Yes! You have read that correctly. Earlier today, associate team Namibia upset Asia Cup champions in a no-contest.
Sri Lanka, the reigning Asia Cup champions, faced Namibia in the World T20 qualifiers earlier today, and I reckon it is reasonable to say they were humbled by associate country Namibia. Individualism would always lose to a comprehensive show as a unit.
As it happened.
Srilankan captain Dasun Shanaka won the toss and opted to field first.
Not many changes for them from their previous encounter in the Asia cup showdown.
Sri Lanka’s playing XI.
Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Pramod Madushan, Maheesh Theekshana.
Namibia’s playing XI.
Michael van Lingen, Divan la Cock, Stephan Baard, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Gerhard Erasmus (c), Jan Frylinck, JJ Smit, David Wiese, Zane Green (wk), Bernard Scholtz, Ben Shikongo.
They got off to a frenzied start as the Sri Lankan new ball bowlers trounced, reducing them to 43 for the loss of three wickets. Pramod and Chameera decimated the top order in the first few overs of the contest.
Sri Lanka appeared to be in cruise control as they carried their incredible run of success into the Qualifiers, but they were hit by the unknown commodity of Namibia’s middle order.
A gritty middle-order showdown, with captain Erasmus and Stephan Baard contributing usefully with scores of 20 and 26.
Frylinck startled Sri Lanka by not throwing away his start like his teammates, and he contributed 44 runs off 28 balls. His inning had four fours and two sixes. Namibia scored 163 for the loss of 7, and he was out on the penultimate ball of the innings. Special mentions to JJ Smits for his 16-ball 31.
It’s worth mentioning that they were 59/3 at the interval and were 95 for the loss of six in the 15th over of the match.
Lankan lions hunted down
What appeared to be a contest that would end with a few overs to spare disappointed Lankan fans but delighted the neutrals.
The underdogs lost three wickets in the powerplay and retaliated by sending Sri Lanka’s top three batters home early. Kusal Mendis’ wild shot set to an unthinkable collapse.
Ben Shikongo’s double strike shifted the course of the game by introducing fire into the game.
Even though wickets fell in clumps, they appeared to be in command with 74 runs on the board at the midway point. The bold decision by captain Erasmus to put on a left-arm spinner while a left-handed hitter was batting proved decisive, as he held one onto the deep mid-wicket fielder.
From there, it was all downhill for the Lankans, who were tied up for a paltry 108. Jan Frylinck, David Wiese, and Ben all had two wickets each as they won by 55 runs.
Sri Lanka is still on track to qualify, but this defeat has resulted in the possibility of both Sri Lanka and the West Indies being placed in the same group as India, Pakistan, and South Africa.