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Ireland v Sri Lanka
Grenada, 18 April 2007

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World Cup Super 8, Grenada: Sri Lanka 81-2 beat Ireland 77 by eight wickets

By Ben Dirs

Farveez Maharoof (right) and Mahela Jayawardene
Paceman Maharoof (right) finished with figures of 4-25
Ireland's World Cup came to a sorry end as Sri Lanka thrashed them by eight wickets with 40 overs to spare in their Super 8 clash in Grenada.

The Irish were bowled out for 77, mainly thanks to Farveez Maharoof (4-25) and Muttiah Muralitharan (4-19).

Maharoof took the first four wickets, including three in four balls, while five Irish batsmen made ducks.

Sri Lanka lost two wickets, but Sanath Jayasuriya (24 not out) and Mahela Jayawardene (39 not out) saw them home.

Ireland's openers made a watchful start and the first run was not scored until the third over.


Jeremy Bray then decided to open his shoulders, square-driving Vaas for four before clipping Nuwan Kulasekara to the mid-wicket fence.

Bray got stuck into Maharoof in the eighth over, flicking the seamer off his legs before flaying him through the covers for back-to-back boundaries.

However, Maharoof soon had his revenge, forcing Bray into a leading edge as Russel Arnold took a fine catch diving forward in the covers.

Andre Botha fell two balls later for a duck, feathering a catch to Kumar Sangakkara behind the stumps, and Eoin Morgan went next ball, Sangakkara taking a fine catch diving to his left.

Maharoof put down a sharp caught and bowled chance off Niall O'Brien in his next over but then triggered a second collapse which saw five wickets fall for just three runs.

William Porterfield tried to break the shackles and was pouched by Jayasuriya at mid-on for a painstaking 17 before Muralitharan was brought into the attack.

Niall O'Brien edged him behind for four and Kenny Carroll, on his World Cup debut, was bowled behind his legs for a second-ball duck.

Maharoof then effected a spectacular run-out, collecting a straight drive from Trent Johnston off his own bowling and his throw deflecting off the Ireland skipper's legs and onto his stumps.

Kevin O'Brien was next to go in Muralitharan's next over as Jayasuriya took a leading edge at mid-off.

And Kyle McCallan was Muralitharan's fourth victim, playing no shot and getting himself trapped plumb in front for another duck.

Dave Langford-Smith hit a steepling six off Maharoof and a sweetly-timed four off Muralitharan and Boyd Rankin weighed in with a nice four through extra-cover as Ireland eyed the 100 mark.

But Vaas finished off the innings, trapping Langford-Smith lbw for 18 with a full toss to leave Rankin stranded on seven.

Upal Tharanga fell in the first over of Sri Lanka's reply, carving Rankin straight to Porterfield at backward point.

And Langford-Smith did for Sangakkara, Carroll taking a fine catch diving to his left in the covers.

Langford-Smith should have had another wicket when substitute fielder John Mooney shelled Jayawardene at mid-on.

But it was plain sailing thereafter, Jayawardene and Jayasuriya seeing Sri Lanka home in exactly 10 overs.

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