Twitter Reactions: All-round Wanindu Hasaranga show powers Sri Lanka into Super12

Twitter Reactions: All-round Wanindu Hasaranga show powers Sri Lanka into Super12

The loss makes Ireland's next fixture a must-win affair for them.

Sri Lanka Cricket
Sri Lanka Cricket. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

Wanindu Hasaranga’s all-round show headlined Sri Lanka’s comprehensive victory over Ireland in Abu Dhabi that also secured their Super12 qualification. Hasaranga found an able partner in Pathum Nissanka, as the duo helped their team recover from 8/3 to 171/7, a score no one in their changeroom could have thought after Joshua Little had ripped their top-order apart.

It was a game of collapses, with Hasaranga’s innings sandwiched between two of Sri Lanka’s before Ireland stumbled and stuttered in the chase to be dismissed for 101 in 18.3 overs, to lose by a whopping 70 runs.

Little’s lot of damage before Hasaranga, Nissanka rebuild

Sri Lanka made a horrific start thanks to Joshua Little’s double strike in the second over that saw the back of both Dinesh Chandimal and Avishka Fernando on successive deliveries after Kusal Perera – victim of a sensational catch by Gareth Delany at cover – had departed for a golden duck off Paul Stirling in the opening over.

Hasaranga, promoted to No. 5, entered when Sri Lanka were teetering at 8/3. By the time he left – 131/4 – he had changed the course of the game entirely. Three down for nearly nothing on the board was not enough to dent his spirits as he pedalled forward aggressively, with Simi Singh bearing the brunt. He smashed a solitary six and 10 fours in his 70; four of those came off consecutive balls in the final over of the powerplay bowled by Singh.

Nissanka, who had himself picked two fours off Mark Adair before Hasranga’s onslaught against Singh, assumed the role of the anchor with his partner marauding the Irish bowlers. The 123-run stand between the duo took merely 82 balls and ended with Adair cutting short Hasaranga in the 16th over.

Rather calculatedly, Nissanka (61 off 47) accelerated after Hasranga’s end before becoming the fourth scalp of Little, who returned 4/23. Skipper Dasun Shanaka struck a couple of meaty blows in his 11-ball 21 but Ireland pulled things marginally back, with Sri Lanka losing four wickets in quick time at the death.

Bowlers stifle Ireland 

Having done the job with the bat, Hasaranga recorded figures of 1/12 in his quota of four, but the pick was Maheesh Theekshana, who scalped 3/17. Much like Sri Lanka, Ireland themselves lost their top-order cheaply. Kevin O’Brien top-edged to fine leg off Chamika Karunaratne in the very first over, while Theekshana and Hasaranga to remove both Paul Stirling and Gareth Delany inside the powerplay.

The ensuing 53-run stand for the fourth wicket between Andy Balbirnie (41 off 39)and Curtis Campher did keep Ireland alive but Sri Lanka continued to tighten their grip on the duo, as they consumed 51 balls in the process. Campher was cleaned up by Theekshana for 24 off 28, which became the trigger of the collapse that followed, with Ireland slipping from 84/3 to 101 all-out in the next 5.3 overs. The loss makes Ireland’s next and final fixture (against Namibia) a must-win affair for them.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: