T20 World Cup 2022, R1, Gr A, SL v NED: Mendis 79, Hasaranga 3-28 take Sri Lanka through to Super 12
ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Round 1, Group A, Sri Lanka v Netherlands: Kusal Mendis' 79, Wanindu Hasaranga's 3-28 and Max O'Dowd's 71 are top performances. Sri Lanka beat Netherlands in knock out game and enter to Super 12.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 162/6 (Mendis 79, Asalanka 31, van Meekeren 2-25,) beat Netherlands 146/9 (O'Dowd 71*, Edwards 21, Hasaranga 3-28) by 16 runs
Player of the Match: Kusal Mendis (79 off 44 balls)
Sri Lanka played against the Netherlands in the fifth game of Group A matches. After opting to bat first, Sri Lanka reached 162 for 6 on a sluggish surface in Geelong thanks to Kusal Mendis' magnificent 79 off 44 deliveries.
Coming into this match after losing against Namibia, Sri Lanka looked like the team that was playing in the Asia Cup. Their brilliant all-round performance on Thursday announced that they are here to dominate in this T20 World Cup. Moreover, after qualifying for the Super 12 stage, if they play well they might definitely upset some great teams as they did in Asia Cup 2022.
Kusal Mendis plays vital knock of 79
Apart from Kusal Mendis’ brilliant performance, Charith Asalnka also showed his class by playing some brilliant shots and rotating the strike quite easily and did not allow much pressure to build on Mendis. Although Asalanka scored just 31 runs off 30 deliveries, his role was to rotate the strike and he kept the scoreboard up and running on this dry wicket at Simonds Stadium. Apart from Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka, no other Sri Lankan batters were able to put up decent performances. On the other hand, Paul van Meekeren bowled quite brilliantly for the Netherlands giving away just 25 runs in his quota of 4 overs at an economy of just 6.25 runs per over and also picking up two important wickets of Dhananjaya de Silva (0) and Pathum Nisanka (14). Moreover, Bas de Leede also continued his brilliant performance from the last match bowling some good seam-up deliveries that stunned the Sri Lanka batters.
Furthermore, while chasing the Netherlands were never entirely in control of the game; opener Max O'Dowd 71* did keep them in contention from the start but they were running behinf the required run rate all through. O’Dowd was the only Netherlands batsman who could put up a show worth watching. He kept the Dutch hopes alive till the very last over with three massive sixes in his 71-run innings but it was not enough to take his side home. However, seamer Lahiru Kumara kept his cool in the final over, and Sri Lanka won by 16 runs to advance to the next round.
Here are the top three performances from the match between the Netherlands and Sri Lanka in T20 World Cup 2022.
Kusal Mendis’s Match-Defying 79 runs
Kusal Mendis from the start of his innings looked very calm and composed. Initially, he took fewer chances and firstly got settled in well before scoring some risky runs. But as the he spent more time at the wicket runs started to come easy for him, he smashed 5 fours and 5 maximums to score his 79 runs off just 44 balls at a strike rate of 179.54.
Mendis was the main anchor of the Sri Lankan batting line-up that looked a bit off track on Thursday. Moreover, being a strong leg side player, Mendis scored majority of his runs through flicks and sweeps that made him more dangerous.
Hasaranga and Theekshana’s Spin Web
Star T20 bowlers, Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga, spun a web around the Netherlands batters who didn’t find a way to get out of it and kept on going more inside their web. Hasaranga continuing his red-hot form since the Asia Cup has been taking wickets in every match he plays irrespective of his country or his franchise and this game also was no exception. Hasaranga picked up three wickets - Colin Ackermann (0), Timm van der Gugten (0), and Fred Klaassen (3) - which didn’t let the Netherlands team make a comeback.
Maheesh Theekshana apart from that last over he bowled was absolutely on in this game, picking up two wickets. He knocked out opener Vikramjit Singh (7) and Tom Cooper (16), breaking the back of the Netherlands team.
Max O’Dowd’s Brilliant 71* off 53 balls
Max O’Dowd absolutely maxed out on the Sri Lankan bowlers in this game, smashing two sixes at the very end of the innings, it was looking like Max might pull out a miracle when the Netherlands required 24 in the last over. Unfortunately, he was not able to pull that off but his innings of 71 not out showed great courage.
Fighting till the very end, he not only showed great character but also his skillsets to play dynamically at various stages of a T20 game. Max smashed 6 boundaries and 3 absoluteky massive sixes in his innings of 71 not out at the strike rate of 133.96.
Points Table Scenario & What’s Next
Sri Lanka have qualified on account of having a better net run rate than the Netherlands but they are yet to know in which Super 12 group they will be going to. The outcome of the evening encounter between Namibia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will determine which group they finish up in.
The Netherlands who are on four points, will also be paying close attention to the game. To advance to the next round, UAE must defeat Namibia.