Hasaranga, Theekshana ,Lahiru and Nissanka help to rout formidable Ireland in group A clash by 70 runs, FIRST to book berth in Super 12 second phase stage – by Sunil Thenabadu (eLanka Sprots Editor).
The Sri Lanka players celebrate the wicket of Kevin O’Brien – Photo source Cricinfo
Sri Lanka 171 for 7 (Hasaranga 71, Nissanka 61, Little 4-23) beat Ireland 101 all out
(Balbirnie 41, Theekshana 3-17) by 70 runs
Winning the flip Ireland skipper opted to field..As in the game against Namibia for the second game in a row, Sri Lanka survived an early scare losing three top order batsman for just eight runs, but a century partnership of 133 runs between the opener Pathum Nissanka and Wanindu Hasaranga who was promoted to number five saved Sri Lanka from disaster.Hasaranga was the first to depart with a blazing inning of 71 runs which included ten fours and a six off 40 balls..Pathum Nissanka a relatively a novice of Test match mould scored a attractive 47 ball 61 including six fours and a six.
Stirling opened the bowling, and right at the outset, had Kusal Perera caught at cover for a golden duck caught in the covers to a diving catch, diving forward.Josh Little who opened bowing in his second over clean bowled, knocking back his stumps for six and in the very next ball too he clean bowled dependable Avishka Fernando for a golden duck to make Sri Lanka batting in tatters until the 133 run partnership saved Sri Lanka.At this moment Irish were naturally afloat but in a herculean effort but Hasaranga and Nissanka made a miraculous fourth wicket stand .At the end of 20 overs Sri Lanka made a winning formidable total of 177 for the loss of seven wickets.
Chasing 172 runs to win Ireland batting was lacklustre though on paper they possess a formidable batting line up. Ireland began to drain wickets from the beginning though anticipated big innings from the openers experienced Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien.Only resistance came from skipper Balbrinie (41 in 39 b) and Curtis Campher 24 ( in 28 b) duo adding a determined 53 runs for the 3rd wicket. However with the asking rate climbing all the time succumbed wickets to the spin of Maheesh Theekshana, Wanindu Hasaranga, ,Charmika Karunaratne and Lahiru Kunara to be all out for 101 leaving Sri Lanka winners by 70 runs by which enabled them to qualify to the Super 12 second phase with an alarmingly highest Net Run Rate of + 3.165, the next best is Scotland with + 0.575.
Maheesh Theekshana with his off spin, googly and carrom ball bowling had best figures of 4-0-17-3 was the most successful. Wanindu Hararanaga had figures of 4-0-12-2 to be named the “Player of the Match “ for his all-round” performance. Chamika Karunaratne and Lahiru Kumara bowled their hearts out to claim 2for 27 in 3.3 overs and 2 for 22 in 4 overs.The entire team displayed an enthusiastic fielding display which augurs well for their matches ahead.