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Sri Lanka qualify for ICC T20 World Cup Super 12 stage

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021

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Sri Lanka secured their place in the Super 12 stage in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 when they defeated Ireland by 30 runs in their Round 1 clash at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday.

Reporting exclusively from Abu Dhabi

Wanindu Hasaranga and Pathum Nissanka made career-best T20I scores 71 and 61 respectively to take Sri Lanka to 171 after they were 3 down for 8. Sri Lanka dominated throughout the Ireland chase bundling out the Irish lineup for 101. Maheesh Theekshana picked up 3 wickets for 17 runs, while Chamika Karunaratne and Lahiru Kumara took 2 wickets apiece.

Hasaranga and Nissanka added 123 runs in 82 balls – Sri Lanka’s highest in T20I cricket for the fourth wicket to take Sri Lanka out of a deep hole. Earlier, senior player Kusal Perera played a nothing short and was dismissed off part-time spinner Paul Stirling for a golden duck in the very first over.

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Left-arm seamer Josh Little rocked Sri Lanka early when Dinesh Chandimal chopped one onto the stumps and Avishka Fernando was beaten for pace. Chandimal tried cutting one which was too close to the stumps, while Fernando was castled with no foot movement as Sri Lanka were 3 down for just 8 runs.

Sri Lanka managed to change the momentum in the second half of the batting powerplay as Hasaranga counter-attacked the Irish bowlers. Off-spinner Simi Singh was taken to the cleaners by Hasaranga in the final over in the powerplay scoring 4 consecutive fours in the over as Sri Lanka reached 47 for 3 at the end of the powerplay.

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While Hasaranga and Nissanka ran well between wickets, they managed to punish the loose deliveries to collect the odd boundaries as Sri Lanka reached the 100 mark in the 13th over.

Hasaranga reached his maiden fifty in 38 balls, while Nissanka reached the same milestone in 37 deliveries. Hasaranga scored most of his runs through the off-side, while Nissanka found gaps at will to anchor the innings.

Hasaranga’s superb knock ended in the 16th over as seamer Mark Adair broke the stand. Ireland managed to keep Sri Lanka’s scoring rate at bay in the final five overs despite skipper Dasun Shanaka ended the innings with a flourish.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa failed to find the boundary as he perished off Little’s bowling while Nissanka fell in the penultimate over. Shanaka managed to score 14 runs in the final over to take Sri Lanka to 171.

Sri Lanka dented the Irish chase from the very first over when dangerous Kevin O’Brien top-edged off Karunaratne as Theekshana held onto a difficult catch at short fine leg. Theekshana once again struck in his first over as aggressive Paul Stirling miscued a slog-sweep, only to find Lahiru Kumara at short fine-leg.

Ireland were 3 down for 32 when Gareth Delany misread Hasaranga’s googly. Skipper Andy Balbirnie and Curtis Campher tried to revive the Ireland innings with a 53-run stand for the 4th wicket.

However, Theekshana came back to castle Campher for 24 which opened up the brittle Irish late order. Lahiru Kumara picked 2 wickets towards the end dismissing Balbirnie and Harry Tector as Ireland were bowled out for 101 after being 85 for 3 at one stage.

Sri Lanka – 171/7 (20): Pathum Nissanka 61, Wanindu Hasaranga 71, Dasun Shanaka 21*Josh Little 4/23, Mark Adair 2/35.

Ireland – 101 (18.3) Andy Balbirnie 40, Curtis Campher 24, Maheesh Theekshana 3/17, Lahiru Kumara 2/22, Chamika Karunaratne 2/27

Sri Lanka will play their third game in the Round 1 against Netherlands on 22nd October at Sharjah.

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Result
Ireland
101/10 (18.3)
Sri Lanka
171/7 (20)
Batsmen R B 4s 6s SR
Kusal Perera c Gareth Delany b Paul Stirling 0 1 0 0 0.00
Pathum Nissanka c Neil Rock b Josh Little 61 47 6 1 129.79
Dinesh Chandimal b Josh Little 6 6 1 0 100.00
Avishka Fernando b Josh Little 0 1 0 0 0.00
Wanidu Hasaranga c Craig Young b Mark Adair 71 47 10 1 151.06
Bhanuka Rajapaksa c Harry Tector b Josh Little 1 3 0 0 33.33
Dasun Shanaka not out 21 11 2 1 190.91
Chamika Karunaratne b 2 3 0 0 66.67
Dushmantha Chameera not out 1 1 0 0 100.00
Extras 8 (b 1 , lb 5 , nb 0, w 2, pen 0)
Total 171/7 (20 Overs, RR: 8.55)
Fall of Wickets 1-1 (0.2) Kusal Perera, 2-8 (1.3) Dinesh Chandimal, 3-8 (1.4) Avishka Fernando, 4-131 (15.2) Wanidu Hasaranga, 5-143 (16.4) Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 6-157 (18.5) Pathum Nissanka,
Bowling O M R W Econ
Paul Stirling 1 0 4 1 4.00
Josh Little 4 0 23 4 5.75
Craig Young 4 0 24 0 6.00
Mark Adair 4 0 35 2 8.75
Simi Singh 3 0 41 0 13.67
Curtis Campher 4 0 38 0 9.50

Batsmen R B 4s 6s SR
Paul Stirling c Lahiru Kumara b Maheesh Theekshana 7 7 1 0 100.00
Kevin O’Brien c Maheesh Theekshana b Chamika Karunaratne 5 3 1 0 166.67
Andy Balbirnie c Avishka Fernando b Lahiru Kumara 41 39 2 2 105.13
Gareth Delany b Wanidu Hasaranga 2 4 0 0 50.00
Curtis Campher b Maheesh Theekshana 24 28 2 0 85.71
Harry Tector c Kusal Perera b Lahiru Kumara 3 6 0 0 50.00
Neil Rock st Kusal Perera b Maheesh Theekshana 1 3 0 0 33.33
Mark Adair run out () 2 3 0 0 66.67
Simi Singh not out 5 9 0 0 55.56
Craig Young b Dushmantha Chameera 1 6 0 0 16.67
Josh Little b Chamika Karunaratne 1 2 0 0 50.00
Extras 9 (b 4 , lb 3 , nb 0, w 2, pen 0)
Total 101/10 (18.3 Overs, RR: 5.46)
Fall of Wickets 1-8 (0.6) Kevin O’Brien, 2-18 (2.3) Paul Stirling, 3-32 (4.2) Gareth Delany, 4-85 (12.5) Curtis Campher, 5-88 (13.5) Harry Tector, 6-89 (14.2) Neil Rock, 7-92 (15.1) Mark Adair, 8-94 (15.4) Andy Balbirnie, 9-98 (17.1) Craig Young,
Bowling O M R W Econ
Chamika Karunaratne 3.3 0 27 2 8.18
Dushmantha Chameera 3 0 16 1 5.33
Maheesh Theekshana 4 0 17 3 4.25
Lahiru Kumara 4 0 22 2 5.50
Wanidu Hasaranga 4 0 12 1 3.00

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