The Sri Lankan squad deserves to qualify for the Super 12s at the T20 World Cup 2021, according to Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie, who is now focused on taking his team to the next stage. Ireland will play Namibia in a must-win game on Friday after losing by 70 runs to Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
Ireland won the toss and inserted Sri Lanka in their second Round 1 encounter on Wednesday, reducing them to 8/3 in 1.4 overs, with to early strikes from Paul Stirling and Joshua Little. Sri Lanka reached 171/7 after 20 overs thanks to a 123-run partnership between Pathum Nissanka and Wanindu Hasaranga.
Hasaranga, who was elevated to the top of the order, hit 71 off 47 balls, including 10 fours and one six, while Nissanka struck 61 off 47 balls, including six fours and one hit over the ropes. Dasun Shanaka scored 21 off 11 balls, while Joshua Little replied with 23/4 in four overs for Ireland.
In response, Ireland was bowled out for 101 runs, giving the opposition a 70-run victory. With 41 and 24, respectively, skipper Andy Balbirnie and Curtis Campher were the only batsmen to reach double figures.
Balbirnie thought the batting unit lacked impetus, but commended Sri Lanka for their overall performance. He also talked about how difficult it is to bat on the fast Abu Dhabi surface and hoped that his hitters would give it their all in their upcoming encounter.
Balbirnie stated, “Our batting just didn’t get going at all.” “We were unable to gain any traction.” I got forty-odd points, and it took me quite a few balls to get there, and I certainly found it challenging enough. Sri Lanka is an excellent squad. They are deserving of a chance. We’ll be on the lookout for the second place.
“At home, we don’t get wickets like this, and we don’t get speed like that very frequently.” But, as we get through the stages – and if we have a good Friday, looking ahead to next week – it will only grow faster. The bowlers were a little shaky. They bowled some excellent short balls. But, at the world level, such is to be expected, and you must find ways to deal.
“I enjoy the challenge of being out there and having the ball zing past your head, and so do a lot of our hitters. That’s the struggle we want to be in.” If we qualify, we won’t be able to modify it throughout the course of the week. But all we have to do now is back up our abilities and face it straight on, rather than backing away. That’s more of a mental issue than a technical one. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, though. On Friday, we have a huge game.”
On Friday, Ireland will meet Namibia in a must-win match, with the winner advancing to the Super 12s stage. Namibia defeated the Netherlands by six wickets earlier on Wednesday, due to David Wiese, who took 1/32 and then struck an unbeaten 66 from 40 in a 165-run chase.
Balbirnie was looking forward to taking on an in-form team.
“We obviously wanted to come in and win today and perhaps put Friday out of our minds,” Balbirnie said. “But you want to win all the games.” “However, we came up against a very talented Sri Lankan squad today, and our whole focus is now on Friday, which is essentially a straight knockout.”
“We’re aware of their dangers, and we know they’re a capable group.” They came close to beating us in the qualifications a few of years ago, and it’ll be a great game between two excellent teams vying for a large reward in the end. We’ll have tomorrow off before heading to Sharjah on Friday, and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”