COLOMBO – Sri Lanka faced a tough battle in their match against New Zealand in the ICC World Cup at Chinnasamy Stadium in Bangalore on Thursday. Their batting performance was disappointing, losing wickets early and managing to score 171 runs by the end of the game.
Initially, Sri Lanka lost five wickets in the first Power Play, reaching 70 runs in the first 10 overs. Kusal Perera was a standout performer, scoring a rapid 51 off just 28 balls, hitting two sixes and nine boundaries. However the other players struggled against the swinging bowling attacks both in the early and later stages of the game.
By the 33rd over, Sri Lanka found themselves at 128 for 9, seeming quite helpless. But a remarkable partnership between the tail-enders Maheesh Theekshana and Dilshan Madushanka ensued. This duo managed to set Sri Lanka’s best 10th wicket partnership in the history of the ICC World Cup, adding 43 runs to the total.
Madushanka was unfortunately caught behind off Rachin Ravindra for 19 runs in the 47th over, after facing 48 balls. On the other end, Maheesh Theekshana remained unbeaten with 38 runs from 91 deliveries. It’s noteworthy that his 91-ball innings was just short of the world record for the highest number of balls faced by a batter at number 9 or below. The current record of 92 balls is held by JP Yadav of India, also against New Zealand in 2005.
Despite the efforts of these two tail-end batsmen, Sri Lanka finished their innings at 171 runs, marking a challenging situation for their bowlers in the upcoming New Zealand innings.
Sri Lanka: 171 all out in 46.4 overs (Kusal Perera 51, Maheesh Theekshana 38, Dhananjaya de Silva 19, Dilshan Madushanka 19, Angelo Mathews 16, Trent Boult 3/37, Rachin Ravindra 2/21, Mitchell Santner 2/22, Lockie Ferguson 2/35).
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