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T20 World Cup: Namibia kick start tournament with spectacular upset win over Sri Lanka (ld)

Geelong, Oct 16 (IANS) The great history of spectacular upsets in T20 cricket had another chapter added as Namibia secured a 55-run win over Sri Lanka in the opening match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at Kardinia Park, Geelong, on Sunday.

After big-hitting fireworks from Jan Frylinck (44) and JJ Smit (31 not out) helped Namibia post a competitive 163/7 in 20 overs, the bowlers produced a superb collective show, mixed their fuller and short lengths well to bowl out Sri Lanka for 108 in 19 overs for a historic win over a major cricketing nation.

Frylinck backed up his superb batting performance with a brilliant 2/26 in his four overs to be adjudged Player of the Match in Namibia’s famous victory and ease their path towards a Super 12 qualification while causing a huge dent in Sri Lanka’s net run rate.

Apart from him, David Wiese, Bernard Scholtz and Ben Shikongo took two wickets apiece.

In defence of 163/7 on a two-paced pitch, Wiese brought the first breakthrough for Namibia, as Kusal Mendis top-edged a pull on his short ball to keeper in the second over.

Shikongo broke the back of Sri Lanka’s innings with his back-to-back double strikes in a maiden fourth over.

While Pathum Nissanka holed out to mid-on, Danushka Gunathilaka poked at a nipping away delivery and gave an outer edge behind to keeper to depart for a golden duck. Post power-play, Dhananjaya de Silva was next to depart, mistiming a flick to long leg off Frylinck.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dasun Shanaka added 34 runs for the fifth wicket, before the former mistimed a slog to deep mid-wicket off left-arm spinner Bernard Scholtz. Wanindu Hasaranga was next to fall, slog-sweeping straight to deep mid-wicket off Scholtz.

When Shanaka fell by top-edging a slog to keeper off Frylinck, a victory for Namibia was just inevitable.

Brief Scores: Namibia 163/7 in 20 overs (Jan Frylinck 44, JJ Smit 31 not out; Maheesh Theekshana 1/23, Wanindu Hasaranga 1/27) beat Sri Lanka 108 all out in 19 overs (Dasun Shanaka 29, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 20; David Wiese 2/16, Bernard Scholtz 2/18) by 55 runs.

–IANS

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