In a dominant display, Sri Lanka defeated Ireland by a margin of 113 runs in the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifier match held on Sunday. The defeat dashed Ireland’s hopes of progressing to the Super Six stage of the tournament, leaving their captain, Andrew Balbirnie, disappointed with the outcome.
Sri Lanka batted first scoring a respectable total of 325 runs for Ireland to chase. This was thanks to a great century by their captain, Dimuth Karunaratne, and useful scores from Sadeera Samarawickrama (82) and Dhananjaya de Silva (42). Mark Adair and Barry McCarthy were the best bowlers for Ireland, taking four and three wickets respectively.
Chasing the daunting target of 326, Ireland struggled to gain momentum throughout their innings. The Sri Lankan bowlers wreaked havoc, reducing Ireland to 86/5 at one stage. While Harry Tector (33) and Curtis Campher (39) provided a glimmer of hope, their dismissals left Ireland on the brink of a massive defeat. Despite a spirited effort from the lower order, Ireland’s innings came to a halt as they were bowled out for a mere 192 runs in just 31 overs. Wanindu Hasaranga was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers, finishing with impressive figures of 5/79, while Maheesh Theekshana claimed 2/29.
Expressing his disappointment in the post-match interview, Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie acknowledged the strength of Sri Lanka’s spinners, who played a crucial role in their victory. Balbirnie emphasized the importance of regrouping quickly and playing with pride in their upcoming matches.
Dimuth Karunaratne was awarded the ‘Player of the Match’ for his outstanding century, which played a significant role in Sri Lanka’s triumph. With this result, Sri Lanka secured their place in the Super Six stage of the qualifier, while Ireland’s dreams of progressing in the World Cup came to an end. Sri Lanka sits at the top of the standings with three wins in three matches, accumulating six points, while Ireland, yet to register a victory, finds themselves in fourth position.