ICC Qualifiers: Hasaranga’s maiden 5-wicket haul propels Sri Lanka to a crushing win over UAE

Toby Marshall
19 June 2023
Wanindu Hasaranga

Leg-spinner Hasaranga put on a remarkable display, achieving a career-best figures of 6 for 24, as Sri Lanka kicked off their Qualifier league campaign with a commanding 175-run win against the underdog United Arab Emirates on Monday.

The Sri Lankan top-order batsmen displayed their prowess, with each player scoring a half-century, propelling their team to a formidable total of 355/6 in 50 overs. Towards the end of the innings, Charith Asalanka and Hasaranga provided some late fireworks, with Hasaranga contributing an unbeaten 23 runs off just 12 balls.

Returning to the bowling attack, Hasaranga further showcased his skills by dismissing three of the UAE’s top five batsmen, ultimately leading to their dismissal for 180 runs in 39 overs. During his exceptional six-wicket haul, Hasaranga also reached the 50 scalps in ODI cricket.

Within the Lankan innings, Kusal Mendis played a standout role, smashing 10 boundaries in his elegant innings of 78 runs off 63 balls. He partnered with Sadeera Samarawickrama to establish a crucial 105-run partnership, which significantly contributed to Sri Lanka’s imposing total.

In conditions that offered some movement for the pacers, Karunaratne’s solid technique proved advantageous as he effortlessly accumulated six boundaries in the Powerplay. On the other hand, Nissanka initially struggled to find his rhythm with the bat but managed to break free by hitting consecutive boundaries off Muhammad Jawadullah in the fifth over.

Continuing their partnership, Nissanka and Karunaratne maintained a steady scoring rate, with the latter reaching his third consecutive fifty. However, Karunaratne’s innings came to an end in the following over, as Ayaan Afzal Khan dismissed him, concluding their impressive 95-run partnership for the first wicket.

Building on the foundation set by the openers, Nissanka and Mendis joined forces and propelled the score at the halfway stage of the innings, with Nissanka also reaching his half-century milestone. After Nissanka’s dismissal, Mendis took charge and displayed his elegance by hitting ten fours in a stylish knock of 78 runs.

Towards the latter stages of the innings, Sri Lanka faced a moment of trouble as Mendis was caught by the substitute fielder off Ali Naseer, and Samarawickrama was run out, giving UAE hope of restricting the scoring in the final six overs. However, Asalanka had different plans, unleashing a flurry of boundaries in a brilliant display of finishing, remaining unbeaten on 48 runs off just 23 balls.  

Hasaranga showcased his mastery over the UAE batsmen during their chase, creating difficulties for them despite some players having prior experience playing with or against him in the inaugural ILT20. His deceptive wrong’un proved particularly challenging to pick, leading him to achieve his first-ever five-wicket haul in ODI cricket.

Apart from Naseer, UAE’s captain Muhammad Waseem and vice-captain Aravind were the only batsmen to surpass the 30-run mark in their pursuit of the target.

Author Toby Marshall