Dubai: Namibia held its nerve to upset Ireland by four runs and Scotland overcame spirited Kenya by 14 runs in World Twenty20 cricket qualifying on Tuesday.
Louis Van der Westhuizen spearheaded Namibia by scoring 34 in a handy total of 160-8. He then captured 2-37 to restrict Ireland, which at No. 2 is seeded five places higher than the Namibians, to 156-9 in a Group B match.
Ireland slumped to 65-5 in the 11th over before Gary Wilson (49) and John Mooney (38) added 71 off 44 balls. Westhuizen removed Wilson in the 18th over and Mooney was run out in the last over with Ireland failing to score 18 to win off the last six balls.
"Everything needs to improve from tomorrow as we are not where we need to be in every aspect of our game for this event," Ireland coach Phil Simmons said.
Van der Westhuizen had provided Namibia a brisk start while Raymond Van Schoor (31), Sarel Burger (21) and Craig Williams (19) made useful contributions.
Paul Stirling and George Dockrell shared six wickets between them, conceding 20 and 26 runs respectively.
"It is good to play the biggest team on the opening day and it is great to get a win against them," Van der Westhuizen said.
Mohammad Nabi hit 52 not out in Afghanistan`s total 113-4 as the defending champions beat Papua New Guinea by six wickets in Group A. Former England wicketkeeper-batsman Geraint Jones was out for a duck as PNG was limited to 112-6.
"Being the defending champions, we should have won it a bit more comfortably," Afghanistan coach Kabir Khan said. "No disrespect to PNG, they are a good side. But as the wicket was playing and the bowling wasn`t that difficult, we should have got the win quicker."
Scotland posted the day`s best total of 178-7, with opening batsman Calum Macleod hitting 55 and Kyle Coetzerscoring 46 at a rapid pace.
Kenya was bowled out for 164 despite Collins Obuya striking 50 and Alex Obanda scoring an entertaining 35 off 17 balls.
Uganda defeated the United States by four wickets and Italy recorded a comfortable nine-wicket win over Oman in Group B.
Oman couldn`t recover when fast bowler Carl Sandri captured four early wickets for just nine runs. Extras were the top scorer for Oman with 19 while Sultan Ahmed (16) was the only batsman to reach double figures in a total of 89-9.
Michael de Venuto (42) and Peter Petricola (39) combined in an unbroken 84-run stand as Italy raced to 90-1 in just 14 overs.
Uganda did well to restrict the U.S. to 123-8 with Roger Mukasa claiming 2-14 and Jonathan Sebanja taking 2-32. Uganda`s Frank Nsubuga (30) and captain Davis Arinaitwe (27 not out) added 47 runs for the sixth wicket, dashing the Americans` hopes as their opponents reached 124-6 in 19.2 overs.
In the other Group A matches, Netherlands downed Canada by 42 runs, Nepal stunned Hong Kong with a 30-run win and Denmark defeated Bermuda by seven wickets.
The top two teams from the tournament will play in the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka later this year.