Sri Lanka defeated debutants Namibia by seven wickets in a Group A first round match of the T20 World Cup to begin their campaign in style on Monday.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa fittingly finished the match with a six off pacer Jan Frylinck (AFP Photo)
- Sri Lanka (100 for 3) beat Namibia (96) by 7 wickets in the Group A first round match
- Avishka Fernando (30) and talented Bhanuka Rajapakse (42) starred with the bat for SL
- Spinners Mahesh Theekshana (3/25) and Wanindu Hasaranga (2/24) were the standout bowlers in the match
Sri Lanka opened their T20 World Cup campaign with a dominant 7-wicket win over Namibia in a low-scoring Round 1 game in Group A on Monday. Bowlers set up the victory for the 2014 champions as Sri Lanka bowled out Namibia for 96 in 19.3 overs before chasing down the paltry score in 13.3 overs.
The Namibian players, despite defeat, gave a good account of themselves as they refused to be intimidated by an experienced team which was once a force in world cricket. The Namibians created a few ripples when they got rid of Pathum Nissanka (5), Kusal Perra (11) and explosive Dinesh Chandimal (5) inside Powerplay overs.
However, Avishka Fernando (30) and talented Bhanuka Rajapakse (42) steered the 2014 champions through with their confident knocks. While Fernando relied more on placement and timing, Rajapaksa was all brawn, striking with great power as the duo put paid to any hopes the Namibian would have entertained after the early strikes.
Sri Lanka vs Namibia, T20 World Cup: Highlights
Rajapaksa fittingly finished the match with a six off pacer Jan Frylinck as Sri Lanka joined Ireland on two points after the first day of matches in Group A. For Namibia, spinner Bernard Scholtz (1/16) who bowled in a tight line, Ruben Trumpelmann (1/27) and JJ Smit (1/7) picked up the wickets.
The Lankan openers could not get going with the aggressive Perera’s attempt to clear the in-field did not come through as Smit took a good catch to give Trumplemann the wicket. Nissanka fell LBW to left-arm spinner Scholtz and Dinesh Chandimal’s scratchy innings was ended by Smit, who got him to edge one to the keeper.
Earlier, spinners Mahesh Theekshana (3/25) and Wanindu Hasaranga (2/24), one of world’s top spinners, proved too hot for the Namibian batters, who struggled to find a way past the Lankan attack.
Sri Lanka’s chase was led by young Bhanuka Rajapakse (42 not out) and Avishka Fernando (30 not out) as they overhauled the target with ease in 13.3 overs. The Sri Lanka players wore black arm bands during the match as a tribute to former skipper Bandula Warnapura, who passed away earlier in the day. (With PTI inputs)