All the Lankan top-order players made half-centuries to post a huge total of 355/6 in 50 overs, with some late fireworks from Charith Asalanka and Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga (Pic: AFP)
Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga capped off a splendid performance with career-best 6/24 as Sri Lanka opened their ICC World Cup Qualifier group league campaign with a crushing 175-run victory over minnows United Arab Emirates on Monday.
All the Lankan top-order players made half-centuries to post a huge total of 355/6 in 50 overs, with some late fireworks from Charith Asalanka and Hasaranga, who nicely warmed up with an unbeaten 23 off 12 balls.
Then the RCB spinner came back to remove three of the UAE's top five as they were all out for 180 in 39 overs. En route his six wicket haul, Hasaranga also completed a mini milestone of 50 ODI wickets.
In the Lankan innings, Kusal Mendis did the star turn by hitting 10 fours in his classy 63-ball 78, and shared a 105-run partnership with Sadeera Samarawickrama, which fired Sri Lanka to a big total.
Mendis holed out to the substitute fielder off Ali Naseer, and Samarawickrama was run out on 73 from 64 balls, to give UAE hope of restricting the scoring in the final six overs.
But Charith Asalanka had other ideas, unleashing boundary after boundary in a brilliant display of finishing, as he struck 48 not out off just 23 balls. Hasaranga hit three boundaries in the final over to take the score past 350.
Oman, meanwhile, pulled off a superb run chase to beat Ireland by five wickets in another group match to cause the first upset in the qualifying tournament.
Ireland would have been confident after a flurry of lower-order runs helped them to 281/7 with Harry Tector (52 off 82 balls) and George Dockrell (91 off 89 balls) starring with the bat after Oman elected to bowl.
But the Asian nation chased down the target in style, with half-centuries from Kashyap Prajapati, Aqib Ilyas and Zeeshan Maqsood.
The win came with 11 balls to spare as Mohammad Nadeem (46*), Ayaan Khan (21) and Shoaib Khan (19*) finished it off.
Sri Lanka 355/6 in 50 overs (Kusal Mendis 78, Sadeera Samarawickrama 73, Ali Naseer 2/44). UAE 180 in 39 over (Wanindu Hasaranga 6/24). SL won by 175 runs.
Ireland 281/7 (George Dockrell 91, Harry Tector 52, Bilal Khan 2/64).
Oman 285/5 in 48.1 overs (Kashyap Prajapati 72, Zeeshan Maqsood 59). Oman won by 5 wkts.
(With PTI inputs)