An fine all-round performance by Sajeeva Weerakon helped Sri Lanka [ Images ] get the better of Ireland by 87 runs in the EurAsia Cup at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Weerakon's half century guided Sri Lanka to 261 for 7 after its top order collapsed. He then claimed two wickets, effected a run-out and took a catch as the Europeans were bundled out for 174 in 43 overs on Monday night.
The 28-year-old was also involved in a 107-run unbeaten partnership with Upul Chandana (46).
After captain Avishka Gunawardane elected to bat, the Islanders were struggling at 75 for 5, but thanks to the lower order they were able to post a respectable total.
Openers Gunawardane and Ian Daniel were troubled by the Irish pacemen, who gave them no chance to settle down.
After Daniel was bowled for six and the skipper followed at a personal score of five, the next batsman, Malinda Warnapura [ Images ], was caught behind for 12, leaving Sri Lanka tottering at 46 for three. All the three wickets fell to John Mooney.
But Chamara Silva (37) and Jeevantha Kulathunga, who scored an aggressive 42 off 40 balls -- inclusive of a six and six boundaries -- stitched a 70-run stand for the sixth wicket to revive the team.
Weerakon scored 53 runs, with the help of a six and four fours, while 45 extras swelled Sri Lanka's total.
Ireland, who were outplayed in their opening match by the UAE, never allowed the Islanders to relax. Led by skipper William Porterfield, they put up a brave fight.
The 21-year-old Porterfield resisted the Lankan attack with a fine half century. The left-hander was also involved in an 80-run stand with Thinus Fourie (30) for the fifth wicket before being dismissed for 72, inclusive of five boundaries, by Chandana. With his exit, Ireland's hopes ended.
Dhammika Prasad polished off the tail with two quick wickets to share the bowling honours.
A Gunawardane b Mooney 5
I Daniel b Mooney 6
M Warnapura c Wilson b Monney 12
K Silva run out 7
C Silva c Wilson b Mooney 37
G Wijekoon lbw Fourie 8
J Kulatunga b Kidd 42
U Chandana not out 46
S Weerakon not out 53
Extras: (b-1, lb-12, nb-7, w-25) 45
Total: (for 7 wkts in 50 overs) 261
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-39, 3-46, 4-65, 5-75, 6-145, 7-154
Bowling: Rankid 5-0-27-0, Mooney 10-2-43-4, Fourie 10-0-53-1, Armstrong 5-0-33-0, Kidd 10-0-30-1, Britton 10-0-62-0.
J Moling c and b Ganegama 10
C Armstrong run out 7
W Porterfield lbw b Chandana 72
G Wilson lbw b Weerakon 10
T Fourie lbw Weerakon 30
M Hutchinson run out 1
J Mooney c Weerakon b Warnapura 11
K Carroll run out 11
G Kidd b Prasad 0
T Britton not out 2
B Rankin b Prasad 0
Extras: (b-1, lb-6, nb-1, w-12) 20
Total: (all out in 43 overs) 174
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-26, 3-43, 4-123, 5-126, 6-140, 7-170, 8-172, 9-174
Bowling: Ganegama 7-0-32-1, Wijekoon 6-2-15-0, Prasad 5-1-26-2, Weerakon 7-3-18-2, Warnapura 10-1-40-1, Chandana 8-0-36-1.