JJ Smit takes Namibia first-ever T20 World Cup wicket in Abu Dhabi on October 18, 2021. — ICC

Namibia took their first-ever T20 World Cup wicket on Monday as they kicked off their campaign against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, ending nearly two decades in the elite cricketing wilderness since appearing in the 50-overs showpiece in 2003.

Namibia’s first wicket came as Ruben Trumpelmann bowled Kusal Perera and JJ Smit took an amazing catch, as the Sri Lankan’s bat came slight across the line.

Spinners Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga claimed five wickets to help Sri Lanka dismiss debutants Namibia for 96 in round one of the tournament.

Theekshana struck with his first ball and returned figures of 3-25 following Sri Lanka’s decision to bowl in the second Group A encounter of the day in Abu Dhabi.

Theekshana, a mystery spinner, was ably supported by Hasaranga’s leg-spin.

Craig Williams with his 29, skipper Gerhard Erasmus, 20, and JJ Smit, unbeaten on 12, were the only three batsmen to manage double figures.

Pace bowler Lahiru Kumara struck twice and returned to wrap up the innings with a wicket and a run out from Pathum Nissanka as Namibia were bowled out in 19.3 overs.

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