Wednesday 7 December 2016

Sri Lanka hit runs record in one-day win

Ger Siggins

Published 19/06/2016 | 02:30

Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien leaves the field after being caught by Farees Maharoof from a delivery by Dasun Shanaka at Malahide. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien leaves the field after being caught by Farees Maharoof from a delivery by Dasun Shanaka at Malahide. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

The gulf between Ireland and the world's elite has rarely been as cruelly exposed as it was at Malahide yesterday. An Irish side confident of levelling the KPC series were dismantled by a Sri Lanka side that had appeared to be there for the taking.

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And there can be no complaints about the 136-run margin of defeat, just one of many records to fall as Sri Lanka posted 377-7. That set a new mark for highest total in an ODI in Ireland, beating the visitors' own 303 set on Thursday.

It has been a chastening series, but one not without hope for the future. Debutant Barry McCarthy picked up another two wickets and impressed again with his persistence and increased pace.

He escaped much of the carnage yesterday, with Boyd Rankin shipping his worst bowling return of 1-86, while Kevin O'Brien's eight overs cost 81.

Kusal Perera made 135 and Seekuge Prasanna bludgeoned 95 in 46 balls, including nine huge sixes. With opener Dhanuska Gunathilike run out for 65, it was the 41st over before an Irish bowler put his name on a wicket, Tim Murtagh claiming the first of his 3-66.

A flurry of wickets by the Middlesex man and McCarthy ensured the horrors of a 400 were avoided.

Chasing an impossible target gave it the feeling of a pre-2007 tourists visit and the unreality of it seemed to perplex the Irish batsmen.

Good starts were thrown away with loose shots, with only what would previously have been seen as fringe players making sizeable contributions.

John Anderson (34) played some gorgeous shots and as the only amateur in the side didn't look at all out of place.

Stuart Poynter (36) sparkled too for before Andy McBrine entertained the 1,500 crowd with an excellent maiden half-century.

The Donemana man rattled up 79 in just 64 balls and showed the selectors why he shouldn't have been omitted on Thursday. His defiant last-wicket stand of 54 with Boyd Rankin saw both men make personal bests and set a new 10th-wicket record for Ireland.

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