Wanindu Hasaranga and Pathum Nissanka scored respective half centuries as Sri Lanka defeated Ireland by 70 runs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
After being asked to bat first by Ireland skipper, Sri Lanka lost Kusal Perera (0), Dinesh Chandimal (6) and Avishka Fernando (0) relatively cheaply.
Hasaranga who was promoted at No 5, added 123 runs for the fourth wicket along with Nissanka to put the Lankans back on track.
The 24 year old Hasaranga after scoring a breezy 71, sliced at a Mark Adair delivery to Craig Young at backward point. His knock came off 47 balls with 10 fours and a solitary six.
Srilanka lost a bit of momnetum in the end with wickets of Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Pathum Nissanka and Chamika Karunaratne.
However skipper Dasun Shanaka scored an unbeaten 21 to take the Lankans to 171/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
Josh Little was Ireland’s best bowler with figures of 4/23.
Chasing 172, Ireland started disastrously by losing wickets of Kevin O’Brien (5) and Paul Stirling (7) early on in the chase.
Gareth Delany (2) also departed cheaply as the Irish were reduced to 32/3.
Skipper Andrew Balbirnie and all-rounder Curtis Campher stabilised the innings with a valuable 53 run stand for the fourth wicket before the latter was dismissed by Maheesh Theekshana for 24.
The dismissal of Campher opened floodgates as Ireland from 85/4 collapsed to 101 all out, thus losing the contest by 70 runs.
With this victory Sri Lanka became the first team to qualify for the Super 12 Stage.
For Sri Lanka Theekshana ended up with figures of 3/17, while Chamika Karunaratne and Lahiru Kumara claimed 2 wickets each.
Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva was declared the Man of the Match for his brilliant all round performance.