Sport

Sri Lanka beat Ireland to reach Super 12s

Sri Lanka qualified for the Super 12s stage of the Men’s T20 World Cup with a 70-run win over Ireland in Abu Dhabi.

Wanindu Hasaranga hit 71 off 47 balls as Sri Lanka posted 171-7 and then took 1-12 from four overs as Ireland were bowled out for 101 in 18.3 overs.

Namibia beat Netherlands by six wickets in the earlier game, with David Wiese hitting 66 off 40 balls.

They will play Ireland on at 11:00 BST on Friday, with the winner qualifying for the next stage of the competition.

Sri Lanka will top group A if they beat bottom-placed Netherlands – who can no longer qualify for the Super 12s – later in the day.

Hasaranga & Nissanka rescue Sri Lanka
Having put Sri Lanka in to bat, Ireland got off to the perfect start as Paul Stirling struck with just the second ball of the game to dismiss opener Kusal Perera.

Left-arm seamer Joshua Little took two wickets in two balls, bowling Dinesh Chandimal and Avishka Fernando, to leave Sri Lanka reeling on 8-3.

But from then on it was the Hasaranga show as the all-rounder – who was promoted up the order – played some exquisite shots from the outset.

Hasaranga hit 10 boundaries – including four in consecutive balls against spinner Simi Singh – and one six, and shared a 123-run partnership with Pathum Nissanka, the opener playing his part with a wonderful 61 off 47 balls.

Ireland lost openers Kevin O’Brien and Stirling cheaply as they fell to 8-2 in reply.

Having already rescued his team with the bat, it was then time for leg-spinner Hasaranga to star with the ball as he bowled Gareth Delany with a googly in just the second ball of his spell.

The 24-year-old bowled with discipline, serving no loose deliveries, to cap off a remarkable all-round performance.

Spinner Maheesh Theekshana (3-17) also impressed for Sri Lanka, while captain Andrew Balbirnie top-scored for Ireland with 41 off 39 deliveries.

Wonderful Wiese shines in Abu Dhabi
In the earlier game, Wiese’s superb knock helped Namibia to their first ever win at a World Cup.

The 36-year-old played for South Africa at the 2016 T20 World Cup before swapping allegiances this year and arrived at the crease with his team on 52-3 in reply to Netherland’s 166-4.

Wiese hit four boundaries and five sixes, sharing a 93-run stand with captain Gerhard Erasmus for the fourth wicket.

Netherlands batter Max O’Dowd hit a brilliant 70 off 56 balls, but it was another fine innings in vain for the opener who also scored a half-century in his side’s seven-wicket loss to Ireland on Monday.

O’Dowd – who qualifies for Netherlands through his mother – hit six boundaries and one six in his innings and has been the standout star in an otherwise disappointing tournament for the Dutch.