Sri Lanka vs Namibia, 1st Match, Group A: Preview

Preview: In-form Sri Lanka and rising force Namibia to get T20 World Cup underway

Sri Lanka vs Namibia, 1st Match, Group A: Preview

The first of 45 matches at the tournament will see Round 1 get underway in style, with Group A favourites Sri Lankan taking on a Namibia side who have high hopes of progressing to the Super 12 stage.


This won't be the first time that the two sides are going to face off against each other at a major tournament. Namibia and Sri Lanka were placed in the same group in the last T20 World Cup where they also played their opening match of the campaign against each other. The contest didn't give Gerhard Erasmus and his men happy memories as Sri Lanka completely outclassed them - Namibia were bowled out for 96 and the Lankans chased the target down with seven wickets and more than six overs to spare.

But Namibia put on a spirited show in their remaining matches as they won against Ireland and Netherlands to qualify for the Super 12 and also went on to beat Scotland in that phase. The team has grown in confidence and experience since then and it was visible when they put on a clinical show to beat Ireland in the warm-up match ahead of the mega event earlier this week. Namibia will be hoping for an even better outing this time and they would like to start their journey with a win against the Lankans.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are coming into this tournament with a big reputation to protect as they emerged as the Champions of Asia recently by beating teams like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh on their way to the Asia Cup title.

That win, which featured five consecutive victories, halted a worrying run of form since the last T20 World Cup campaign. Sri Lanka had lost nine out of their first 10 T20Is this year before turning things around completely with that Asia Cup triumph.

The Lankans have also carried their newly-found form to Australia, as they delivered an excellent performance in the warm-up match against Zimbabwe. Dasun Shanaka’s side won the match by 33 runs as the likes of Kusal Mendis and Wanindu Hasaranga fired with the bat. They will now look to carry this momentum forward to their match against Namibia.

Key Players

Wanindu Hasaranga: The spin-bowling all-rounder has emerged as Sri Lanka's most important player in the last few years. Hasaranga has played 44 T20 internationals so far and has claimed 71 wickets at a mean average and economy rate of 14.74 and 6.72 respectively.

He has also proven himself quite handy with the bat, scoring 448 runs, including a best of 71. The 25-year-old was once again seen at his best in the warm-up match against Zimbabwe as he smashed an unbeaten 37 from just 14 deliveries and also bowled an economical spell of 4-0-24-0.

**David Wiese:**The all-rounder made a huge impact with both bat and ball in Namibia's last T20 World Cup campaign.

Wiese finished as their highest run-getter in the mega event last year, with 227 runs at an average of 45.40. He picked up six wickets as well and maintained a good overall economy rate of 7.42 to go with that. And Wiese has an equally important role to play for Namibia in this edition.

Predicted Playing XIs

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

**Namibia:**Divan la Cock, Michael van Lingen, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Gerhard Erasmus (c), Jan Frylinck, JJ Smit, David Wiese, Ruben Trumpelmann, Zane Green (wk), Bernard Scholtz, Tangeni Lungameni

Dream11 Fantasy Picks

Captaincy Pick: Wanindu Hasaranga

Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga was the Player of the Tournament at the T20 World Cup last year. He had finished as the highest wicket-taker with 16 scalps. The wrist-spinner was brilliant during the recent Asia Cup campaign and was decisive in the final against Pakistan, winning the Player of the Tournament award as well.

Must Have Pick: Bhanuka Rajapaksa

Bhanuka Rajapaksa played the match-winning knock of 71* (45) which gave Sri Lanka the upper hand in the final against Pakistan. Rajapaksa finished as the highest scorer for Sri Lanka with 191 runs at an average of 47.75 and strike rate close to 150.

Differential Pick: Ruben Trumpelmann

Namibia’s Ruben Trumpelmann made a big impression during the T20 World Cup last year. He finished with six wickets and an economy rate of 7.67. The 24-year-old has picked up only two wickets in eight matches in 2022 so far. On his day, he can make crucial breakthroughs for Namibia.

NamibiaSri Lanka