19 CWC campaigns with an encounter at Lincoln No.3 in Christchurch.
Josh Little hits out for Ireland

Ireland will be hoping to finish the ICC U19 CWC with three consecutive wins when they take on Namibia on Saturday, having beaten Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea in their two previous games. Namibia will also be quietly confident of signing off with a victory, after cruising past Kenya on Thursday. 

Form guide

Ireland made a slow start to the tournament, suffering heavy defeats to Sri Lanka and Pakistan, but they have bounced back impressively. They concluded Group D with a dramatic four-run win over Afghanistan, who have since progressed to the Super League semi-finals, and then defeated PNG by three wickets in another enthralling tussle. 

Video
Match Highlights: Ireland beat PNG by 3 wickets at U19CWC

Namibia started their campaign with a disappointing 87-run defeat to Bangladesh but their batsmen fought hard in their next match against England, scoring 196/9 from 50 overs before losing by eight wickets. They pushed Canada close in their final group match, eventually losing by four wickets after posting 193, and were then beating by Zimbabwe in the Plate quarter-finals. An eight-wicket victory over Kenya in the 13th place play-off semi-final will have put a spring in their step as they prepare to take on Ireland. 

Players to watch

Josh Little (Ire)

Little has already represented his country at senior level in two T20Is and has shown great promise in this tournament, not to mention a temperament for the big moments. The all-rounder has chipped in with useful runs throughout the competition, with his swashbuckling 27 from 20 deliveries in the victory over Afghanistan a particular highlight. In the same match he showed a cool head at the death with the ball in hand, returning figures of 2/40 in a nail-biting win. 

Lohan Louwrens (Nam)

Namibia's skipper hit a sensational hundred in their previous match against Kenya, smashing 114 from 76 deliveries, including 13 fours and three sixes. Louwrens will look to get his side off to another flier against Ireland, while his neat work behind the stumps has also caught the eye.

Lohan Louwrens of Namibia
Lohan Louwrens of Namibia

World Cup history

Ireland have appeared in seven ICC U19 CWC tournaments before this one. They have never made the knockouts, but with a highest finish of 10th in New Zealand in 2010, they have fond memories of these conditions.

Namibia are taking part in the tournament for the ninth time, having made their bow at the competition in 1998, when they finished 15th. They had never placed in the top 10 until 2016, when they pulled off one of the shocks of the tournament by beating neighbours South Africa which helped them finish second in Group A behind Bangladesh. Defeat by India in the quarter-final followed by victory against Nepal saw them claim seventh place and qualify automatically for this year’s competition as the highest-finishing Associate team at the tournament.

Head to head

Ireland are unbeaten in three encounters with Namibia in the ICC U19 CWC, with two victories and one tied match. Their last meeting came in Brisbane in 2012, when the Irish won by four wickets. 

Forecast

There will be partial cloud clover but a sunny day is expected in Christchurch, with temperatures around 25 degrees. 

Squads

Ireland: Harry Tector (c), Ian Anders, Aaron Cawley, Varun Chopra, Mark Donegan, JJ Garth, Jamie Grassi, Reece Kelly, Graham Kennedy, Josh Little, Sam Murphy, Max Neville, Neil Rock, Morgan Topping, Andrew Vincent

Namibia: Lohan Louwrens (c), Henry Brink, Petrus Burger, Jan-Izak de Villiers, Shaun Fouche, Jurgen Linde, Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Gerhard Lottering, Erich van Mollendorf, Dewald Nell, Mauritius Ngupita, Ben Shikongo, Floris Steenkamp, Ramon Wilmot, Eben van Wyk 

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