Sri Lanka maintained their perfect record and defeated the Netherlands in the 2023 ODI World Cup Qualifier final in Harare by a decisive margin of 128 runs. The three-wicket haul from Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga’s all-around excellence were crucial factors in Sri Lanka’s triumph, which they sealed with 26.3 overs remaining.
Pathum Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama, who were given the opportunity to bat, navigated challenging conditions to add 39 runs before Vikramjit Singh was called to the attack and struck in back-to-back overs. Thanks to Noah Croes’ outstanding grab at cover, Samarawickrama was dismissed for 19 runs, while Nissanka nicked one straight to fine leg.
Vikramjit had three overs to get a third run, but he was unable to hang onto a quick return chance from Kusal Mendis.
After contributing 72 runs for the third wicket, Mendis and Sahan Arachchige helped Sri Lanka recover. Saqib Zulfiqar’s lbw catch of Mendis ended the partnership, but Arachchige and Charith Asalanka went on to establish another crucial partnership, scoring 64 runs together for the fifth wicket. After a quiet period without any boundaries, he attempted to boost the ante but failed and was reverse-swept once more by Zulfiqar’s bowling. The situation worsened after Asalanka was run out in the same over when Sri Lanka had fallen from 180/3 to 190/7.
Even though Wanindu Hasaranga’s late-game strikes helped Sri Lanka pass 200, they were still bowled out for 233 with 2.1 overs left.
The Netherlands’ response saw an early setback as they lost a string of wickets within the first 10 overs. Vikramjit went out for 13 after being removed by Dilshan Madushanka, who also clean-bowled Wesley Baressi for a duck. Wanindu Hasaranga, who had taken the most wickets in the competition, next got involved, dismissing Teja Nidamanuru for 0, followed by Madushanka, who got rid of Noah Croes for seven.
Scott Edwards, the captain of the Netherlands, was dismissed for 1. Hasaranga’s genius caused Zulfiqar to lose, and the Netherlands was struggling at 49/6. Although Max O’Dowd had the highest score with 33, he lacked fluidity, and Maheesh Theekshana’s penetration of his defenses brought a stop to his shaky innings. Theekshana then went on a tear, bowling Clayton Floyd, lbw-ing Ryan Klein, and Aryan Dutt to end the Netherlands’ innings for 105 and give Sri Lanka a commanding victory.