Balbirnie: “(Challenge facing SL spin) We knew they’d be a big threat. There wasn’t a whole lot of spin, but enough to challenge the stumps and bat. We wanted to get 160 or so. We knew they did have a threat of spin on a used wicket, but you have to bat well – be it first or second. Tector is one of our top players, he’s had an amazing year, and he’s an important player in our middle order. (Next game MCG) A lot of us wouldn’t have played in a stadium like that – new for us. We haven’t played England in 11 years or so – exciting.
Shanaka: “Really happy with the way we played. That is the kind of cricket we want to play. (Spinners’ utilization) We knew spinners would play a major role in this game. We used the spinners late tactically in this game. (Mendis’ back-to-back fifties) He is being consistent and plays according to the situation most of the time. That’s what he has improved – it is high-class batting. Now we have that luxury. Death bowling is our key area and the start is important – we did that really well. Want to continue with that confidence.”
Kusal Mendis, Player of the Match: “Bowlers did really well. The total was low but I played my natural game. My team asked me to play the first six overs and then contribute till the 10th over. Went for sixes and boundaries. (Net run rate – ever a thought?) We wanted to get it in 17 overs. Thanks to the crowd for supporting us.”
Pitch: Bellerive Oval in Hobart is one of the smaller grounds used for the Super 12, and has been known to be especially unkind to wrist-spinners, which may play into Ireland’s hands. Showers are forecast for the afternoon, but there should be enough time to get a game in, even if curtailed.
Sri Lanka vs Ireland Highlights today. 15th Match, Group 1 (D/N), Bellerive Oval, Hobart, Sunday 23-10-2022, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.
Toss: Ireland opt to bat.
Balbirnie: “Want to put on a score that can be defended. Last week was high-pressure cricket, and to come through that gives us immense confidence. The pressure over the next couple of weeks will be different. Want to push the top teams as hard as we can. They have world-class spinners and we’ll have to counter that. We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been playing Afghanistan a lot, so we’ve been lucky with that. Same XI as Friday. The ground has been pretty good to us, last week and also in 2015. Conditions like ours here in Hobart.”
Shanaka: “We would’ve bowled as well, so it is fine. Nissanka has a groin injury so resting him for this game. The boundaries are big so need to have concern over that.” Ashen Bandara replaces Nissanka.
Sri Lanka team: Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Asalanka, Bandara, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Shanaka, Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Theekshana, Binura Fernando, Lahiru Kumara.
Ireland team: Stirling, Balbirnie, Tucker, Tector, Campher, Dockrell, Delany, Simi Singh, Adair, McCarthy, Little.
Head to Head In T20I’s: 2
Sri Lanka Won: 2
Ireland Won: 0
Sri Lanka T20I Rankings: 8th
Ireland T20I Rankings: 12th
(last five completed Tests, most recent first)
Sri Lanka WWLWW
Match Timings: 4:00 AM GMT | 3:00 PM Local
Umpires – Ahsan Raza, Chris Gaffaney
TV Umpire – Nitin Menon
Match Referee – David Boon
Reserve Umpire – Michael Gough
Match number – T20I no. 1841