A United Arab Emirates spinner scored the first T20 World Cup hat-trick on Tuesday night but Sri Lanka secured a 79-point win at Geelong’s Kardinia Park despite their heroics.
Young leg thrower Karthik Meiyappan went wild in round 15 of the Sri Lanka innings, knocking out second down Bhanuka Rajapaksa, third down Charith Asalanka and captain Dasun Shanaka as the opposition crashed out at 5 -117.
Unleashing his bad ‘one at every opportunity, Meiyappan had Rajapaksa take deep cover, drew a slight edge for Asalanka to be caught behind and produced a magnificent delivery to send Shanaka back, giving him extra flight and bubbly between the skipper’s bat and the bow cushion. .
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Sri Lanka pulled off a mini recovery to post 8-151 and backed it up with a superb performance with the ball, crushing the United Arab Emirates for 73 runs in 17.1 overs.
It was a desperately needed win for the Sri Lankans, whose pursuit of the super-12 stage looked precarious after a shock 55-point loss to Namibia in the tournament opener.
Speedy right-hand man Dushmantha Chameera spearheaded Sri Lanka’s bowling brilliance, tearing up the United Arab Emirates’ best order and recording 3-15.
But the most impressive bowling performance of the night was that of hat-trick hero Meiyappan.
The 22-year-old scored the United Arab Emirates’ first-ever international T20 hat-trick and became only the fifth man to achieve the feat at a T20 World Cup, joining Brett Lee (2007), Curtis Campher (2021), Wanindu Hasaranga (2021) and Kagiso Rabada (2021).
“I couldn’t have played that ball better!” Dirk Nannes said of the third ball in commentary.
“Three batsmen in a row don’t pick this delivery. Supreme execution. Completely played…beautiful piece of bowling.”
Meiyappan flashed a beaming smile as he talked about the hat-trick during the innings break.
“It definitely didn’t (sink). To do a hat-trick in a World Cup game, especially against a Test nation (in) Sri Lanka – that’s a really great feeling and it really didn’t sink .again. So (I) go through the emotions,” Meiyappan said.
“There wasn’t so much buying on the wicket, but I think it was important for me to keep it stump to stump. So if they miss, I do. And that’s all I can think of. ‘have done.”
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