Namibia blown away by SL on T20 World Cup debut
ABU DHABI: Former T20 World Cup champions Sri Lanka survived an early batting collapse before blowing away debutants Namibia by seven wickets in their first Group ‘A’ fixture on Monday.
Sri Lanka lost three wickets within the batting Powerplay for 26 runs before avoiding further hiccups by reaching 100-3 in 13.3 overs after Namibia were blown away for 96 in 19.3 overs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana (3-25) and leg-spinning all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga (2-24) shared the bulk of the Namibia wickets.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, dropped on 18 at fine leg, went on to score an unbeaten 42 for Sri Lanka alongside Avishka Fernando, who was 30 not out. Both batters shared an unbeaten 74-run stand for the 2014 champions.
The left-handed Rajapaksa smashed four fours and two sixes in his 27-ball blitz.
Theekshana, adjudged player-of-the-match struck with his first ball in the Powerplay by removing Stephan Baard (7) and followed it up with the wicket of Zane Green (8), caught at mid-on in the sixth over.
Top-scorer Craig Williams (29) and skipper Gerhard Erasmus (20) added 39 runs but Namibia lost its last eight wickets for only 28 runs in a dramatic collapse.
Hard-hitting David Wiese, the all-rounder who also represented South Africa, couldn’t negotiate the slow pitch and scored just six off seven balls before he was out lbw to fast bowler Chamika Karunaratne in the 15th over.
But bowlers remained key to victory with quick Lahiru Kumara also chipping in with two wickets to bowl out Namibia cheaply after Sri Lanka chose to field first.
Sri Lanka, champions in the 2014 edition, top the group table ahead of Ireland, who thrashed the Netherlands in day’s earlier game.
The World Cup started on Sunday when Scotland upset Bangladesh by six runs in Group ‘B’ and co-hosts Oman thumped debutants Papua New Guinea by 10 wickets.\
S.J. Baard c Hasaranga b Theekshana 7
Z.E. Green c Shanaka b Theekshana 8
C.G. Williams lbw b Hasaranga 29
M.G. Erasmus c Hasaranga b Kumara 20
D. Wiese lbw b Karunaratne 6
J.J. Smit not out 12
J.N. Frylinck b Theekshana 2
J. Nicol Loftie-Eaton lbw b Hasaranga 3
R. Trumpelmann c Shanaka b Chameera 1
H.N. Ya France b Kumara 1
B.M. Scholtz run out 0
EXTRAS (LB-2, W-4, NB-1) 7
TOTAL (all out, 19.3 overs) 96
FALL OF WKTS: 1-10, 2-29, 3-68, 4-73, 5-79, 6-84, 7-90, 8-93, 9-96.
BOWLING: Karunaratne 4-0-17-1 (1w); Chameera 4-0-19-1 (1w); Theekshana
4-0-25-3 (2w); Kumara 3.3-0-9-2; Hasaranga 4-0-24-2 (1nb).
P. Nissanka lbw b Scholtz 5
M.D.K.J. Perera c Smit b Trumpelmann 11
L.D. Chandimal c Green b Smit 5
W.I.A. Fernando not out 30
P.B.B. Rajapaksa not out 42
EXTRAS (LB-4, W-3) 7
TOTAL (for three wkts, 13.3 overs) 100
FALL OF WKTS: 1-14, 2-18, 3-26.
DID NOT BAT: M.D. Shanaka, W. Hasaranga, C. Karunaratne, P.V.D. Chameera, M.M. Theekshana, C.B.R.L.S. Kumara.
BOWLING: Wiese 2-0-11-0 (1w); Trumpelmann 3-0-27-1; Scholtz 3-0-16-1 (1w); Smit 1-0-7-1; Ya France 1-0-6-0; Loftie-Eaton 1-0-7-0; Frylinck 1.3-0-17-0; Erasmus 1-0-5-0 ((1w).
RESULT: Sri Lanka won by seven wickets.
UMPIRES: P.R. Reiffel (Australia) and A.T. Holdstock (South Africa).
TV UMPIRE: R.J. Tucker (Australia).
MATCH REFEREE: D.C. Boon (Australia).
PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Maheesh Theekshana (Sri Lanka).
Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2021