Netherlands vs Sri Lanka cricket: No repeat upset for the Dutch as Sri Lanka get their campaign underway

After the win over South Africa during the week, hopes were high in the Netherlands camp that another victory could be theirs and a place in the top four could be achieved. But they were brought back down to earth in Lucknow with Sri Lanka winning by 5 wickets on Saturday.

The momentum was with the Netherlands ahead of this match as Scott Edwards called correctly and chose to bat first but, just as they had done against South Africa, their top and middle order did not perform. The Dutch fell to 91-6 when captain and hero in the famous giant-killing Scott Edwards was dismissed.

But once again, the men in orange showed guts, commitment and no shortage of skill as they went from 91-6 to post a competitive 262 all out. Sybrand Englebrecht (70 runs from 82 balls) and Logan van Beek (59 runs from 75 balls) provided the bulk of the runs from numbers seven and eight.

For Sri Lanka, their bowling leader was once again Dilshan Madushanka who ended with 4-49, giving him the best bowling figures for his team for the fourth successive game, and pipping Kasun Rajitha who returned analysis of 4-50!

At the halfway point, most analysts considered the game to be in the balance – the feeling was that maybe the Netherlands were a little under par but they had defended a lowish score in the previous game and Sri Lanka’s batting can be a little inconsistent.

Those fears of Sri Lanka fans looked to be well placed when their side slipped to 18-1 and then 52-2 with their skipper and in-form batter Kusal Mendis back in the sheds. And when Pathum Nissanka departed for 54 with the score on only 104-3, there was plenty of belief all the way back in Amsterdam!

But the fans of the Netherlands hadn’t banked on the middle-order of Sri Lanka delivering under pressure. Sadeera Samarawickrama, who also impressed during the 2023 Asia Cup, was the key man as he hit an unbeaten 91 runs from 107 balls. He was well supported by Charith Asalanka 44 runs from 66 balls and Dhananjaya de Silva who contributed 30 runs from 37 balls.

In the end, in spite of some excitement due to some strong spin bowling from Aryan Dutt (3-44) and pace bowling from Paul van Meekeren (1-39), the Netherlands were unable to really get the Sri Lankans on the rocks at any point and it was Chris Silverwood’s side who got over the finish line with 10 comfortable balls to spare to register their first win of the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

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