Geelong [Australia], October 20 (ANI): Kusal Mendis’ onslaught took Sri Lanka to 162/6 after early hiccups against the Netherlands in the ongoing T20 World Cup at Simonds Stadium, Geelong on Thursday.
A late flourish from Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dasun Shanaka coupled with Mendis’ brilliant knock saw Sri Lanka post a challenging total against the Dutch team who have underperformed with the bat in the tournament.
Paul van Meekeren was exceptional with the ball and picked two wickets, giving away just 25 runs from his four overs.
Opting to bat first in a pressure game, openers Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka started watchfully scoring just 22 runs off the first five overs as both the batters struggled to time the ball. However, Nissanka showed some aggression to secure 14-runs from the last over of the powerplay.
Netherland pacer Paul van Meekeren wreaked havoc in his second over to get rid of Nissanka 14(21) and Dhananjaya de Silva 0(1) in the inning’s seventh over.
Charith Asalanka scored run-a-ball 31 to stitch a crucial 60-run partnership with Mendis, who looked in great touch. The duo took the Sri Lankan innings to 60-2 at the end of the 10 overs.
Mendis started to play aggressive shots after the halfway mark in an attempt to increase the scoring rate.
The right-hander smashed a six on the first ball of the 11th over while sending the ball over the rope again in the 14th over to bring up his skillfully crafted half-century.
Asalanka was dismissed for 31(30) in the 14th over by the Dutch team’s consistent performer Bas de Leede.
Left-hander Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who played an important role in the team’s Asia Cup victory, waled out at number five to smash quick runs at the fag end of the innings but could score only 19 off 13 balls before being dismissed in the 18th over.
The wicket of Rajapaksa brought in Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka to the crease. Shanaka launched a massive six on the third delivery but fell in the next over for eight runs.
Shanaka’s dismissal did not stop Mendis from continuing his onslaught as the batter took a liking to Fred Klaassen, smashing two sixes in his over.
He began the 19th over with a boundary but was dismissed on the next ball to end his fabulous inning of 79 runs from 44 balls helping Sri Lanka reach 162/6 at the end of the 20 overs.
Brief Score: Sri Lanka 162/6 (Kusal Mendis 79, Charith Asalanka 31; Paul van Meekeren 2/25) (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.