Sri Lanka completed their comeback from being thrashed by Namibia by beating the Netherlands in Geelong on Thursday to top the table and qualify for the Super 12s. They will join England in Group 1.
Having chosen to bat, Sri Lanka, powered by a 44-ball 79 from their opener Kusal Mendis, scored 162 for six and restricted the Dutch to 146 for nine.
The result meant Namibia would come first in the group, and knock the Netherlands out, if they beat the UAE – who had never won a match in the competition – in its final game. They fell narrowly short in their pursuit of 149, despite a wonderful 70-run partnership between David Wiese and Ruben Trumpelmann – the biggest eighth-wicket stand in T20 World Cup history.
“We knew that when we came to the World Cup we would be the favourites in this group,” said the Sri Lanka captain, Dasun Shanaka. “Unfortunately, we missed out in the first game, but we regrouped and we came back strong. The wicket wasn’t easy to bat on, it was a bit two-paced.”
The Namibia captain, Gerhard Erasmus, said they could not maintain momentum after the victory against Sri Lanka.
“After the high of the first game, the momentum swung against us and we couldn’t quite get over the line and play well enough for the next two games to get through.”