Ireland score two wins in two days
September 10th 2012 by Cricket Ireland | International
Ireland continued ideal preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 in Colombo today as they made it two wins in two days following a comprehensive win over Sri Lanka ‘A’ today at the Sinhalese Sports Ground.
Ireland will be delighted with their preparations so far for the ICC World Twenty 20 in Sri Lanka. First up there was a T20 practice match against the Sinhalese Sports Club, who are a first class side in Sri Lanka. This was a tight affair with Ireland getting over the line by five wickets - Ireland’s win was mainly thanks to Alex Cusack’s solid 73, the Clontarf man’s innings coming from just 49 balls.
There was good time in the middle for Andrew White and Stuart Thompson, whilst Kevin O’Brien and Paul Stirling also both got starts. With the ball Nigel Jones enjoyed the return to Twenty 20 cricket and made a good claim for a starting birth by taking 3 for 17 whilst Trent Johnston weighed in with 2 for 44.
Today, saw a second T20 in two days for Ireland at the Sinhalese Sports Club and despite the stronger opposition of Sri Lanka ‘A’ it was a very comfortable victory for the Boys in Green.
Ireland bowled first and it was their seamers who did the damage with Boyd Rankin opening the bowling and bowling his four overs and taking 2-13 whilst Alex Cusack continued his smart start to the tour, this time with the ball by taking 3 for 11. Tim Murtagh picked up his first wicket in an Irish shirt as well and ended with 1 for 24. A much improved fielding effort also helped restrict Sri Lanka ‘A’ to 105 for 9 from their 20 overs which was unlikely to ever be enough on a very good batting track.
Ireland did lose a couple of cheap wickets early as William Porterfield and Niall O’Brien couldn’t reach double figures. However that brought Ed Joyce and Kevin O’Brien together and they proceeded to end the game in a hurry as Ireland ran out comfortable 7 wicket winners with over 5 overs left to spare. The Sussex captain ended with 53 from 39 balls whilst Kevin O’Brien showed signs that he is coming into good form as well ending with 28 not out from 19 balls.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons said after the victory:“It’s been a very strong performance by the team against a very good side. The bowlers all impressed to set up the win, and 105 was never going to be enough. Alex Cusack showed his all-round qualities taking three wickets to follow up his 73 which won the game for us on Sunday. Ed Joyce looked composed in his first innnings on tour, while Kevin (O’Brien) struck the ball very well. It all augurs well for the challenges which we will face in the coming weeks.”
Next up for Ireland is their two ‘official’ warm-up games both in Colombo at the Moors Cricket Ground on the 13th and 17th of September against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
Sinhalese Sports Club, Sunday 9th September
SSC 157 for 8 (20 Overs - Dasun Shanaka 44*, Danushka Gunathilaka 38, Nigel Jones 3-17, Trent Johnston 2-44)
Ireland XI 159 for 5 (19.2 Overs - Alex Cusack 73, Andrew White 31, Stuart Thompson 18*, Kevin O’Brien 17)
by 5 Wickets
Sinhalese Sports Club, Monday 10th September
Sri Lanka ‘A’ 105-9 (20 Overs - Anjalow Perara 32, Tilina Kandambi 21, Alex Cusack 3 for 11, Boyd Rankin 2-13, Tim Murtagh 1-24)
Ireland XI 108 for 3 (14.2 Overs Ed Joyce 53*, Kevin O’Brien 28*, Sachith Senanayake 2 for 13)
by 7 Wickets