Sri Lanka Prep For T20 WC With Nervy 2-0 Win

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Sri Lanka prep for T20 WC with nervy 2-0 win. Chamika Karunaratne scored an unbeaten 35 to go with his two wickets

Sri Lanka Prep For T20 WC With Nervy 2-0 WinChamika Karunaratne scored an unbeaten 35 to go with his two wickets

For second time in three days, Oman squandered the chance to secure a win as Sri Lanka chased down their total of 159/8 in the 18th over to seal the two-match series 2-0. Another late partnership from Sri Lanka – for the sixth wicket this time – took them over the line.

Oman's bright beginnings

The home side lost two wickets in the opening six overs but helped themselves to 44 runs. Though opener Jatinder Singh just couldn't get going and fell for a forgettable 12-ball five, Kashyap Prajapati and Aqib Ilyas got the innings going with a handful of sixes. Kashyap particularly took a liking for off-break bowler Maheesh Theekshana, hitting him for two big shots.

Post-Powerplay acceleration…

Zeeshan Maqsood took over the mantle after the six-over period, keeping Oman's momentum going in the seventh when he tonked Akila Dananjaya over deep square leg and extra cover off successive deliveries in the eighth over. Though Zeeshan's cameo ended at 16 off 8, Oman reached 77/3 at the halfway stage.

What happened in the second half?

Despite a 12-run over in the 13th over off Dasun Shanaka, Oman got only 35 runs in five overs in a period of lull. But Dananjaya's return kickstarted Oman's revival before the death as Ilyas smashed two big sixes in the 17-run 16th over. Having made the most of Sri Lanka's off-day in the field, Ilyas got to a quick-fire half-century, before falling for a 38-ball 60 in the 17th over. Sri Lanka pulled it back by conceding just 19 off the last 18 balls, as Oman reached a par score of 159/8.

How was Sri Lanka's start?

Very similar to Oman's. They got to 48/2 in the PowerPlay, as Fayyaz Butt and Maqsood picked two quick wickets to take out Dinesh Chandimal and Charith Asalanka. One of the half-centurions from the opening game – Avishka Fernando – and opener Pathum Nissanka slowly but steadily plotted the visitors' recovery.

When did they stutter?

In the 10th and 11th over.

It started with medium-pacer Kaleemullah trapping Nissanka leg before and then Mohammad Nadeem dismissing the heroes of the opening fixtures – Fernando – and Dasun Shanaka in the space of three balls to leave Sri Lanka five down.

Who rescued them tonight?

The sixth-wicket pair of Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Chamika Karunaratne.

When Sri Lanka found themselves tottering at 89 for 5 in 10.3 overs, they needed 71 more to get off 57 balls. It was still gettable if one partnership clicked, and that's exactly what happened between Rajapaksa and Karunaratne. Oman had the game by the scruff of its neck in that 11th over, but once again crumbled under the pressure of a possible victory.

The Sri Lankan duo dwarfed the target with constant singles and twos, and even got the odd six to keep their scoring rate well ahead of what they needed. The tables truly turned in Bilal Khan's over in the 14th, when Sri Lanka needed 42 off 36. Oman's most experienced campaigner bowled a waist high full toss that was carted away for a six in a 13-run over.

Dew didn't make things easy for Oman either as left-arm spinner Zeeshan Maqsood let one slip out of his hand that went way above the batsman's head and landed well behind the wicket-keeper. The consequent free-hit ball was carted for a six. With that, Karunaratne showed more urgency, and sealed the game with two sixes – one in the 17th and one in the 18th over. The pair finished with an undefeated partnership of 74 from 42 deliveries, with both batters scoring 35 apiece.

Brief Scores: Oman 159/8 in 20 overs (Aqib Ilyas 60, Lahiru Kumara 2-20) lost to Sri Lanka 163/5 in 17.3 overs (Chamika Karunaratne 35*, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 35*; Mohammad Nadeem 2-22) by 5 wickets.

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