Cricket World Cup 2011
Sri Lanka destroy Netherlands
Dilhara Fernando (AFP)
Colombo - Hosts Sri Lanka proved far too strong for minnows Netherlands, posting a crushing 156-run victory in a morale-boosting Cricket World Cup warm-up match on Saturday.
Sri Lanka, runners-up at the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, scored 351-5 off their allotted 50 overs even without prolific run-getters Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, who did not bat.
The Netherlands, who have not beaten an ICC full member country in their previous three World Cup appearances, were bowled out for 195 in the 48th over at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo.
The highlight of their innings was a fighting 76 by Tom de Grooth, who cracked one six and 10 fours in his 96-ball knock. He added 80 for the fifth wicket with Bas Zuiderent (38) and 62 for the seventh with Atse Buurman (25).
Fast bowler Dilhara Fernando finished with 4-43 for Sri Lanka, while seamer Thisara Perera and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath bagged two wickets apiece.
Tillakaratne Dilshan (78), Thilan Samaraweera (60), Chamara Silva (54) and Chamara Kapugedera (50 not out) earlier made the most of a mediocre Dutch attack, each scoring a half-century after the hosts elected to bat.
Openers Dilshan and Upul Tharanga (47) put Sri Lanka on course for a big total with a 117-run stand before Silva and Kapugedera added 94 for the fifth wicket to help their team set a stiff target.
Paceman Mudassar Bukhari was the most successful Dutch bowler with 2-52 off 10 overs, while seamer Bernard Loots conceded 83 runs off nine overs and fast bowler Ryan ten Doeschate gave away 75 off nine overs.
The Netherlands also conceded 21 runs in wides.
Sri Lanka are in Group A with defending champions Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya, while Group B comprises India, South Africa, England, the West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland and the Netherlands.
Four teams from each group will advance to the quarter-finals.
The World Cup opens in Dhaka on February 19 with a match between India and Bangladesh.
Time for the playoffs
As I write this, we’re just a few hours out from our playoff game against the Mumbai Indians.