Sri Lanka has become the first side to qualify for the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup after beating the Netherlands by 16 runs in their final game at Kardinia Park.
Coming into the contest on the back of a huge win which helped them recover from the opening game shock, Sri Lanka still needed a win to confirm their progress to the next stage of the competition.
After choosing to bat first they managed to put 162/6 on the board from their 20 overs against a side which was yet to lose a game.
The majority of their runs came from Kusal Mendis’ bat who equalled his career best with a 79 off 44 balls to help his side recover from an early jolt.
Pacer Paul van Meekeren removed Pathum Nissanka and Dhananjaya de Silva in successive deliveries to cause early trouble for the Island nation before Mendis, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (19) and Charith Asalanka (31) with other batters reeled off 102 runs in the last 10 overs.
The Netherlands were never in the chase from the start with the spin wizards of Sri Lanka putting them in early clamps.
Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga shared five wickets between them as the Netherlands only managed to score 146 for nine.
Opening batter Max O’Dowd was the only player to put up any challenge, staying unbeaten with 71 off 53 deliveries, including six fours and three sixes.
Sri Lanka and the Netherlands both finished with four points in Group A but the Sri Lankans finished with a better net run rate. The Dutch still have an outside shot of making the next stage of UAE, still without a win, defeats Namibia in their contest.