T20 World Cup: Clinical Sri Lanka seal Super 12 spot with 16-run win over Netherlands | Cricket News


GEELONG (Victoria): Kusal Mendis stood tall with a solid 79 as Asian champions Sri Lanka bounced back from their early debacle to seal their Super 12 berth with a 16-run win over the Netherlands in the T20 World Cup Thursday here.
Facing an early exit after being shocked by Namibia in the T20 World Cup opener at the same venue on Sunday, Sri Lanka rode on the wicketkeeper-batsman’s 44 balls to post a tight 162 for 6 after Dasun Shanaka elected to bat.
In reply, the Dutch, who led Group A with wins over Namibia and the UAE, posted 146 for 9 as the Lankan spin twins. Wanindu Hasaranga (4-0-28-3) and Maheesh Theekshana (4-0-32-2) halted their chase with perfect death over execution.
For the Dutch, opener Max O’Dowd came up with a brave 71 not out from 53 balls (6×4, 3×6), but he lacked the final flourish with hardly any support from the middle and lower order batsmen.
The Lankans now have four points from three games in Group A to confirm their Super 12 place, while the Dutch will have to wait for the result of the Group A final between the UAE and Namibia later in the day to know their fate.

The Netherlands, who finished their Group A campaign with four points, have a net run rate of -0.162. A win for Namibia later in the day could be an upset for the Dutch, as the former have a superior NRR of 1.277.
The 2014 world champions, fresh from winning the Asia Cup in the UAE, faced a tough road in the T20 showpiece after being tripped up by Namibia in the opening match here on Sunday.
Since then, the Lankans have bounced back strongly to crush the UAE to lift their NRR, but only to face injuries to seamer Dushmantha Chameera (torn calf), Pramod Madushan (hamstring) and Danushka Gunathilaka (hamstring).
But the Shanaka-led side showed incredible resilience in the match that mattered most with opener Mendis leading the charge.
Sri Lanka got off to a slow and cautious start, losing Pathum Nissanka (14 off 21b) and Dhananjaya de Silva (0) off successive deliveries just after the showdown.

Paul van Meekeren (2/25) impressed with his raw pace and hostility, while spinners Tim Pringle (3-0-22-0) and van Roelof der Merwe (3-0-16-0) were at their neat best .
The Dutch were in complete control early on as the Lankans struggled to get going in the middle overs and it looked like Sri Lanka would not get past that 140-run mark, but Mendis had other ideas.
He hit five fours and five sixes and went on to equal his career best before getting out in the second ball of the final over as the Dutch bowling fell apart at the death.
Thanks to Mendis’s performance, Sri Lanka scored 102 off the last 10 overs to start a tough chase for the Dutch.
“Early on the wicket was a bit slow so the plan was to take singles and hit the loose balls. Then we could go to 10 overs for more runs. Asalanka started a bit slow but after 15 balls he knew the wicket better. ; him hitting the three boundaries after that made it easy for me,” Man-of-the-Match Mendis said about his innings.
In reply, Theekshana gave the first breakthrough by removing Vikramjit Singh in the fourth over, while Lahiru Kumara (1/28) dismissed Bas de Leede (14) in the power play.
But before the Dutch could recover from the early blows, the Lankan spin duo spun their magical web to cause an upset.


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