Sri Lankan bowlers produced an all-round effort, picking up wickets at regular intervals to restrict Ireland to a below-par 128 for 8 in a T20 World Cup match in Hobart on October 23, 2022.
The Sri Lankan bowlers were right on the money after being asked to bowl as Ireland failed to build substantial partnerships.
Harry Tector was the top-scorer for Ireland, scoring 45 off 42 balls with two fours and one six, while Paul Stirling made 34 off 25 balls during which he struck four boundaries and two hits over the fence.
Maheesh Theekshana (2/19) and Wanindu Hasaranga (2/25) shared four wickets between them, while Lahiru Kumara (1/12), Dhananjaya de Silva (1/13), Chamika Karunaratne (1/29), Binura Fernando (1/27) picked up a wicket each for the island nation.
Opting to bat, Ireland lost skipper Andy Balbirnie early, bowled by Kumara as the batter went for an expansive shot over the keeper and short third-man fielder.
Lorcan Tucker (10) too perished, in somewhat, similar fashion, gloving one back on to his stumps while going across to target the vacant fine-leg area.
Stirling, who had scored a match-winning 66 to guide Ireland to Super 12 stage, played in his usual aggressive style before Bhanuka Rajapaksa took a brilliant catch at deep extra cover to cut short the Irishman’s innings.
Curtis Campher lasted for just four deliveries as Ireland slumped to 60 for 4 at the halfway mark of their innings.
Tector and George Dockrell, who played despite being COVID positive but struggled, stitched 47 runs off 41 balls for the fifth wicket to take Ireland past the 100-run mark.
Dockrell’s (14 off 16) struggle finally came to an end when Theekshana went through his defence in the 17th over.
Hasanranga then joined the party and dismissed Gareth Delany (9) and Mark Adair in a span of three deliveries in the 19th over as Ireland batting continued to falter.