Sri Lanka crowned ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier champions -

Sri Lanka crowned ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier champions

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Khel Today Bureau 
Harare: Sri Lanka sealed the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier crown with a comfortable 128-run victory over the Netherlands in the final in Harare.

Having set the Dutch 234 to win, the Lions picked up five wickets inside the opening powerplay before cleaning up the tail to bowl Netherlands out for just 105.

Both sides had already sealed qualification for this autumn’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India but Sri Lanka rounded off their time in Zimbabwe in style, retaining their unbeaten status and taking home the trophy.

Theekshana and Madushanka shine with the ball Maheesh Theekshana (4/31) and Dilshan Madushanka (3/18) were Sri Lanka’s stars with the ball as they dismissed the Netherlands for just 105 to seal the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier title.

The Lions survived a middle order wobble to post 233 and the Dutch chase faltered early as they slipped from 25 without loss to 49 for six.

Sri Lanka duly took control and though Max O’Dowd (33) and Logan van Beek (20*) stemmed the tide for a while, it was always an uphill battle and the Netherlands fell 128 runs short of their target.

Having been put in to bat, Sri Lanka began steadily until Vikramjit Singh made the breakthrough in the ninth over, dismissing Sadeera Samarawickrama (19).

Fellow opener Pathum Nissanka (23) then fell in Singh’s next over courtesy of a superb diving catch from Aryan Dutt to leave the Lions 44 for two.

But Kusal Mendis (43) and Sahan Arachchige wrested back control of the contest for Sri Lanka, taking their side past 100 in the 20th over before Mendis fell lbw to Saqib Zulfiqar (2/59).

Arachchige and new batter Charith Asalanka (36) kept the scoreboard moving until both departed in consecutive overs, Arachchige chipping Zulfiqar to point for 57 before Asalanka was run out.

When captain Dasun Shanaka became Logan van Beek’s first victim and Dhananjaya de Silva fell for a single, Sri Lanka were 190 for seven – having been 180 for three – but vital knocks from Wanindu Hasaranga (29) and Theekshana (13) hauled them to a competitive 233 all out.

Chasing 234, the Netherlands started well with openers O’Dowd and Vikramjit Singh scoring at five an over until Singh fell to Madushanka for 13 in the fifth over.

That wicket signalled the start of a Dutch collapse, Madushanka removing Wesley Barresi for a duck in his next over before Hasaranga accounted for Teja Nidamanuru without scoring.

Noah Croes was then trapped leg before and Scott Edwards was run out to reduce the Netherlands to 41 for five.

That quickly became 49 for six as Saqib Zulfiqar was trapped leg before by Hasaranga but Van Beek steadied the ship with O’Dowd, until the latter was bowled by Theekshana.

Theekshana then cleaned up both Ryan Klein and Aryan Dutt in quick succession before the spinner took the final wicket midway through the 24th over to seal a 128-run victory and the tournament title for Sri Lanka.

Both sides will now switch their focus to India, where Netherlands will take the Q1 place in the World Cup draw, and Sri Lanka Q2.

Scores in brief
Sri Lanka beat Netherlands by 128 runs at Harare Sports Club, Harare.
Sri Lanka 233 all out in 47.5 overs (Sahan Arachchige 57, Kusal Mendis 43; Vikramjit Singh 2/12, Logan van Beek 2/40)
Netherlands 105 all out in 23.3 overs (Max O’Dowd 33, Logan van Beek 20*; Maheesh Theekshana 4/31, Dilshan Madushanka 3/18)

Sri Lanka ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 fixtures

7 October – South Africa v Sri Lanka, Delhi – 2pm
12 October – Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Hyderabad – 2pm
16 October – Australia v Sri Lanka, Lucknow – 2pm
21 October – Netherlands v Sri Lanka, Lucknow – 10.30am
26 October – England v Sri Lanka, Bengaluru – 2pm
30 October – Afghanistan v Sri Lanka, Pune – 2pm
2 November – India v Sri Lanka, Mumbai – 2pm
6 November – Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Dehli – 2pm
9 November – New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Bengaluru – 2pm

Netherlands ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 fixtures

6 October – Netherlands v2023 Pakistan, Hyderabad – 2pm
9 October – New Zealand v Netherlands, Hyderabad – 2pm
17 October – Netherlands v South Africa, Dharamshala – 2pm
21 October – Netherlands v Sri Lanka, Lucknow – 10.30am
25 October – Australia v Netherlands, Delhi – 2pm
28 October – Bangladesh v Netherlands, Kolkata – 2pm
3 November – Afghanistan v Netherlands, Lucknow – 2pm
8 November – England v Netherlands, Pune – 2pm
11 November – India v Netherlands, Bengaluru, 2pm.

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