Sri Lanka made their point even though the game didn’t matter. Perhaps motivated by the requirement to qualify for the 2023 ODI World Cup, they kept the gas pedal firmly depressed and destroyed the Netherlands by a margin of 128 runs in the qualifier final.
Sri Lanka was always in control as their bowlers destroyed the Netherlands before the chase even got underway, despite a late batting collapse in which they lost their final seven wickets for 53 runs.
The majority of the damage was done up front by Dilshan Madushanka, who took three wickets in the ninth over. Wanindu Hasaranga also contributed, taking two by the end of the 12th over. After that, Mahesh Theekshana took charge and claimed four wickets to dismiss the Netherlands for 105. As a result, Sri Lanka won the qualification competition without dropping a single game. Of course, both finalists were already eligible for the ODI World Cup, which will take place in India later this year.
After a thrilling chase victory over Scotland, the Netherlands decided to field first once more. After a slow start, Vikramjit Singh struck either side of the first powerplay to dismiss both openers, but Kusal Mendis and Sahan Arachchige steadied the innings over thethroughoutlowing 13 overs. Because the pitch offered nothing to the bowlers, Sri Lanka’s dominance in the game increased along with the scoring rate. The hitters frequently used the sweep against the spin bowlers, particularly leggie Saqib Zulfiqar, but the Netherlands finally broke through when Mendis missed a straight one.
Charith Asalanka’s run-a-ball 36 and Arachchige’s 50 helped Sri Lanka get close to winning the match, but a shocking collapse allowed the Netherlands to retake the lead.
Arachchige’s innings were ended by a brilliant catch by Logan van Beek at point, and Asalanka was run out two deliveries later. Only a brief appearance from Hasaranga allowed the Netherlands to pass the 200-point threshold when they passed Dasun Shanaka and Dhananjaya de Silva and dipped into Sri Lanka’s tail. However, a second round of rapid dismissals at the finish ended that stand, leaving the Netherlands with 234 to chase.
They scored 25 runs in the first 4.3 overs, which was as good as it got for them in the chase. However, the floodgates opened as Vikramjit sliced a straight one to cover-point. Wesley Barresi was taken care of by Madushanka before Teja Nidamanuru was cornered in front of Hasaranga. The loss of skipper Scott Edwards to a foolish run-out stunned Netherlands, who were now 49 for 6.
Max O’Dowd fought valiantly to keep the total from falling below three figures, but Sri Lanka had already eliminated the resistance. After a tough 36-run partnership with van Beek, Theekshana came back to beat O’Dowd’s outside edge and smash back his off stump. The Netherlands, who were headed to the World Cup, was defeated for 105 as Theekshana assumed the position of mopper-up, trapping each of the final three in front.
When these two teams rematch in India for a more significant match, Edwards will be hoping his team can present a more balanced argument.