Sri Lanka have confirmed a berth in the Super 12 stage with a massive 70-run win over Ireland on Wednesday, after they had beaten Namibia by 7 wickets on Monday in Round 1. They will face the bottom-placed Netherlands on Friday to fine-tune their side.
Dasun Shanaka’s side claimed two clinical performances in the qualifying stage this week to seal a place in the Super 12 stage, which starts on October 23. They currently have a brilliant net run rate of +3.165.
One of Ireland and Namibia, who will also meet on Friday, will go through to the next round with Sri Lanka. Both of them have negative nrr, hence, Sri Lanka are likely to finish at the top of their group, when they join the big guns in Super 12.
Sri Lankan bowlers have been on show in both their wins. Against Ireland, Maheesh Theekshana returned with a three-wicket haul while Chamika Karunaratne and Lahiru Kumara bagged two wickets each in their defence of 171, which was set up by scores of 61 and 71 by Pathum Nissanka and Wanindu Hasaranga respectively after the side was stuttering at 8/3.
Hasaranga returned with excellent bowling figures of 1/12 in his 4 overs and was adjudged as Man of the Match.
Theekshana was also the star Sri Lankan bowler a couple of days ago versus Namibia. The mystery spinner registered bowling figures of 3/25, Lahiru Kumara and Hasaranga bagged a brace each as they all bowled out Namibia for 96. Sri Lanka chased down the target in 13.3 overs, with Avishka Fernando scoring 30 off 28 while Bhanuka Rajapaksa went all guns blazing for his 42 off 27.
After the victory over Ireland, Skipper Shanaka expressed concerns about the top order failures in both matches.
“We were bit worried. The top-order has been a little concerning for us. We had a plan before the WC to send Hasaranga up the order. It is a great luxury to have quick pacers. They are accurate as well. Credit to the coaches as well. We need to improve at the top-order and on our fielding as well,” the Sri Lankan skipper said.
Twitter congratulated Sri Lanka for qualifying for the Super 12 stage:
Sri Lanka qualified into the Super 12 of the T20 World Cup 2021.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 20, 2021
— ICC (@ICC) October 20, 2021
— Angelo Mathews (@Angelo69Mathews) October 20, 2021
Brilliant.. brilliant from @OfficialSLC great resilience .. Congratulations on progressing and achieving the first goal. Now for bigger challenges
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) October 20, 2021
— Sri Lanka Tweet (@SriLankaTweet) October 20, 2021