Theekshana, Hasaranga help Sri Lanka hammer Namibia
Sri Lanka's Bhanuka Rajapaksa plays a shot during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Namibia and Sri Lanka at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi
Spinners Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga set up a comprehensive seven-wicket win for Sri Lanka against debutants Namibia in round one of the Twenty20 World Cup on Monday.
Theekshana returned figures of 3-25 and Hasaranga took two wickets to help dismiss Namibia for 96 in the second Group A encounter of the day in Abu Dhabi.
Namibia hurt Sri Lanka with three wickets in the chase but Avishka Fernando (30) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (42) put on an unbeaten stand of 74 to steer the team home in 13.3 overs.
The left-handed Rajapaksa, who survived a dropped catch on 18, smashed four fours and two sixes in his 27-ball blitz.
But bowlers remained key to victory with quick Lahiru Kumara also chipping in with two wickets to bowl out Namibia in 19.3 overs after Sri Lanka chose to field first.
Craig Williams with his 29, skipper Gerhard Erasmus, 20, and JJ Smit, unbeaten on 12, were the only three batsmen to manage double figures.
Sri Lanka, champions in the 2014 edition, top the group table ahead of Ireland, who thrashed Netherlands by seven wickets in the first match that witnessed Curtis Campher taking four wickets in four balls.
Sri Lanka v Namibia Twenty20 World Cup
S. Baard c de Silva b Theekshana 7
Z. Green c Shanaka b Theekshana 8
C. Williams lbw b de Silva 29
G. Erasmus c de Silva b Kumara 20
D. Wiese lbw b Karunaratne 6
J.J. Smit not out 12
J. Frylinck b Theekshana 2
J. Nicol Loftie-Eaton lbw b de Silva 3
R. Trumpelmann c Shanaka b Chameera 1
P. Ya France b Kumara 1
B. Scholtz run out (Nissanka) 0
Extras (lb2, nb1, w4) 7
TOTAL (all out, 19.3 overs) 96
Fall of wickets: 1-10 (Baard), 2-29 (Green), 3-68 (Erasmus), 4-73 (Williams), 5-79 (Wiese), 6-84 (Frylinck), 7-90 (Nicol Loftie-Eaton), 8-93 (Trumpelmann), 9-96 (Ya France, 19.1 ov), 10-96 (Scholtz)
Bowling: Karunaratne 4-0-17-1 (w1), Chameera 4-0-19-1 (w1), Theekshana 4-0-25-3 (w2), Kumara 3.3-0-9-2, Hasaranga 4-0-24-2 (nb1)
Sri Lanka (target 97)
P. Nissanka lbw b Scholtz 5
K. Perera c Smit b Trumpelmann 11
D. Chandimal c Green b Smit 5
A. Fernando not out 30
B. Rajapaksa not out 42
Extras (lb4, w3) 7
Total (3 wickets, 13.3 overs) 100
Did not bat: D. Shanaka, C. Karunaratne, W. Hasaranga, D. Chameera, M. Theekshana, L. Kumara
Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Perera), 2-19 (Nissanka), 3-26 (Chandimal)
Bowling: Wiese 2-0-11-0 (w1), Trumpelmann 3-0-27-1, Scholtz 3-0-16-1 (w1), Smit 1-0-7-1, Ya France 1-0-6-0, Nicol Loftie-Eaton 1-0-7-0, Frylinck 1.3-0-17-0, Erasmus 1-0-5-0 (w1)
Toss: Sri Lanka
Result: Sri lanka beat Namibia by 7 wickets