Curtis Campher's four wickets in four balls was the major talking point of Ireland's seven-wicket win over the Netherlands in the third match of Round 1 while Sri Lanka looked in ominous form against Namibia.
Curtis Campher makes history
Opting to bat first, the Netherlands recovered from a poor start where they lost two wickets in the Powerplay. Max O'Dowd and Colin Ackermann led the revival before Curtis Campher turned the game on its head in the space of four balls.
Campher sent Ackermann, Ryan ten Doeschate and Scott Edwards back in consecutive balls to become the first player since Brett Lee in 2007 to claim a hat-trick in ICC Men's T20 World Cups. He then dismissed Roelof van der Merwe to become the third man after Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga to pick up four in four in T20Is.
Campher's heroics broke the back of Ireland's middle order as they were reduced to 51/6 and eventually bundled out for 106.
Max O'Dowd stands tall
Opener Max O'Dowd was the lone warrior for the Netherlands even as he watched his teammates fall one after the other.
Twice in the innings, he had to pull a rescue act: First after the Netherlands lost early wickets and then after Campher sent four batters back to the hut in four balls.
O'Dowd strung together a 29-run partnership with Bas de Leede for the third wicket. Then, in the middle overs, with the Netherlands in all sorts of trouble at 51/6, he and Pieter Seelaar ensured they got to three figures. In the process, O'Dowd brought up his half-century, the seventh of his T20I career, but got out in a bid to up the ante in the death overs.
Massive boost in net run rate for Ireland
Needing to chase just 107 for the win, Ireland used the opportunity to not only put two points on board but also up their net run rate. This could be important later on in a tight group.
Gareth Delany took on the Netherlands bowlers, striking at a rate around 150. And though Stirling was not striking at his best, he stayed at the crease until the end as Ireland romped home with 29 balls to spare, thus getting their net run rate to +1.755.
Captain Balbirnie was pleased with his batters. In the post-match presentation, he said, "Paul set up shop and saw us home, Gareth played the innings we wanted, coming in and hitting it from ball one. Kevin played well up top and got us that 20-30 we needed to settle the nerves. A comprehensive win, so we're delighted."
SRI LANKA vs NAMIBIA
Sri Lanka crank up the pace
It was no surprise to see Sri Lanka’s spinners produce an outstanding display in their tournament opener, with Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Teekshana taking five wickets between them for a miserly 49 runs. But what was more eye-catching, and possibly more significant, was the Sri Lankan pace attack.
The trio of fast bowlers blew Namibia away, with Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara, in particular, showing a level of pace and quality that will trouble the more fancied teams if Sri Lanka reach the Super 12.
It’s a highly versatile attack that Dasun Shanaka has at his disposal, with spinners who can turn it both ways and that three-pronged pace threat, and it gives Sri Lanka a chance of doing something at this tournament, if the batters can keep up their end of the bargain.
Rajapaksa lights it up
Sri Lanka were in a spot of bother at 26/3 after none of their top three fired. A selection decision on that top order may lie in wait for the coaching staff, but the lack of runs in the powerplay didn’t hurt Sri Lanka on this occasion, largely thanks to the exceptional Bhanuka Rajapaksa.
The 29-year-old produced a sparkling free-flowing 42* from 27 balls, smashing the winning runs with his sixth boundary of an exhilarating knock.
Fielding of the highest quality on show
Both Namibia and Sri Lanka provided some terrific moments in the field.
JJ Smit made his catch off Ruben Trumpelmann to dismiss Kusal Perera look far more straightforward than it was, registering Namibia’s first-ever T20 World Cup wicket in the process.
But the moment of the day in the field came from the Sri Lanka skipper, whose jaw-dropping take to remove Trumpelmann could already have the ‘catch of the tournament’ moniker wrapped up.
Running forward and taking a stooping one-handed catch just millimetres from the floor, it was a moment of the highest quality from Dasun Shanaka.
Reason for optimism for Namibia
This was always likely to be Namibia’s toughest test in Group A but, on the way to their seven-wicket loss, the Eagles got overs into eight separate bowlers in an encouraging display of bowling depth.
Not a single one of those bowlers got taken down either, with front-line seamer Trumpelmann the most expensive of the eight on show.
Although Namibia’s innings with the bat never really got going, there was still some encouragement in the form of captain Gerhard Erasmus's 20(19). And top-scorer Craig Williams, who hit 29, showed the ability to clear the ropes too, with his side’s only two maximums.
Netherlands and Ireland await for Namibia, where they will hope to show more of their quality.
Personalise your homepage with an ICC account
News, fixtures and updates tailored to your favourite team. Never miss a moment!