CricketWanindu Hasaranga spins Sri Lanka to a resounding victory in ICC World Cup Qualifier opener
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Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga produced a scintillating performance, claiming a career-best 6/24, as Sri Lanka crushed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by a massive 175 runs in their opening group league match of the ICC World Cup Qualifier. The match took place in Bulawayo on Monday.

Sri Lanka’s top-order batsmen displayed their dominance, all scoring half-centuries to propel their team to an imposing total of 355/6 in 50 overs.

Kusal Mendis played a pivotal role with his elegant knock of 78 from 63 balls, which included 10 boundaries. He combined forces with Sadeera Samarawickrama, and their 105-run partnership set the stage for a formidable score.

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However, the UAE managed to dismiss Mendis and run out Samarawickrama, briefly halting Sri Lanka’s momentum. All top four Sri Lankan batters scored half century which allowed the team to go past 350.

But Charith Asalanka had different plans as he unleashed a flurry of boundaries, finishing unbeaten on 48 from just 23 deliveries. Hasaranga also contributed with the bat, smashing three boundaries in the final over to help Sri Lanka surpass the 350-run mark.

In their pursuit of the mammoth target, the UAE struggled against Hasaranga’s wizardry. The leg-spinner returned to haunt them with the ball, claiming three wickets among the top five batsmen.

Eventually, the UAE faltered and were bowled out for 180 in 39 overs. Along the way, Hasaranga reached a personal milestone of 50 ODI wickets, further solidifying his impact on the game.

Oman pulls off a stunning run chase against Ireland


In another group match of the qualifying tournament, Oman created a major upset by defeating Ireland by five wickets. Ireland had set a challenging target of 281/7 after opting to bat first, with Harry Tector (52 off 82 balls) and George Dockrell (91 off 89 balls) leading the charge in the lower order.

However, Oman showcased their batting prowess, achieving the target in style with an impressive run chase. Kashyap Prajapati, Aqib Ilyas, and Zeeshan Maqsood all contributed half-centuries to guide their team to victory.

The decisive moment arrived with 11 balls to spare as Mohammad Nadeem (46 not out), Ayaan Khan (21), and Shoaib Khan (19 not out) provided the finishing touches to seal the remarkable win for Oman.

These early matches in the ICC World Cup Qualifier have already provided enthralling contests and unexpected outcomes. With several teams vying for a spot in the prestigious tournament, fans can expect more thrilling encounters as the qualifiers progress.