Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne scored a century and Wanindu Hasaranga took a five-wicket haul as they knocked Ireland out of the Cricket World Cup Qualifier. Sri Lanka now join Scotland and Oman in the Super Sixes stage of the tournament.
Ireland won the toss, took two wickets in the ninth over of Sri Lanka’s innings, and took 6 for 44 in the last six overs. But Sri Lanka beat Ireland by 133 runs and bowled them out for 192 after reaching 325, which showed how well they had won the latter parts of the match.
As a result, Sri Lanka, Scotland and Oman will all advance from their groups to the Super Six stage of the World Cup qualifiers. Sri Lanka will continue to carry forward the advantage they have gained from defeating Oman. The winner of their tie against Scotland on Tuesday will earn two more points to progress to the next round.
Ireland, however, has lost the chance to play in the ODI World Cup. Though they still have one match against UAE, both those teams are already out.
Wanindu Hasaranga took his third five-wicket haul for Sri Lanka in as many matches, and Dimuth Karunaratne completed his first ODI century after scoring four consecutive half-centuries.
The positions of both the players in Sri Lanka’s starting XI were uncertain. Hasaranga is a T20I superstar, but he is yet to convert that into ODI success. While Karunaratne had been Sri Lanka’s most reliable Test hitter during the last five years, he had not fared well in white-ball cricket.
Karunaratne will look to become a more serious World Cup contender with his recent half-centuries and this run-a-ball 103, while Hasaranga is now the clear leader with 16 wickets thanks to 5 for 79.
It can be argued that Karunaratne’s involvement was more crucial to the win. Karunaratne and Sadeera Samarawickrama put on a 168-run partnership until Barry McCarthy took two wickets in the space of two balls in the ninth over. This combination, in which the batsmen took advantage of mostly risk-free singles and doubles and attacked the wrong deliveries, especially the short ones, led to Sri Lanka’s victory. Samarawickrama scored 82 off 86 balls when he was caught at mid-on when he was on 66.
With 216 runs on the board when they parted ways in the 36th over, Karunaratne and Samarawickrama joined in the ninth over and a score of over 300 looked inevitable. Their attack, which is yet to drop below 200 points in the competition, will probably be at its best on display during the Super Six stage.
Ireland’s late onslaught with the ball hurt Sri Lanka, even if it was too little, too late, given how Karunaratne and Samarawickrama dominated the middle overs extensively. Dasun Shanaka claimed in the post-innings interview that he would have scored twenty more runs, but the lower order was easily dismissed.
But the top order had put Sri Lanka ahead once again, and the bowling was strong enough that Ireland were dismissed in quick succession. Ireland could never gain an edge in the chase as they were 57 for 3 in the 11th over and 116 for 6 in the 20th over.
Apart from Hasaranga’s five-wicket haul, Mahesh Thikshana also bagged two wickets, while Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara and Shanaka bagged one each. Ireland’s best scorer was Curtis Camper, who scored 39 runs.