Namibia created a huge upset as they defeated Asian Champions Sri Lanka in the opening match of the T20 World Cup played at Kardinia Park, Geelong on October 16. This was their first win over a top Test-playing nation.
Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka won the toss and decided to field first. It was an ideal start for the Lankan Lions, picking up two early wickets and getting rid of Lingen and La Cock. Kusal Mendis took a sensational one-handed catch to dismiss Lofite Eaton leaving Namibia in trouble.
Captain Gerhard Erasmus and Baard steadied the ship for Namibia with 41 runs partnership. Lankan bowlers made a strong comeback to leave them in big trouble at 93 for 6. Jan Frylinck and JJ Smit changed the momentum of the innings with a brilliant counterattacking partnership. Both batters scored 68 runs from the last five overs helping Namibia recover to 163/7. Frylinck and Smit put on 70 runs for the seventh wicket.
— ICC (@ICC) October 16, 2022
Sri Lanka lost an early wicket to Kusal Mendis cheaply. Shikango stunned the Lankan team with two wickets of Nissanka caught at mid-on and then Danushka Gunathilka in quick succession to leave them in big trouble. At the end of the first six overs, SL struggled at 38/3.
Namibia bowlers created enough pressure on Lankan batters. Dasun Shanaka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa steadied the ship with a steady partnership of 34 runs for the 5th wicket. Rajapaksa fell trying to hit a big shot caught by La Cock. They kept picking wickets at regular intervals and made life tough for Lankan batters.
The experienced David Wiese completed the formalities getting rid of Dushmanta Chameera caught by Erasmus to give Namibia a famous 55-run win. Namibia bowled out Lanka for just 108 runs in 19 overs.
Namibia played their best cricket in the opening match and hoping to see great performances in the next two matches against Netherlands and UAE.
Here are some of the reactions:
— Abhinav Mukund (@mukundabhinav) October 16, 2022
Who doesn’t love an @ICC event?!! Looks like we are literally going to have an upset in the first game. Asia Cup winners, 🇱🇰 may go down to Namibia 🇳🇦 WHAT..A..START!! 😱
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) October 16, 2022
— Lasith Malinga (@malinga_ninety9) October 16, 2022
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) October 16, 2022
— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) October 16, 2022
16th over: 11 runs.
17th over: 10 runs.
18th over: 16 runs.
19th over: 18 runs.
20th over: 13 runs.
Terrific finish by Namibia, they were 95 for 6 at the end of the 15th over then scored 68 runs in the last 5 overs.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 16, 2022
— Said Meerbahar (@Ahmadmirani8) October 16, 2022
ICC did everything they could to bury the opening of the World Cup. Geelong. Qualifiers. Day game.
And Namibia just lit it up with their greatest win ever. The little that can.
— Jarrod Kimber (@ajarrodkimber) October 16, 2022
Namibia 🇳🇦 has told the cricketing world today… “Nam” yaad rakhna! 👏🏻
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 16, 2022
What an upset we have on our hands here ….. Namibia are on fire, fielding like they own the stadium.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 16, 2022
Namibia winning this match could result in West Indies & Sri Lanka both qualifying into Group 2 with India, Pakistan, South Africa & Bangladesh – forming a group of death. Obviously a long way to go in this match & this week but that would be a big shake-up. #T20WorldCup
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) October 16, 2022