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We went really wrong with our bowling, concedes Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka

Geelong (Victoria), Oct 17 (IANS) Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka attributed the humiliating 55-run loss in the Group A First Round match against Namibia in the ICC T20 World Cup here to his bowlers “trying too much” and ending up poorly executing low full tosses and half volleys.

Upbeat following their title triumph in the Asia Cup in the UAE recently, where they defeated Pakistan in the final, Sri Lanka came crashing down against Namibia here on Sunday, managing just 108 runs in the chase of 163 and staring at an early elimination in the global tournament.

The Islanders will have to defeat Netherlands and UAE in the remaining two Group A matches and could still see their fate being decided on net run rate (NRR).

“I think they (Sri Lankan bowlers) tried too much,” Shanaka said. “We didn’t execute our plans well. I think we went for the yorkers and we didn’t execute with low full tosses and half volleys. I think that’s where it went wrong. I think if they had stuck to that hard length, wicket-to-wicket, like the Namibian bowlers did really, really well, it should have been different,” the skipper was quoted as saying by ICC.

Shanaka’s side were the overwhelming favourites to progress from Group A and into the Super 12 stage but on Sunday the skipper had a worried look. “The way we played is the worry.” A 55-run defeat looked a long way off when the Islanders had Namibia tottering at 93/6 with less than six overs of the match remaining.

But wayward death bowling, combined with fine knocks from Jan Frylinck and JJ Smit saw Namibia reach 163/7 from their 20 overs. Namibia had made it to the Super 12 stage in the 2021 edition of the tournament, and captain Gerhard Erasmus said his side have taken great confidence from that experience.

“I had a sort of childish belief last year before that game, and I think this year it was more something of we’ve played at the level and we can now mentally relate to this level; we can now physically and skilfully relate to this level,” Erasmus said.

“We’ve played India, Pakistan, all these teams before. We’ve seen it, we’ve tasted it, and because we’ve closed that gap by becoming one step closer to them and getting the physical feel for what it’s like, I think that’s really what gave us the belief this time around,” he said.

The Namibia skipper wasn’t convinced by the idea that Sri Lanka got their bowling tactics wrong, but agreed with Shanaka that it was more a case of the Namibian bowlers executing the plans better.

“We just went on to the field on an equal footing to the Sri Lankan side, and we just executed better on the day, I guess. That’s the game of cricket, and I believe we did so for longer periods, hence the result. If more opportunities like these arise for associate nations, they’ve shown over the years that they do close the gap and get to the level, and they’re good actually quite quickly,” said Erasmus.

–IANS

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