Friday, July 19, 2024

ODI WC Qualifiers: Batters, Hasaranga star in Sri Lanka’s massive 175-run win over UAE

Sri Lanka’s top-order batters slammed half-centuries while leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga took a brilliant six-wicket haul to get the 1996 champions being their Men’s ODI World Cup qualifiers campaign with a massive 175-win over United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday.

Sri Lanka amassed a big total of 355/6, with the top four of Pathum Nissanka (57), Dimuth Karunaratne (52), Sadeera Samarawickrama (73) and top-scorer Kusal Mendis (78) being the main contributors.

Some late fireworks from Charith Asalanka (48 not out) and Hasaranga (23 not out) also contributed to Sri Lanka getting the biggest first-innings score of the tournament so far, after being pushed into batting first by the UAE.

In defence, Hasaranga removed three of the UAE’s top five batters and went on to take 6-24 in a convincing victory for Sri Lanka. In the process, Hasaranga also recorded the third-best bowling figures by any Sri Lanka bowler and reached 50 wickets in the format too as UAE were bowled out for 180 in 39 overs.

In conditions which had a bit of movement on offer for the pacers, Karunaratne’s solid technique came in handy as he gathered six boundaries in the Powerplay with immaculate ease.

On the other end, Nissanka struggled to get runs flowing from his bat. But he got past that initial period to hit back-to-back boundaries off Muhammad Jawadullah in the fifth over to get his innings going.

From there, Nissanka and Karunaratne kept the scoreboard ticking and, in the process, the latter brought up his third consecutive fifty. But he fell in the very next over as the 95-run partnership for the first wicket was ended by Ayaan Afzal Khan.

Joining hands with Mendis to build on the foundation, Nissanka too reached the 50-run landmark as Sri Lanka reached a comfortable 133/1 at the halfway stage of their innings.

After Nissanka fell, Mendis marched forward to hit ten fours in his classy 63-ball 78, and his 105-run partnership with Samarawickrama fired Sri Lanka towards a big total.

Sri Lanka faced some trouble when Mendis holed out to the substitute fielder off Ali Naseer, while Samarawickrama was run out to give UAE hope of restricting the scoring in the final six overs. But Asalanka had other ideas, unleashing boundary after boundary in a brilliant display of finishing to be 48 not out off just 23 balls, while Hasaranga hit three boundaries in the final over to finish with a score above 350.

In reply, UAE got off to a steady start until Lahiru Kumara pulled off a smart caught and bowled dismissal to remove open Rohan Mustafa for 12. Hasaranga arrived to remove Muhammad Waseem (39), Basil Hameed (0) and Asif Khan (8) in two overs to put Sri Lanka in complete control of the match.

After Vriitya Aravind was trapped lbw by Dhananjaya de Silva, Rameez Shahzad (26) and Naseer (34) hung around for some resistance. But Maheesh Theekshana cleaned up Naseer, and Hasaranga took two wickets in two balls as UAE’s last five wickets fell for 13 runs.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 355/6 in 50 overs (Kusal Mendis 78, Sadeera Samarawickrama 73, Ali Naseer 2-44) beat UAE 180 all out in 39 overs (Muhammad Waseem 39, Vriitya Aravind 39, Wanindu Hasaranga 6-24) by 175 runs

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