Sri Lanka eliminate Ireland
Sangakkara's men defend modest total at Lord's
Last Updated: June 14, 2009 5:39pm
Jaywardene: rescued Sri Lanka with quickfire 78
ICC World Twenty20 2009 - Group F
Sri Lanka 144-9 (D P M D Jayawardene 78, A R Cusack 4-18) v Ireland 135-7
Sri Lanka beat Ireland by 9 runs
Ireland are out of the ICC World Twenty20 after losing by nine runs to Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Mahela Jayawardene's rapid half-century helped Sri Lanka to a total of 144-9 after they had opted to bat first on a slow pitch at Lord's.
And Ireland looked capable of claiming their second scalp of the tournament, having beaten Bangladesh in the initial group phase, when opening pair William Porterfield and Niall O'Brien put on 59 in nine overs at the start of the run chase.
But Sri Lanka's star bowling trio of Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Lasith Malinga bailed out their team with a flurry of wickets, the required rate spiralled and Ireland finished up short on 135-7.
Defeat ends Ireland's hopes of reaching the semi-finals, while Sri Lanka are now top of Group F on four points and almost certain to progress to last four.
Muralitharan (1-13) started the collapse by having Porterfield caught behind for 31 with the first ball of the 10th over.
Andrew White (21) helped Niall O'Brien add 28 for the second wicket but fell to Nuwan Kulasekara, top edging an attempted scoop.
O'Brien was joined by his younger brother Kevin with the score at 87-2 but both departed in the space of four Mendis (2-22) deliveries.
Kevin top-edged a slog to Tillakaratne Dilshan at midwicket for a duck and Niall (31) was stumped after charging down the pitch and missing.
And Malinga speared in the yorkers superbly in the death overs, bowling Trent Johnston (9) and Andre Botha (0) with successive deliveries in the 18th over to reduce Ireland to 106-6.
Ireland required 36 off the final 12 balls and, after taking Kulasekera (1-47) for 18 off the penultimate over, still retained glimmer of hope.
But Malinga conceded just eight, including the run out of Alex Cusack attempting to take one to the wicketkeeper, to complete figures of 2-19 as Ireland closed just shy.
Jayawardene had earlier hit 78 off off 53 balls as Sri Lanka recovered from a poor start to their innings.
Dilshan, the tournament's second highest scorer, fell second ball when he mistimed an attempted pull off Boyd Rankin (2-27) to became one of four victims for wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien.
Dilshan's early departure was quickly followed by captain Kumar Sangakkara (3), brilliantly caught stood up to the stumps by O'Brien off seamer Trent Johnston (1-18), to leave Sri Lanka struggling on 14-2.
Ireland restricted Sri Lanka's powerful line-up to 28-2 at the end of the six powerplay overs - easily their worst start of the tournament.
But Jayawardene teamed up with 39-year-old opener Sanath Jayasuriya in a 67-run stand off 49 balls, including a spell of 37 off just three overs, to put them on course for a much bigger total.
Instead of pushing on to a major score, however, they stumbled again with Jayasuriya falling lbw to Kevin McCallan's off-spin for 27.
Jayawardene departed to Alex Cusack in the 18th over having hit nine fours and a six, one of five Sri Lankan batsman to fall for 14 runs in 16 balls to leave Ireland facing a far more modest total than they would have expected.
Medium pacer Cusack finished with figures of 4-18 from three overs, all his victims coming in the space of nine balls.
Ireland face Pakistan in their final Group F fixture at the Oval on Monday, while Sri Lanka take on New Zealand at Trent Bridge the following day.