Sri Lanka Dominates Netherlands to Secure T20 World Cup Victory

Sri Lanka defeated Netherlands by an overwhelming 83 runs in Gros Islet, capping off their 2024 T20 World Cup campaign in style.

They therefore finished with three points and third position in Group D, behind South Africa and Bangladesh, who had already qualified for the Super Eight following their victory over Nepal in Kingstown.

Sri Lanka Dominates Netherlands to Secure T20 World Cup Victory
Maheesh Theekshana, Kusal Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, and Charith Asalanka get together. Photo Credit: Associated Press

Netherlands 118 (Edwards 31, Levitt 31, Thushara 3-24, Pathirana 2-12, Hasaranga 2-25) were defeated by Sri Lanka 201 for 6 (Kusal Mendis 46, Asalanka 46, van Beek 2-45) by a margin of 83 runs.

In their pursuit of 202, Netherlands crumbled for 118 as SL’s diverse offensive proved too formidable to contain.

The bowlers clinically sealed Sri Lanka’s victory, which was set up by their hitters. With figures of 3 for 24, Nuwan Thushara was the most productive of the group, although Maheesh Theekshana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dasun Shanaka, and Matheesha Pathirana also contributed to the Netherlands’ elimination when they were bowled out for 118 in a chase of 202.

With a scorching 46 off 21, Charith Asalanka had set the tone for Sri Lanka, after strong innings from Dhananjaya de Silva (34 off 26) and Kusal Mendis (46 off 29). After that, Hasaranga (20 off six) and Angelo Mathews (30 off 15) added even more fuel to the fire, making Sri Lanka only the second side in this tournament to score more than 200.

When Michael Levitt was in form during the powerplay, Netherlands toyed momentarily with an unlikely chase, but once the first wicket fell, the remainder of the team was unable to muster much of a fight against Sri Lanka’s diverse assault.

Any hope that Sri Lanka might launch an explosive attack was dashed when they lost the second ball in Pathum Nissanka. However, a disciplined strike rotation during the powerplay helped to offset the lack of early boundary hitting; they managed to score 45 runs in spite of losing two wickets.

Sri Lanka’s boundary total was still in the single digits by the conclusion of the tenth over, but they were still scoring runs at a good clip thanks to their persistent, reliable running between the wickets. Even though there were just two boundaries in overs seven and ten, Sri Lanka was still a solid 74 for 2 at the midpoint of their innings.

On a pitch where 181 had been chased down just a day before, a change in tactics was needed, and it happened quickly and unexpectedly in the 13th over when Dhananjaya hammered Paul van Meekeren for three straight boundaries, making excellent use of the stiff cross breeze.

Prior to this match, Sri Lanka’s batting was closely watched, especially their middle order, which was accused of not playing with enough purpose and intent. But in this instance, they were fully engaged.

Also Read: Harry Brook and Jonny Bairstow Lead England to Victory in Crucial T20 World Cup Match

Only one of those overs, from the thirteenth to the twentieth, ended without a six as Sri Lanka amassed 77 runs in the last five overs. With most deliveries being too full or too short, the Dutch bowlers were unable to control their lengths, which allowed Asalanka, Mathews, and Hasaranga to put up strong performances. As a result, the score was always going to be too high to overcome this Sri Lankan bowling attack.

Despite having only played in 12 Twenty20 Internationals, 20-year-old Michael Levitt has already established quite an impression since making his debut this year. Before this match, he had amassed 368 runs at a strike rate of 150.20 and an average of 33.45 in just 12 Twenty20 Internationals, which included two fifty-scores and a century.

At the boundary, Sybrand Engelbrecht produced a breathtaking save. Photo Credit: ICC via Getty Images

Those are impressive figures against tough opponents, and he (briefly) lived up to the expectation against a strong Sri Lankan attack. In his 23-ball 31, he faced Both Theekshana and Thushara. Theekshana’s lavish back-foot lofted-cover drive for six was the match’s high point.

Though his inexperience was evident when he charged Theekshana and was stopped, the young man’s future appears to be promising.

After Max O’Dowd’s over an over earlier in the powerplay, Levitt was removed. Even with the addition of two new hitters to the lineup, the needed run-rate remained extremely high. What came next was a crash course in intention but lack of follow through.

After Sybrand Engelbrecht managed a lovely straight six off Hasaranga, he would fall short while attempting the same off Matheesha Pathirana Pathirana. Vikramjit Singh fell tugging as Kamindu Mendis completed a really unusual bobbling, juggling catch.

After an over, Hasaranga struck twice, leaving the Netherlands reeling at 71 for 6. Although Scott Edwards persisted and scored 31 off 24, the Netherlands was eventually bowled out in the 17th over as wickets continued to fall all around him.

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