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27-Jun-2023 15:28:00 GMT
2023 ICC World Cup Qualifier

Theekshana, Hasaranga spin Sri Lanka to victory to go top

Sri Lanka 245 (Nissanka 75, Asalanka 63, Greaves 4-32, Watt 3-52) beat Scotland 163 (Greaves 56*, Theekshana 3-41, Hasaranga 2-42) by 82 runs

Bulawayo: Spin dominated in Bulawayo as Sri Lanka beat Scotland by 82 runs to carry maximum points through to the Super Six stage.

Both teams had already qualified for the Super Six and knew that the result in this game could have significant implications for the final result of the tournament, with the points to be carried forward.

And Scotland’s spinners gave themselves a terrific chance of pulling off a shock win, with Chris Greaves and Mark Watt superb with the ball to bowl Sri Lanka out for 245.

But, with Maheesh Theekshana taking 3/41 and Wanindu Hasaranga bagging 2/42, Sri Lanka denied Scotland in the second innings to secure a win that leaves them as one of the favourites to secure qualification to the Cricket World Cup later this year.

Wickets fell all-too-frequently for Scotland in their run chase, with opener Christopher McBride the only batter to make a significant out of the top six with his 29.

A collapse of four wickets for just 19 runs left Scotland in a heap of trouble at 74/6, but the lower order stepped up to restore some pride.

Mark Watt stopped the rot as he and Greaves got Scotland up towards triple figures. And, after Jack Jarvis departed without scoring, Chris Sole added a useful 17 before being run out going for an optimistic second run.

It was Greaves who had briefly given Scotland hope of pulling off a miracle, but he was left stranded and unbeaten on 56* from 41 balls when Alasdair Evans was run out to end the inning son 163, still 82 runs short.

Earlier, Sri Lanka had been put in to bat after naming an unchanged XI once again, with the same side playing all of four of the team’s Group Stage matches.

But Scotland struck with the new ball as Chris Sole cleaned up Dimuth Karunaratne for 7 via the slightest inside edge, and Sole was at it again to remove the dangerous Kusal Mendis for 1.

With Pathum Nissanka laying a platform with a fine 75 from the top of the order, Sri Lanka’s middle order all contributed to lay a solid platform.

Sadeera Samarawickrama’s 26 and Dhananjaya de Silva’s 23 helped lift the sore to 203/4 with 11 overs still remaining.

But the brilliance of Scotland’s spinners saw the final six wickets fall for just 42 runs as Sri Lanka slipped up in the final ten overs.

De Silva was first to go, bowled by Greaves, with captain Dasun Shanaka falling to the very next ball.

Greaves missed out on his hat-trick, but Scotland didn’t have to wait long for the next wicket, with the impressive Charith Asalanka departing for a tidy 63 from 65 balls when he was caught behind off Mark Watt.

And it was left to Greaves and Watt to clean up the tail, with the former finishing with leading figures of 4/32 and Watt taking 3/52 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 245 in the final over of their innings.

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