Brief scores: Sri Lanka 162 for 6 (Mendis 79, van Meekeren 2-25) beat the Netherlands 146 for 9 (O’Dowd 71*, Hasaranga 3-28) by 16 runs
Despite being beaten by Sri Lanka, the Netherlands has qualified for the Super 12s stage of the T20 World Cup Qualifier and will take on Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, South Africa and another team from Group B yet to be finalised.
Dutch opener Max O’Dowd’s unbeaten 71 went in vain as Sri Lanka rode on Kusal Mendis’ sublime 79 off 44 balls to secure a 16-run win.
The loss meant the qualification for the Netherlands was out of their hands as they required UAE to beat Namibia later in the day. UAE, then, went on to register their first victory at a T20 World Cup in a dramatic seven-run win and sparked jubilant scenes in the overlooking Dutch camp.
Having won the toss and opting to bat first on a sluggish surface, Sri Lanka managed to see off the powerplay without losing a wicket but Paul van Meekeren (2-25), who cranked up the pace and extracted considerable bounce off the pitch, struck twice in two balls to send back Pathum Nissanka (14) and Dhananjaya de Silva (0) cheaply in the seventh over.
Mendis and Charith Asalanka (31) led Sri Lanka’s recovery with an attacking 60-run partnership before Bas de Leede (2-31) struck twice but a late flurry of boundaries and sixes took the current Asia Cup winners to 162-6. Given the shorter square boundaries, the Dutch bowlers erred too often by bowling on the legs which allowed the batters to pepper the leg-side boundaries more often.
In response, the Dutch were reduced to 40-2 as they lost Vikramjit Singh (7) and de Leede (14) early. O’Dowd played a measured knock as wickets tumbled around him and accelerated after the 17th over with the asking rate 18-an-over. His tenth half-century featured six fours and three sixes.
Sri Lankan spinners Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga (3-28) tied down the Dutch batters as they snared five wickets between them to ensure they never got ahead of the run chase. Despite Theekshana’s costly 16-run penultimate over of the chase, the Dutch needed 23 off the final over, which eventually proved to be a tall order.
‘There’s a lot of positives for us to take away,’ Scott Edwards told a press conference.
‘We’ve obviously got quite a young group. You look at Vikram Singh and Tim Pringle, both 19-years-old, even a couple of the guys who didn’t play. We’re an extremely young side. There’s a lot of upside in the years to come, and I think as I said, we’ve played a lot of good cricket throughout the first two, even this third game.’
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