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Sri Lanka Continue March Towards World Cup Qualification With Win Over Netherlands

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Dhananjaya de Silva hit a career-best 93 while Maheesh Theekshana took three important wickets to ensure Sri Lanka’s pole position in the Super Six leg of the ICC ODI World Cup qualifiers in Bulawayo on Friday. Sri Lanka now have six points from three games and are likely to finish among top two and qualify for the October 5 to November 19 tournament proper in India. On the day, Dhananjaya’s 111-ball knock studded with eight fours and two sixes helped Sri Lanka recover from 96 for six to post a below-par 213 in 47.4 overs.

Theekshana then took three wickets in the space of two overs to derail the Dutch chase as they were all out for 192 in 40 overs. Wanindu Hasaranga took 2 for 53.

During the Sri Lankan innings, it was Dhananjaya-Theekshana pair that added 77 runs for the eighth wicket after the islanders had slumped to 131 for 7 due to an inspired opening spell by West Indies victory hero Logan van Beek (3/26).

A target of 214 was certainly within reach for the Dutch, even on a tricky wicket for the batters.

Their cause was not helped by both openers falling for ducks, Lahiru Kumara removing Vikramjit Singh and Dilshan Madushanka accounting for Max O’Dowd.

However, a 77-run partnership between Wesley Barresi (52) and Bas de Leede (41) got the chase back on track. It was ended by some sharp work in the field by Dasun Shanaka, with Barresi short of his ground while trying to steal a single.

Teja Nidamanuru then became the third Dutch batter to go for a duck, bowled by Hasaranga. In came Scott Edwards, and the skipper quickly settled in alongside De Leede, the pair adding 36 in six overs.

Sri Lanka were in desperate need of a breakthrough and it came from Theekshana, who snuck one through the defences of De Leede. He added two more in his next over, including the vital wicket of Van Beek, before another run-out saw Shariz Ahmed depart for two, leaving the Netherlands on 151 for eight.

The final pair were left to get 38 from 17 overs and the in-form Edwards helped them get close, but the skipper was left stranded unbeaten on 67 when Aryan Dutt was clean bowled by Shanaka.

In the other game of the day in Harare, Ireland eased to victory in the 7th place play-off semi-final, beating the USA by six wickets.

Brief Scores Sri Lanka 213 all out in 47.4 overs (Dhananjaya de Silva 93, Logan van Beek 3/26, Bas de Leede 3/42). Netherlands 192 in 40 overs (Scott Edwards 67 not out, Wesley Barresi 52; Maheesh Theekshana 3/31, Wanindu Hasaranga 2/53) USA 196 all out in 42.4 overs (Sushant Modani 55, Saiteja Mukkamalla 55; Craig Young 3/35, Andy McBrine 2/19). Ireland 197/4 in 34.2 overs (Paul Stirling 58, Andy Balbirnie 45*; Nosthush Kenjige 2/41, Nisarg Patel 1/20).

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