Friday, June 14, 2024

Cricket Ireland: Ireland Men go down fighting in Sri Lankan warm-up

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Photo Credit: Sam Navarro

Ireland Men may have ultimately lost today’s warm-up encounter against Sri Lanka, but a competitive hit-out against an Asian side at a ground that may prove decisive in the upcoming Group Stage gave the Men in Green valuable experience ahead of the start of the tournament proper.

After winning the toss and electing to bowl first in warm and humid conditions, Sri Lanka got off to a flyer before two wickets from Josh Little, and some disciplined bowling from Barry McCarthy and Craig Young pegged their opponents back. 37 runs without loss came from the first three overs, while Sri Lanka only managed 22 for the loss of three wickets came from the next three.

From there the first innings fluctuated as runs flowed but wickets fell. Curtis Campher’s 2-5 off two in the middle overs were impressive as he mixed up both his pace and line to maximum effect. While wicketless, Gareth Delany’s 0-9 from two overs was almost as miserly – but 48 runs coming from the final three overs proved the difference in the end result.

Sri Lanka’s 163-8 looked competitive on a low-bouncing pitch, and while Paul Stirling (21) and Andrew Balbirnie (16) raced to 35-0 from the first 4 overs, the brakes were soon applied with the removal of both openers.

Lorcan Tucker (11), Harry Tector (13), Campher (26) and George Dockrell (17) all showed intent, but all fell to spinners as they chased the ever-increasing required run rate.

Dasun Shanaka (4-23) impressed with the ball as Ireland succumbed in the 19th over, all out for 122.


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