Alex Cusack's 73 ensured Ireland's cricketers got off to a winning start in their first competitive game in Colombo.

In a game against Sinhalese Sports Club - arranged after the South Africa A series got curtailed - Clontarf all-rounder Cusack made a welcome return to action having been rested in recent weeks.

Chasing 157 the Irish were indebted to Cusack who scored all round the wicket, but used his trademark square cut to particularly good effect. His 73 came from 49 balls and contained 5 fours and 3 sixes.

Andrew White weighed in with a run a ball 31, while Limavady all-rounder Stuart Thompson also enjoyed himself with a stylish 18 not out as the five wicket win was secured with four balls to spare.

Earlier in the SSC total of 157/8, Nigel Jones (3/17) had been the most successful of the Irish attack, while Trent Johnston's good form continued as he picked up two. There were also wickets for George Dockrell and Kevin O'Brien - all picked up under the watchful gaze of new bowling coach Craig McDermott.

Ireland are back in action again tomorrow afternoon at the same venue when they take on Sri Lanka A.


SSC 157/8 (20 overs, Dasun Shanaka 44*, Danushka Gunathilaka 38, Nigel Jones 3-17, Trent Johnston 2-44) lost to Ireland 159/5 (19.2 overs, Alex Cusack 73, Andrew White 31, Stuart Thompson 18*, Kevin O'Brien 17, Paul Stirling 15) by 5 wickets.

Full scorecard