ICC World T20 | Twitter reacts as Ben Shikongo devastated despite rare achievement to send Sri Lanka into tailspin
Sri Lanka are firmly on the backfoot against Namibia courtesy of a brilliant over from Ben Shikongo|
Every marquee event brings along with it the opportunity for a David to slay a Goliath and for an unlikely hero to zoom into the limelight. Ben Shikongo has become the latest player to produce a big-game showcase for the ages after he nearly pulled off a hat trick on his World T20 debut.
Sri Lanka started off their World T20 opener against Namibia in strong fashion with the ball but it all went downhill quickly soon for the Lions. Set a target of 164, the islanders lost Kusal Mendis in the second over itself but that was just the start of their problems. Youngster Ben Shikongo was handed the ball in the fourth over of the game with the important responsibility of steering Namibia in the powerplay at the raw age of 22.
The right-arm quick was immediately on the money with a yorker, and then decided to wreak complete havoc with the ensuing deliveries. Delivering to Pathum Nissanka, a length ball on off tempted the opener to clear the infield but the Namibians had a mid-off perfectly in place for the miscue, earning them a crucial wicket. In came Danushka Gunathilaka next, but not for long. A good length delivery drew the batsman forward in defence but it angled away ever so slightly, catching the faintest of outside edges and safely lodging itself in Zane Green's gloves. The entire bowling side erupted in jubilation and ran around in a spirited manner, unable to believe what was unfolding in the middle.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa was Shikongo's next target, shouldering the responsibility of denying the youngster a hattrick. He nearly failed as a dance down the pitch saw him getting hit on his pads in line with the stumps and the ball evidently going on to hit the wicket. However, the ball had clearly pitched outside leg, saving Bhanuka the blushes. Nevertheless, skipper Gerhard Erasmus decided to review the decision as a gesture of support to the teeming pacer and after the big screens confirmed everyone's suspicions, Shikongo simply closed his eyes and let off an exasperated sigh.
Even though he did not get his dream hattrick, Shikongo ended with a double-wicket maiden, the only Namibian ever to do so in T20Is, sending the internet into a frenzy.
Almost had it!
Just killing the internet.
A shocking start to this chase for Sri Lanka, mainly courtesy of Ben Shikongo. #ICCT20WorldCup— Sportyguy (@nikcriclover) October 16, 2022
In trouble definately!
Sri Lanka in trouble! What a spell from Ben Shikongo ! Almost Get the Hattrick for his team...— ᦓꪗꫀᦔ ᦓꪖꪑ꠸ (@SyedCric) October 16, 2022
Ben shikongo🇳🇦🔥— A$win $R 🇮🇳 (@aswinsr23) October 16, 2022
Ben Shikongo 🔥🔥 #SLvsNAM— Matthew Scoular (@ScoularMatthew) October 16, 2022