After Jan Frylinck and J.J. Smit’s seventh-wicket heroics batted them back into the match, Namibia defended its 163-7 with great bowling and fielding to dismiss Sri Lanka for 108 runs from 19 overs.
It puts Namibia in the box seat to progress through the qualifiers and reach the Super 12 stage of the tournament, while Sri Lanka must now beat UAE and the Netherlands in its group. Those teams played each other later Sunday.
Sri Lanka sustained a blow in the morning of the game as promising left-arm quick Dilshan Madushanka was ruled out of the competition with a torn quad muscle. He has been replaced by fellow left-arm quick Binura Fernando, who will fly out of Colombo on Sunday night.
Victoria state has the largest Sri Lankan population outside the country and they turned up in numbers to support the team bringing along with them a papare band – a three-piece group — and popular local songs were played.
Despite the defeat, Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka remained hopeful.
“If you see in the Asia Cup, we had a similar start. We lost badly to Afghanistan and then we raised our game and hopefully we can get inspiration from that,” Shanaka said.
It was Namibia’s first win against Sri Lanka in any format of the game and captain Gerhard Erasmus attributed the early success to the team’s preparation.
“We have been playing against teams like Zimbabwe in the lead up to World Cup and I guess that experience stood in good stead,” Erasmus said.