Namibia got off to a strong start in the opening game of the T20 World Cup 2022 by defeating the Asian Champions Sri Lanka by 55 runs on Sunday, October 16. After being given the opportunity to bat first, Namibia, headed by Gerhard Erasmus, set a target of 164 runs. Namibia maintained this momentum throughout the entire game, limiting Sri Lanka to just 108 runs in their pursuit. Dasun Shanaka’s team, who were the heavy favourites to win Group A and proceed to the Super 12 round of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, have had their ambitions derailed by the defeat to Namibia. Sri Lanka will be under more strain because they must now win the final two games to maintain their chances of making the Super 12 team.
Dasun Shanaka, the captain, addressed a press conference following the conclusion of the first game and voiced his disappointment by saying: “The way we played is the worry. I think they (seam bowlers) tried too much. We didn’t execute our plans well. I think we went for the yorkers and we didn’t execute with low full tosses and half volleys. I think that’s where it went wrong. I think if they had stuck to that hard length, wicket-to-wicket, like the Namibian bowlers did really, really well, it should have been different.”
Shanaka, who led Sri Lanka to victory in the Asia Cup, is having significant difficulties as a result of the injury to left-arm fast bowler Dilshan Madushanka. Due to their poor performance at the 2021 competition, which forced them to play in the qualification (group stage) in the first place, the Lankan team’s 2022 campaign looked dismal. Once more, the squad must consider the potential of losing early in the competition.
“I think the surface played really well but the execution was not there when it comes to the bowling. We’re concerned whether our bowlers bowled in the right areas as compared to the Namibian bowlers. We also wanted the first three batters to continue in the first play, so losing three wickets in the first powerplay put us out of the game. [Next game] the plan should be simple, not to do anything special. It’s about process. When chasing 160 you need good partnerships at the top and numbers three and four to kick in. The bowlers especially they need to hit their areas,” he added.