Sri Lanka qualified for ICC World Cup 2023 after beating Zimbabwe

Pathum Nissanka plays a shot during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023

Pathum Nissanka of Sri Lanka plays a shot during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier Zimbabwe 2023 Super 6 match between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka at Queen’s Sports Club on July 02, 2023 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. (Photo by Albert Perez-ICC / ICC via Getty Images)

Sri Lanka have become the first team from the ICC World Cup 2023 Qualifiers to qualify for the main tournament after registering a comprehensive nine-wicket victory over hosts Zimbabwe at Bulawayo’s Queens Sports Club on Sunday (July 02).

Earlier, Maheesh Theekshana’s four wickets helped Sri Lanka dismiss Zimbabwe for 165 runs in 32.2 overs. Zimbabwe batted poorly, losing early wickets and struggling to recover. Sean Williams scored 56 runs and Sikandar Raza with an important 31-run knock.

Zimbabwe’s innings crumbled after both batsmen were dismissed, and they were skittles for 165 runs. Dilshan Madushanka took three wickets for Sri Lanka, while Theekshana took four. Sri Lanka’s bowlers dominated, as Zimbabwe’s innings crumbled.

Sri Lanka got off to a solid start in pursuit of Zimbabwe’s paltry 165 runs, with openers Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne displaying a cautious approach in the first overs. They steadily built their innings before shifting gears to score runs at a reasonable rate.

The duo took advantage of loose deliveries, sending them to the boundary and keeping the scoreboard ticking.

Despite Zimbabwe’s bowlers’ efforts, Nissanka emerged as the more aggressive of the two openers. He batted confidently and authoritatively, eventually reaching his 10th ODI half-century.

Karunaratne, on the other hand, provided solid support and valuable runs to the collaboration. Ngarava claimed Karunaratne’s wicket to bring their partnership to an end. Meanwhile, Karunaratne had scored 30 runs before being dismissed. Sri Lanka had already scored 103 runs by the time the partnership was broken.

Nissanka and Mendis formed a formidable partnership that took control of the game and guided Sri Lanka to victory. Nissanka displayed sublime form throughout his innings, playing with confidence and aggression.

He remained unbeaten until the end, completing his well-deserved second ODI century with a boundary, while Mendis supported him from the other end and remained unbeaten on 25 runs.

(Source: India Today)