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Dhananjaya pilots Sri Lanka to victory

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Dhananjaya de Silva who made fighting knock of 93 celebrating his half  century
Dhananjaya de Silva who made fighting knock of 93 celebrating his half century

All rounder Dhananjaya de Silva made a fighting knock of 93 while Sri Lanka bowlers and fielders put in a fine effort to record a thrilling 21 run win over Netherlands in their super six match of the world cup qualifying cricket tournament played at Bulawayo yesterday.

It was a good team effort especially after being dismissed for 213 runs Sri Lanka bowlers and fielders did a decent job to restrict Dutch team to 192 all out in 40 overs .

Two pacemen Lahiru Kumara and Dilshan Madushanka got two early wickets of Netherlands openers Vikramjith Singh and Max O Dowd both were sent back to the pavilion without scoring while Wesley Barresi (52) and Bas de Leede ( 41) added 77 runs for third wicket .However Sri Lanka spinners Maheesh Theekshana 3 for 31 and Wanindu Hasaranga 2 for 53 put more pressure on Dutch side .Skipper Scott Edwards scored an unbeaten 67 in 68 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes but that was not enough to reach the target .Sri Lanka showed good fighting spirit while all rounder Dhananjaya de Silva was named man of the match .

Earlier Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka won the toss and elected to bat first but Sri Lankan top order struggled and Dutch bowlers put pressure from the beginning .Dutch paceman Logan van Beek took a wicket in the first ball of the innings dismissing Pathum Nissanka with Zaqib Zulfiqar taking a catch at cover position .

The fourth over of the innings Kusal Mendis was once again out for 10 LBW to Ryan Klein . Dimuth Karunaratne the experienced opener with Sadeera Samarawickrama tried to repair the innings but Samarawickrama was back in the pavilion scoring only one run in 3 balls and Sri Lanka were struggling at 27 for 3 wickets and Van Beek accounted for his second wicket .Charith Asalanka who scored 2 in 8 balls when square leg fielder took an easy catch and Van Beek took his third wicket .Dimuth Karunaratne the inform batter scored 33 in 51 balls with 2 boundaries and Shafiq Zulfiqar took his wicket with skipper and wicket keeper Scott Edwards took the catch to dismiss Karunaratne.

The skipper Dasun Shanaka completely failed in this series while he made a sweep shot missed out and LBW to 26 year old leg spinner Shafiq Zulfiqar .Shanaka scored 5 in 20 balls and Sri Lanka were in deep trouble at this stage and 96 for 6 wickets in 25.1 overs .In fact Dasun Shanaka so far has scored 11 runs in three matches and unable to reach double figures in a single match .

The only successful batter was all rounder Dhananjaya de Silva who played a fighting innings to complete his fifty in 79 balls with 4 fours being involved in useful two partnerships to rescue Sri Lanka team .It was very gutty innings by Dhananjaya de Silva who really made his runs under tremendous pressure at this stage .He added 35 runs seventh wicket stand with Wanindu Hasaranga who scored 20 in 21 balls with a four and a six and a 77 run fighting 8 wicket stand with Maheesh Theekshana who scored 28 in 47 balls with a four .This two partnership helped Sri Lanka pass 200 run mark while Dhananjaya de Silva finally out for 7 runs away from a well deserved century which included 8 fours and 2 sixes.

Two pace bowlers Logan van Beek 3 for 26 and Bas de Leede 3 for 42 were most successful Dutch bowlers while leg spinner made good supportive role to pick 2 for 48 to restrict Sri Lanka to 213 all out in 47.4 overs.

Sri Lanka made only one change while Dilshan Madushanka replaced Kasun Rajitha.Sri Lanka will meet host Zimbabwe on July 2 in their second game

Saturday, July 1, 2023 – 01:00

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