Namibia upset Sri Lanka to pull off a stunning win in T20 World Cup 2022 opener
The Namibians hammered their Sri Lankan counterpart in a surprising result at the beginning of the marquee event Down Under.
The opening game of the T20 World Cup 2022 witnessed a huge upset as the spirited Namibia side defeated their much-fancied Sri Lankan counterparts in Geelong on Sunday (October 16).
The Namibians came out triumphant by a whopping 55 runs after an impressive allround display in the tournament opener from Group A of the preliminary round.
Announcing their comeback at the big stage after encouraging performances in UAE last year, Namibia posted a healthy first-innings score of 163/7 before dismissing the Lankan Lions for only 108 off 19 overs.
Their victory left the Group A wide open, clinching two points with matches remaining versus their associate rivals Netherlands and UAE on October 18 and 20 at the same venue.
But before looking too far ahead, Namibia will celebrate only their second win against a Test-playing nation at a T20 World Cup and the first versus a traditional top 10 country.
Frylinck, bowlers shine in Namibia's Sri Lankan triumph
The hero of the big victory were the bowlers, who made an excellent feast of defending what wasn't the most imposing totals for a Sri Lankan side that bats deep.
Premier allrounder David Wiese (2/16), Bernard Scholtz (2/18) and Ben Shikongo (2/22) picked up two wickets apiece with hardly any runs given away in their respective bowling quotas. They were backed superly by JJ Smit (1/16), whose cameo of 31 off 16 was quite influential to the win.
But perhaps the performance of the afternoon arrived from allrounder Jay Frylinck, who played a game-transforming knock of 44 off 28 balls in the first half before turning up with the ball and recording figures of 2 for 26 off his 4 overs.
In an outing to savour, Frylinck walked in to bat at No.6 with Namibia struggling at 76 for 4 in the 12th over and took them to a fighting score for the conditions with some high-skill batting, putting the pressure back on the opposition.
He then rallied around the rest of the cast with ball in hand and played a major role in conquering the Lankan challenge with two crucial wickets.
Sri Lanka never got going with the bat, seeing the pressure of the asking rate build up significantly before it resulted in a collapse for them. Only skipper Dasun Shanaka (29) could claim to have played a freeflowing knock whilst he was there.
One of the key factors in Namibia's win was the lack of wickets conceded to the Sri Lankan spin twin Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga. The two bowlers went for only 50 runs in their collective 8 overs but could picked up only a scalp apiece, which allowed Namibia to hit big against the rest of the opposition attack.
Brief scores: Namibia 163/7 in 20 overs (Jan Frylinck 44, JJ Smit 31; Pramod Madhushan 2/37) beat Sri Lanka 108/10 in 19 overs (Dasun Shanaka 29; David Wiese 2/16, Bernard Scholtz 2/18) by 55 runs