Sri Lanka advances to T20 World Cup Super 12 thanks to Mendis. Sri Lanka, the defending Asian champions, advanced to the Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 on Thursday thanks to a blistering 79 not out from opening batsman Kusal Mendis off just 44 balls. The eighth-best side in the world scored 162 runs, 102 of which came in the final 10 overs, setting a lofty goal that the Dutch were unable to complete.
They ended the game with 146 runs for nine wickets. The outcome of the latter match in Geelong between Namibia and United Arab Emirates will determine which Super 12 group they will play in. Because of their higher net run rate, an African victory would eliminate the Dutch from the competition.
If the United Arab Emirates can pull off an upset against Namibia, the Dutch will move on. For the third year in a row, Sri Lanka has made it to the Super 12 and will be looking to emulate their success from 2014, when Dinesh Chandimal captained the team to victory.
Sri Lanka advances to T20 World Cup Super 12
It wasn’t an easy path there, though; after being upset by Namibia in the opening game, they went on to defeat the United Arab Emirates and then the Netherlands. Sri Lanka, after winning the toss and electing to bat, struggled to score in the early going.
Sri Lanka’s assault with replacements Lahiru Kumara and Binura Fernando held the Dutch at bay in the early overs despite the absence of pace spearheads Dushmantha Chameera and Pramod Madushan, who were both injured.
Dusan Shanaka caught Vikramjit Singh attempting to hit a ball from Mahesh Theekshana for seven, and then Kumara grabbed the key wicket of emerging star De Leede for fourteen. At the half way mark, the score was 63-3, and the veteran Colin Ackermann had gone for a golden duck to the spin of Hasaranga de Silva.
While opener Max O’Dowd (71 not out) fought valiantly, the team’s collapse from 100-4 to 109-8 was largely due to the dismissal of skipper Scott Edwards, who was bowled by Fernando for a fast 21.
Thanks to Mendis
He managed just 22 runs off of the first five overs thanks to the slow hitting of Pathum Nissanka and Mendis. The wicket of Nissanka was dropped in the fifth over, and he was eventually dismissed by a yorker from the returning hostile pace bowler Paul Van Meekeren on the score of 14.
The next ball, Dhananjaya de Silva was also sent back to the pavilion after being out lbw. This was while Sri Lanka risked defeat by playing dangerously, with numerous opportunities falling just short of the fielders’ grasp.
Until Charith Asalanka was caught behind off all-rounder Bas de Leede for 31, he and Mendis put together a 60-run stand to accelerate the run pace. Mendis reached his tenth T20 half-century with a six. So, he hit two more sixes in the next-to-last over before he was almost run out while trying to hit another boundary and was eventually caught.