Home Cricket Spinners, Mendis shine as Lanka thrash Ireland by 9 wickets

Spinners, Mendis shine as Lanka thrash Ireland by 9 wickets

Spinners, Mendis shine as Lanka thrash Ireland by 9 wickets

Spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana claimed two wickets each while opener Kusal Mendis hammered an unbeaten 68, as Sri Lanka registered a clinical nine-wicket win over Ireland in their Super 12 match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 at the Bellerive Oval.

After a brilliant bowling performance, Sri Lanka restricted Ireland to just 128/8 in 20 overs, before Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva (31) shared a 63-run opening stand. Later, Charith Asalanka (31 not out) completed the chase for the islanders with nine wickets and 30 balls remaining.

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Mendis and de Silva hit five boundaries to bring up the opening stand fifty in the power-play with Ireland’s bowlers having a tough time. They got the breakthrough in the ninth over when Gareth Delany forced de Silva to cut a short and wide delivery, offering a top-edge to Lorcan Tucker.

George Dockrell dropped a catch from Asalanka running in from deep mid-wicket in the 11th over. Mendis brought up his fifty with back-to-back fours off Delany before smashing Joshua Little for two more. Mendis completed the chase with two sixes off Simi Singh as Sri Lanka completed a comfortable chase.

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Earlier, Sri Lanka’s bowling was tight and economical, especially spin twins Theekshana and Hasaranga, who stemmed the run-flow in the later half of the Ireland innings. Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie fell cheaply, with pacer Lahiru Kumara bowling him out. Danger man Paul Stirling held his own, hitting boundaries off Chamika Karunaratne and de Silva.

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But after his dismissal through Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s low catch at wide mid-off, Sri Lanka took complete control of the innings. Theekshana began by finding Tucker’s middle-stump in the fifth over. With Curtis Campher and Dockrell falling cheaply, Harry Tector took the attack to Karunaratne, Hasaranga and Theekshana. However, a mis-hit off a full-toss by Binura Fernando ended his innings of 45. Hasaranga dismissed Delany and Mark Adair in quick succession in the 19th over with Sri Lanka, claiming four wickets for 28 runs in the last five overs.

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Brief Scores

Ireland 128/8 in 20 overs (Harry Tector 45, Paul Stirling 34; Maheesh Theekshana 2/19, Wanindu Hasaranga 2/25)

Sri Lanka 133/1 in 15 overs (Kusal Mendis 68 not out, Charith Asalanka 31 not out; Gareth Delany 1/28)