Ire v SL, 2nd ODI Review: Kusal Perera ton shuts out Ireland

Ire v SL, 2nd ODI Review: Kusal Perera ton shuts out Ireland

Seekuge Prasanna Sri Lanka
Seekuge Prasanna of Sri Lanka scores six runs off a delivery. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Kusal Perera re-introduced himself to international cricket with a wonderful and blitzkrieg of 135. While the 25-year old Perera coasted to only his second ODI century, he was well supported by the likes of Danushka Gunathilaka and Sekkuge Prasanna who also smashed half-centuries. As far as the bowling attack went, it was Suranga Lakmal who came up with the goods with a 4-wicket haul. However, in spite of some inspired batting from Andrew McBrine later in the innings, the total of 377 proved to be a bridge too far for the home side as they slumped to a 136-run defeat.

With the conditions not playing as much of a role as most would have expected, Ireland skipper William Porterfield won the toss and put the Lankans into bat first. The new opening pair of Kusal Perera and Danushka Gunathilaka got the Lankans off to an explosive start. Despite taking calculated risks every now and then, the duo raced away to a hundred partnership, something that isn’t really seen in modern day ODI cricket.

It was only in the 27th over that the Irish got their breakthrough when Andy McBrine ran out the overly eager Gunathilaka after the latter had smashed 63. However, despite the break in play, the Irish did not have any respite as Sekkuge Prasanna began to fill the void left by his predecessor. Although Perera went on to smash his century, it was Prasanna who was severe on the feeble Ireland bowling attack.

After bringing up his half-century, Prasanna simply went berserk. He played the ball to almost all parts of Malahide as his compilation of 95 included 5 boundaries and 9 sixes, perhaps one of the most in an innings. It wasn’t until the 42nd over that the Lankans lost their next wicket in the form of Prasanna. However, despite a flurry of wickets in the final ten overs, the Lankans had reached a formidable total of 377. The architect of the innings was Kusal Perera, who was simply lethal, smashing 135 runs.

The Ireland innings got off to a poor start when Suranga Lakmal removed Ireland skipper William Porterfield. The return of all-rounder Farvez Maharoof was consummated by the wicket of Ed Joyce. Lakmal soon snapped up Paul Stirling as well as the mammoth total of 377 looked a bridge too far for the home side already. Lakmal, Prasanna, and Shanaka would go on to claim a few more wickets as yet another defeat became rather obvious for the Irish soon after.

Enter Andy McBrine. In spite of arriving rather late in the innings, McBrine kept the Irish with a long shot of victory by smashing the ball to all parts of Malahide. However,it was too little too late as McBrine too lost his wicket having smashed a wonderful 79. Ireland was bowled out in the death overs for 241 as the Lankans completed a clean sweep, finishing the series 2-0. Kusal Perera was adjudged the man of the match for his terrific performance with the bat.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka: 377/8 in 50 overs (K Perera 135; T Murtagh 3/66)

Ireland: 241 all out in 45 overs (A McBrine 79; S Lakmal 4/38)

Man of the match: Kusal Perera