Former T20 World Cup champions Sri Lanka has thrashed the debutants Namibia by seven wickets as they survived an early batting collapse in the first Group ‘A’ fixture on Monday.
Sri Lanka lost three of their key players within the batting Powerplay for 26 runs but avoided further hiccups and chased the 97 run-target in the fourteenth. Namibia was bowled out for 96 in 19.3 overs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
The pitch seems to favor the spinners as the Off-spinner Mahesh Theekshana (3-25) and leg-spinning all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga (2-24) shared the bulk of the wickets.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, dropped on 18, settled to score an unbeaten 42 smashing four fours and two sixes in his 27- ball blitz for Sri Lanka alongside Avishka Fernando, who was 30 not out sharing an unbeaten 74-run partnership for the 2014 champions.
Theekshana, was decided the 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), in the sixth over.
Top-scorer Craig Williams (29) and skipper Gerhard Erasmus (20) added a 39-run partnership but Namibia could not stand after their departure and lost the last eight wickets for only 28 runs in a collapse setting up a relatively easy target for Sri Lanka.
Hard-hitting David Wiese, the all-rounder who also represented South Africa, couldn’t understand the slow pitch of Sheikh Zahid and scored a crumbling six off seven balls before he fell to the fast bowler Chamika Karunaratne in the 15th over.
However, bowlers remained key to victory with Lahiru Kumara adding to Namibia’s misery as he took two wickets to bowl out Namibia cheaply.
The win took Sri Lanka to the top of the group table ahead of Ireland, who thrashed the Netherlands in the 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).