Abu Dhabi, Oct 18 (UNI) Sri Lanka made a winning start to their T20 World Cup campaign by defeating minnows Namibia by seven wickets in their opening group A game of the first round here on Monday.
Opting to field first, Sri Lanka bowled out the African side for 96 with Maheesh Theekshana doing the star turn. The unheralded 21-year-old off-spinner bowled a spell of 3/25 while Lahiru Kumara (2/9) and Wanindu Hasaranga (2/25) backed Theekshana from the other end.
The Island nation chased down the target with 39 balls to spare. Avishka Fernando (30 not out) and Bhanuka Rajapakse (42 not out) forged an unbeaten stand of 74 runs for the fourth wicket after a top-order collapse.
To Namibia’s credit, they put up a fight by getting rid of Pathum Nissanka (5), Kusal Perra (11), and Dinesh Chandimal (5) cheaply.
Ruben Trumpelmann (1/27) provided the early breakthrough while Bernard Scholtz (1/16) and JJ Smit (1/7) picked up a wicket inside the power play.
Earlier in the first innings, Craig Williams (29 off 36 balls) and skipper Gerhard Erasmus (20 off 19 balls) put up a fight after Namibia top-order fell for cheap. However, the duo’s quick departure in the middle overs soon triggered a batting collapse as the last six wickets fell for 23 runs.