Ireland v Sri Lanka

World Twenty20, 2009

At Lord's, June 14. Sri Lanka won by nine runs. Sri Lanka 2 pts. Toss: Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka clung on to their unbeaten record, but only after a jolt from the Irish, who began both innings the stronger. Indeed without a steadying Twenty20-best from Jayawardene, Sri Lanka might have been seriously embarrassed. They quickly lostDilshan and Sangakkara as the Irish seamers kept them to just 28 from the powerplay. Jayasuriya briefly feasted on the slow bowling before missing a sweep. Ireland embarked jauntily on their ascent of 145, and Porterfield's freedom of strokeplay persuaded Sangakkara to turn to spin in the fifth over. However, the turning point came when Niall O'Brien aggravated an ankle injury diving to make his ground. Not entitled to a runner, he struggled on: incapacitated and facing the accuracy of Mendis andMuralitharan, he failed to unleash the big shots. Even so, at 87 for one in the 14th over, Ireland retained a chance. Then White launched himself once too often at Kulasekara, Mendis followed up with two quick wickets and Malinga quelled Irish ambitions. Despite the excellent entertainment, this game was essentially an optional hors d'oeuvre for the England v India main course that followed: many preferred to watch the Indian galacticos practising on the Nursery ground.

Man of the Match: D. P. M. D. Jayawardene. Attendance: 27,641.

© John Wisden & Co.