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Ireland v Sri Lanka, Dublin - Preview

Host will hope to boost its ODI ranking in the two-match series

Ireland v Sri Lanka, Dublin - Preview
 - Cricket News
Angelo Mathews’s men have five changes to the squad that played the Test series.
Sri Lanka will be looking for its first win on the tour of the United Kingdom when it meets Ireland in the first of two One-Day Internationals in Dublin on Thursday (June 16).
Sri Lanka lost the three-match Test series 2-0 to England but will be encouraged by the improvement it showed as the series progressed. It has acclimatised with time, and starts the series as the favourite against the Associate team.
Angelo Mathews’s men have five changes to the squad that played the Test series, with Milinda Siriwardana, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Niroshan Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera making way for Farveez Maharoof, Upul Tharanga, Seekkuge Prasanna, Danushka Gunathilaka and Suraj Randiv. Of the ones left out, Siriwardana can perhaps consider himself unlucky as he was the highest scorer in Sri Lanka's most recent ODI series, earlier this year in New Zealand.
Sri Lanka will be missing Tillakaratne Dilshan, who pulled out due to personal reasons, but has experience with the likes of Tharanga and Maharoof returning. Maharoof has been recalled to the side after four years while Tharanga hasn't played an ODI since July last year. Tharanga, along with Lahiru Thirimanne, provides stability while the likes of Kusal Perera and Dinesh Chandimal, as well as Mathews, are expected to be the aggressors.
On the bowling front, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal share the pace-bowling duties with Dasun Shanaka and Maharoof also options. The pair of Randiv and Prasanna form the spin department in the absence of Rangana Herath, who has retired from limited-overs international cricket. 
Sri Lanka will fancy its chances, but Ireland has proved very often that it is no pushover in ODI cricket. With 11 ODIs scheduled before October, it has a great chance to improve its ODI ranking and, perhaps, prove a few more points as it has over the years.

That is a great motivation ahead of the series but Ireland has been hampered by some injuries to key members. Niall O'Brien, the wicketkeeper-batsman, and Craig Young, the pacer, have been ruled out while Stuart Thompson has opted out. Andrew Poynter, the batsman, also announced his retirement recently.
Despite the uncontrollables, Ireland has quite an experienced side for the series with William Porterfield leading the 13-member squad. As many as eight of them were part of the side that faced Sri Lanka in an ODI series at home two years back. Barry McCarthy, the 23-year-old seamer who plays first-class cricket for Durham, is the only uncapped player in the mix.
Both teams are seeking fresh starts in different ways. Ireland will want to get over its league-stage exit in the ICC World Twenty20 2016, while Sri Lanka will want to put its tour on track ahead of the ODIs against England. If the weather stays clear, it could be an interesting clash. 

Teams (from)
William Porterfield (capt), George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Tim Murtagh, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson (wk), John Anderson, Max Sorensen.

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Upul Tharanga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Farveez Maharoof, Suraj Randiv, Seekkuge Prasanna.

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