It was the battle between losers and winners on day four of the qualifier stages. The losers in their first match of this edition, the Netherlands were up against Namibia and in the second match of the day, the winners, Sri Lanka were up against Ireland.
After being asked to bat first, riding on the back of yet another half-century by Max O’Dowd the Netherlands posted a decent total of 164/4 in their quota of 20 overs. In reply, Namibia were in trouble at the half-way mark as they had lost three wickets for 68 runs. Needing 97 runs in 10 overs, David Wiese played a blistering knock of unbeaten 66 off just 40 balls to guide Namibia to their first win in WC. The skipper Gerhard Erasmus, played the role of second fiddle and the duo of Erasmus and Wiese were involved in a 93-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
In the second match of the day, Sri Lank were sent into bat by Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie. The Ireland bowlers in the first two overs itself had justified their captain’s decision. However, Pathum Nissanka and Wanindu Hasaranga took the opposition by surprise and kept the attack going. On the back of their partnership of 123 for the fourth wicket, Sri Lanka posted a mammoth total of 171/7. Hasaranga was the aggressor as he scored 71 off 47 balls and Nissanka played the sheet anchor role by scoring 61 off 47 balls. In reply, losing wickets at regular intervals hampered Ireland's chase. The wizardry of Maheesh Theekshana and Hasaranga, the raw pace of Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara was too much for them to handle and they crumbled to 101 and handed Sri Lanka a win by 70 runs. Here are a few notable stats from both the matches:
Sri Lanka top order in disarray
Sri Lanka might have won this match but their biggest woes heading into the main stages has been their top order. In both their matches in the qualifiers, Sri Lanka had lost their first three wickets within 30 runs. In this match it was even worse as Sri Lanka were found tattering at 3/8. This is the lowest score in T20Is for which they have lost three wickets. Previously, against Australia in 2007 in Cape Town and against New Zealand in Colombo in 2009, they were down to three wickets for 11 runs.
A resurrection of the highest caliber
Tottering at 3/8, Sri Lanka’s pair of Hasaranga and Nissanka didn’t back-out. Free flowing shots and some bad bowling by Ireland saw Sri Lanka score 47 runs in the powerplay. They kept piling on the runs at brisk pace even in the middle overs. By virtue of a 123-run partnership for the fourth wicket Sri Lanka posted 171 runs from a spot of bother. This partnership of 123 between Hasaranga and Nissanka was the highest partnership in T20 WC for any wicket four or below. Their partnership registered a few more records:
- In T20Is, the partnership of 123 between Hasaranga and Nissanka is the highest for any wicket four or below after losing the third wicket for 10 runs or less.
- In T20Is, this was only the second 100-run partnership for Sri Lanka for wicket-order four or below.
A stunning revival
In most of the circumstances, when a team is reeling down at 3/8, it needs a miraculous effort to win. Hasaranga and Nissanka’s partnership provided that miracle. Riding on the back of it, Sri Lanka posted 171/7 in their full quota of 20 overs. In T20 WC, no team has scored 150+ after being three down for 10 or fewer runs. Australia against England in the 2010 WC Final, were three down for the same score and they registered 147, which was the highest then.
Shining in his debut innings
Hasaranga has been one of the key players for Sri Lanka in the white-ball formats, especially in the shortest format. Since his debut in T20Is, Hasaranga has scored 271 runs and bagged 39 wickets. In most of his matches, it has been his bowling that was being highlighted but, today was different. In a desperate situation, Hasaranga, batting for the first time in a World Cup, registered a sensational half-century. His score of 71 is the second highest score on a T20 WC debut innings for a non-opener.
The quickest pacer and second quickest to 50 wickets
There are few bowlers from Ireland who have been sensational in recent times and Mark Adair certainly is the leader of that pack. In just 28 matches, the tall fast bowler has bagged 50 wickets. Among pacers across T20Is, he is the fastest to the landmark and overall, only Ajantha Mendis (26) has reached the 50-wicket landmark quicker than him.
Max O'Dowd sublime run with the bat continues
After registering a half-century in the opening game against Ireland, Max O'Dowd has continued his fine form with the bat and scored a scintillating 70 off 56 deliveries studded with six boundaries and one massive six. En route to his innings, the 27-year old notched up his eighth half-century for the Netherlands in the shortest format of the game. In his 42-match T20I career, he has nine 50+ scores that includes one century and eight 50s. O'Dowd is now equaled with Ben Cooper for most number of 50+ scores for the Netherlands in T20Is
Namibia register their maiden win at the world stage in grand style
David Wiese's stunning knock of 66 runs in 40 deliveries propelled Namibia to an empathic six-wicket win over the Netherlands. Chasing 165 runs for the victory, Wiese scripted an incredible turnaround for the side, along with skipper Gerhard Edaward's valuable contribution of 32 runs to guide Namibia to their maiden win in the World Cup. The 165-run target chase was also the second-highest successful run chase by an associate nation in a T20 World Cup. This is also their highest ever chase in T20Is.
Wiese's match-defining innings
After tottering at 52/3, Wiese scored an unbeaten knock of 66 to help Namibia etch their name in the record books. The right-handed batter smashed four boundaries and five sixes in his match-winning innings. This innings was also the joint highest score by a batsman at number five or lower in a successful run chase. Misbah-Ul-Haq against Australia in 2007 had also scored an unbeaten 66 batting at five.