Sri Lanka cruised to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Namibia in their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup opener as the country paid tribute to Bandula Warnapura.
Players wore black armbands and held a minute’s silence ahead of the encounter for the former Sri Lankan Test captain, who died on Monday at the age of 68.
Warnapura captained the country in their first Test match against England in 1982 and was also a respected figure behind the scenes of Sri Lankan cricket.
Sri Lanka beginning their quest to make the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup in right earnest, here on Monday.
The Sri Lankan bowlers dominated the inexperienced Namibian line-up to bundle them out for a paltry 96 after inviting them to bat and then overhauled the target with 6.3 overs to spare in a Group A match of the first round.
The Namibian players, despite defeat, gave a good account of themselves as they refused to be intimidated by an experienced team which was once a force in world cricket.
The Namibian created a few ripples when they got rid of Pathum Nissanka (5), Kusal Perra (11) and explosive Dinesh Chandimal (5) inside Powerplay overs.
However, Avishka Fernando (30) and talented Bhanuka Rajapakse (42) steered the 2014 champions through with their confident knocks.
For Namibia, spinner Bernard Scholtz (1/16) who bowled in a tight line, Ruben Trumpelmann (1/27) and JJ Smit (1/7) picked up the wickets.
Earlier, spinners Mahesh Theekshana (3/25) and Wanindu Hasaranga (2/24), one of world’s top spinners,proved too hot for the Namibian batters, who struggled to find a way past the Lankan attack.
Sri Lanka 100 for 3 (Rajapaksa 42*, Fernando 30*). Namibia 96 (Craig Williams 29, Theekshana 3-25, Kumara 2-9)
Dasun Shanaka played his 50th T20 International.He has become the 10th player from Sri Lanka to appear in 50 games in the format.
Sri Lanka and Namibia faced each other for the first time in T20 Internationals. Namibia made their debut at the T20 World Cup. This was their 23rd appearance in the shortest format. They lost a T20I after winning six consecutive games.
Ireland defeated Netherlands by seven wickets in their first round Group B match of the ICC T20 World Cup here on Monday.
Netherlands: 106 allout in 20 overs (Max ODowd 51; Curtis Campher 4/26)
Ireland: 107 for 3 in 15.1 overs (Gareth Delany 44; Fred Klaassen 1/18).