By Anmol Pundir
Wanindu Hasaranga, the stand-out performer of the day ensured a win for Sri Lanka with his all-round performance against Ireland. Hasaranga was astoundingly promoted to number 5 scored 71 off 47 balls and took 1 wicket in his spell of 4 overs.
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) October 20, 2021
It was a Group A match between two of the best teams where Ireland opted to bowl first at
Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Joshua Little and Stirling proved the decision right for their team getting 3 wickets for 8 runs in first two overs. Ireland were excited to get the match in their favor early
in the innings but Wanindu Hasaranga sent to bat at number 5 had some different plans for the day.
Wanindu known for his tricky spin bowling played a mature inning, he did strike the ball
well enough to take pressure off the Nissanka but did not take the aerial route. Keeping the ball at the ground, identifying the gaps, Hasaranga proved why Lankans were favorites to win this match.
Pathum Nissanka on the other side was slowly building his own innings to be in compliance with Hasaranga.
Mark Adair’s fuller ball in the 16th over got rid off Hasaranga but the damage was done by the batter.
Sri Lanka was 131 for 4 in 15 overs. Skipper Shanaka with Nissanka got 40 runs in last 50 overs and had an above par score for Sri Lanka to defend.
Ireland came into chase a hard-to-get total of 172 made things worse for after Kevin O Brien got caught while hitting a pull short of Theekshana.
Sri Lankan fast bowling unit had their plans executed in the match where Karunaratane, Theekshana and Chameera were in great control along with the raw pace they had.
Lankans bowlers made sure Ireland was nowhere close to chasing that target. Skipper Balbirnie and Curtis Campher had a 53 run stand for the 4th wicket or else Ireland batting tumbled like cards in front of Sri Lanka’s bowling.
Lankan bowlers concluded Ireland’s batting in 18.3 overs restricting them to 101 runs.
Sri Lanka have won their 2 matches and has officially qualified for T20 World Cup 2021, which is to take place from October 23.
Ireland will next play with Namibia on October 22.
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