The UAE lost to Sri Lanka by 79 runs all but ended their T20 World Cup hopes but enjoyed two moments of sheer brilliance that will live long in the memory.
First, Karthik Meiyappan scored the first hat-trick at the World Twenty20 – and only the fifth in the history of the tournament.
Asian champions Sri Lanka were cruising at 117-2 in the first-round clash in Geelong when the leg-broken bowler struck in the 15th over, removing Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka and skipper Dasun Shanaka in successive balls.
Rajapaksa was caught in the deep, Asalanka caught behind and Shanaka bowled clean.
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“It’s a great feeling and it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said the 22-year-old Meiyappan, who finished with figures of 3-19 from his four overs as Sri Lanka reached 152-8.
“I was trying to pick the ball off the left-hander (Rajapaksa), I was lucky that he chopped it to deep cover. Asalanka, it was easy for me to cast a false one and he scratched it.
“But Shanaka, that was a special ball, to get it over the bat and pad. That was the biggest one.”
Meiyappan became only the fifth bowler to take a hat-trick in a T20 World Cup after Australia’s Brett Lee (2007), Ireland’s Curtis Campher, Sri Lanka’s Waninda Hasaranga and South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada who achieved the feat in 2021.
The second moment came late on with Sri Lanka needing just one more wicket to win but Junaid Siddique was not willing to go down without a fight.
Before the match was over, he hit a 109m six that was so massive it cleared the main stand at Kardinia Park.
After smoking a massive six that some described as the biggest ever seen, Junaid flexed his biceps.
Namibia falls behind the Netherlands | 00:58
Earlier, Bas de Leede took two wickets to make it an unbeaten 30 as the Netherlands took a huge step towards the World Twenty20 Super 12 with a thrilling five-wicket victory over giant-killing Namibia on Tuesday.
At Geelong’s sun-drenched but near-empty Kardinia Park, the African nation were restricted to 121-6 in their 20 overs, with the Dutch using seven different bowlers to put on the clamps.
De Leede was the best of the bunch, taking 2-18, complemented by excellent fielding.
The Europeans, backed by former South Africa and India coach Gary Kirsten on their coaching staff, cruised to 91-1 in reply in the 14th over before Namibia took four late wickets to set up a nervy finale.
Netherlands needed six runs off the last over, with De Leede the hero, hitting a boundary and then two to secure a three-ball victory.
It was a huge victory against a team that rocked the entire cricketing world with a stunning 55-run triumph over Asian champions Sri Lanka on the first day of the World Cup in Australia on Sunday.
The Netherlands beat the UAE by three wickets on the same day and will advance to the Super 12 with two wins from two if the UAE upset Sri Lanka later on Tuesday.
Should they top the group, they will face Australia in Perth next Tuesday.
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They have been on the big stage once before, in 2014 when they dominated their group and then sensationally beat England.
Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus won the toss and elected to bat, but it didn’t look like a bad decision as they slumped to 32-3 in the sixth over as they struggled with timing.
Stephan Baard and Jan Frylinck steadied the ship with a partnership of 31 before Roelof van der Merwe removed Baard on 19.
Frylinck compiled 43 before De Leede tempted him for a big hit and he was caught in the deep, then trapped Erasmus there.
Twenty-seven from the last three overs set a decent target, but just seven boundaries in total were a testament to the Dutch bowling.
In reply, Max O’Dowd and Vikram Singh reached 44 without loss after five overs.
Singh was in good touch with two sixes in his 39 before taking another off Bernard Scholtz and Nicol Loftie-Eaton caught at the ropes.
Namibia fired up and grabbed four more quick wickets, including O’Dowd for 35, to set up a nervy finish.
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