| Maravan Atapattu square drives en route to his 101 in Colombo Monday. (Reuters)
Colombo: Hosts Sri Lanka crushed newcomers Holland by 206 runs to become the first team to reach the Champions Trophy semi-finals on Monday.
Opener Maravan Atapattu struck his sixth one-day hundred to lift his side to 292 for six after skipper Sanath Jayasuriya elected to bat in the day-night pool 4 game at the Premadasa Stadium.
Sri Lanka are likely to meet Australia in their semi-final. The Australians lead pool 1 after a record 164-run victory over New Zealand on Sunday and should easily beat Bangladesh in their other pool game. The Sri Lankans topped pool 4 with their second win after defeating Pakistan by eight wickets on Thursday.
The Dutch were skittled out for 86 with 20.3 overs left, hardly showing the application they had with their spirited fielding and bowling to peg the Sri Lankan total under the 300-run mark.
Jayasuriya said he wasn’t bothered that his batsmen did not dominate as expected. “We wanted to win this match. We didn’t want to hit them all over the ground. They bowled well, fielded well but dropped a few catches.”
Atapattu, who was named Man of the Match, reached his century in the 42nd over. After that his job was to anchor the innings. “You don’t expect batsmen to get runs from both ends, especially if your partner is Sanath. The best thing is to give him the strike and support him,” he said.
Dutch captain Roland Lefebvre was pleased despite the defeat. “I think to restrict them to 292 was a grand effort by our bowlers.” he said.
Holland were playing in only their sixth one-day International, and their first since the 1996 World Cup. They had qualified for the event, and next year’s World Cup, as winners of last year’s ICC trophy in Canada.
The Sri Lankan bowlers reduced the inexperienced opposition to three for four runs in the fourth over as they threatened to bowl the Dutch out for under the lowest one-day total of 38.
But Tim de Leede, who came in to bat at No. 4, top scored with 31 to avoid any such embarrassment. He hit five fours in his 43-ball stay, the only other show of resistance coming from Edgar Schiferli, who lofted off-spinner Muttiah Muralidharan over mid-wicket for a six to score 15.
Sri Lanka introduced the 290-wicket veteran in the 20th over with six wickets down and the spinner wrapped up the innings, taking four for 15 in 5.3 overs.
Earlier, the hosts were made to work hard by the resilient Dutch who claimed Jayasuriya for 36. Holland’s impressive effort in the field was typified by a direct run out by Sussex player Bas Zuiderent and a stunning one-handed catch on the long-on fence by De Leede to remove Aravinda De Silva on 23.