Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka showcased an all-round performance to cruise past Ireland by 79 runs in the first of two ODIs in Dublin.
Ireland captain William Porterfield could not have asked for a better start after choosing to bowl first as Sri Lanka opener Kusal Perera was caught by Kevin O’Brien at second slip off only the fourth ball of the match.
Lahiru Thirimanne only made eight runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Alex Cusack.
Upul Tharanga managed to score 24 runs before he was also caught behind, but only off the bowling of Stuart Thompson.
Wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal steadied the innings with his solid knock of 39 before he was caught and bowled by O’Brien.
Kithuruwan Vithanage failed to have an impact with the bat as he was caught by Ed Joyce at first slip off the bowling of Paul Stirling for five runs.
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews gave his team a much-needed boost by scoring 30 runs before he was run out by Niall O’Brien.
Ashan Priyanjan kept the runs flowing by making 31 runs before he was caught by Joyce at long-on off the bowling of George Dockrell.
Sachithra Senanayake only made three runs before he was caught by Dockrell at deep midwicket off the bowling of Tim Murtagh.
Sri Lanka eventually finished on 219/8 off their 50 overs thanks to Nuwan Kulasekara and Ajantha Mendis’ unbeaten 43-run partnership.
Kulasekara scored 42 off 34 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes, while Mendis remained undefeated on 18 off nine deliveries, which included three boundaries.
Murtagh was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Cusack, Thompson, O’Brien, Dockrell and Stirling all chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 220 to win, Ireland got off to a poor start as Stirling was clean bowled by Kulasekara for four runs.
Joyce failed to trouble the scorers as he was caught behind off the bowling of Suranga Lakmal for a duck.
Porterfield and Niall O’Brien stabilised the innings with a 58-run partnership before O’Brien was given out lbw off the bowling of Mendis for 33.
Following O’Brien’s dismissal, Ireland’s middle and lower order completely collapsed as they went from 63/3 to 97/8.
Max Sorensen managed to score 17 runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Kulasekara.
Ireland were finally put out of their misery on 140 when Murtagh was also given out lbw, but only off the bowling of Senanayake.
Dockrell remained stranded on 18 not out.
Lakmal and Mendis took three wickets each, while Kulasekara snapped up two and Senanayake claimed one.
Mendis edged out Kulasekara for the Man of the Match award.