Sri Lanka beat Netherlands to win ICC ODI WC qualifiers final

Exceptional bowling by left-arm fast bowler Dilshan Madushanka and spinners Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga, saw Sri Lanka defeat the Netherlands by 128 runs in the ODI World Cup qualifier final at the Harare Sports Club.

At one point, it appearedthe 1996 World Cup champions Sri Lanka had fallen short of a competitive total as they were bowled out for 233 runs in 47.5 overs. Sahan Arachchige’s impressive knock of 57 stood out for the Lankans.

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In response, Dilshan Madushanka wreaked havoc in the Netherlands’ pursuit, taking three wickets for 18 runs. Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga also made substantial contributions, claiming four wickets for 31 runs and two wickets for 34 runs respectively. Consequently, the Dutch team was dismissed for 105 runs in 23.3 overs, concluding the tournament with an undefeated record in Zimbabwe.

After being sent in to bat first, Sri Lankan openers Pathum Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama established a solid partnership of 39 runs before Samarawickrama was brilliantly caught by Vikramjit Singh at short extra cover. Soon after, Nissanka was dismissed when he flicked a delivery straight to fine leg, where Aryan Dutt took an excellent catch.

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Arachchige and Kusal Mendis then initiated the rebuilding process for Sri Lanka with a partnership of 72 runs. However, Mendis was eventually trapped lbw by Saqib Zulfiqar after missing a sweep shot. Arachchige continued his fine form, partnering with Charith Asalanka for a crucial stand of 64 runs. Zulfiqar struck again to remove Arachchige, who scored a well-crafted 57.

In the same over, Asalanka fell victim to a close run-out decision, departing after contributing 36 runs. Sri Lanka’s captain, Dasun Shanaka, was dismissed by Logan van Beek for just one run. Subsequently, Ryan Klein dismissed Dhananjaya de Silva, resulting in four wickets falling in four overs and leaving Sri Lanka in a precarious situation.

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Hasaranga made a valuable contribution with 29 runs, while Theekshana (13) and Matheesha Pathirana were dismissed in quick succession. Sri Lanka’s innings concluded at 233 runs in 47.5 overs, with van Beek, Klein, Vikramjit, and Zulfiqar each taking two wickets, while Dutt secured one dismissal.

In reply, Madushanka dismissed Vikramjit and removed Wesley Barresi for a duck, sending his middle stump flying. Hasaranga, the tournament’s leading wicket-taker, got involved by trapping Teja Nidamanuru lbw for a duck before Madushanka dismissed Noah Croes.

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Within the first 10 overs, the Netherlands lost their fifth wicket as captain Scott Edwards was run out for 1, followed by Zulfiqar’s dismissal by Hasaranga. Max O’Dowd’s innings of 33 runs eventually came to an end when Theekshana bowled him.

Off-spinner Theekshana continued to shine, dismissing Klein and Dutt lbw, before clean bowling Clayton Floyd. The Netherlands were eventually bundled out for 105 runs, as Sri Lanka emerged champs of the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup qualifier.

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