Hasaranga, Nissanka bail out Sri Lanka

Hit maiden half-centuries after Ireland bowlers strike early

Wanindu Hasaranga and Pathum Nissanka hit half-centuries to help Sri Lanka post 171 for seven, after early setbacks, against Ireland in the Twenty20 World Cup on Wednesday.

Invited to bat, Sri Lanka was in trouble at 8 for three in the second over when Hasaranga (71) and Nissanka (61) put on key stand of 123.

Paul Stirling claimed the wicket of Kusal Perera for nought with the second ball of the innings and soon Joshua Little took two in two to send back Dinesh Chandimal and Avishka Fernando.

Hasaranga, an all-rounder who bowls leg-spin, took the attack to the opposition with four straight boundaries off spinner Simi Singh to lay the foundation for Sri Lanka’s challenging total.

He raised his maiden T20 international fifty in 38 balls and kept up the charge to punish the Ireland bowlers, including a towering six before falling to Mark Adair.

Nissanka was equally efficient and recorded his first fifty in the shortest international format as he hit six fours and one six in his 47-ball knock.

Little scalps four

Little returned impressive figures of four for 23, including Nissanka’s scalp, from his four overs of left-arm pace.

Adair claimed his 50th T20I wicket before Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka finished the innings with a six and a four in his unbeaten 21 off 11 balls.

Both teams are undefeated after winning their opening games in group A and a victory here will brighten their chances of progressing to the Super 12 stage which starts on Saturday.

The scores: Sri Lanka 171/7 in 20 overs (Wanindu Hasaranga 71, Pathum Nissanka 61, Joshua Little 4/23) vs. Ireland. Toss: Ireland.

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