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T20 WC: Sri Lanka thrash Netherlands; finish on a high!

Last updated on: June 17, 2024 10:17 IST
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IMAGE: Sri Lanka's players celebrate a wicket during the T20 World Cup match against the Netherlands. Photograph: ICC/X

Sri Lanka came up with a dominating performance to thrash the Netherlands by 83 runs in an inconsequential final group D league game of the T20 World Cup in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia.

With Bangladesh beating Nepal by 21 runs in the other group league game, the faint outside chance that the Netherlands had despite a way inferior net run-rate was up in smoke as they were bowled out for 118 in pursuit of an improbable target of 202 set by Wanindu Hasaranga's men.

Sri Lanka left it a little too late as all their three units fired in unison but they were already out of reckoning for the Super Eights.


The Sri Lankan middle order batters were brilliant with veteran Angelo Mathews (30 off 15 balls) and skipper Hasaranga (20 off 10 balls) shoring up the scoring rate but it was left-hander Charith Asalanka's 21-ball-46 that proved to be the real difference. Left-hander Asalanka smashed five sixes to power Sri Lanka past the 200-run mark.

"These are far better conditions than the USA, and we enjoyed those conditions. It can be tough to come in at No. 5. We just played the conditions," said Asalanka, who was adjudged Player of the Match.

"I know I have to be a little more consistent. In general we are a little disappointed about the results in the first two games. But in the end we had a good game here," the southpaw said.

During the chase, the Netherlands openers Michael Levitt (31) and Max O'Dowd (11) added 45 in just 4.2 overs but once Maheesh Theekshana got the former stumped, there was virtually no resistance from the other batters.

IMAGE: Charith Asalanka smashed five sixes in his 21-ball 46 to power Sri Lanka past the 200-run mark. Photograph: ICC/X

Slinger Nuwan Thushara (3/24) was the pick of the Lankan bowlers, while Chennai Super Kings star Matheesha Pathirana (2/12) also remained accurate during his overs hitting the blockhole consistently.

 From being 45 for no loss in the first five overs, the Netherlands lost half of the side by the time they reached the halfway stage.

It was one of the best tracks across both USA and the Caribbean islands and there was very little room for error on a track where ball came onto the bat nicely. Kusal Mendis, a seasoned campaigner, started the onslaught with 46 off 29 balls with a flurry of boundaries in the Powerplay to set the tone.

That allowed Asalanka, Mathews and Hasaranga to go hammer and tongs towards the back-end.

"After the bad first two games this win is very healthy for us. The wicket was really good we just wanted to put a 160-170 score on this wicket. With our attack anything over 160 we can defend. In the first two games we lost two or three wickets in the first six overs. Today we didn't. I think that was the difference," Hasaranga said at post-match presentation ceremony.

For Netherlands, the performance was a bit underwhelming in this format after impressing one and all during their 50-over global campaign in India last year. Even their Australia-born skipper Scott Edwards, who scored 31 on the day, admitted that his team was found wanting against better quality sides.

"We had good patches throughout the tournament where we gave our chances to win at least three of those games. But something was slightly off and against good quality sides you can't afford that.

"In the batting, we needed someone to have a big innings, and we weren't able to do that. Backing our boys to come back firing."

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