Sri Lanka defeats the Netherlands by 21 runs to stay atop the Super Six points table

Sri Lanka recorded a 21-run win over the Netherlands

The Sri Lankan cricket team worked its charm in the second match of the Super Sixes round of the 2023 edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers by thrashing the Netherlands by 21 runs. 

Dasun Shanaka & Men paved their way into the Super Sixes round of the ICC CWC Qualifiers 2023 following a dominating performance in the league round. The team formed a part of Group B alongside Scotland, Oman, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates and ended up winning all the games to conclude the round at the top of the points tally. 

The coin fell in the favor of Shanaka, and he decided to bat first. The team failed to live up to the expectations as they ended up collapsing at the score of 213 runs in 47.4 overs. The top five batters apart from Dimuth Karunaratne let the team down as none of them could score more than ten runs. 

The opening batter, Pathum Nissanka, bagged a golden duck as he walked back to the pavilion on the very first ball of the match. He was soon followed by Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, and Charith Asalanka, who scored 10, 1, and 2 runs respectively. Meanwhile, the other opening batter, Karunaratne, was slightly better with a patient knock of 33 runs. Despite a better start, he could not prolong his stay in the middle and lost his wicket to Saqib Zulfiqar.

Dhananjaya de Silva won the Player of the Match award for his stunning knock

Sri Lanka was badly sinking in the middle in the first innings and in the time of distress, it was Dhananjaya de Silva who emerged as the anchor. He exceeded all expectations on Friday and went on to play one of the finest knocks of his cricket career. The 31-year-old played a spectacular knock of 93 runs to help his team post at least 213 runs on the board.

Skipper Dasun Shanka also disappointed as he got trapped leg before wicket for a meagre score of 5 runs and Wanindu Hasaranga was also dismissed at the end of the 33rd over after contributing 20 runs from 21 balls. It was Maheesh Theekshana who played the perfect foil for de Silva as the duo put together a 77-run partnership for the eighth wicket.

Notably, Logan van Beek and Bas de Leede were the top performers for the Netherlands with three wickets each, while Saqib Zulfiqar picked two wickets. Ryan Klein and Aryan Dutt also had one each to their name. 

Halfway through the game, the Netherlands were the ones in pole position to win as they had to score only 214 runs in 50 overs. However, the batters delivered one of the worst performances as they succumbed to the trap set up by the Sri Lankan bowlers.

In the second innings, Sri Lankan bowlers made up for the underperformance of their batters by restricting the Netherlands to 192 runs. The second innings at the Queen Sports Club in Bulawayo started with the opening pair of Vikramjit Singh and Max ODowd, bagging a two-ball duck and a golden duck, respectively.

The number three player Wesley Barresi tried to do some damage control by playing an impressive knock of 52 runs off 50 balls. He found an ally in Bas de Leede who scored 41 runs from 53 balls. Meanwhile, it was the skipper Scott Edwards who ruled the run-scoring charts for his team by smacking 67 runs. However, their efforts went in vain as they did not find support from other batters in the team. 

For Sri Lanka, Theekshana caused the most carnage by picking three wickets while conceding only 31 runs in nine overs. The other spinner, Hasaranga, also looked good with two wickets to his name at an economy rate of 5.3. Apart from the spin duo, Lahiru Kumara, Dilshan Madushanka, and Shanaka picked a wicket each.

The combined effort by the Sri Lanka bowlers resulted in the Netherlands players playing for only 40 overs in the second innings and scoring 192 runs to record a defeat by 21 runs. While Sri Lanka is now at the top of the Super Six table, the Netherlands has slipped to fourth place.