Sri Lanka vs Netherlands: Sri Lanka maintained their unbeaten run to beat Netherlands by 128 runs in the CWC23 Qualifier Final in Harare.
After winning the toss, Sri Lanka had a solid platform in challenging conditions, courtesy of a decent opening stand between Pathum Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama, who was promoted up the order.
The pair looked comfortable before Vikramjit Singh was brought into the attack. After inciting a drive from Samarawickrama, Croes took a brilliant catch at short extra cover, with the batter walking back for 19.
The medium pace of Vikramjit again did the trick as Nissanka flicked one straight to fine leg, with Aryan Dutt taking a sensational catch. Nissanka’s stay at the crease ended at 23.
Kusal Mendis and Sahan Arachchige then started a rebuild job for Sri Lanka, while upping the scoring rate slowly and surely. The pair looked good to lay a good platform for the Lankans, as the stand reached the 72-run mark.
Saqib Zulfiqar would then strike against the run of play as Mendis missed a sweep and was trapped lbw for 43. He decided to review the call but in vain, walking back after a decent knock of 43.
The contest was in the balance at the halfway mark, with Sri Lanka’s score at 124/3.
Arachchige, joined by Charith Asalanka on the crease would establish another vital partnership for Sri Lanka, but could not turn it into a big one. The pair had a stand of 64 before Zulfiqar struck again to dismiss Arachchige for a well-made 57.
This wicket brought about a collapse for the Lankans, as the Netherlands would spring into life. In the same Zulfiqar over, Asalanka lost his wicket to a close run out for 36. The next over would bring the wicket of Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka, as a simple catch by Vikramjit off the bowling of Logan van Beek sent him packing for 1.
Dhananjaya de Silva was the next to follow suit for 4 against Klein as a fruitful spell for the Netherlands fetched them four wickets in four overs, leaving Sri Lanka reeling.
Sri Lanka vs Netherlands: The four quick wickets ensured that Sri Lanka would fall short of the massive score they were targeting after a steady start. The tail along with Wanindu Hasaranga tried their best to ensure that Sri Lanka added as many runs as possible, with Hasaranga chipping in with a vital 29.
Maheesh Theekshana (13) and Matheesha Pathirana were others to be dismissed as a brilliant Dutch performance ensured that Sri Lanka were bowled out for 233 in 47.5 overs.
In reply, Netherlands were rocked by Sri Lanka early on, losing a flurry of wickets in the opening Powerplay.
Dilshan Madushanka started the proceedings, with Vikramjit playing a soft shot to be dismissed for 13. Madushanka would then dismiss Wesley Baressi for a duck, with his middle stump going flying.
The leading wicket-taker of the tournament, Wanindu Hasaranga, then got in on the act, trapping Teja Nidamanuru for 0 before Madushanka would trap Noah Croes for 7 in back-to-back overs.
Netherlands would lose their fifth inside the first 10 overs as skipper Scott Edwards was run out for 1. The procession continued with Saqib Zulfiqar falling prey to the brilliance of Hasaranga.
At the 15-over mark, Netherlands were in all kinds of trouble at 64/6 with Max O’Dowd (22*) and Logan van Been (4*) at the crease.
O’Dowd’s scratchy knock of 33 finally came to an end as Theekshana got into the act and cleaned him up. Theekshana would then scalp his second of the match, trapping Ryan Klein lbw for 2. He then struck in the same over again, getting his third with another lbw of Aryan Dutt for a duck.
Theekshana would finish things off for Sri Lanka, bowling Clayton Floyd for 9, as Netherlands were bowled out for 105 and Sri Lanka emerged as the winners of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier. Read full article here.