Namibia stunned Asian Cup 2022 winners Sri Lanka in the opening match of the Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 to pull off a historic 55-run win in Victoria, Australia, on Sunday.
Having won the toss and electing to field first in this day/night match, Sri Lanka were in a commanding position after the first 15 overs, limiting Namibia to 95 for 6. However the African side, aptly nicknamed The Eagles, soared to a par total of 163 for 7.
Their recovery was spearheaded by Jan Frylinck and Johannes Smit who scored 44 and 31 not out, respectively. Together they put on 70 runs and produced the ninth-highest seventh-wicket stand in T20I history and the third highest in the tournament’s history.
It was the first time since the 2010 T20 World Cup that Sri Lanka have conceded more than the 57 runs at the death. On that occasion, their opponents Australia scored 62 runs. Wanindu Hasaranga was the pick of bowlers taking one for 27 from his four overs, going at an economy rate of 6.75.
Sri Lanka never really recovered from that five-over spell, and after slipping to 21 for three in the powerplay, did not really come close to contesting the target.
They were eventually bowled out in the 19th over for 108, Dasun Shanka top scoring for them with 26 runs.
The wickets were distributed evenly with David Wiese, Bernard Scholtz, Ben Shikongo and Jan Frylinck each taking two. The man of the match award was given to Frylinck for his exploits with the bat as well as two for 26 off the four overs.
This win was the first time Namibia had beaten a team ranked in the International Cricket Council top 20 rankings.
Sunday’s loss now puts significant pressure on Sri Lanka to win their upcoming games against the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands, respectively, but also hope other results go in their favour, starting with Namibia’s match vs Netherlands on October 25.
Also in the first round Group A, Netherlands won a gripping match against United Arab Emirates (UAE) by three wickets with one ball to spare.
Elected to bat first, the UAE posted 111 for eight after 20 overs. Opener Muhammad Waseem top scored for them with 41 runs, with one four and two sixes.
Bas de Leede was particularly threatening against the UAE middle order, picking up three for 19 in his three overs at an economy rate of 6.33.
In response the Netherlands started in a very attacking manner, equalling UAE’s boundary count of six in just the fourth over. Opener Max O’Dowd, who had the eventual top score in the chase, was particularly expressive at the front, scoring 23 off 18 with three fours and one six before he was dismissed on the penultimate ball of the powerplay.
Netherlands reached 112 for seven with just one ball remaining. (JC)