Sri Lanka register 175-run win over UAE in Cricket World Cup Qualifier

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Sri Lanka put on a dominating performance to beat UAE by a huge 175-run margin while cricketing minnows Oman pulled off a massive upset to defeat Ireland by five wickets in the Group B of the World Cup Qualifier in Bulawayo on Monday.

Four batters made half-centuries in the Sri Lanka’s total of 355 for six, which proved too many for UAE to chase as Wanindu Hasaranga (6/24) claimed his maiden ODI five-wicket haul in reply.

Hasaranga’s spell ensured the spinner passed 50 career ODI wickets in the process. The Lions, put in to bat, had openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Pathum Nissanka making a steady start, taking the score to 58 without loss after the powerplay.

Karunaratne was first to bring up his half-century but he soon fell for 52 when trapped in front by Aayan Afzal Khan, while Nissanka (57) followed suit shortly after raising his bat as he chopped on to his stumps.

Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama continued the momentum, the former passing 50 from 42 deliveries before hitting the accelerator with three consecutive boundaries in the 36th over.

Mendis fell for 78 and Samarawickrama was run out for a 64-ball 73, but Charith Asalanka was on hand to provide a late assault.

The first two sixes of the innings came amid a flurry of boundaries as Sri Lanka added 60 from the final four overs, Asalanka finishing unbeaten on 48 from 23 deliveries.

UAE made a confident start to the reply but lost Rohan Mustafa (12) with the score on 35 midway through the sixth over before Hasaranga seized control.

Muhammad Waseem was dropped on 20 but there was no escape when he was on 39, Asalanka taking a memorable flying catch on the deep square-leg boundary.

Basil Hameed fell victim to a Hasaranga googly three balls later and Asif Khan (8) also fell lbw in the spinner’s next over, with UAE on 120 for five at the halfway stage.

Sri Lanka’s spinners continued to excel, Maheesh Theekshana opening his account for the Qualifier before Hasaranga returned to wrap up the innings in successive deliveries.

“We know he is going to do the job always,” Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka said of Hasaranga.

“We’ve been playing well in the recent past. Playing qualifiers is always special but we don’t take pressure when we play cricket.” (Gulf News)

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