Wanindu Hasaranga
Image from the Wanindu Hasaranga file

Sri Lanka crushed Ireland by 133 runs to advance to the Cricket World Cup’s Super Six stage.

On Saturday, Sri Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga made history by becoming only the second bowler in One-Day International history to collect three consecutive five-wicket hauls. Hasaranga did it in a qualification match for the ICC World Cup 2023 against Ireland, 33 years after Pakistan pacer Waqar Younis did it. On Sunday, Sri Lanka crushed Ireland by 133 runs to go to the Cricket World Cup Super Six stage of the qualifying tournament. The outcome also ensured that Scotland and Oman would advance from Group B alongside Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka scored 325 runs after being put into bat in Bulawayo. Opener Dimuth Karunaratne scored 103 runs at a run per ball, and Sadeera Samarawickrama added 82 runs. Both Mark Adair and Barry McCarthy grabbed four wickets for forty-six runs, but Ireland’s pace spearhead Josh Little gave up eight wickets for eighty-eight runs.

After McCarthy had Kusal Mendis trapped lbw off the first delivery, Karunaratne and Samarawickrama added 168 runs for the third wicket.

Ireland’s Charith Asalanka (38) and Dhananjaya de Silva (42 not out) both contributed as they fought to reduce the deficit in the final few overs.

To keep their qualification chances alive, Ireland needed a win, but after losing their seasoned starter Paul Stirling for six, things quickly went downhill.

Ireland’s score dropped to 57-3 after the dismissal of captain Andy Balbirnie. Wanindu Hasaranga then pinned Harry Tector in front for 33 runs. Lorcan Tucker was out in the next over after being bowled for a duck.

Ireland was nearly out of hope when Curtis Campher, who had scored a century in the heartbreaking loss to Scotland, top-edged to the wicketkeeper in his knock of 39.

With his final score of 5-79, Sri Lankan leg-spinner Hasaranga finished his three qualifying matches in Zimbabwe with 16 wickets.

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