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ICC T20 World Cup 2022, SL vs NAM: Preview, Key Players and Cricket Exchange Fantasy Tips

image-l99zod9cBhanuka Rajapaksa in action [Source: Twitter]

Sri Lanka will take on Namibia in the first match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 on Sunday in Geelong at 9.30 AM IST. 

The resurgence of Sri Lanka as a cricketing nation has been phenomenal, to say the least. Proving every speculation wrong, the Lankan lions stormed their way through to the Asia Cup final and eventually ended up winning the title. Dasun Shanaka's inspirational leadership, combined with magical performances from Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Wanindu Hasaranga, Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis, worked wonders for the island nation. Their stunning performance has earned them the 'dark horse' tag in the tournament. 

On the other hand, this will be the second T20 World Cup appearance for Namibia. They managed to make their first one memorable, registering historic victories against Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands. Yes, Sri Lanka will undoubtedly start as the firm favourites, but what makes Namibia dangerous is they won't be burdened by huge expectations. This, in turn, will allow them to express themselves freely without thinking much about the outcome. 

Match Details

Venue: Simonds Stadium, Geelong
Live Streaming: Star Sports Network and Disney+Hotstar

Pitch Report: The Simonds Stadium in Geelong has witnessed a single T20I, in which Sri Lanka chased 176 to hand Australia a two-wicket defeat. The surface will assist the fast bowlers early on, with batting becoming significantly easier later. So, the toss-winner will likely opt to field first.

Key Players

Wanindu Hasaranga will be Sri Lanka's trump card with the ball. Besides bamboozling the batters with his deceptive variations, he can also contribute handy runs down the order. 

David Wiese will be the player to watch out for from Namibia. The dynamic finisher top-scored for the African nation in the last World Cup, amassing 227 runs at a brilliant average of 45.40.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa has exhibited his match-winning abilities with the bat on multiple occasions. The swashbuckling southpaw played a magnificent knock to ensure Sri Lanka's victory in the Asia Cup final. 

Ruben Trumpelmann was the surprise package from Namibia in the World Cup last year. The tall left-arm seamer can swing the ball up front; therefore, his battle with the Sri Lankan openers will be an interesting one. 

Cricket Exchange Fantasy Tips

Wicket-keeper: Kusal Mendis
Batters: Gerhard Erasmus, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Pathum Nissanka
All-rounders: David Wiese, Wanindu Hasaranga, Jan Frylinck, Dhananjaya de Silva
Bowlers: Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka, Ruben Trumpelmann

Captain: Wanindu Hasaranga
Vice-captain: Bhanuka Rajapaksa

Also Read: T20 World Cup 2022: Five records that could be broken in the tournament