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T20 World Cup 2024: Sri Lanka Save Their Best For Last, Beat Netherlands By 83 Runs

Sri Lanka finally found their mojo as they clinically disposed off the Netherlands by a whopping 83 runs in an inconsequential final group D league game of the T20 World Cup in St Lucia. With Bangladesh beating Nepal by 21 runs in the other group league game, the faint outside chance that the Netherlands had despite a way inferior net run-rate was up in smoke as they were bowled out for 118 in pursuit of an improbable target of 202 set by Wanindu Hasaranga's men.

The Sri Lankans left it too late while bringing their A game to the fore as all three units fired in unison but the horse has already bolted as they were out of reckoning for the Super Eights.

The Sri Lankan middle order were brilliant with veteran Angelo Mathews (30 off 15 balls) and skipper Hasaranga (20 off 10 balls) shored up the scoring rate but it was left-hander Charith Asalanka's 21-ball-46 that was the real difference in their innings. Asalanka smashed five sixes as Sri Lanka crossed the 200-run mark.

Asalanka, smoked the Netherlands bowlers with minimal footwork and maximum power, keeping a stable base that allowed him to go for the jugular.

"These are far better conditions than the USA, and we enjoyed those conditions. It can be tough to come in at No. 5. We just played the conditions," said Asalanka, who was adjudged 'Player of the Match'.

"I know I have to be a little more consistent. In general we are a little disappointed about the results in the first two games. But in the end we had a good game here," the southpaw said.

During the chase, the Netherlands openers Michael Levitt (31) and Max O'Dowd (11) added 45 in just 4.2 overs but once Maheesh Theekshana got the former stumped, there was virtually no resistance from the other batters.