T20 World Cup 2022: Bowlers sizzle under lights, Pathum Nissanka dazzles with the bat as Sri Lanka crush UAE by 79 runs in a must-win game for them.

Having been stunned by Namibia by 55 runs in their tournament opener, Sri Lankan bowlers put up a stunning show under the lights to script a big victory in a must-win game. The massive triumph over UAE has improved their net run rate which took a severe beating against Namibia.

Having posted 152 for eight after being put in to bat first, Sri Lankan bowlers Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga bagged three wickets each and dominated the UAE batting line-up and bundled them out for 73 in 17.1 overs.

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Three of UAE’s first four victims were cleaned up inside the powerplay as Chameera and Pramod Madushan put on an exhibition of fast bowling, swinging and seaming the new ball around.

Under the lights, UAE struggled to get going, losing four wickets inside the Powerplay to be reduced to 21/4. Wanindu Hasaranga came on to pile on UAE’s woes and the scorecard soon read 42/7 in 12 overs with Sri Lanka eyeing a huge win.

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Why Sri Lanka needed this big win

Sri Lanka and UAE are in the hunt for their first win of the tournament. Both the team suffered defeats in their respective first games – Namibia pulled off an upset win in the first game of the tournament against the Asia Cup Champions while Netherlands clinched a last-over thriller against UAE.

It was not just about the two points for the Islanders as they had a deficit in the net run rate that they needed to overcome against the UAE. Bowling UAE out for 73, Sri Lanka romped home to a 79-run win.

Sri Lanka’s amazing show gives them a significant boost in a group where the net run rate would likely play a role by the end.

Karthik Meiyappan scripts history

Karthik Meiyappan made history against Sri Lanka when he became the first player to claim a hat-trick for UAE in T20Is. It was also the first hat trick of the tournament.

Sri Lanka were cruising along when Meiyappan came into the bowl the 15th over, with Pathum Nissanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa at the crease. They over-turned the game on its head as it triggered a middle-order collapse, putting the pressure back on Sri Lanka.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s attempt to go inside-out saw him hole out in the deep to Kashif Daud. Charith Asalanka departed for a golden duck as he nicked the ball to Vriitya Aravind.

Facing the hat-trick ball, Dasun Shanaka had no answer to the wonderful googly that found the gap between bat and pad and rattled his stumps as Meiyappan wheeled off in celebration.

Sri Lanka post a good total

On either side of the hat trick, it was Sri Lanka who dominated the game for the most part. The opening partnership worth 42 runs between Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis got the Asia Cup champions off to a great start. Despite the wicket of Mendis in the fifth over, Shanaka’s men were the happier side at the end of the Powerplay with over 50 runs.

This was followed by a 50-run stand between Dhananjaya de Silva and Nissanka. The all-rounder was the aggressor between the two, smashing a 21-ball 33 consisting of three fours and a six before a run-out brought his innings to a premature end.

Nissanka, who got to his fifty in the same over as the hat trick, got a move on and helped Sri Lanka post a competitive total. A blinder from Basil Hameed brought an end to his innings where he scored almost half of Sri Lanka’s team total.