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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Clinical Sri Lanka Demolishes Hapless Ireland by 9 Wickets

Bowlers, Kusal Mendis, helps Sri Lanka post a victory over Ireland

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Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

AUSTRALIA: Ireland could not replicate their batting performance against the West Indies as the team set a target of 129 for Sri Lanka on a modest pitch.

Sri Lankan spinners claimed a couple of wickets each, and the pacers did a great job by not giving away easy runs.

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Opener Kusal Mendis dished out a scintillating batting display to take Sri Lanka over the line. Dhananjay de Silva and Charith Asalanka supported the diminutive opener with brisk cameos.

Ireland innings

After the Sri Lankan skipper won the toss and opted to bat, the bowlers rose to the task and stifled the Ireland batsman early on. Andrew Balbirnie (1 off 5 balls) and Lorcan Tucker (10 off 11 balls), the heroes of Ireland’s thumping win over West Indies in the qualifiers, were dismissed in quick succession.

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Paul Stirling (24 off 25 balls) hit a four, and a six off Chamika Karunaratne (29/1) as 14 runs came off the sixth over to take Ireland to 40/2 at the end of the powerplay.

With run-scoring difficult in the face of disciplined bowling by the Lankans, Stirling fell in an attempt to up the ante. The hard-hitting batter perished at long-off in a mistimed hit in the 9th over after he had hit Dhananjaya de Silva for a boundary in the previous delivery.

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Curtis Campher (2 off 4 balls) slashed a widish Karunaratne delivery straight into the hands of Charith Asalanka at the backward point in the last ball of the 10th over as Ireland reached 60/4.

Harry Tector (24 off 42 balls), who came in after the wicket of Tucker, began to free his arms and hit a six and a four in successive overs of Wanindu Hasaranga (25/2) and Maheesh Theekshana (19/2). George Dockrell (14 off 16 balls) became Theekshana’s second victim as Ireland kept losing victims at regular victims.

Dockrell backed towards the leg side to play a lofted drive through covers, only to play down the wrong line as the ball went on to clip the top of the off stump.

Binura Fernando (27/1) dismissed a well-set Tector who charged down the track but miss the full toss to Dasun Shanaka at mid-off. Gareth Delany (9 off 6 balls) holed out to Karunaratne at deep-midwicket while trying to slog sweep Hasaranga.

Mark Adair fell in the same fashion for a duck three balls later as Hasaranga finished off his last over with 2 wickets while giving away just 3 runs in the penultimate over.

Simi Singh (7 off 8 balls) and Barry McCarthy (2off 2 balls) saw off the final over from Fernando to take the Irish total to a modest 128/8 in their quota of 20 overs.

Sri Lanka innings

The Sri Lankan openers Kusal Mendis (68* off 43 balls) and Dhananjaya de Silva (31 off 25 balls) began the chase with the right intent as the duo milked the innocuous-looking Irish bowling attack. The batters kept scoring at a brisk rate as Sri Lanka reached 60 without loss in the powerplay.

Photo Credit: Twitter/OfficialSLC

The 63-run opening wicket partnership was broken by Gareth Delany (28/1). The leggie bowled one short and outside the off stump,but Dhananjaya reached out to hit it but ended up edging to the wicketkeeper, Tucker.

Dhanajaya’s knock consisted of two boundaries and a six over mid-wicket. Kusal Mendis was unfazed despite losing his partner and kept scoring from the other end. Sri Lanka was comfortably placed at 76/1 after the first 10 overs of the innings.

Mendis hit Delany for consecutive boundaries in the 13th over to bring up his second fifty in as many games. With Sri Lanka needing 29 runs in 42 deliveries, the match was truly out of Ireland’s grasp.

In the very next over which yielded 17 runs, Charith Asalanka (31 off 22 balls) brought up the fifty-run partnership for the second wicket while hitting consecutive boundaries off Josh Little (45/0).

Kusal Mendis slog-swept Simi Singh for a massive six over deep mid-wicket off the first ball of the over.

Five deliveries later, he finished the game with another six over deep mid-wicket in a similar fashion to register a thumping 9-wicket win for the island nation in 15 overs.

Kusal Mendis was declared the Player of the Match for his match-winning half-century.

Also Read: Nisaanka’s Brilliant Batting Powers Sri Lanka to Post a Thumping Victory over UAE

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