Victoria has one of many greatest expatriate Sri Lankan communities on this planet and 1000’s of them descended upon Kardinya Park to observe their aspect begin their World Cup with a celebration at their dwelling away from dwelling.
The Papare band was enjoying. The Sri Lankan flags have been flying. Sri Lankan colors have been all over the place and the roars have been all for one staff as Namibia limped to 93 for six within the fifteenth over. The tempo of Dushmantha Chameera and Pramod Madushan was too scorching to deal with on a difficult drop-in floor for a Namibia high order not accustomed to such speeds, bounce, and seam motion, even when the floor was slower than anticipated.
That was, till it wasn’t. The band saved enjoying, however Sri Lanka’s quicks stopped the chin music and Namibia stole the sport from a near-impossible place to orchestrate one of many biggest upsets in T20 World Cup historical past.
As poor because the batting show was, it was abundantly clear the place the sport had gone incorrect. Namibia had spent 12 months planning for the additional bounce and tempo in Australia, working towards on artificial and concrete pitches. However though the Geelong drop-in was a lot slower than that they had anticipated, Sri Lanka’s fast males triggered all of them types of hassle with on-speed onerous lengths within the first 15 overs. Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton was the one Namibian top-order batter to strike a six within the first 15 overs, pulling Chameera over tremendous leg and slicing Chamika Karunaratne over level. However each different top-order participant struggled.
“I feel they tried an excessive amount of,” Shanaka mentioned on the press convention. “I feel in the event that they persist with that arduous size, wicket-to-wicket, just like the Namibian bowlers did actually, rather well, it ought to have been completely different.
“I feel we gave a whole lot of dangerous balls to hit boundaries.”
“I feel we went with the size of the bottom however we did not maintain up the our line and lengths within the final 10 overs,” Theekshana mentioned. “We did not execute our plans properly.
“I feel we went for the yorkers and we did not execute with low full tosses and half volleys. I feel that is the place it went incorrect.”
Namibia’s bowlers did not make the identical errors and Sri Lanka’s batters folded beneath the stress of the chase. Shanaka didn’t let his batters off the hook.
“We won’t lose three wickets within the powerplay,” Shanaka mentioned. “It makes it very robust to chase down something.”
“I feel we went with the size of the bottom however we did not maintain up the our line and lengths within the final 10 overs.”
It now leaves Sri Lanka weak. Drop another recreation to both Netherlands or UAE and so they may very well be out of the match altogether. They may additionally undergo because the second qualifier from Group A, which might put them on the identical aspect of the draw as India and Pakistan within the Tremendous 12s.
However none of that was of any concern to Shanaka.
“It is the primary recreation,” Shanaka mentioned. “However the best way we performed is the fear.”
The Papare band saved enjoying and the followers saved cheering all through the doomed chase and their assist will stay boisterous and unwavering, significantly in Victoria.
Nevertheless it was jarring to listen to them fall silent for the primary time because the tenth wicket fell and a small pocket of Namibia supporters drowned them out as actuality sunk in.
The Asia Cup champions and a fancied in-form darkish horse for the World Cup had the script flipped on them by Namibia.
Alex Malcolm is an Affiliate Editor at ESPNcricinfo