NED vs SL, T20 World Cup 2024: Netherlands takes on Sri Lanka in must-win contest to keep Super 8 hopes alive

The Netherlands has to beat already-eliminated Sri Lanka and hope that Nepal upsets Bangladesh in such a way that the Dutch finish with a better net run rate to grab the final Super Eight spot from Group D.

Published : Jun 15, 2024 19:11 IST , GROS ISLET, ST. LUCIA - 2 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Netherlands skipper Scott Edwards.
FILE PHOTO: Netherlands skipper Scott Edwards. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

FILE PHOTO: Netherlands skipper Scott Edwards. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Netherlands has all to play for when it takes the field against Sri Lanka in a Group D match at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia, on Sunday night.

With Nepal and Sri Lanka already out of the T20 World Cup, the final Super Eight spot in Group D will go to either Bangladesh or the Netherlands. If Bangladesh defeats Nepal in Kingstown, it will advance to the Super 8. However, if Bangladesh loses and the Netherlands beats Sri Lanka, the decision will come down to net run rates (NRR). Currently, Bangladesh has a NRR of 0.478 compared to the Netherlands’ -0.408.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, is playing for the proverbial pride, having suffered two defeats and a washout in its three group games. A diverse bowling attack has provided it with a semblance of a competitive edge in both of its matches so far. Conversely, the Netherlands’ batting strategy focuses on accumulating runs rather than relying on big hits. However, with one eye on the NRR, they may have to shed the conservative approach. It has a few batting problems of its own, with key players Max O’Dowd and Michael Levitt struggling to tee off.

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Meanwhile, the Dutch bowlers, who have been very disciplined more often than not, will aim to replicate that performance against a batting line-up that’s high on talent but low on confidence. Given the clutch of right-handers in its playing XI, left-arm orthodox Tim Pringle could come in handy against Sri Lanka.

The nature of the pitch could go a long way in determining the outcome. Sri Lankan batters have been guilty of overreaching in conditions that haven’t always been suited for flashy strokeplay. Sri Lanka collapsed to 77 against South Africa, then 124 for 9 against Bangladesh, when sensible shot-making on tricky surfaces could have helped save the blushes to some extent. 

With the weather expected to stay clear, a tense scrap is on the cards.

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