Last opportunity for the floundering Lankan top-order to regroup
With a Super 12 spot already secured, Sri Lanka’s top-notch hitters are reportedly looking to use their final Group A championship game to get back into shape when they face the Netherlands in the T20 World Cup here on Friday .
The former champions easily passed Namibia and Ireland to qualify for the tournament, but the lack of form of Kusal Perera and Dinesh Chandimal would be a concern for them. The two only managed 11 points each in the two games and such form would not help the team when they line up against the strongest teams in the Super 12 Stage. Playing without the pressure of qualifying should help the batters even though the Sri Lankan bowlers warmed up well for the big battle.
The point guard – Chamika Karunaratne and Dushmantha Chameera – showed length control in the lead and match-winning leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga also looked in his elements.
Hasaranga not only contributed with the ball but also with the bat, scoring a fiery 71 against Ireland on Wednesday night. Making a deadly combination with him is the counter-thread Mahesh Theekshana.
Both would seek to further assess the conditions. Talented Avishak Fernando showed a spark at number four but needs to be more consistent. Bhanuka Rajapakse has also proven that he can be a game-changer in his time. For the Netherlands, it will be an opportunity to gain more experience by playing against a high-level team.
The Dutchman, on the other hand, still hasn’t looked good enough for top-level cricket. The bowlers’ inexperience in handling the assault was evident when they let Namibian David Wiese snatch the game away from them with ease on Wednesday. Batting was also a big disappointment for them with only opener Max O’Dowd making an impression.
The failure of experienced Ryan ten Doeschate hurt them the most.
At least by fighting well in their last game, the Netherlands would have something to celebrate before leaving the United Arab Emirates. Teams (from): Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (c), Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya De Silva, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Chamika Karunaratne, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameara, Lahiresh Theekshana, Akila Dananjaya, Binura Fernando Netherlands: Pieter Seelaar (c), Colin Ackermann, Philippe Boissevain, Ben Cooper, Bas de Leede, Scott Edwards, Brandon Glover, Fred Klaassen, Stephan Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Ryan Ten Doeschate , Logan van Beek, Timm van der Gugten, Roelof van der Merwe and Paul van Meekeren. The match starts at 7:30 p.m.
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