Sri Lanka beat Ireland by 70 runs to confirm Super 12 spot in Men’s T20 World Cup

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –Sri Lanka qualified for the Super 12 stage of the Men’s T20 World Cup with a 70-run win over Ireland in Abu Dhabi.

Wanindu Hasaranga hit 71 off 47 balls as Sri Lanka posted 171-7 and then took 1-12 from four overs as Ireland were bowled out for 101 in 18.3 overs.

Having put Sri Lanka in to bat, Ireland got off to the perfect start as Paul Stirling struck with just the second ball of the game to dismiss opener Kusal Perera.

Left-arm seamer Joshua Little took two wickets in two balls, bowling Dinesh Chandimal and Avishka Fernando, to leave Sri Lanka reeling on 8-3.

But from then on it was the Hasaranga show as the all-rounder – who was promoted up the order – played some exquisite shots from the outset.

Hasaranga hit 10 boundaries – including four in consecutive balls against spinner Simi Singh – and one six, and shared a 123-run partnership with Pathum Nissanka, the opener playing his part with a wonderful 61 off 47 balls.

Ireland lost openers Kevin O’Brien and Stirling cheaply as they fell to 8-2 in reply.

Having already rescued his team with the bat, it was then time for leg-spinner Hasaranga to star with the ball as he bowled Gareth Delany with a googly in just the second ball of his spell.

The 24-year-old bowled with discipline, serving no loose deliveries, to cap off a remarkable all-round performance.

Spinner Maheesh Theekshana (3-17) also impressed for Sri Lanka, while captain Andrew Balbirnie top-scored for Ireland with 41 off 39 deliveries. (BBC)



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