Namibia have defeated Sri Lanka in the first match of the ongoing T20 World Cup in Australia. This comes as a surprise to cricket fans since the South Asian island country managed to clinch the Asia Cup only a month back. 

Sri Lanka won the toss and sent the Namibian side out to bat first. The African nation managed to put up a score of 163/7, with Jan Frylinck (44 in 28 balls) and JJ Smit (31 off 16 deliveries) being their stand-out batters. In response, the Dasun Shanaka-led side’s innings bundled up within 108 runs in 19 overs.

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The Namibians’ batting endeavour did not start comfortably. By the 14th over, the scoreboard read 96/6. It was the 70-run partnership in 34 balls by Frylinck and Smit on the 7th wicket that managed to sway the match towards them.

The Sri Lankan batters will not be happy with their performance in the match. Four Namibian bowlers managed to pick up two wickets each, with Smit being one among them. Sri Lankan openers Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis, who went into the World Cup after impressive performances in the Asia Cup, could not counter the challenges set up by the Namibians and managed to scrape only nine and six runs, respectively.

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Shanaka was the highest scorer among the Sri Lankans with 29 runs in 23 balls. During the post-match interview, the Sri Lankan captain pointed out that it was a worry for them that the bowlers did not execute the plans well. He also insisted on the importance of openers having to make a stronger impact on the Sri Lankan innings. However, the 31-year-old stuck to his guns about the players having to follow a process and not trying some out of the plans.

Namibian captain Gerhard Erasmus praised the team’s coaching staff and head coach Pierre de Bruyne, who he said has brought a winning culture into the team.