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Sri Lanka Dominates Netherlands in Qualifier Final, Securing Convincing Victory

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In a match that many considered inconsequential, Sri Lanka showcased their dominance by defeating the Netherlands with a resounding 128-run margin in the qualifier final. Despite already securing their spot in the 2023 ODI World Cup, Sri Lanka did not take their foot off the gas and delivered a powerful performance.

Sri Lanka’s bowlers set the tone early on, with Dilshan Madushanka taking three wickets within the first nine overs. Wanindu Hasaranga also made his presence felt, claiming two wickets by the 12th over. Maheesh Theekshana then took charge, picking up four wickets to dismiss the Netherlands for a mere 105 runs. This victory meant that Sri Lanka emerged as the winners of the qualifying event without losing a single match. Both Sri Lanka and the Netherlands had already secured their spots in the ODI World Cup, scheduled to be held in India later this year.

Opting to field first after their exhilarating chase against Scotland, the Netherlands aimed to replicate their success. Vikramjit Singh made an early breakthrough by removing both openers, but Kusal Mendis and Sahan Arachchige steadied the Sri Lankan innings over the next 13 overs. The scoring rate increased, and Sri Lanka’s dominance became evident as the pitch offered little assistance to the bowlers. The Sri Lankan batters utilized the sweep shot effectively against the spin bowlers, particularly leggie Saqib Zulfiqar. However, Mendis’ dismissal provided the Netherlands with a much-needed breakthrough.

Arachchige reached his half-century, and Charith Asalanka‘s run-a-ball 36 set Sri Lanka up for a formidable total. However, a sudden collapse allowed the Netherlands to regain control of the match. Arachchige’s innings came to an end with a sharp catch by Logan van Beek at point, while Asalanka fell victim to a run-out two deliveries later. The Netherlands then dismissed Dasun Shanaka and Dhananjaya de Silva, making inroads into Sri Lanka’s tail. Only a cameo from Hasaranga helped Sri Lanka cross the 200-run mark. Nevertheless, a flurry of quick wickets towards the end restricted Sri Lanka to a total of 233.

The Netherlands’ chase started promisingly, with the team reaching 25 runs in 4.3 overs. However, when Vikramjit was caught at cover-point, the floodgates opened. Madushanka swiftly dismissed Wesley Barresi, while Hasaranga trapped Teja Nidamanuru in front. The Netherlands suffered another blow when captain Scott Edwards fell victim to a careless run-out, leaving them struggling at 49 for 6.

Max O’Dowd fought valiantly to push the total towards triple figures, but Sri Lanka had already established their dominance. Theekshana returned to the attack and clean bowled O’Dowd, ending his gritty 36-run partnership with van Beek. Theekshana continued to shine, dismissing the last three batsmen in front of the wicket. As a result, the Netherlands folded for a paltry 105 runs.

These two teams will face each other again in a more significant contest in India, where Netherlands captain Scott Edwards will hope for an improved performance from his side.

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