ICC T20 World Cup 2022: Kusal Mendis' knock helps SL beat NED to enter Super 12; fans rejoice
Sri Lanka trumped the Netherlands by 16 runs in its final group-stage game of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Geelong on Thursday. The former has entered the Super 12 stage, while the latter's fate hangs over the Namibia-UAE tie.
The fate of former world champion Sri Lanka has been decided in the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup. On Thursday, it defeated minnows Netherlands by 16 runs in their final group-stage match at the Simonds Stadium in Geelong. As a result of this success, the Lankans have sailed into the Super 12 stage. While Lanka tops the Group A table, for the time being, it suffered a severe setback after losing its opening contest against Namibia. As for the Dutch, they are currently placed second, but their fate hangs in the hands of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which must defeat Namibia. Meanwhile, fans were triumphant with Lanka's progress.
Winning the toss, Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka opted to bat. The openers Pathum Nissanka (14) and Kusal Mendis (79) put on a 36-run stand before the former fell in the seventh over, followed by Dhananjaya de Silva on the next delivery. However, Mendis and Charith Asalanka (31) added 30 runs for the third wicket before the latter was dismissed in the 14th.
Then, Medis and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (19) contributed 34 more for the fourth wicket, while the latter departed in the 18th, at 103/4. The Lankans lost some quick wickets and finished on 162/6, while Mendis fell in the final over at 157, having scored his eighth Twenty20 International (T20I) half-century.
For the Dutch, pacer Paul van Meekeren and medium-pacer Bas de Leede bagged a couple of wickets each, while Roelof van der Merwe was economical. In reply, the Netherlands lost a couple for 40 by the sixth over of the Powerplay. It struggled to get a good partnership and lost wickets after every 20-odd runs.
Ultimately, the Dutch could manage 146/9, falling short by 16 runs, despite opener Max ODowd (71*) brilliant knock, whereas for the Lankans, leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga grabbed three wickets, while off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva was duly economical.
Brief scores: SL 162/6 (Mendis- 79, Asalanka- 31; van Meekeren- 2/25) defeated NED 146/9 (ODowd- 71; Hasaranga- 3/28) by 16 runs.