Debashis Sarangi ∙ Oct 20 2022, 7:31 AM

T20 World Cup 2022, SL vs NED: Lankans enter Super 12 with a narrow win

image-l9gnpqltKusal Mendis with Pathum Nissanka [Source: Twitter]

The ninth Group-stage match of the ongoing T20 World Cup witnessed Sri Lanka edge past the Netherlands by 16 runs. This is Sri Lanka's second consecutive victory, which has allowed them to stay alive in the tournament. On the other hand, the Dutch would like Namibia to lose against UAE so that they could enter the next stage. 

Kusal Mendis' fighting fifty ensures a respectable total for Sri Lanka

After opting to bat first on Geelong's two-paced surface, Sri Lanka suffered an early blow, losing an in-form Pathum Nissanka to Paul van Meekeren cheaply. Meekeren drew the second blood in the very next delivery, trapping Dhananjaya de Silva in front of the stumps for a golden duck. 

image-l9goiuowKusal Mendis in action [Source: Twitter]

The Lankan lions were reminded of the scars of the opening game against Namibia. However, Kusal Mendis finally decided to bring his 'A game', hammering a counter-attacking 44-ball 79 with the help of five fours and as many sixes. Charith Asalanka supported him nicely, contributing vital 31 runs. An ever-aggressive Bhanuka Rajapaksa's 19-run cameo proved gold dust for Sri Lanka towards the end, as they eventually finished on 162 for the loss of six wickets.

Van Meekeren was the pick of the bowlers from the Netherlands, scalping two wickets. 

The Dutch fall short despite O'Dowd's heroics

The Netherlands began the chase cautiously, with Max O'Dowd and Vikramjit Singh adding 23 runs for the first wicket before the latter was removed by Maheesh Theekshana in his first over. Then, the Dutch suffered two more nasty blows, as Bas de Leede and Colin Ackermann were sent back to the dugout quickly by Lahiru Kumara and Wanindu Hasaranga, respectively. 

Although Scott Edwards played a useful cameo of 21 runs, his strategy to overuse the sweep shot led to his debacle, as he was castled by an incredible knuckle ball from Binura Fernando. O'Dowd held the fort with a memorable 53-ball 71, but his efforts could only reduce the deficit as the Dutch finished their innings on 146 for nine in the end. 

The spin duo of Hasaranga and Theekshana starred with the ball for Sri Lanka, picking three and two wickets, respectively.  

Brief Scores

Sri Lanka: 162/6 (20)
Kusal Mendis 79 (44), Charith Asalanka 31 (30);
Paul van Meekeren 2/25 (4), Bas de Leede 2/31 (3)

Netherlands: 146/9 (20)
Max O'Dowd 71* (53), Scott Edwards 21 (15);
Wanindu Hasaranga 3/28 (4), Maheesh Theekshana 2/32 (4)

Sri Lanka won by 16 runs.

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