Latest Match Report – Sri Lanka vs Netherlands 22nd Match, Super Six 2023

Sri Lanka 213 (Dananjaya 93, Van Beek 3-26, De Leete 3-42) lost Netherlands 192 (Edwards 67, Baresi 52, Deekshana 3-31) by 21 runs

Sri Lanka survived an almighty scare as they beat the Netherlands by 21 runs to open their Super Six campaign on a spirited but triumphant note. It was a victory built on the back of Dhananjaya De Silva’s 93 and a wall bowling effort led by the excellent Mahesh Dikshana who took 3 for 31.

But every inch of this victory was contested by a persistent Netherlands side, who first restricted Sri Lanka to 213 and then almost pulled off a nail-biting chase. The better side fell to the twin threats of Deekshana and Vanindu Hasaranga, who took five wickets on the day between them. Two run-outs, when the required ratio was less than four per over, only adds credence to this notion. Netherlands captain Scott Edwards was unbeaten on 67 off 68 balls as he ran out of partners on a sticky surface and showed some erratic bounce.

As a result, the winner of Sunday’s clash is guaranteed to qualify for the World Cup, with Sri Lanka tied for the top spot with Zimbabwe on 6 points. As for the Netherlands, they can still get a maximum of six points, but will now need either Sri Lanka or Zimbabwe to lose their remaining two games.

Deekshana also made an impact with the bat, sticking it to the middle with Dhananjaya during a crucial stand for the eighth wicket of 77 runs. In a 21-run win, the importance of Deekshana’s blistering 28 cannot be overstated, especially as Sri Lanka were reduced to 131 for 7.

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The Netherlands did all the running for most of the game. Starting off the first delivery of the game, Pathum Nissanga was caught at cover at stumps out and cut wildly.

It would be one of three wickets for the excellent Logan van Beek, who would also dispatch Sathira Samarawickrama and Sarith Asalanga – all before the end of the first powerplay.

Nisanga was not the only dubious stroke by a Sri Lankan player, as many were dismissed. This was coupled with Sri Lanka’s inability to find singles and consistently rotate the strike, though it continued with the Netherlands’ poor lines and lengths. The build-up of pressure caused the bats to fall while trying to break the shackles. And, otherwise, keeping it low will do the odd trick.

It was basically the story of Sri Lanka’s innings, with the Netherlands going wicket after wicket and refusing to concede any easy runs. Dhananjaya was the only one who had the patience to thrive in this area.

He combined with Dimuth Karunaratne, Dasun Shanaka, Vanindu Hasaranga and Deekshana for 33, 29, 35 and 77 respectively to drag Sri Lanka to a defendable total.

In defending their target, Sri Lanka dismissed both openers within the first two overs. But then the game began to slip away. Wesley Baresi and Pas de Leete – who had earlier taken three wickets – added 77 runs for the third wicket, which was highlighted by its industrious nature. The pair often found boundaries, but more than that they were pounding for every run.

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At the start of the 15th over they were going at a rate of just over six an over. But it will be their enthusiasm to seize every advantage that will be their downfall, as a second without a misjudgment could see Paresi run out. Paresi’s wicket would be followed five balls later by Teja Nidamanuru. De Leete and Edwards added 36 runs off 41 balls.

Deekshana de Leedin crosses the gap between bat and bat and turns to clean him up. He then took a double-wicket maiden to take Netherlands to 133 for 7.

From then on, there was a solitary hand from Edwards, who made good use of the sweep and found the one and two with ease. This would have brought the target closer, but Sri Lanka caught the tail, so they were cut off. A superb throw from keeper Gusal Mendis saw Shariz Ahmed run out, Hazaranga beat clean with a googly.

Edwards then looked to join Dutt on strike, but an inswinging yorker from Shanaka dispatched the latter. Shanaka’s bowling at that stage meant that Lahiru Kumara could only complete two overs before being withdrawn with a side pressure.

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