WC: Sri Lanka defeated the Netherlands by five wickets to start their World Cup campaign
By siliconindia | Sunday, 22 October 2023, 09:21:40 AM IST
Although Sri Lanka started the chase well, Aryan Dutt's two fast smashes in the opening Powerplay rattled them. They did, however, advance significantly as a result of constructive criticism from Sadeera Samarawickrama (91*), Pathum Nissanka (54), and Charith Asalanka (44). Earlier in the day, in Lucknow, fierce fifties from Sybrand Engelbrecht and Logan van Beek gave the Netherlands a competitive total against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's standout ball players were Dilshan Madushanka (4/49) and Kasun Rajitha (4/50).
Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka ensured that Sri Lanka marched ahead towards their target without too many hiccups after the 25-over mark. Despite losing Asalanka for 44 in the 34th over, Sri Lanka were well-placed to win the game. A solid 76-run stand between Samarawickrama and Dhananjaya de Silva helped them close in on the target. Aryan Dutt's accurate bowling troubled Sri Lanka during their chase of 263. Kusal Perera fell early when he failed to gain the elevation while going for a cut, and played one straight to the short third man.
While Pathum Nissanka hit a brisk, boundary-clad knock to keep Sri Lanka in the chase, Dutt struck yet again in the final over of the Powerplay. This time he got Kusal Mendis, who fell to a mistimed sweep which went up in the air and was grasped by Paul van Meekeren at short fine leg. Nissanka continued in aggressive fashion and hit a brisk fifty in the 15th over. In that over, Sri Lanka took 16 runs off Bas de Leede. However, van Meekeren struck back for the Dutch in the 17th over and removed Nissanka for 54.
After early damage from Kasun Rajitha and Dilshan Madushanka had Netherlands reeling at 91/6, Sybrand Engelbrecht and Logan van Beek put together a crucial partnership for the Dutch. They added 130 runs for the seventh wicket, which was a Cricket World Cup record for that wicket. Both batters got to their career-best scores: Engelbrecht getting to 70, while van Beek finished on 59. Dilshan Madushanka (4/49) struck back for Sri Lanka in a brilliant final spell. He accounted for Engelbrecht and Roelof van der Merwe.
Rajitha did the early damage with three wickets while pace partner Dilshan Madushanka later ensured Sri Lanka remained on top with two scalps of his own. The Sri Lanka spinners then came on to control the middle overs as Maheesh Theekshana claimed the key wicket of Netherlands skipper Scott Edwards (16). After several close calls Sri Lanka eventually struck when Rajitha trapped Netherlands opener Vikramjit Singh (4) in front of his stumps, then backed it up when knocking down Max O'Dowd's (16) castle at the end of the Powerplay.
Netherlands were in trouble when Colin Ackermann (29) nicked a wide ball to Kusal Mendis behind the stumps off the bowling of Rajitha with the total on 54. Rajitha finished his opening spell of seven overs - the longest so far at this Cricket World Cup - with 3/27 to put Sri Lanka in command. Madushanka returned to dismiss Bas de Leede (6) when Kusal Perera took a sharp catch in the deep, and soon had Teja Nidamanuru (9) stranded in front of his stumps. Sri Lanka were out to kickstart their Cricket World Cup against Netherlands after opening their campaign with three consecutive losses.
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