Sri Lanka manages to defend 213 after the Edwards scare

Dhananjaya de Silva played an incredible innings of 93 and give the win to Sri Lanka

By victory over the Netherlands by 21 runs to begin their Super Six campaign on a tense but successful note, Sri Lanka managed to overcome a tremendous fright. 

Dhananjaya de Silva scored a career-high 93 runs, while the outstanding Maheesh Theekshana, who took 3 for 31, led a bowling performance against all odds. These contributions helped the team win.

But a tough Netherlands team, which first held Sri Lanka to a meager 213 and then nearly pulled off a nail-biting chase, fought tooth and nail for every inch of this victory. Better teams than them have fallen victim to Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga’s dual threats, who took five wickets between them on the day. 

This idea is strengthened by the two run-outs, given that the needed rate was virtually less than four an over throughout. As he ran out of partners on a sticky field that was turning and showing some uneven bounce, Netherlands captain Scott Edwards was left stranded on an unbeaten 68-ball 67.

As a result, Sri Lanka now shares the lead in the table with Zimbabwe on six points, and the winner of their match on Sunday will automatically qualify for the World Cup. The Netherlands still has a chance to earn up to six points, but in order to do so, one of Sri Lanka or Zimbabwe must now drop both of their remaining contests.

Theekshana contributed significantly with the bat as well, battling it out in the middle with Dhananjaya for a crucial 77-run eighth wicket stand. Theekshana courageous 28, which helped Sri Lanka win the match by a score of 21, was crucial, especially given that it came after Sri Lanka had been reduced to 131 for 7.

For a large portion of the game, the Netherlands ran exclusively. I’ll start with the game’s opening delivery, when Pathum Nissanka sliced erratically at one outside off stump before being caught at cover.

Before the first power play was up, the great Logan van Beek would also dismiss Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka, giving him a total of three wickets.

A number of Sri Lankan batters were dismissed while attempting to hit out, so Nissanka’s stroke wouldn’t be the only doubtful one. In contrast, Sri Lanka’s inability to consistently find singles and rotate strike, together with Netherlands’ persistence in nagging lines and lengths, were the causes of this situation. Batters were tumbling as they tried to escape the chains due to the mounting strain. The odd one who kept to themselves would also work in that case.

Due to Netherlands’ wicket-to-wicket bowling and refusal to allow for easy runs, this was effectively the story of Sri Lanka’s innings. The only person who demonstrated the patience necessary to succeed on this surface was Dhananjaya.

In order to bring Sri Lanka to a total that could be defended, he put up successive stands of 33, 29, 35, and 77 with Dimuth Karunaratne, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, and Theekshana, respectively.

In order to reach their goal, Sri Lanka dismissed both of their openers for ducks in the first two overs. But after that, the game started to fade away. Wesley Barresi and Bas de Leede, who had previously taken three wickets, added 77 runs for the third wicket in a partnership that stood out for its diligence. The couple frequently found boundaries, but they also sprinted hard during each run.

By the beginning of the fifteenth over, they were moving at a rate greater than six per over. However, their desire to seize every advantage would prove disastrous as a hasty second would result in Barresi running out. Teja Nidamanuru would get dismissed five balls after Barresi. After that, De Leede and Edwards performed a 41-ball 36.

Theekshana came back to clean up de Leede by slipping between his bat and pad. He followed that up with a double-wicket maiden to reduce Netherlands to 133 for 7.

From that point on, Edwards was playing by himself. He located ones and twos easily and used the sweep to great effect. This would move the goal closer, but Sri Lanka was still in the hunt, so they continued to make small gains. Hasaranga castled Klein with a googly after keeper Kusal Mendis’ fantastic pass to the non-striker’s end caused Shariz Ahmad to run out.

Then, Edwards attempted to farm the strike alongside Dutt, but the latter was struck by an inswinging yorker from Shanaka. The only reason Shanaka was even bowling at that point was because Lahiru Kumara had only been able to complete two overs before having to be removed due to a side strain.