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Published: 16:15 | 18/6/16

Ireland thrashed by Sri Lanka


Opener Kusal Perera hit a chanceless century, and all-rounder Seekkuge Prasanna thrashed a quickfire 95 from 46 balls as Sri Lanka thrashed Ireland by 136 runs in the second KPC one-day international at Malahide.

Sr Lanka posted 377-8 from their 50 overs, and Ireland's top-order again misfired in their reply of 241 all out, although Andrew McBrine (79) and Boyd Rankin (18) hit their highest scores for their country in a record 10th wicket partnership of 54 with the game long lost.

Ireland, who won the toss and put the tourists in to bat, immediately regretted the decision as Perera and Danushka Gunathilaka (63) put on 147 for the first wicket in 164 balls.

But that was positively sedate, compared to the whirlwind that was Prasanna. The 30-year-old hit his first delivery from McBrine over long off for six, and didn't let up from there, slamming another eight sixes in a 46-ball 95.

He missed out on breaking Sanath Jayasuriya's 20-year old record for the fastest century by a Sri Lankan in ODI cricket, when he went for the perfect 10 sixes and saw his stumps splattered by Tim Murtagh.

Ireland's bowling was off-key, with even Rankin, the quickest member of the Ireland attack, carted around the picturesque Malahide Cricket Club.

Rankin's 1-86 from 10 overs were the most expensive figures by an Irish bowler on home soil, with Kevin O'Brien recording the second worst with 0-81 from eight overs as Sri Lanka finished on 377-8 from 50 overs.

Chasing the impossible target of 378, only John Anderson of the recognised batsmen showed any resolve on a wicket that offered few demons to the batsmen, with a well-crafted 34 from 45 balls.

The Dublin-based accountant, an amateur in this new professional-era of Irish cricket after losing his Cricket Ireland contract last December, proved the folly of that decision with a composed innings as bigger names threw away their wickets around him.

South Africa-born Anderson, who has the mindset of a run-accumulator rather than a run-plunderer, is no Twenty20 cricketer and seems to have been punished for his lack of appearances in 2015, a year where Ireland's focus was on the World Twenty20 Qualifier.

But his performances in club and inter-provincial cricket have been little short of sensational - he hit 642 runs in 14 days in May - and Cricket Ireland must resist the temptation to overlook the 33-year-old just because they feel financially-bound to pick players on central contracts.

Stuart Poynter also contributed a breezy 36 before throwing his wicket away with a misjudged uppercut, while the only other positive was the batting of McBrine, who showed up the top order with a mature 79 from the number eight spot.

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