Namibia stunned Sri Lanka by 55 runs in the opening match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on Sunday in Geelong thanks to a great team effort.
Jan Frylinck (44) and JJ Smit (31*) provided some big hitting to help Namibia recover from a wobbly start to post 163/7. That proved to be too much for Sri Lanka, who were all out for 108 in response in the opening match of T20 World Cup.
Ben Shikongo (2/22) and Player of the Match Frylinck (2/26) each took two wickets as Sri Lanka’s elite batting lineup struggled on the big stage. Bernard Scholtz (2/18), David Wiese (2/16), and Ben Shikongo (2/22) also each took two wickets.
When captain Dasun Shanaka (29) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (20) added 34 runs for the fifth wicket during the middle overs, there was momentary hope for the parochial Sri Lanka fans at Kardinia Park, but the final six wickets fell for just 34 runs, leaving them dissatisfied.
Prior to their seasoned middle order’s valiant effort to turn the tide in their favor, Namibia had earlier lost three wickets during the Powerplay and was reduced to 43/3.
Star spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (1/27) bowled well for Sri Lanka during the middle overs, but Frylinck and Smit came through late to help Namibia reach a respectable total on a difficult batting surface.
Prior to their encounter against the UAE in Geelong on Tuesday, Sri Lanka had 48 hours to lick their wounds and heal. The defending Asia Cup champions will be in a must-win situation because a second straight defeat will probably result in an unexpected exit in the First Round.
On the other hand, Namibia will have the opportunity to secure a Super 12 spot when they play the Netherlands on Tuesday afternoon in Geelong.
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