Sri Lanka beat Ireland by nine wickets

Sri Lanka registered a nine-wicket win over Ireland in the T20 World Cup Super 12 match on Sunday after Kusal Mendis scored an unbeaten half-century from the bowlers. Ireland won the toss and decided to bat. With the Sri Lankan bowlers taking wickets at frequent intervals, Ireland could not build any big partnership and could manage only 128 runs for eight wickets. Among the Sri Lankan bowlers, Mahish Teekshana took two wickets for 19 runs and Wanindu Hasaranga took two wickets for 25 runs. Lahiru Kumara, Dhananjay de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne, Binura Fernando took one wicket each.

For Ireland, Harry Tector was the top scorer with 45 off 42 balls (two fours, one six) while Paul Sterling contributed 34 off 25 balls (four fours and two sixes). Chasing this small target, Sri Lanka did not feel any pressure. The team, which had lost to a weak Namibia in the first match of the qualifying round, won by scoring 133 for one wicket with five overs to spare. Kusal Mendis scored an unbeaten 63 off 43 balls while Charith Asalanka contributed 31 not out off 22 balls. Dhananjay de Silva also scored 31 runs in 25 balls.

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Ireland are playing their seventh consecutive World Cup but this is the second time they have reached the final round of the tournament. Prior to this, he had reached the Super Eights in the 2009 edition in England. Mendis and de Silva gave Sri Lanka a quick start. Both shared a partnership of 63 runs in 50 balls for the first wicket. DeSilva touched the bat off leg-spinner Gareth Delany and caught it to Lokran Tucker behind the stumps. Mendis and Asalanka then took the team to victory comfortably. Earlier, the wicket of Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie was lost early, who was bowled by Lahiru Kumara. Lokran Tucker (10 runs) was also dismissed in the same manner.

Sterling, who played a key role in taking Ireland to the Super 12 stage, scored 66 runs, started playing in an aggressive style but Bhanuka Rajapaksa took a brilliant catch at deep extra cover. Curtis Kemper could only last four balls, as Ireland’s score was 60 for four. Tector and George Dockrell put on 47 off 41 balls for the fifth wicket as Ireland crossed the 100-run mark. Despite coming to Kovid-19 positive, Dockrell’s innings (14 runs in 16 balls) ended soon. Gareth Delana (09) and Mark Adair were dismissed within three balls in the 19th over, which was dismissed by Hasaranga.

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