(Cricket news) Sri Lanka began their T20 World Cup campaign with a victory over Namibia in the group B match. Sri Lanka are now on top of the table with 2 points and have a better net run rate than second placed Ireland. The Lankan team has many youngsters as they look to do what their predecessors have done, they have two more matches to go before the super twelve.
Captain Kusal Perera won the toss and opted to bowl first as the Lankans used five bowlers and all of them successfully took wickets in the match. Maheesh Theekshana was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up three wickets which included the openers and Lahiru Kumara who was the most economical as he gave 9 runs in 21 balls. Dasun Shanaka took a running one handed catch to dismiss Ruben Trumpelmann as it will be in the tournament’s top catches.
Craig Williams, the oldest player in the match top scored for Namibia with a 36 ball 29, including two sixes which were the only ones for Namibia. He couldn't read Wanindu Hasaranga’s spin as his wicket signalled the end for the team. Captain Gerhard Erasmus also played an important role in the team’s batting line up as he scored 20 runs in 19 balls with two boundaries.
The Sri Lankan top order struggled as the top three batters were sent back in quick succession, Kusal Perera was the first one to go as he tried to score a boundary off Ruben but the ball didn't go far as JJ Smit took it safely in his hands. Smit then took the wicket of Dinesh Chandimal in his first delivery as the score was 26-3. Avishka Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapakasa held onto the crease to slowly end Namibia’s premature celebrations. The pair put on a partnership of 68 as Bhanuka smashed the final boundary to pack up things at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in UAE.
Namibia used up 8 bowlers in their line up as none of them completed their four over spell. Bernard Scholtz was the pick of the bowlers for the team as he bowled three overs while giving away 16 runs and taking the wicket of Pathum Nissanka. They will next face Netherlands tomorrow as Sri Lanka will face Ireland in their second match.
Namibia 96 all out in 19.3 overs, Sri Lanka 100/ 3 in 13.3 overs. Sri Lanka won by seven wickets. Player of the match: Maheesh Theekshana (4-25-3).