T20 World Cup: Hasaranga, Theekshana star as Sri Lanka beat Netherlands by 16 runs to confirm Super 12 qualification

Geelong (Victoria): Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana shared five wickets between themselves as Sri Lanka beat the Netherlands by 16 runs in a decisive Group A match of the first round at Kardinia Park, Geelong, to confirm Super 12 qualification in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

After opener Kusal Mendis slammed a fine 79 to help the 2014 T20 World Cup champions post 162/6 in their 20 overs, the Netherlands opener Max O’Dowd made an unbeaten 71 off 53 balls, laced with six fours and three sixes and was the long ranger for his side.

But he didn’t have much support from the other end as the Netherlands ultimately ended up at 146/9 in 20 overs, with leg-spinner Hasaranga taking 3/28 and Theekshana picking 2/32.

The Netherlands’ hopes of reaching Super 12 are now on the Namibia-UAE clash happening later in the day, with a UAE victory giving them the ticket to continue their journey in the tournament.

Chasing 163, Vikramjit Singh never got going before slog-sweeping a Maheesh Theekshana delivery straight to midwicket. Lahiru Kumara, brought into the playing eleven due to the fast bowling department being hit with injuries, was successful in enticing Bas de Leede to poke at a length ball outside the off-stump and edged behind to the keeper.

Three balls later, Colin Ackermann chipped tamely back to Hasaranga, departing for his second duck in three matches. Tom Cooper got a brace of boundaries before becoming Theekshana’s second wicket, missing a slog-sweep and seeing his stumps rattled by the mystery spinner.

Captain Scott Edwards fought back with three boundaries, using the sweep to good effect. But his promising stay was ended when he went too far across his stumps and was bowled around his legs by Binura Fernando in the 15th over.

The Netherlands then collapsed like a pack of cards – Tim Pringle and Paul van Meekeren were run out, while Hasaranga’s googly castled Tim van der Gugten and Fred Klaassen.

O’Dowd, who didn’t get much strike due to his teammates falling in quick succession, hit a hat-trick of boundaries on the trot through the leg-side to get his half-century. He went on to take two sixes off Theekshana and sliced a four over off-side off Kumara but saw his knock go in vain.

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) beat Netherlands 146/9 ‘n 20 overs (Max O’Dowd 71 not out; Wanindu Hasaranga 3-28, Maheesh Theekshana 2-32) by 16 runs


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