Nissanka, bowlers bolster Sri Lanka to seal first win in T20 WC 2022

Source: AFP

GEELONG: Sri Lankan opener Pathum Nissanka played a magnificent knock of 74 before the bowlers powered the former champions to a massive 79-run victory over UAE in the sixth match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

Set to chase 153, the UAE batting lineup failed completely and could only amass 73 runs before bundling out in the 18th over.

The UAE batting lineup had no answers to the strong Sri Lankan bowling attack as only three of their batters could amass double figures.

Young all-rounder Aayan Afzal put on a brief fight with his gritty knock of 19 runs and top-scored for his side in a one-sided encounter, while No. 10 batter Junaid Siddique could score 18.

Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva led the bowling attack for Sri Lanka as he returned with astounding figures of 3/8, while Dushmantha Chameera returned with 3/15.

Batting first on the invitation of UAE, former champions Sri Lanka managed to amass a decent total of 152/8 in their quota of 20 overs at the back of a brilliant knock of Nissanka.

Sri Lanka’s opening pair of Nissanka and Kusal Mendis gave the side a flying start and dominated UAE bowlers till the fifth over.

Nissanka was the main aggressor amid the opening stand, while Mendis was finding it tough to score freely before Aryan Lakra trapped him in his legs to hand the first breakthrough to UAE.

The left-handed batter could score 18 off 13 deliveries with the help of two boundaries.

Dhananjaya de Silva then partnered strongly with Nissanka and anchored the innings with a vital 50-run partnership for the second wicket.

Dhananjaya, who was looking solid, remained unlucky as he got run out in the 12th over after scoring a quick 33 off just 21 deliveries. He smashed three boundaries and a six.

UAE’s spinner Karthik Meiyappan then triggered a collapse in the Sri Lankan batting line-up as he registered the first hat-trick of this year’s mega event.

The leg-spinner removed Bhanuka Rajapaksa (5), Charith Asalanka (0), and Dasun Shanaka (0) in consecutive deliveries and forced Sri Lanka to slip to 117/5 in 15 overs.

Nissanka, on the other hand, held his ground firm while his side was losing wickets at regular intervals, before falling in the final over.

He top-scored for the side with a gritty knock of 74 off 60 deliveries, laced with six boundaries and two sixes.

Meiyappan led the bowling attack for the UAE as he returned with 3/19 – courtesy of the hat-trick, while Zahoor Khan bagged two wickets. Lakra and Aayan Afzal Khan struck out a batter each.