The last day of the qualifiers, one team had made it to the super’s stage and two were fighting for the remaining one spot. Namibia who had kept their hopes alive after a win, were eyeing history against Ireland in the first match. In the second, Sri Lanka were up against the Netherlands in a dead rubber contest.
For the first time in this edition, the matches were played in Sharjah. There was not much change from what we saw in the IPL 2021. Ireland batting first were off to a good start. But, just like every other match of IPL 2021, it became extremely difficult for Ireland batter to score runs freely. By virtue of some good bowling, Namibia restricted Ireland to 125/8. In reply, Namibia were too slow to start, but their skipper Gerhard Erasmus, at one end anchored till the end. However, it was David Wiese special – 14-ball 28 – once again that fetched Namibia an historic win.
The second match of the day wasn’t even a contest. It felt as if some school kids were being bullied by some college grads. The mystery of Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana was too much for the Netherlands batsmen as they were skittle for 44. Sri Lanka easily chased the target with 77 balls to spare. Here are a few notable stats from both the matches:
Busting a solid start
Ireland openers had got them off to a sensational start as Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien scored 55 runs in the powerplay overs. Playing at Sharjah, the runs scored in the powerplay is very crucial. However, with the wicket of Stirling, Ireland started to crumble as O’Brien followed him in the ninth over. In the end, Ireland scored only 125, which is the lowest total for a team after having a 50+ opening partnership in T20 WC. To add more, this is the second lowest score for a team in the World Cup after scoring 50+ runs in the powerplay.
Game done and dusted in the powerplay
The Sri Lankans who won the toss elected to field and completely decimated the Dutch batsmen. In the first over itself, they lost their most reliable batsman Max O’Dowd. However, the spinners' two overs inside the powerplay fetched Sri Lanka four wickets. Theekshana and Hasaranga both bagged two wickets each in their over. Dushmantha Chameera landed a blow in the last over of the powerplay and the Netherlands were six down for 37. This is only the second time a team has lost six wickets inside the powerplay in T20 WC.
Second lowest total in World Cup
With 60 percent of the wickets lost in the first six overs and six overs of relentless wizardry, the Netherlands team were at near death. Only one batsman scored a double digit in the entire innings and that is the end of the Netherlands batting sorry tale. Their score of 44 is the second lowest total in T20 WC. The lowest score also belongs to them against the same team in the 2014 World Cup when they were dismissed for 39.
Innings done and dusted in a jiffy
The Netherlands lost multiple wickets in an over across three overs. The third over of the innings and the fifth over saw two wickets fall and the tenth over saw three. Hence, seven wickets in three overs. In just 10 overs, the Netherlands were all-out. This is the shortest innings by balls in the T20 world cup and the fourth shortest overall in T20Is.
A win by a huge margin
With a target of just 45, the match wasn’t going to last long. As the pitch was a bit slower, Sri Lanka took 7.1 overs to reach the target and won with 77 balls to spare. The balls remaining margin is the second largest win in a T20 WC. In the same match in which the Netherlands registered the lowest score of 39, Sri Lanka won by 90 balls in that match, the biggest in a T20 WC.
Five LBWs in an innings
Out of the 10 dismissals in the innings, five of them were dismissed through an LBW. Hasaranga's three dismissals came off the same mode. For the first time in T20Is, there were five dismissals through LBW in an innings. Prior to today, there were nine instances of four dismissals through this mode in an innings.