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HomeSportsT20 WC: Clinical SL seal Super 12 berth; Netherlands qualifies despite loss

T20 WC: Clinical SL seal Super 12 berth; Netherlands qualifies despite loss


Kusal Mendis stood tall with a gritty 79 as Asian champions Sri Lanka bounced back from their early debacle to seal their Super 12 berth with a 16-run win over the in the T20 World Cup here on Thursday.

Despite the loss, the Dutch joined the Lankans in the Super 12 with UAE handing them a huge favour by winning against Namibia in the group A finale here later in the day. This was UAE’s first ever victory in the T20 World Cup.

Facing an early elimination after being shocked by Namibia in the T20 World Cup opener at the same venue on Sunday, Sri Lanka first crushed UAE by 79 runs and then on Thursday they come out on top against the Dutch to post a stiff 162 for six with wicketkeeper-batter Mendis leading the show in his 44-ball knock.

In reply, the Dutch, who led group A with wins over Namibia and UAE, managed 146 for 9 as the Lankan spin twins Wanindu Hasaranga (4-0-28-3) and Maheesh Theekshana (4-0-32-2) stymied their chase with perfect death over execution.

For the Dutch, opener Max O’Dowd came up with a valiant 71 not out from 53 balls (6×4, 3×6) but he lacked the final flourish with hardly any support from the middle and lower order batters.

Sri Lanka join England, Australia, New Zealand and Afghanistan in Group 1 while move to Group 2 comprising India, Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh.

2014 champions Sri Lanka, who were fresh from winning the Asia Cup in UAE, faced a difficult road in the T20 showpiece after being stumbled by Namibia in the opening match.

Since then, the Lankans came back strongly to crush UAE to lift their NRR but only to face injury woes to star seamer Dushmantha Chameera (torn calf), Pramod Madushan (hamstring) and Danushka Gunathilaka (hamstring).

But the Shanaka-led side showed amazing resilience in the match that mattered most with opener Mendis leading the way.

Opting to bat, Sri Lanka had a slow and cautious start and lost Pathum Nissanka (14 off 21b) and Dhananjaya de Silva (0) off successive deliveries right after the power-play.

Paul van Meekeren (2/25) impressed with his raw pace and hostility, while spinners Tim Pringle (3-0-22-0) and Roelof van der Merwe (3-0-16-0) were at their tidy best.

The Dutch had complete control early on as the Lankans struggled to get going in the middle overs and it seemed Sri Lanka won’t get past that 140-run mark but Mendis had other ideas.

He smashed five fours and five sixes and went on to equal his career best score before getting out in the second ball of the final over as the Dutch bowling fell apart in the death.

Thanks to Mendis’ show, Sri Lanka scored 102 off the last 10 overs to set up a stiff chase for the Dutch.

In reply, Theekshana gave the first breakthrough, removing Vikramjit Singh inside the fourth over, while Lahiru Kumara (1/28) dismissed Bas de Leede (14) inside the powerplay.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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