Sri Lanka win a close contest
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood
Scorecard:Ireland v Sri Lanka
Player:BO van Rooi
Event:ICC World Twenty20 2009

DateLine: 14th June 2009


Sri Lanka emerged victorious in the end but the Irish team put on a good fight before bowing out of the tournament. They bowled well and started off decently with the bat too but the duo of Mendis and Muralitharan outclassed the minnows with their clever bowling and then Malinga towards the end delivered the knock out punch with a string of deadly yorkers to wrap up a close contest.


Mahela Jayawardene scored a fluent 78 from 53 balls to push the Sri Lankan score to144 for 9 in their 20 overs. The Irish bowlers were tight, threatening and disciplined as the Lankan batsmen found it very difficult to score off them. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first on a good batting wicket but Tillakaratne Dilshan top edged the second delivery of the match, from Rankin, into the safe gloves of Niall O'Brien. Kumar Sangakkara managed only three runs from 10 deliveries when he nibbled outside off stump and O'Brien took another smart catch, this time standing up to the stumps. Jayawardene and Sanath Jayasuriya pieced together the innings with a third-wicket stand of 67 in 49 balls.


Jayasuriya’s innings came to an end when he went down on one knee to slog-sweep the spin of McCallan, and was adjudged lbw. McCallan then added a second wicket one over later, when Chamara Silva picked out Rankin on the square-leg fence. Jehan Mubarak attempted to swipe Cusack over midwicket but succeeded only in skying a third catch to O'Brien and Cusack followed up three balls later with the key scalp of Jayawardene, who gave himself too much room for the cut, and was bowled with 12 precious deliveries of the innings remaining. Nuwan Kulasekera hammered one from Rankin, to John Mooney at long-off, before Angelo Mathews was bowled behind his legs by Cusack. One delivery later, and Cusack had four when Muttiah Muralitharan charged down the track to be stumped, and he could even have claimed an incredible fifth from the last ball of the innings, had Kevin O'Brien at long-on managed to intercept an Ajantha Mendis slog that bounced away for four.


The Irish openers began the chase with confident array of strokes on both sides of the wicket as the Sri Lankan bowlers panicked. Porterfield and O’ Brien added 59 for the first wicket in just 9.1 overs and it looked like Ireland would pull another upset in the tournament. Porterfield took it upon himself to launch their reply in style, as he threw Mathews and Kulasekera off their radar as he picked up boundaries at will. Though Porterfield was caught behind two balls later off Muralitharan, his 31 from 29 balls had given Ireland a platform to attack, with 86 still required from the final 10.5 overs.


When Malinga served up a brilliant second over of yorkers, bouncers and genuine pace, Ireland's requirement had leapt to exactly ten an over. Andrew White made good on that demand when he pulled Kulasekera over backward square for six before drilling him through the covers for four one ball later. White's aggression brought about his downfall as he top-edged scoop off the pads, and both O'Brien brothers fell in the space of four balls. Kevin O'Brien attempted a wild slog through midwicket but steepled a swirling catch to Tillakaratne Dilshan, before Niall charged at a short ball that tweaked past his blade, and Sangakkara completed a regulation stumping. Mooney kept them fighting to the bitter end with 31 not out from 21 balls.


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