T20 World Cup: Knew spin would play a big role, says Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka after win over Ireland | Cricket News


HOBART: Sri Lanka’s captain Dasun Shanaka On Sunday, the spinners credited for their dominant nine-wicket victory over Ireland in a T20 World Cup match, says retaining spin options for the death overs has done the trick.
It was the bowling unit, especially spin duo of Maheesh Theekshana (2/19) and Wanindu Hasaranga (2/25), who set up the win by restricting Ireland to 128 for 8.
“Really happy with the way we played the game, we did some things and did well. We knew spin was going to play a big part, we knew they wanted pace so we kept a lot of spin for the back end ,” Shanaka said at the post-match presentation ceremony here.

Kusal Mendis then topped the bowlers with a 43-ball 68 as Sri Lanka registered an easy chase to overhaul the target with five overs to spare and make a winning start in the super 12 stage.
“He has been consistent this year (on Kusal Mendis), played according to the situation most of the times. That is what he has improved – that is high-class batting. That consistency which Sri Lanka needed for a long time, which gives us a luxury ,” Shanaka said.
“Death is our key area and the start is important – we did it very well. Want to continue with that confidence.”
Shanaka’s Irish counterpart Andrew Balbirnie was disappointed with the team’s batting effort against the Lankan spinners.

“We knew they would be a big threat. There wasn’t a lot of spin but enough to challenge the stumps and bat. We wanted to get 160 or so. We knew they had a spin threat on a used wicket, but you have to bat well — whether it’s first or second,” he said.
Harry Tector was the top scorer for Ireland, scoring 45 off 42 balls with two fours and one six.
“Tector is one of our top players, he had a great year, he is an important player in our middle order,” said Balbirnie.
Mendis, who was named player-of-the-match, credited the bowlers for the win and said the idea was to chase down the total in 17 overs.

“The bowlers did very well to restrict them to a low score and I just played my game,” he said.
“I was just told to play the first 6 overs and then move on, the aim was basically to keep 10 overs but we were chasing a low score.
“We wanted to win within 17 overs, Charith (Asalanka) told me not to put myself under any pressure.”
Sri Lanka take on Australia next Tuesday in Perth.


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