Former champions Sri Lanka overcame initial hiccups to subdue an inexperienced yet spirited Namibia by seven wickets, beginning their quest to make the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup in right earnest, here on Monday.
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 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.
While Fernando relied more on placement and timing, Rajapaksa was all brawn, striking with great power as the duo put paid to any hopes the Namibian would have entertained after the early strikes.
Rajapaksa fittingly finished the match with a six off pacer Jan Frylinck.
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.
Only three Namibian batters reached double-digit figures after they were sent into bat. Craig Williams (29 off 36 balls) and skipper Gerhard Erasmus (20 off 19 balls) steadied the ship with a 39-run partnership for the third wicket.
However, the fall of Erasmus to pacer Lahiru Kumara sparked a collapse.
Brief Scores: Namibia: 96 all out in 19.3 overs (Craig Williams 29, Gerhard Erasmus 20; Maheesh Theekshana 3/25) against Sri Lanka: 100 for 3 in 14.3 overs. (B Rajapakse 42 not out, A Fernando 30 not out; J Smit 1/8).
Scotland Vs Papua New Guinea: 3:30 pm
Oman Vs Bangladesh: 7:30 pm