ICC World Cup: Sri Lanka beat Netherlands for first win

Sadeera Samarawickrama scored an unbeaten 91 after Dilshan Madushanka and Kasun Rajitha’s four-fers to power Sri Lanka to edge the Netherlands by five wickets in the ICC World Cup 2023.

Set to chase 263, Sri Lanka knocked off the winning runs for the loss of five wickets and 10 balls to spare to taste their maiden success in the ICC World Cup 2023.

The Asian side had a contrasting start to the pursuit as they lost their opener Kusal Perera (5) perished cheaply with just 18 runs on the board in the fifth over.

Pathum Nissanka then put together a brief 34-run partnership with skipper Kusal Mendis, who could score a 17-ball 11 before walking back to the dugout in the 10th over.

Coming out to bat at number four, Sadeera Samarawickrama joined Nissanka in the middle and they put together an important 52-run partnership before the opening batter finally perished in the 17th over.

He scored 54 in 52 deliveries, hitting nine boundaries.

Samarawickrama was then involved in yet another crucial partnership for Sri Lanka when he added 77 runs for the fourth wicket with Charith Asalanka, who scored a cautious 44.

However, Kasun Rajitha bowled a brilliant spell with the new ball and reduced Netherlands to 54-3 in 12 overs.

Dilshan Madushanka bowled equally well from the other end and sent the next two Dutch batters back to the pavilion before Maheesh Theekshana bowled Scott Edwards to leave Netherlands reeling at 91-6.

Sri Lanka were all set to bundle out Netherlands quickly, but Sybrand Engelbrecht and Logan van Beek scripted a gutsy recovery for the Dutch side.

They knitted a formidable 130-run partnership for the seventh wicket to pull their team out of the trouble.

Engelbrecht scored 70 off 82, with the help of four boundaries and one six before Madushanka bowled him and broke the partnership at a total of 221.

Van Beek played an anchoring innings on the other end and completed his maiden half-century to help drag his team’s total to 252.

He was dismissed while attempting to send Rajitha’s slower ball over mid-wicket but was caught by Asalanka. His 75-ball 59 featured only one boundary and a six.

Paul van Meekeren was the last man to fall for the Netherlands in the final over at 262.

Madushanka claimed 4-49, while Rajitha returned with 4-50.

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