A Super 12 spot already secured, Sri Lanka’s struggling top-order batters would look to utilise their final Group A league game to get back in form when face the Netherlands in the T20 World Cup in Sharjah on Friday.
Sri Lanka easily got past Namibia and Ireland to make it to the Super 12s but the lack of form of Kusal Perera and Dinesh Chandimal would be a worry for the side: the two managed to score just 11 runs each in the two games.
Playing without the pressure of qualification should help the batters even as Sri Lanka’s bowlers have warmed up for the big battle nicely.
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The pacers – Chamika Karunaratne and Dushmantha Chameera – have shown control over length upfront and match-winning leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga has also looked in his elements. Hasaranga has not only contributed with the ball but with the bat as well, scoring a fiery 71 against Ireland on Wednesday night. Making a lethal combination with him is off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana. Both of them would look to further gauge the conditions.
Talented Avishka Fernando has shown spark at No. 4 but needs to be more consistent. Bhanuka Rajapakse has also proved that he can change the game on his day.
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For the Netherlands, it will be an opportunity to gain more experience while playing against a top side. The bowlers’ inexperience to handle the onslaught was evident when they let Namibia’s David Wiese snatch the match from them with ease on Wednesday.
Batting has also been a big let down for the side with only opener Max O’Dowd making an impression. The failure of the experienced Ryan ten Doeschate has hurt them the most.
At least by putting up a good fight in its final game, the Netherlands would have something to cheer about before it leaves the UAE.
- Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (c), Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya De Silva, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Chamika Karunaratne, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, Maheesh Theekshana, Akila Dananjaya, Binura Fernando
- Netherlands: Pieter Seelaar (c), Colin Ackermann, Philippe Boissevain, Ben Cooper, Bas de Leede, Scott Edwards, Brandon Glover, Fred Klaassen, Stephan Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Ryan Ten Doeschate, Logan van Beek, Timm van der Gugten, Roelof van der Merwe and Paul van Meekeren.
- Match starts at 7.30pm.