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CWC Qualifiers: Sri Lanka beat Netherlands, winning by 21 Runs

In a thrilling encounter at the ICC Cricket World Cup Super Six stage, Sri Lanka has defeated the Netherlands by 21 runs. Dhananjaya de Silva’s resilient half-century, coupled with the all-round efforts of Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga, played an important role in Sri Lanka’s triumph.

Opting to bat first, Sri Lanka faced a shaky start as opener Pathum Nissanka was dismissed on the very first ball. The Netherlands capitalized on the early breakthrough, claiming two more wickets within five overs. Ryan Klein trapped Kusal Mendis for 10, while van Beek removed Sadeera Samarawickrama for just one run. Van Beek continued his impressive spell, taking his third wicket by dismissing the in-form Charith Asalanka for only two runs.

Struggling at 67 for 5, Sri Lanka relied on Dimuth Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva to stabilize the innings. Karunaratne contributed 33 runs off 51 balls, forging a 33-run partnership with de Silva. However, Sri Lanka continued to lose wickets at regular intervals, with de Silva standing strong as the last bastion. Wanindu Hasaranga showed promise with a quick-fire 20 runs, and Maheesh Theekshana added valuable 28 runs.

De Silva displayed remarkable resilience, launching a counter-attack with a six and two boundaries off one Shariz Ahmad over. He fell agonizingly short of a century, dismissed for 93 runs off 111 balls, including eight fours and two sixes. Sri Lanka was bowled out for 213 in the 48th over, marking their second-lowest total against an Associate team. Van Beek and Bas de Leede were the standout bowlers for the Netherlands, claiming three wickets each.

In response, the Netherlands faced a daunting chase of 214 runs. However, their openers, Vikramjit Singh and Max o’Dowd, were dismissed for ducks, putting the team in an early predicament. Wesley Barresi and Bas de Leede showcased resilience, forging a crucial half-century partnership for the third wicket. Barresi reached his seventh ODI fifty, scoring 52 runs off 50 balls with six fours and a six. The Dutch side stumbled after Barresi’s dismissal, losing wickets at regular intervals.

Maheesh Theekshana further dented the Netherlands’ hopes by taking two wickets in his fifth over. However, captain Scott Edwards led a valiant fightback, forming vital partnerships with the lower order to keep his team in contention. Edwards remained unbeaten on 67 runs off 68 balls, but his efforts fell short as the Netherlands were bowled out for 192 in the 40th over, falling 22 runs shy of the target. Theekshana and Hasaranga were the standout bowlers for Sri Lanka, claiming three and two wickets, respectively.

Dhananjaya de Silva was awarded the “Player of the Match” for his vital half-century, which played a significant role in Sri Lanka’s victory. With this win, Sri Lanka secured the top position in the Super Six stage points table, accumulating six points, while the Netherlands currently holds the fourth spot with two points.

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