Namibia played five T20Is this month in Dubai to prepare for this tough test against Sri Lanka. They started their warm-up campaign with a win over their hosts, UAE, and then upset Scotland in the follow-up game.
Then came a win over Papua New Guinea, which added more to their momentum but then came back-to-back defeats that must have deflated their confidence a bit.
The first one was more surprising since it came against Oman, and it wasn’t even close. Then, the Scots avenged their earlier defeat in a high-scoring match.
Namibia have shown that even if the results might not go their way always, or often, their batters have a few hits in them and can score runs.
Sri Lanka, the 2014 T20 world champions, came to the Middle East for their World T20 campaign on the back of a humiliating whitewash at home to South Africa.
In the four matches, they’ve played since they’ve had their wobbles but still managed to remain unbeaten. Victories over Oman (twice), Bangladesh, and Papua New Guinea must have restored some of their confidence.
That confidence reflected in the remarks of their captain Dasun Shanaka, who recently found similarities in the current side and the one that won the tournament seven years ago.
“If you recall, that squad had a lot of variety and depth,” he said. “And with the youngsters, we have coming through now I feel have the same potential, but the only thing lacking is the experience.”