Sri Lanka defeats the Netherlands by 16 runs to secure a spot in the Super 12.
Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka defeated the Netherlands by 16 runs on Thursday to advance to the T20 World Cup’s Super 12 round. Opener Kusal Mendis smashed a 44-ball 79. The Netherlands finished on 146-9, falling short of the large mark set by the eighth-ranked team in the world, which racked up 162-6, blasting 102 of them off the final 10 overs.
Following the latter match between Namibia and the United Arab Emirates in Geelong, the Super 12 group in which they will compete will be decided.
The African team already has a better net run rate, thus a victory would eliminate the Dutch and advance them. The UAE upsetting Namibia would advance the Dutch.
Sri Lanka has advanced to the Super 12 for the third time in a row and they will be looking to emulate their exploits from 2014.
But it was a difficult journey to get there; after being defeated by UAE and now the Netherlands, it was upset by Namibia in the tournament’s first game. When Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat, they got off to a sluggish start, with Pathum Nissanka and Mendis managing just 22 runs off the first five overs.
Nissanka was out after being dropped in the fifth over, and when hostile pace bowler Paul Van Meekeren re-entered the fray and delivered a yorker, Nissanka’s innings was ended.
The next ball, Dhananjaya de Silva was out lbw and followed him back to the pavilion as Sri Lanka lived dangerously with numerous opportunities falling just short of the fielders.
Before Charith Asalanka was caught behind by all-rounder Bas de Leede for 31, the pair put in a 60-run stand to increase the run rate.
Mendis hit a six to get his eighth T20 half-century, followed by two more sixes in the last over before being caught.
The Sri Lankan attack, which included Lahiru Kumara and Binura Fernando as stand-ins, managed to contain the Dutch in the first overs despite the absence of injured pace spearheads Dushmantha Chameera and Pramod Madushan.
Opener Vikramjit Singh was dismissed for seven runs after being caught by Dusan Shanaka off Maheesh Theekshana. Then, Kumara secured the important dismissal of budding star De Leede for fourteen runs. As they reached 63-3 at the break, the seasoned Colin Ackermann attempted a golden duck to Hasaranga de Silva’s spin.
When captain Scott Edwards was bowled by Fernando after scoring 21 runs quickly, they fell from 100-4 to 109-8, and the game was all but gone. Opener Max O’Dowd (71 not out) fought valiantly to stay in the game.