Sri Lanka have opened their ICC World Cup 2023, account with a hard-fought win over the Netherlands Cricbuzz

Sri lanka vs Netherlands Brief Scores:

Netherlands: 262 in 49.4 overs

(Engelbrecht 70, van Beek 59; Madushanka 4-49, Rajitha 4-50)

Sri Lanka: 263/5 in 48.2 overs

(Samarawickrama 91*, Nissanka 54; Dutt 3-44)

Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets.

Samarawickrama Leads Sri Lanka to Victory in World Cup 2023

Cricbuzzteam, In a thrilling encounter at Lucknow, Sadeera Samarawickrama played a pivotal role with his unbeaten 91*, guiding Sri Lanka to their first win of the 2023 World Cup as they secured a comfortable five-wicket victory over the Netherlands.

At the midway point, the Sri Lankan side, led by Kusal Mendis, faced a daunting task as the Netherlands had posted a competitive total of 262 runs. This was largely attributed to a middle-order partnership between Sybrand Engelbrecht (70) and Logan van Beek (59). However, a steady half-century from Pathum Nissanka at the top of the order laid a solid foundation for Sri Lanka’s chase, making it challenging for the Netherlands to defend their par score.

Nissanka’s performance marked his third consecutive fifty in the World Cup, setting the tone for his team at the start of the innings. His 52-run partnership with Samarawickrama helped ease Sri Lankan nerves after losing Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis to Aryan Dutt’s spin, both batsmen falling while attempting aggressive shots against the turning ball. Once Nissanka was dismissed, caught behind off Paul van Meekeren’s bowling, Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka joined forces to add a crucial 77 runs while facing quality overs from Dutt, who extracted significant turn from the red-soil pitch.

Samarawickrama, who hit 7 boundaries in his patient 107-ball innings, displayed remarkable composure on a pitch that demanded such an approach. A 76-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Dhananjaya de Silva all but sealed the win for Sri Lanka.

In the earlier innings, the Netherlands got off to a shaky start after opting to bat and found themselves reeling at 91 for 6. It was the seventh-wicket partnership between Engelbrecht and van Beek, which added 130 runs, that provided a remarkable rescue act and is now the highest partnership for the seventh wicket or below in World Cups.

The trouble for the Netherlands began when Kasun Rajitha dismissed Vikramjit Singh LBW with an inswinging delivery in the fourth over of the match. Rajitha, during his extended seven-over opening spell, also claimed the wickets of Max O’Dowd and Colin Ackermann. Dilshan Madushanka, reintroduced into the attack after the drinks break, took wickets in consecutive overs, further deepening the Netherlands’ woes. Bas de Leede’s dismissal, caught at third man off Madushanka, and a successful LBW review against Teja Nidamanuru left the Netherlands in a dire situation at 71/5, which quickly turned into 91/6 when Maheesh Theekshana breached Scott Edwards’ defenses.

Engelbrecht and van Beek formed a solid partnership and focused on accumulating singles and twos. Notably, there was a phase in the Netherlands’ innings where they went nearly 21 overs without a boundary. Engelbrecht finally broke the boundary drought with a sweep against Dushan Hemantha in the 31st over. Both batsmen went on to score their maiden ODI half-centuries, with Engelbrecht playing the more aggressive role in the partnership.

Sri Lanka finally broke the partnership in the 46th over, as Engelbrecht missed a scoop against Madushanka’s yorker. From there, the Netherlands, at 221/6, quickly tumbled to 262 all-out with just two balls remaining in the innings. Rajitha claimed the wicket of van Beek, finishing with match figures of 4 for 50, while Madushanka’s scalp of van der Merwe helped him record figures of 4 for 49.

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