Colombo (News 1st) – Sri Lanka booked their place in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India in October with a resounding 9-wicket win over hosts Zimbabwe with nearly 17 overs to spare at Bulawayo on Sunday (2nd).
The Lankans skittled Zimbabwe out for just 165 in 32.2 overs and then rattled up 169 for the loss of one wicket in 33.1 overs in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier Super Sixes match.
Maheesh Theekshana was adjudged man of the match for his devastating four wickets for 25 runs. He was ably supported by Dilshan Madushanka who took 3 for 15, with Matheesha Pathirana grabbing 2 for 18.
Pathum Nissanka smashed an unbeaten 101 off 102 balls inclusive of 14 boundaries, ably supported by Dimuth Karunaratne with 30 and Kusal Mendis with an unbeaten 25.
Sri Lanka is leading the points table with eight points and a high net run rate of +1.817 with one more game to play versus the West Indies, which has now become a dead rubber.
Zimbabwe, which is on 6 points but has a low net run rate of just +0.030, faces Scotland in a must-win game on Tuesday. Scotland currently has just four points and a net run rate of +0.188, but has two matches left as against Zimbabwe’s single match. Scotland would qualify if it wins against Zimbabwe and fourth-placed Netherlands. But the Scots can also beat Zimbabwe and lose to the Netherlands, and still finish second in the table if its run rate ends up being higher than that of Zimbabwe.
The Dutch only have a very slim chance of qualifying with just 2 points and a net run rate of -0.560, but it has the easiest remaining matches. It needs to beat both Scotland and Oman, and for Scotland to beat Zimbabwe. In that case, Zimbabwe, Scotland, and the Netherlands would be equal on six points apiece and the last World Cup spot would be decided according to which of the three teams has the highest net run rate.
The West Indies and Oman have already crashed out of contention as both have zero points, although both have two matches to play.