Comprehensive win in first ODI against Ireland has lifted visiting side ahead of the upcoming series against England
Sri Lanka will hope to continue its good work from the first match in the finale of the two-match One-Day International series against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday (June 18).
After losing the three-Test series 2-0 against England, the comprehensive 76-run (D/L method) victory in the first ODI should help with Sri Lanka’s confidence.
Dinesh Chandimal's unbeaten century guided Sri Lanka to 303 for 7 before Dasun Shanaka, the debutant, shone with the ball, grabbing 5 for 43 in nine overs which cleaned up Ireland's middle order. Shanaka was also responsible for Sri Lanka's big total, as he scored a 19-ball 42 to announce his arrival in ODI cricket in style.
Kusal Mendis, another debutant, scored his maiden half-century in an innings that included eight boundaries. Contributions with the bat also came in from Angelo Mathews, the captain, and Kusal Perera, who was playing ODI cricket after six months.
Ireland, meanwhile, put up a brave fight despite losing key players like Niall O'Brien and Craig Young to injury. Even though Barry McCarthy, on his debut, was responsible for providing early breakthroughs for Ireland, the inexperience in its bowling showed and allowed Sri Lanka to score comfortably once it got going.
William Porterfield's steady 73 in 88 balls and Kevin O'Brien 49-ball 64 were the high points for Ireland in the opening game, but it would need the rest of the batting order, including experienced campaigners like Ed Joyce and Paul Stirling, to get going as well.
A series win will boost Sri Lanka's morale further ahead of the five-match ODI series against England that starts on June 21, while Ireland would hope it can sound the right notes before a long home season. Weather permitting, it should be an exciting clash.
Ireland: 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.