Kusal Mendis’s enchantment propels Sri Lanka to the Super 12 of the T20 World Cup.
A battling effort by the reliable Kusal Mendis enabled Sri Lanka defeat the Netherlands by 16 runs to seal their position in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup on Thursday in Geelong. Sri Lanka’s victory was in Srinagar.
At Kardinia Park, which has superb batting conditions, the opener hammered 79 runs off of 44 balls to help pace Sri Lanka as the island country recorded 162 for 6 in their innings.
In the match that Sri Lanka really had to win, things got off to a sluggish start early on because the unheralded bowling line-up of the Netherlands limited the Asian team to only 60 runs after the first 10 overs.
But from that point on, Mendis and Charith Asalanka (31), pushed the pedal as Sri Lanka increased their run rate to make it impossible for the Netherlands to catch up in terms of runs.
Pacer Paul van Meekeren (2/25) was the choice of the bowlers for the Netherlands, while experienced spinner Roelof van der Merwe (0/16) walked from the field late in the innings with what seemed to be an injury. Pacer Paul van Meekeren was the pick of the bowlers for the Netherlands.
In their pursuit, the Dutch were never able to get moving. They only managed to score 47 runs before losing their first three wickets, and after that they continued losing wickets at regular intervals. However, the opening batter for the Netherlands, Max O’Dowd, stayed in the game and did his best to bring the team as near to the objective as possible.
O’Dowd remained undefeated on 71 as he faced 53 balls during an innings that included six fours and three sixes. As a result, the Netherlands were able to complete their allotted overs and reach 146 for 9.
During the first innings of the match, spin-bowling all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe was seen hobbling off the field in apparent agony. After that, he didn’t go back out into the field, and he also didn’t step up to the plate in his regular spot to bat.
However, despite the agony, Van der Merwe fought through it and stepped in to bat as the Netherlands’ final wicket in the 18th over in an effort to cut the gap of the defeat as much as possible. Together with O’Dowd, he contributed 23 runs for the team’s last wicket after making the courageous choice to stay in the game.
The outcome of the match between Namibia and UAE will now determine how likely it is that the Netherlands will qualify for the Super 12 tournament. They can only advance to the next level of competition if the UAE are victorious.