WC Qualifiers: Oman downs Ireland in thriller, Lanka open with huge win over UAE
Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga completed a brilliant performance with a career-best 6/24 as Sri Lanka opened their ICC World Cup Qualifier group series campaign with a massive 175-run win over minnows United Arab Emirates on Monday.
The Lankan top-order players all made half-centuries to post a mammoth total of 355/6 in 50 balls, with some late fireworks from Charith Asalanka and Hasaranga, who made a fine 23 off 12 balls.
The RCB spinner then came back to remove three of the UAE’s top five as they were all out for 180 in 39 balls. On the way to his six-wicket haul, Hasaranga also completed a minor milestone of 50 ODI wickets.
In the Lankan innings, Kusal Mendis produced the star turn by hitting 10 fours in his classy 63-ball 78, and shared a 105-run partnership with Sadeera Samarawickrama, which fired Sri Lanka to a big total.
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Mendis took on center fielder Ali Naseer, and Samarawickrama was run out on 73 off 64 balls, to give UAE hope of restricting the scoring in the last six overs.
But Charith Asalanka had other ideas, unleashing boundary after boundary in a brilliantly finished display, hitting 48 off just 23 balls. Hasaranga hit three boundaries in the final over to take the score past 350.
Meanwhile, Oman pulled off a superb run to beat Ireland by five wickets in another group game to cause the first upset in the qualifying tournament.
Ireland would be confident after a lower order flurry helped them reach 281/7 with Harry Tector (52 off 82 balls) and George Dockrell (91 off 89 balls) starring with the bat after Oman elected to bowl.
But the Asian nation chased down the target in style, with half-centuries from Kashyap Prajapati, Aqib Ilyas and Zeeshan Maqsood.
The win came with 11 balls to spare as Mohammad Nadeem (46*), Ayaan Khan (21) and Shoaib Khan (19*) completed it.
Sri Lanka 355/6 in 50 overs (Kusal Mendis 78, Sadeera Samarawickrama 73, Ali Naseer 2/44). UAE 180 in 39 overs (Wanindu Hasaranga 6/24). SL won by 175 runs.
Ireland 281/7 (George Dockrell 91, Harry Tector 52, Bilal Khan 2/64).
Oman 285/5 in 48.1 overs (Kashyap Prajapati 72, Zeeshan Maqsood 59). Oman won 5 weeks.
(With PTI inputs)
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