ICC World T20 | Twitter reacts to Kusal Mendis powering Sri Lanka home to comfortable 9-wicket win over Ireland

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Kusal Mendis scored a fifty against Ireland in the opening game

(ICC)

ICC World T20 | Twitter reacts to Kusal Mendis powering Sri Lanka home to comfortable 9-wicket win over Ireland

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SportsCafe Desk

10/23/2022

Sri Lanka breezed through their Super 12 opener against Ireland in Hobart to make a strong statement of their ambitions at the marquee event. After a clinical bowling display, Kusal Mendis starred for the Lions with a boisterous half-century bolstering his team’s net run rate to a great extent.

Ireland’s dream of continuing their momentum after a stellar victory against West Indies came crashing down at the Bellerive Oval on Sunday as they kicked off the second phase of the tournament with a comprehensive thrashing at the hands of Sri Lanka. The Asian contingent dominated all three aspects of the game and in the end, came away with a nine-wicket victory still having 30 balls to spare.

Choosing to set a target, the Irish suffered a major setback on the first ball of the second over itself with last game’s hero skipper Andy Balbirnie departing for just 1. Thereon, they never got into a proper rhythm and lost wickets frequently. Paul Stirling and Harry Tector put up valiant fights with knocks of 34(25) and 45(42) respectively but a lack of a late outburst meant it was only enough to get them to 128/8. It was the usual suspects that enabled such a clinical bowling performance for Sri Lanka, with spin duo Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana each scalping two victims.

In response, Ireland were uncharacteristically sloppy on the field, missing multiple run-outs and a couple of sitters. Filling in as the opener for the rested Pathum Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva set the foundation with a well-calculated 31(25). Kusal Mendis built on it with a commanding unbeaten 68 off just 43 deliveries, including a late blitzkrieg to get home well in advance.

Class apart

Top notch

Fatasy player

The winning six

Exceptional

Leading the side into victory

Fantastic performance

Back to back

Up at the top

Perfect win

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