All-round Sri Lanka down Netherlands in Qualifiers final

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Wanindu Hasaranga scored a brisk 29 before picking up a brace
Wanindu Hasaranga scored a brisk 29 before picking up a brace © Getty

Sri Lanka continued their unbeaten streak and beat Netherlands by a commanding 128-run margin in the final of the 2023 ODI World Cup Qualifier in Harare. Wanindu Hasaranga's all-round brilliance and Maheesh Theekshana's three-wicket haul were key elements in the victory that Sri Lanka wrapped up with 26.3 overs to spare.

After being put in to bat, Pathum Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama got through tricky conditions and added 39 runs before Vikramjit Singh was introduced in the attack and struck in back-to-back overs. Samarawickrama departed for 19 runs, thanks to a brilliant catch by Noah Croes at cover, whereas Nissanka clipped one straight to fine leg. Vikramjit could have a third in three overs but couldn't hold onto a sharp return chance from Kusal Mendis.

Mendis and Sahan Arachchige then began the rebuilding process for Sri Lanka, adding 72 runs for the third wicket. The partnership was broken by Saqib Zulfiqar, who trapped Mendis lbw but Arachchige went on to forge another important partnership with Charith Asalanka, putting up a 64-run stand for the fifth wicket. He, however, fell trying to up the ante after a quiet period without boundaries and fell to a reverse-sweep, again off the bowling off Zulfiqar. Asalanka's run out in the same over made things worse during a phase that saw Sri Lanka drop from 180/3 to 190/7.

It took a few blows from Wanindu Hasaranga towards the end to get Sri Lanka past 200 but they were still bowled out for 233 with 2.1 overs remaining.

In response, Netherlands faced an early setback, losing a flurry of wickets within the opening 10 overs. Dilshan Madushanka was the wrecker-in-chief, dismissing Vikramjit for 13 and clean bowling Wesley Baressi for a duck. The tournament's leading wicket-taker, Wanindu Hasaranga, then joined the action, trapping Teja Nidamanuru for 0 before Madushanka claimed the wicket of Noah Croes for 7.

Netherlands' troubles continued as skipper Scott Edwards was run out for 1. Zulfiqar fell prey to the brilliance of Hasaranga and Netherlands were down in the doldrums at 49/6. Max O'Dowd's top-scored with 33 but lacked fluency, his scratchy innings coming to an end when Maheesh Theekshana got through his defences. Theekshana then got on a roll, trapping Ryan Klein and Aryan Dutt lbw and bowling Clayton Floyd to wrap the Netherlands' innings for 105 and secure a dominant win for Sri Lanka.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 233 in 47.5 overs (Arachchige 57; van Beek 2-40) beat Netherlands 105 in 23.3 overs (O'Dowd 33; Theekshana 4-31, Madushanka 3-18) by 128 runs




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