By virtue of their superior net run rate, Sri Lanka are all but assured of top spot in the group and a place in the Super 12 stage. Meanwhile, the Netherlands, who have lost both their games in the T20 World Cup so far, have only pride to play for. While Sri Lanka will look to rest some of their key players and solve a few batting woes, the Dutchmen will want to sign off on a high.
Sri Lanka have coasted to comfortable victories over Ireland and Namibia in the T20 World Cup so far, with their middle order and versatile bowling attack coming up trumps. On the other hand, the Netherlands lost rather comprehensively to Ireland before a late assault from David Wiese helped Namibia record their first win of the tournament.
T20 World Cup 2021: Can Netherlands salvage some pride after disappointing first-round exit?
Things haven't gone to plan for the Netherlands. Max O'Dowd has been a bright spot in their batting lineup, as he has very often in the recent past, but the rest of the cast hasn't delivered. The experienced duo of Roelof van der Merwe and Ryan ten Doeschate have been in a dreadful run of batting form, while Colin Ackermann, Bas de Leede and Pieter Seelaar haven't done much of note either.
Sri Lanka have batting concerns of their own, with captain Kusal Perera and veteran Dinesh Chandimal struggling for runs. Charith Asalanka, who has been consistent in the ODI format in the recent past, might be brought into the playing XI, which is bound to see a change or two.
Sri Lanka's pace trio of Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara have been exceptional in the T20 World Cup, while Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana have bamboozled batters with their variations and accuracy. Against a Dutch batting lineup that has looked far from convincing, they will back themselves to pick up quick wickets.
Pathum Nissanka held up one end in the previous game and allowed Hasaranga to launch a spectacular counter-attack, and the leg-spinning all-rounder's usage as a floater in the middle order will be in the spotlight once again. Avishka Fernando, batting in a new No. 4 role, is arguably Sri Lanka's best batter at the moment and will eye a return to form.
While Sri Lanka have the opportunity to rest and rotate, they won't change too many things ahead of a crucial T20 World Cup. The Netherlands have nothing to lose and that might help them play with freedom, but they probably don't have enough in the tank to challenge Perera's men. Even if Sri Lanka aren't at full strength, they should be able to enter the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup with a perfect record.
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Prediction: Sri Lanka to win Match 12 of the T20 World Cup
Q. Can the Netherlands record their first win of the T20 World Cup 2021 against Sri Lanka?
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