Euro 2020 Special

T20i World Cup Begins With an Upset: Summary of First Day Action

The First Round of the 2022 T20I World Cup got underway with the first match producing a surprise result as Namibia, the 14th ranked team, according to the latest ICC rankings, beat Sri Lanka, currently 8th and the recent winners of the Asia Cup.

The other game saw a tight finish, as the Netherlands chased down the total set by the UAE with one ball to spare.

It means that the two winners currently occupy the first two spots in Group A, with two more sets of matches to be played.


Sri Lanka stunned – Seventh wicket Namibian heroics

The match in Geelong was almost a home game for Sri Lanka because of its large expatriate community from the Indian Ocean island, and they turned up in their thousands to support their team.

Winning the toss and choosing to field first, all appeared to be going according to plan for a team that had won their last five T20Is in succession.

With 15 overs gone they were well on top and had reduced their opponents to 95/6, with their spinners proving very effective, whilst the seam bowlers had proved hard to score against.

However, the quicker bowlers began to bowl fuller, and the Namibian pair of Jan Frylinck and JJ Smit decided that attack was the best form of defence.

They blasted 68 off the remaining five overs to put a completely different complexion on the match. Smit made an unbeaten 31 off 16 balls, including 2 sixes and 2 fours, and although Frylinck was run out of the last ball of the innings, that was not before he had scored 44.

The pair had added 70 for the seventh wicket and helped their side reach 163/7.


Sri Lankan batting implosion

164 to win should not have been beyond the capabilities of the Sri Lankan batters, but, as it transpired, they did not even get close, and looked like a shadow of the side that enjoyed such success barely a month ago. Their problems began in the powerplay overs, which yielded only 38 runs and saw the loss of three wickets.

Dasun Shanaka briefly attempted to stage a recovery, but the middle order imploded, and wickets continued to fall on a regular basis. Only four of their batting line-up managed to find a boundary between them, and much to the disbelief of the largely partisan crowd, they were all out for 108 at the end of the 19th over.

Namibia had won by 55 runs, and, in doing so, had achieved the most famous victory in their cricketing history.


Dutch edge past the UAE

Although the Dutch beating the UAE does not compare, it still counts as a minor upset given that the Europeans are currently ranked five places below their opponents in the T2OI rankings.

Having seen the Namibian triumph on the same ground earlier in the day, the UAE, having won the toss, decided that the best option was to bat first and get a score on the board that they could defend.

However, they struggled to get to grips with the conditions and found scoring hard work, with the exception of opener Mohammad Waseem who made 41 off 47 balls, including 2 sixes. However, there were only two more fours and one six scored – the lowest in a completed T20 World Cup innings – and they eventually limped to 111/8 from their allotted overs, with Bas de Leede claiming 3 – 19.

The Dutch though, made heavy weather of turn of their run chase, and, at 76/6 in the 14th over, found themselves struggling. Fortunately, for them, their captain Scott Edwards and Tim Pringle put on 27 for the seventh wicket which, in the context of a low-scoring match, proved vital. Pringle fell for 14 in the 19th over, but Edwards, with the support of Logan van Beek, managed to drag his side over the line with a ball to spare.


What happens next

The second group matches take place at the same venue on Tuesday, with Namibia playing the Netherlands. Whoever wins that will already have one foot in the Super 12 stage of the competition, Meanwhile, Sri Lanka plays the UAE in what is a must-win game for both teams.

Sri Lanka, in particular, need to win big to improve their Net Run Rate in the event of a tie at the end of the group, which was severely damaged by the Namibia loss.




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