|Mendis fires Sri Lanka past Netherlands into T20 World Cup Super 12|
Mendis fires Sri Lanka past Netherlands into T20 World Cup Super 12
Opener Kushal Mendis' 79 off 44 balls helped Asian champions Sri Lanka beat Netherlands by 16 runs in the Super 12 T20 World Cup on Thursday.
The world's eighth-ranked side plundered 162-6, blasting 102 of them in the last 10 overs, as the Dutch finished on 146-9 to set a big target that remained out of reach.
Sri Lanka's Super 12 group will be decided after the next game between Namibia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Geelong.
A win for the African side would knock the Dutch out and send them into the fold as they already have a superior net run rate. The Dutch will advance if the UAE upset Namibia.
This is the third time in a row that Sri Lanka have reached the Super 12 and they will be hoping to repeat their heroics from 2014, when Dinesh Chandimal led them to the title.
But it's been a rocky road to get there, being stunned by Namibia in the opening game of the tournament before beating the UAE and now the Netherlands.
"We knew we would be number one in this group, but we got knocked out in the first match," Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka said.
"The boys did well though, especially the bowling group. I knew the wicket was two-pace, so we wanted to bowl well in the first 10 overs and then control the game."
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Sri Lanka started slowly with a target of just 22 runs in the first five overs from Pathum Nisanka and Mendis.
Nisanka dropped in the fifth over, but was undone on 14 when hostile pace bowler Paul van Meekeren returned to the attack and delivered a yorker.
Next ball Dhananjaya de Silva sent him back to the pavilion, out lbw, as Sri Lanka lived dangerously and failed the fielders with countless opportunities.
Charith Asalanka and Mendis put on a 60-run stand to boost the run rate, before Asalanka was caught by all-rounder Bass de Lead for 31 runs.
Mendis brought up his ninth T20 fifty with a six, then hit back-to-back sixes in the final over, before being dismissed for another boundary, almost carrying his bat.
Despite the absence of injured pace spearheads Dusmantha Chamera and Pramod Madushan, Sri Lanka's attack with substitutes Lahiru Kumara and Binura Fernando kept the Dutch in check early on.
Opener Vikramjit Singh was dismissed for seven, caught by Shanaka off Mahesh Thekshanar, then Kumar took the big wicket of rising star D Lead for 14 runs.
Veteran Colin Ackerman went for the golden duck with Hasaranga De Silver spin as the Dutch reached the halfway mark 63-3.
Opener Max O'Dowd (71 not out) leaned into the game but captain Scott Edwards was bowled by Fernando for 21, as they fell from 100-4 to 109-8 and the game was over.
"A little bit unfortunate that the opportunity didn't go, we let it slip a little bit in the middle and back," Edwards said.
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Thanks for reading: Mendis fires Sri Lanka past Netherlands into T20 World Cup Super 12, Sorry, my English is bad:)
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