Sri Lanka, Namibia register commanding victories on Day 2 of T20 World Cup warm-ups

Melbourne: Sri Lanka started their ICC Men's T20 World Cup campaign on a bright note as they registered a comprehensive win against Zimbabwe in their warm-up match in Melbourne on Tuesday. Namibia also tasted success in their first outing as they defeated Ireland by 11 runs in the second match of the day at the same venue. Warm-up 3: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka won by 33 runs

The Sri Lankan openers Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka got their team off to a flying start as they put on a 57-run stand in just five overs. The partnership was broken when Brad Evans dismissed Nissanka for 21, but Mendis carried on and made his way to a fifty. Mendis was threatening to take the game completely away from Zimbabwe, but Ryan Burl gave them a much-needed breakthrough as he had the Sri Lankan batter caught for a well-made 29-ball 54. The 27-year-old hit six fours and three sixes during the course of his knock. Zimbabwe made a comeback into the game for a brief period as they claimed some quick wickets to reduce Sri Lanka to 133/5 at the end of the 16th over. But Wanindu Hasaranga played an excellent cameo of 37* off just 14 deliveries to take Sri Lanka's total to 188/5.


The chase was always going to be a challenging one for Zimbabwe, but a good start to their innings kept them in the hunt. The openers put on 39 runs in just three overs and after reaching a score of 61/2 in seven overs, they looked well on course to reach their target. But the match kept slipping away from them after that as the Lankan bowlers bowled tight lines and lengths. Wesley Madhevere scored a run-a-ball 42 and that halted the momentum of Zimbabwe's innings in the middle overs. Lower-order batter Milton Shumba tried his best to get them close to the target with a 25-ball 32 but it wasn't enough for Zimbabwe as they still fell short by 33 runs. As far as the Sri Lankan bowling goes, Hasaranga bowled an economical spell of 4-0-22-0 after his flamboyant knock of 37*, while Maheesh Theekshana and Chamika Karunaratne claimed a couple of wickets each.

Warm-up 4: Namibia v Ireland, Namibia won by 11 runs

The second match of the day turned out to be a pretty exciting affair as well. Ireland entered the contest as the favourites owing to their recent form and experience of playing in big tournaments. But Namibia showed that they have what it takes to compete with far more established teams as they defeated Andrew Balbirnie and his men by 11 runs. Namibia didn't get off to the kind of start they would have liked as the Irish bowlers restricted them to less than 60 runs in the first 10 overs of the innings and claimed two wickets as well. But their middle-order batters Jan Frylinck and JJ Smit stepped up and accelerated just at the right time to propel them to a total of 138/4, which was a competitive score on a track that played a little slow.

Ireland were still expected to chase the target down as it wasn't a very daunting one. A good opening stand of 45 runs set them well on course to win. But things started to fall apart once the opening stand was broken with Stephen Doheny's dismissal in the last over of the powerplay. Ireland started losing wickets at regular intervals after that and fell behind the required run rate. The task looked pretty achievable even when Ireland needed just around 40 runs to win with six wickets and five overs remaining. But Ben Shikongo bowled a match-winning spell for Namibia as he claimed three wickets in the 16th over of the innings to knock Ireland completely out of the game. Namibia finally bowled Ireland out for 127, winning the match by 11 runs. Shikongo was the pick of the Namibian bowlers with figures of 3/12 to his name, whereas Ruben Trumpelmann, David Wiese and Jan Frylinck claimed a couple of wickets each.