IMAGES from the T20 qualifiers played between Sri Lanka and the UAE on Tuesday.
Dushmantha Chameera led Sri Lanka’s fiery fast bowling display against the United Arab Emirates with three wickets in the T20 World Cup in Geelong on Tuesday as the former champions got their campaign back on track with a comprehensive 79-run win.
Opener Pathum Nissanka compiled a responsible 74 to help Sri Lanka post 152-8 after a hat-trick from spinner Karthik Meiyappan derailed the Asia Cup champions, who had suffered a 55-run thrashing by Namibia in their opening match.
It was a yet again an unimpressive batting display from Sri Lanka, as besides Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva (33) and Kusal Mendis (18) were the only two batters to register double digit scores.
Asked to bat, Sri Lanka were cruising at one stage at 92 for 2 before leg-spinner Meiyappan (3/19) claimed a hat-trick in the 15th over as the Islanders slumped to 117 for 5.
Despite wickets falling at the other end, Nissanka kept Sri Lanka’s scoreboard ticking and was the last to be dismissed in the penultimate ball of the innings, but not before helping his team cross the 150-run mark.
The UAE got off to a disastrous start in their chase and were reduced to 21-4 inside the first six overs of powerplay with Chameera (3/15) doing most of the damage for the 2014 champions by picking up three wickets in his first two overs.
Chameera inflicted the early damage with the wickets of Muhammad Waseem, Aryan Lakra and captain Chundangapoyil Rizwan to break the opponent’s backbone.
They never recovered from the false start and were bundled out for 73 in 17.1 overs as Sri Lanka bounced back from their opening loss.
Aayan Afzal Khan (19) was the top-scorer for UAE.
Sri Lanka will have their fingers crossed on the fitness of Chameera, however, who had missed the Asia Cup with a leg injury and hobbled off the field on Tuesday after pulling out of his run-up while delivering the final ball of his fourth over.
Wanindu Hasaranga (3 for 8) also made a significant impact for Sri Lanka with his leg-spin, picking up three wickets for just eight runs.
Sri Lanka will take on Netherlands in a must-win last group match on Thursday.
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