Ireland Wolves provided bright patches, but ultimately succumbed to a dominant Sri Lanka A side by 175 runs today in the second 50-over match of a five-match series at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka.
Winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Sri Lanka A openers went on the attack early, scoring 86 runs in the first 12 overs. Captain Upul Tharanga (103 from 112 balls), the experienced 33-year old batsman with 31 Tests and 226 ODIs under his belt for Sri Lanka, was the chief aggressor, while his opening partner Avishka Fernando hit 55 from 45 balls, following up on his century in the last match.
Despite the whirlwind start, the Wolves bowlers - particularly the spin of James Cameron-Dow (1-32) and Harry Tector (1-50) - managed to pull the scoring rate back, with the two spinners conceding just 82 runs from their aggregate 20 overs.
At the start of the 47th over Sri Lanka A were 287-4, however some power-hitting in the final three overs saw 50 runs added, and the home side finished on 337-5.
The Ireland Wolves run-chase got off to a poor start losing two wickets in the first over, and struggled to recover from there. A late order 7th wicket partnership of 67 between Mark Adair (43 from 40 balls) and Shane Getkate (56 from 55 balls) put some respectability in the total, however once that partnership was broken the Sri Lanka side cleaned up the tail, with the Wolves being bowled out for 162.
Speaking after the game, Ireland Wolves Head Coach Pete Johnston said:
"It was more like home conditions for Sri Lanka today, and after losing the toss it was always going to be challenging batting second. We played well in parts of the game – with the ball I thought we did especially well in the middle overs with James Cameron-Dow and Harry Tector tying them down. With the bat, we lost too many wickets early but it was good to see Shane Getkate and Mark Adair form a good partnership at over a run a ball and for Shane to get past 50.”
“Ultimately we need to look at how we can improve during the first and last ten overs with bat and ball, but I believe we have the right balance and players to do that. The guys will sit down over coming days to share the knowledge and learnings as a group, and I believe will come back stronger for the experience in training and for the last three games in Colombo.”
SCORECARD IN BRIEF
Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 50-over match, 21 January 2019, Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota
Sri Lanka A 337-5 (50 overs; W Tharanga 103, P Mendis 76, A Perera 72; J Cameron-Dow 1-32)
Ireland Wolves 162 (35.5 overs; S Getkate 56, M Adair 43; T Siriwardana 4-26)
Sri Lanka A won by 175 runs (Sri Lanka A lead the five-match series 2-0)