Lankans up against the Irish in two ODIs | Daily News

Lankans up against the Irish in two ODIs

DUBLIN: The two-match ODI series against Ireland at Malahide, Dublin on Thursday and Saturday provides a perfect opportunity for Sri Lanka to get used to the white ball in these conditions after losing their three-Test match series against England.

It will help them clear their heads and concentrate on doing well out there in the middle with bat and ball. The visitors are a young team which has lost some stalwarts in the past two years and it has clearly affected them. However, there is some raw talent in this side which could spark to life any moment.

Ireland will miss the services of Leicestershire wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien who is injured and Stuart Thompson, who will miss both matches for personal reasons.

O'Brien is set to be out of action for four to six weeks after sustaining a grade-two tear of his left calf. O'Brien suffered his injury while batting against Warwickshire last week.

John Anderson and Max Sorensen have been called into the Ireland squad to replace them.

In Niall O’Brien’s absence Ireland will depend a lot on William Porterfield, Ed Joyce and Kevin O’Brien. These three players form the back-bone of the Irish cricket team. Joyce and Kevin O’Brien have been in particularly good form for their respective teams in the NatWest T20 Blast as well as the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Sri Lanka have dropped all-rounder Milinda Siriwardana for the ODIs. Kaushal Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella will also head back home along with Rangana Herath who has retired from the 50-over game.

Farveez Maharoof, Danushka Gunathilaka, Suraj Randiv, Seekkuge Prasanna and Upul Tharanga will join the side. Expect a lot of these players to feature against Ireland as they look to adjust to the prevailing conditions in this part of the world. Angelo Matthews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne will be the key players for the Lankans.

These two sides have faced off just twice in this format and Sri Lanka have won both fixtures quite comfortably. Sri Lanka have a very good record against the ICC’s associate members and will look to keep their status intact against the hosts.

Cricket Ireland chairman Ross McCullum said that though the fan build up to the Sri Lanka series had been positive, commercial success was not the biggest priority for the series, but rather getting an opportunity to improve Ireland's ranking on the 12-team ODI table.

"Hopefully, we'll get good weather, good cricket and we'll have a good day. The support for Ireland has always been pretty positive and pretty good, so hopefully that won't change,” said McCullum.

“I know there has been a lot of support from the Asian community in Dublin, so hopefully we'll get a large crowd there. For us, it's always good to play in front of a good crowd, because it certainly adds to the atmosphere and adds to Cricket Ireland's coffers, no doubt."


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