Ireland crash to defeat against Sri Lanka

They couldn't break their hoodoo of never having beaten a Test side in Dublin

Kevin O'Brien, Sri Lanka

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien reacts ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Yet again Ireland promised much but could not break their hoodoo of never having beaten a Test side in Dublin.

Having won the toss on a damp cloudy morning, Ireland captain's decided to bowl first in conditions that appeared perfect for a seam attack.

Indeed Ireland left out their front line spinners Andrew McBrine and George Dockrell and went with five seamers which included debutante Barry McCarthy. However Ireland opening bowlers Tim Murtagh and Boyd Rankin failed to make an impact as Sri Lanka raced to 42 without loss after seven overs.

The introduction of McCarthy into the attack saw him get a wicket with his second ball in international cricket.

Another wicket with the first ball of his second over provided him with a dream start and with figures of 2 for 4 after two overs he must have felt that this form of cricket is an easy game. Sport however is a great leveller and an over later he conceded a boundary of four successive deliveries.

Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal added 82 for the third wicket before Kevin O'Brien took a return catch to dismiss Mendis for 51. Chandimal was joined by the Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews and they added a further 88 runs until with the score on 217, Mathews had his off stump removed by Max Sorensen one run short of a half-century.

Although Chandimal went on to an excellent unbeaten hundred it was the innings of debutante Dasun Shanaka that ensured that Ireland would face a daunting total. The diminutive right-hander smashed 42 runs off just 19 balls which included 5 fours and 3 sixes.

Fine death bowling from Rankin, who finished with figures of 2-45, prevented the visitors getting totally out of sight but when the 50th over was bowled Ireland were left with a formidable 304 runs to achieve victory.

Porterfield and his opening partner Paul Stirling got Ireland of to a steady start with an opening partnership of 53 before Stirling had his stumps shattered by a ball from Shanaka for 27. Ed Joyce only managed 9 runs and John Anderson 7 both falling to catches by wicket keeper Chandimal off Shanaka's bowling.

Kevin O'Brien joined Porterfield and they added a quickfire 68 before Porterfield mistimed a pull shot and lobbed a catch to mid-off. The Ireland captain made 73 off 88 balls with 7 fours.

Heavy rain forced the players off for an hour and when they came back the momentum had gone out of the run chase. When O'Brien was dismissed for 64, the writing was on the wall and the innings subsided to 216 all out.

Shanaka got 5 wickets on debut and became only the 12th bowler and 3rd Sri Lankan in ODI history to take 5 or more wickets in their first game.

Ireland will hope for better on Saturday but it will take a significant improvement in form if Dublin is going to finally see victory over a Test side.

Sri Lanka 303-7 (Chandimal 100*, Mathews 49. Rankin 2-45) beat Ireland 216 (Porterfield 74, O'Brien 64, Shanaka 5-43) by 76 runs (DL)