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Joyce and Cusack star as Ireland defeat Sri Lanka 'A'

The pair were in excellent form as Ireland won their latest warm-up ahead of next week’s ICC World Twenty20.

Joyce (file photo).
Joyce (file photo).
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

ED JOYCE AND ALEX Cusack turned in fine displays to ensure Ireland’s second win in two days as they comfortably defeated Sri Lanka ‘A’ in Colombo.

Bowling coach Craig McDermott will have been delighted by the performance of his charges, as Alex Cusack (3-11) and Boyd Rankin (2-13) both impressed as Sri Lanka ‘A’ were restricted to a well below par 105-9 in their 20 overs.

There was further good news as Middlesex’s Tim Murtagh (1-24) picked up his first wicket in Irish colours.

Angelo Perera (32) and Thilina Kandamby (21) were the only Sri Lankan batsmen to offer any serious resistance.

In reply the Ireland XI coasted to a comprehensive seven wicket win despite the early losses of skipper William Porterfield and Niall O’Brien.

Ed Joyce top scored with an unbeaten 53 from just 39 balls, while Kevin O’Brien struck a powerful 28 not out from just 19 deliveries as the win was secured with 5.4 overs to spare.

Ireland coach Phil Simmons said after the victory:”It’s been a very strong performance by the team against a very good side. The bowlers all impressed to set up the win, and 105 was never going to be enough.

“Alex Cusack showed his all-round qualities taking three wickets to follow up his 73 which won the game for us on Sunday.

Ed Joyce looked composed in his first innnings on tour, while Kevin O’Brien struck the ball very well. It all augurs well for the challenges which we will face in the coming weeks.”

Ireland’s ICC World Twenty20 warm up games continue on Thursday when they play Zimbabwe, before taking on Bangladesh next Monday, September 17.

Sri Lanka ‘A’ 105-9 (20 overs, Anjalow Perara 32, Tilina Kandambi 21, A Cusack 3-11, B Rankin 2-13, T Murtagh 1-24) lost to Ireland 108 for 3 (14.2 overs, E Joyce 53*, K O’Brien 28*, Sachithra Senanayake 2-13) by 7 wickets.

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