Home Cricket Sri Lanka in Super 12s after beating Netherlands by 16 runs

Sri Lanka in Super 12s after beating Netherlands by 16 runs

Sri Lanka in Super 12s after beating Netherlands by 16 runs

Kusal Mendis smashed a scintillating 79 while Wanindu Hasaranga took three wickets as Sri Lanka beat the Netherlands by 16 runs in a decisive first round Group A match at Kardinia Park in Geelong, to confirm their place in the Super 12 of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022.

After Mendis helped the Lankans post 162/6 in their 20 overs, Netherlands opener Max O’Dowd scored an unbeaten 71 off 53 balls, but was the only batter to score big for his side. He was unable to find support from the other end as the Netherlands ultimately finished at 146/9 in 20 overs, with leg-spinner Hasaranga taking 3/28 and off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana claiming 2/32.

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Needing 163 to win, Vikramjit Singh didn’t get going before sweeping Maheesh Theekshana’s ball straight to midwicket. Pacer Lahiru Kumara successfully forced Bas de Leede to play at a length ball outside the off-stump only to edge behind to the keeper.

Only three balls later, Colin Ackermann (0) chipped a shot back to Hasaranga – his second duck in three matches. Tom Cooper smashed a couple of boundaries before falling to Theekshana, missing a slog-sweep only for his stumps to be disturbed by the mystery spinner.

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Captain Scott Edwards fought back with three boundaries but his stay ended when he was bowled around his legs by Binura Fernando in the 15th over. Thereafter, the Netherlands batting lineup collapsed – Tim Pringle and Paul van Meekeren were run out, while Hasaranga’s googly was responsible for the wickets of Tim van der Gugten and Fred Klaassen.

O’Dowd hammered three boundaries through the leg side to get to his half-century. He then went on to hit two sixes off Theekshana and found a boundary over off-side off Kumara. However, his heroics were just not enough.

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Earlier, Mendis almost carried his bat, during his 44-ball stay at the crease that featured five fours and as many sixes at a strike rate of 179.55 to take Sri Lanka to a formidable score.

Electing to bat first, Sri Lanka weren’t off to a great start on a slow pitch as the Netherlands took control for the first ten overs, conceding only 60 runs. Van Meekeren, with his raw pace and control, rattled Pathum Nissanka’s stumps with a fiery yorker before trapping Dhananjaya de Silva lbw for a golden duck in the seventh over.

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Mendis and Charith Asalanka (31 off 30 balls) made sure Sri Lanka didn’t suffer a middle-order collapse with a 60-run third-wicket stand off 45 balls. Asalanka departed but Mendis went for the big hits to reach his ninth T20I fifty. He received support from Bhanuka Rajapaksa who hit a 13-ball 19 as Sri Lanka crossed 160.

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For the Netherlands, van Meekeren and de Leede took two wickets each while van der Gugten and Klaassen claimed a wicket apiece. Despite a fairly slow start, Sri Lanka collected 102 runs off their last ten overs.

Brief Scores

Sri Lanka 162/6 in 20 overs (Kusal Mendis 79, Charith Asalanka 31; Paul van Meekeren 2-25, Bas de Leede 2-31)

Netherlands 146/9 in 20 overs (Max O’Dowd 71 not out; Wanindu Hasaranga 3-28, Maheesh Theekshana 2-32)