Sri Lanka start World Cup qualifiers with win
In a thrilling opening match of the World Cup Qualifier campaign in Zimbabwe, Sri-Lanka showcased their prowess by securing a resounding victory over the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Led by outstanding performances from Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Mendis, and Wanindu Hasaranga, Sri-Lanka’s top order unleashed a flurry of half-centuries, setting an imposing total of 355 for 6. The UAE’s chase was swiftly dismantled by Hasaranga’s exceptional bowling display, which saw him claim career-best List A figures of 6 for 24. Let’s delve into the details of this electrifying encounter.
Sri Lanka’s Dominant Batting Display | ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifier:
Sri-Lanka’s openers, Dimuth Karunaratne and Pathum Nissanka, laid a solid foundation for their team by countering the early swing and seam movement effectively. Karunaratne’s fluent strokeplay, accompanied by Nissanka’s gritty determination, frustrated the UAE bowlers. The duo’s partnership formed the backbone of Sri-Lanka’s innings, with Karunaratne contributing six of the nine fours scored during the powerplay.
The Middle Order Heroics| ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifier:
After the early breakthroughs, Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama took charge and built a formidable partnership. Samarawickrama’s innovative strokeplay was a treat to watch, especially his audacious ramp shot over the wicketkeeper off Ali Naseer. The pair’s 105-run stand off just 77 deliveries laid the platform for Sri-Lanka’s imposing total.
Charith Asalanka and Wanindu Hasaranga’s Late Flourish| ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifier:
Just when it seemed like Sri-Lanka had already posted a challenging total, Charith Asalanka injected greater urgency into the innings with some aggressive strokeplay. His towering sixes off Muhammad Jawadullah and Rohan Mustafa further boosted Sri-Lanka’s momentum. Not to be outdone, Hasaranga showcased his batting prowess in the final over, mercilessly thumping Zahoor Khan for three boundaries in just four balls. The late onslaught propelled Sri-Lanka to a commanding total of 355 for 6.
Hasaranga’s Sensational Bowling Display| ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifier:
As the UAE began their chase, they faced the daunting task of overcoming the formidable Wanindu Hasaranga. Despite some UAE players having encountered Hasaranga during the inaugural ILT20, they struggled to pick his deceptive wrong’un. Hasaranga weaved his magic on the pitch, claiming his maiden five-wicket haul in ODI cricket. His incredible figures of 6 for 24 left the UAE batting lineup in tatters.
UAE’s Brave Resistance| ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifier:
Despite the collapse, UAE displayed commendable resilience through their captain Muhammad Waseem and vice-captain Vriitya Aravind, both of whom managed to surpass the 30-run mark. However, their efforts were in vain as they received little support from the rest of the batting lineup. Ali Naseer, the standout performer for UAE, showcased his all-round capabilities with a sharp bowling spell and a sprightly cameo with the bat.
Hasaranga Outshines His Former Apprentice| ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifier:
In a fascinating subplot to the match, Hasaranga emerged victorious against his former apprentice, Karthik Meiyappan. During their time together at the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Meiyappan had overshadowed Hasaranga with a hat-trick in the previous T20 World Cup encounter between the two teams. However, this time, it was Hasaranga’s turn to shine as he outperformed his protégé, leaving Meiyappan struggling to read his variations.
Conclusion| ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifier:
Sri-Lanka’s emphatic victory over the UAE in the World Cup Qualifier opener showcased their dominance in both batting and bowling departments. The top-order brilliance led by Samarawickrama and Mendis set the stage for a massive total, while Hasaranga’s mesmerizing spell dismantled the UAE’s batting lineup. With such an impressive start to their campaign, Sri-Lanka has undoubtedly sent a strong message to their rivals in the tournament. The stage is set for an exhilarating journey towards World Cup qualification, and Sri-Lanka has laid down the marker with their commanding performance.