Dilshan Madushanka claimed 3/18 and Maheesh Theekshana 4/31 as Sri Lanka thumped the Netherlands by 128 runs in the final of the ICC World Cup 2023 Qualifiers at Harare on Sunday, July 9.
Sent into bat by the Netherlands, Sri Lanka put up a disappointing batting performance, collapsing from 180/3 to 233 all out. However, their bowlers ensured there was no upset in place as the Dutch were rolled over for 105 in 23.3 overs.
Madushanka struck the first blow for Sri Lanka as Vikramjit Singh (13) chipped a length delivery to cover point. Wesley Barresi was then knocked over for a duck by the pacer with a full delivery that shaped back sharply. Wanindu Hasaranga (2/35) joined the wicket-taking act by trapping Teja Nidamanuru (0) lbw with a googly.
Noah Croes (7) was the next to go, struck plumb in front of the wicket by a length delivery from Madushanka that cuts back into the batter. Disaster struck for the Netherlands as their skipper Scott Edwards (1) was run-out after a mix-up with Max O’Dowd.
The wickets kept tumbling for the Dutch as Saqib Zulfiqar (6) fell lbw to Hasaranga. O'Dowd’s resistance ended for 33 off 63 when he was cleaned up by Theekshana. The Sri Lankan spinner then ran through the Dutch tail, trapping the last three batters lbw.
Netherlands bowlers hold Sri Lanka to 233
Before their batting crumbled, the Dutch bowlers did well to restrict Sri Lanka to 233 in 47.5 overs. After a brisk start, the Lankans lost openers Sadeera Samarawickrama (19) and Pathum Nissanka (23) -both perishing to Vikramjit Singh (2/12).
Kusal Mendis (43 off 52) and Sahan Arachchige (57 off 71) added 72 runs for the third wicket to lift the batting side. The impressive stand was broken when Zulfiqar (2/59) had Mendis lbw. The leg-spinner also ended Arachchige’s resistance as the Sri Lankan batter was caught at short point, attempting a reverse sweep.
Arachchige’s dismissal sparked a batting collapse as Sri Lanka lost seven wickets for 53 runs. Charith Asalanka (36) followed Arachchige to the pavilion, run out by a direct by from Logan van Beek. Ryan Klein (2/42) and Van Beek (2/40) then dismissed the lower order cheaply even as Hasaranga contributed a handy 29 off 21 balls.
Despite the disappointing effort in the final, the Netherlands achieved the bigger objective, which was qualifying for the World Cup 2023 in India, along with Sri Lanka.