Karunaratne’s ton and Hasaranga’s five-for eliminate Ireland

Dimuth Karunaratne reached his first ODI century

Ireland won the toss, made a double-strike in Sri Lanka’s ninth over of their innings, and took 6 for 44 in their final six overs. But Sri Lanka defeated Ireland by 133 runs, bowling them out for 192 after they had reached 325, showing just how thoroughly they had won the previous parts of this match.

Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne contributed to Sri Lanka’s fast start with solid batting. After a 48-second run-a-ball, Nissanka was knocked out by an incorrect draw from Barry McCarthy, who was about to enter the fray. 

The very next ball McCarthy caught Kusal Mendis lbw for a duck after getting one to angle in. At the conclusion of the first powerplay, Sri Lanka had 58 for two.

This results in Sri Lanka, Scotland, and Oman all moving on to the Super Six round of the World Cup Qualifier. Sri Lanka will carry over its advantages from beating Oman. The victor of their match against Scotland on Tuesday will receive two extra points to advance to the next round.

Ireland, however, is no longer in the running for the ODI World Cup. They still have one game left, against UAE, but those two teams have already been disqualified.

Wanindu Hasaranga recorded his third five-wicket haul in as many games for Sri Lanka, and Dimuth Karunaratne reached his first ODI century after scoring four consecutive half-centuries prior to that.

Both players’ spots in Sri Lanka’s starting XI were in jeopardy. Despite being a T20I star, Hasaranga hasn’t exactly turned that success into ODI success. Karunaratne, on the other hand, had been Sri Lanka’s most reliable Test hitter during the previous five years but had not performed particularly well in white-ball cricket.

Karunaratne will become a more serious World Cup contender as a result of his recent run of half-centuries and current run-a-ball score of 103, while Hasaranga is now the clear leader in wickets with 16 thanks to his 5 for 79 and 16 overall after the tournament.

This victory may have depended more on Karunaratne’s contribution. Karunaratne and Sadeera Samarawickrama put up a 168-run partnership until Barry McCarthy bowled the ninth over and got two wickets in two balls. 

This partnership, in which the hitters mostly took advantage of safe singles and doubles and pounced on errant deliveries, particularly those that were short, helped Sri Lanka win the game. Samarawickrama scored 82 runs off 86 balls after being dropped on 66 at mid-on.

With 216 on the board and Karunaratne and Samarawickrama joining forces in the ninth over, a score of more than 300 seemed inescapable when they were split up in the 36th over. They will enter the Super Six stage with possibly the finest attack on display, having not yet allowed 200 goals against in the competition.

Given how thoroughly Karunaratne and Samarawickrama dominated the middle overs, even if it had been too little, too late, Ireland’s late surge with the ball caused damage to Sri Lanka. Dasun Shanaka claimed in the interview that followed the innings that they could have made 20 more runs but that the bottom order was easily discarded.

But the top order had carried Sri Lanka through once more, and the bowling was strong enough to take care of the Ireland chase quickly. Ireland basically never got the upper hand in the chase as they were 57 for 3 in the 11th over and 116 for 6 by the 20th.

In addition to Hasaranga’s five wickets, Maheesh Theekshana also secured two scalps, while Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, and Shanaka each secured one. Ireland’s best scorer was Curtis Campher, who had 39.

Although Sri Lanka’s tail did not wag, Charith Asalanka (38) and Dhananjaya de Silva (42*) played significant blows in the close. While Karunaratne and Samarawickrama were at the crease, they were far from the 350 mark, which seemed very likely. 

In a game at the Queens Sports Club that needed to be won in order to keep their hopes of India 2023 alive, Andrew Balbirnie called it at the toss and chose to bowl first.