Hobart [Australia], October 23 (ANI): Following his side’s nine-wicket win over Ireland in their ICC T20 World Cup match, Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka praised opener Kusal Mendis for his performances, saying that he has been consistent this year and has played as per match situation most of the times.
A dominant batting display from Sri Lanka’s top-order batters helped them seal a clinical nine-wicket over Ireland in the Super-12 encounter at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart on Sunday.
“Really happy with the way we have played the game, we set out to do some things and did well. We knew spin would play a major role, we knew they would like pace, so we kept a lot of spin for the back-end. He has been consistent this year (on Kusal Mendis), has played according to the situation most of the times, that’s the area he has improved. That consistency which Sri Lanka needed for a long time, that gives us a luxury. Death bowling is a key area, the start with the bat is very important and that is where we can take positives going ahead. Thankful to the supporters who came to back us today,” said Shanaka in a post-match presentation.
With this win, Sri Lanka is at the second position in the Group 1 with two points while Ireland is at the fifth position with zero points and no wins.
Ireland opting to bat first, put up a sub-par 128/8 in their 20 overs. Harry Tector (45) and Paul Stirling (34) were the top scorers for Ireland. A 47-run partnership between Tector and George Dockrell (14) proved to be an inning-saver for the Irish.
Spin duo of Maheesh Theekshana (2/19) and Wanindu Hasaranga (2/25) were the picks of the bowlers for Sri Lanka. Binura Fernando, Lahiru Kumara, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne picked up a wicket each for their side.
Chasing 129, Sri Lanka got off to a cracking start, with openers Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva putting on a 63-run stand. The Asian champions got to the target without much issues, with Mendis hitting an unbeaten 68 off 43 balls.
De Silva hit 31 off 25 balls and Charith Asalanka scored an unbeaten 31 off 22 balls.
Kusal got the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his brilliant half-century.
Brief Score: Sri Lanka 133/1 (Kusal Mendis 68*, Charith Asalanka 31*; Gareth Delany 1/28) vs Ireland 128/8 (Harry Tector 45, Stirling 34; M Theekshana 2/19) (ANI)
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