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The Roar


Rout of Africa: Namibia smash Sri Lanka to open Cup with major boilover as Dutch edge out UAE in thriller

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16th October, 2022

Namibia have kicked off the T20 World Cup with a 55-run belting of Sri Lanka to give the associate nation a chance of advancing to the Super 12 stage.

They silenced the boisterous, pro-Sri Lankan crowd with an outstanding all-round performance on Sunday at Kardinia Park.

The African minnows upstaged their more-experienced rivals by belting their bowlers to make 7-163 before ripping through the Sri Lankan batting line-up to rout them for just 108.

As disciplined as Namibia were, Sri Lanka were terrible only a month after winning the Asia Cup.

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Sri Lanka won the toss and looked in control, especially when off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana had David Wiese caught behind for a golden duck.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 16: Ben Shikongo of Namibia appeals for a wicket during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Namibia at GMHBA Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Ben Shikongo appeals for a wicket. (Photo by Daniel Pockett-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

That left Namibia in major strife at 6-93 from 14.2 overs.


Jan Frylinck and JJ Smith rescued them with a 70-run rapid-fire partnership. Frylinck hit four boundaries in his 44 from 28 deliveries while Smith racked up two fours and a couple of sixes in his 31 off 16.

Namibia’s rally rolled into the start of the Sri Lankan innings, with 22-year-old fast bowler Ben Shikongo on a hat-trick in the third over.

He dismissed opener Pathum Nissanka and then Danushka Gunathilaka in his double-wicket maiden over to have Sri Lanka reeling at 3-21.

Sri Lanka started their run-chase poorly to be 4-40 in the seventh over and Bhanuka Rajapaks (20) and Dasun Shanaka (29) were the only batters to put up any resistance as they fell well short.

David Wiese (2-16), Bernard Scholtz (2-18), Ben Shikongo (2-22) and Frylinck (2-26) were the destroyers for the victorious underdogs.


Sri Lanka’s poor day started badly when promising young left-arm paceman Dilshan Madushanka was ruled out of the tournament. The 22-year-old has a torn quad muscle and Binura Fernando, who did not play on Sunday, has taken his place in their Cup squad.

The result puts Namibia in the box seat to progress through the qualifiers and reach the Super 12 stage of the tournament, while Sri Lanka must now beat UAE and the Netherlands in their group.

Eight teams, including traditional heavyweights Sri Lanka and West Indies, are vying for the final four spots in the Super 12 draw. UAE and Netherlands are in Group A with Sri Lanka and Namibia with the Windies joined by Scotland, Ireland and Zimbabwe in Group B.

UAE took on the Netherlands in the second match of the double-header at Geelong.

After the UAE scraped their way to 8-111, the Dutch were cruising at 3-71 before faltering and then scrambling four singles from the final over to win with just one ball and three wickets to spare.

The Super 12 stage gets under way next Saturday with Australia hosting New Zealand at the SCG.