Namibia produced a stunning performance to beat Sri Lanka by 55 runs in the first match of the T20 WC.
Batting first, Namibia scored an impressive 163/7 from their 20 overs, top-scoring for the side with 44. Sri Lanka struggled in reply, being reduced to 108 all out in the 19th over.
This is a huge victory for Namibia, who have now qualified for the Twenty20 World Cup for the second time in their history. They will be one of the underdogs at the tournament, but this win will give them plenty of confidence going into it.
Precisely 365 days ago, Sri Lanka bowled Namibia out for 96 in their T20 World Cup opener and won by seven wickets. In the days since, as Gerhard Erasmus pointed out, “the tables have been turned”. His team has achieved a victory over Sri Lanka by 55 runs to begin the 2022 T20 WC.
He also stated, “last year was a special journey and today is a special day for them.” He explained that they have successfully instilled a winning culture within the team despite limited resources and he didn’t forget to thank the wonderful coaching staff for their help.
He especially credited the Head Coach, Pierre de Bruyne, for turning the whole ship around. He ended by saying that this victory is a payback for all his hard work.
Our experts say, don’t be surprised if Namibia wins big matches as they did today. You may consider them an underdog in this WC but they are not. They have proved it today winning by a big margin and that too against Sri Lanka who last won the Asia cup title beating Pakistan and India.
Batting first Namibia was looking shaky for the 15 overs and it was unexpected that they could go past 150. Namibia gained momentum from 95 for 6 in 15 overs as Frylinck and Smit hit 68 off the last five overs.
Namibia started destruction when Frylinck punished a short ball from Dushmantha Chameera in the 16th over. Sri Lanka’s quicks didn’t end as well as they started as the death overs gave: 11, 10, 16, 18, and 13 runs respectively.
Similar to Namibia, Sri Lanka lost three wickets in the PowerPlay. If they had a partnership, it would have saved them from the difficult situation they were in. However, that partnership simply never happened. Right after the PowerPlay, Sri Lanka scored 40 for 4.
When Rajapaksa was dismissed, Sri Lanka went from 74 for 5 in the 11th over to 92 for 9 in the 16th. Mahesh Theekshana took his side past the 100-run mark, but Wiese ended the game in the 19th over at 108.