Sri Lanka thrashes Ireland by 133 runs while Scotland thumps Oman by 76 runs

Wanindu Hasaranga starred with the bowl for the third consecutive match

Sri Lanka continued their ODI supremacy by beating Ireland by 133 runs at the Queens Sports Club in Harare as they marched to the Super Six stages of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2023. Later in the day, Scotland beat Oman by 76 runs thanks to a century from Brandon McMullen. 

Match 1: Sri Lanka vs Ireland 

Sri Lanka made the most of the batting conditions in Harare to post a formidable score. Being put to bat first, Pathum Nissanka was going strong with Dimuth Karunaratne before Barry McCarthy scalped the former’s wicket in the ninth over at 20. Kusal Mendis departed for a golden duck as Ireland sniffed a collapse. 

However, Karunaratne played patiently alongside Sadeera Samarawickrama, concentrating largely on risk-free ones and twos while pouncing on anything short. Samarawickrama was given a lifeline at 66 but his stint finally came to an end at 82. The 166-run stand for the third wicket allowed Sri Lanka some breathing space late in the innings. 

Karunaratne got out soon after completing his century in the 38th over but Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva struck at a strike rate of over 120 to help Sri Lanka cross the 300-run mark. The Sri Lankan tailenders fell like ninepins as none of them managed to score in double digits with Mark Adair’s four-wicket haul proving to be the sole highlight for the Irish bowlers. 

Like Sri Lanka, Ireland too started the game on a shaky note. Both the openers were back in the hut inside the powerplay. But, unlike Samarawickrama and Karunaratne, there was no one to forge a partnership for Ireland. They went from 57-3 to 116-6 and from 141-7 to 192 all out. 

Wanindu Hasaranga was the destructor-in-chief with his googlies trapping both Andy Balbirnie and Harry Tector. Only Curtis Campher and Tector could breach the 30-run mark with the latter top scoring with 39 runs. 

The loss marks the end of Ireland’s journey in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. They have a game against UAE pending but that will not matter in the larger scheme of things. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will look forward to taking on Scotland in their next fixture as the points will carry on to the Super Six.

Match 2: Scotland vs Oman 

Ireland’s loss punched Oman’s ticket to the Super Six stages of the tournament. As Scotland had already qualified for the next stage, the match between the two sides proved to be important as the winner would carry forward the points. Scotland made the most of it while Oman struggled to put runs on the board and ended up on the losing side. 

Scotland started the match on a slow note, adding only 47 runs in the first 13 overs. Both the openers were back in the hut with Christopher McBride getting out on a duck. It was the third wicket partnership between Richie Berrington and Brandon McMullen which proved to be the difference between the two sides. McMullen switched gears to go from 9 off 21 to 136 off 121 deliveries.

Berrington’s wicket started a collapse but Scotland had already piled 220 runs by then with 11 overs remaining. Oman’s bowlers picked the remaining seven wickets by conceding only 100 more runs with Bilal Khan’s pace proving to be dangerous for the Scottish batters. 

Brandon McMullen’s maiden ton in ODI cricket helped Scotland ease past Oman

Oman batted valiantly to not concede a single wicket inside the powerplay. But, Kashyap Prajapati fell in the very next delivery having scored only 12 off 32 balls. Jatinder Singh didn’t last long either as his knock came to an end after scoring only 14 runs. 

Their slow run rate forced the asking rate to climb to over 8 runs an over and the middle order succumbed to the pressure. Oman’s saving grace came in the form of the seventh-wicket partnership between Shoaib Khan and Naseem Khushi. The latter even scored a 53-ball 69 before Greaves claimed his wicket. 

Oman played nicely to complete their quota of 50 overs but fell short by 76 runs in the end. Greaves claimed a fifer with Leask, Neill, McMullen, and Watt notching one wicket each. 

With Ireland eliminated from the tournament even before the match Scotland and Oman could reach a conclusion, the middle-eastern Asian nation will now start preparing for the Super Six stage while the Scots face the Sri Lankan challenge on Tuesday.