By Srian Obeyesekere
Sri Lanka made a clean sweep with their fourth win in Group B of the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup qualifying round making short shrift of Scotland by 82 runs with 21 overs to spare at the Bulawayo Queens Sports Club Grounds on Tuesday. Thus, the 1996 world champions, are through as winners of Group B with 8 points and will start on four points in the next round ahead of matches against the Netherlands, Zimbabwe and the West Indies.
Scotland carry over two points following Sunday’s win over Oman, the third team to qualify from the section.
Put into bat, Sri Lanka totaled 245 off 49.3 overs with Pathum Nissanka top scoring with 75 off 85 balls in a continuation of his fine form hitting 10 boundaries, Charith Asalanka blasted 63 off 65 hitting 4 boundaries and 2 over the top while Sadeera Samarawickram chipped in with 26 off 35 with 4 boundaries and Dhananjaya de Silva 23 off 31 with 2 boundaries. Prolific scorer upfront Dimuth Karunaratne who smashed a run a ball century in the previous game against Ireland and two half centuries against the UAE and Oman, fell for 7 while skipper Shanaka once again disappointed with the bat falling for a first ball duck.
Scotland were bowled out for 163 in 29 overs with Chris Greaves the only batsman to defy the Lankan attack striking 56 off 41 inclusive of 7 boundaries and 2 over the top to follow up his pleasing effort of 4 for 4 for 32 which though a personal satisfaction was little consolation for the all-rounder and Scotland. Maheesh Theekshana claimed 3 for 41 to take the Player of the Match award while Wanindu Hasaranga claimed 2 for 42.
Sri Lanka 245 (49.3 Overs)
(Pathum Nissanka 73, Charith Asalanka 63, Sadeera Samarawickrama 26, Maheesh Theekshana n.o. 16, Wanindu Hasarana 15, Alasdair Evans 1/35, Mark Watt 3/52, Chris Greaves 4/32)
Scotland 163 (29 Overs)
(Chris Greaves n.o. 56, Christopher McBride 29, Chris Sole 14, Richie Barrington 10, Maheesh Theekshana 3/41, Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva 2/42, Dasun Shanaka 1/0)Lahiru Kumsrs 1/30)