Namibia stun Sri Lanka to claim T20 World Cup opener


Many hands make light work for Namibia

Some big hitting from Jan Frylinck (44) and JJ Smit (31*) helped Namibia overcome a shaky start to register 163/7 and that proved too much for Sri Lanka as the Asia Cup champions were all out for 108 in reply.

Bernard Scholtz (2/18), David Wiese (2/16), Ben Shikongo (2/22) and Player of the Match Frylinck (2/26) all picked up two wickets apiece as Sri Lanka's world class batting line-up failed to fire on the big stage.

Skipper Dasun Shanaka (29) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (20) provided some brief hope during the middle overs when they put on 34 for the fifth wicket, but the last six wickets fell for just 34 runs as the parochial Sri Lanka crowd at Kardinia Park was left disappointed.

Namibia recover following shaky start

Earlier Namibia lost three wickets inside the Powerplay to be reduced to 43/3, before their experienced middle-order fought back hard to swing the ascendancy back their way.

Star spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (1/27) bowled well during the middle overs for Sri Lanka, but Frylinck and Smit got on top late to propel Namibia to a handy score on a tricky batting pitch.

The road ahead

Sri Lanka have 48 hours to lick their wounds and recover ahead of their second match at the tournament against the UAE in Geelong on Tuesday.

It will be a must-win encounter for the reigning Asia Cup champions, with a second consecutive loss to likely leave them down the barrel of a shock exit in the First Round.

Conversely, Namibia will get the chance to book a Super 12 berth when they take on the Netherlands on Tuesday afternoon, also in Geelong.

Sri Lanka XI: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Pramod Madushan, Maheesh Theekshana

Namibia XI: Divan la Cock, Michael van Lingen, Stephan Baard, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Gerhard Erasmus (c), Jan Frylinck, JJ Smit, David Wiese, Zane Green (wk), Bernard Scholtz, Ben Shikongo