Ireland brought down to earth by Sri Lanka

They were beaten by 146 runs in Colombo

Ireland Cricket

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne u0003

Ireland's woman cricketers were brought crashing back down to earth after slumping to a crushing 146 run reverse against hosts Sri Lanka in their second Group fixture of the World Cup Qualifiers in Colombo.

Despite getting themselves off to a wonderful winning start already this week with victory over Zimbabwe, they were unable to maintain this momentum on Wednesday.

On a day where little went right for the Girls in Green, their loss was compounded by a hamstring injury to influential opener Meg Kendal, who was unable to bat as Ireland could only manage 93 in reply to Sri Lanka's 239 for 8.

Ireland's leading wicket taker Isobel Joyce extended her career tally to 127 as she claimed 4-39, but it was a rare positive in a below-par display in the field.

"I thought we started off well with the ball, but faded away in the middle which allowed them to get back into it." said head coach Aaron Hamilton.

"239 was a chasable total, but obviously 3 dropped catches didn't help our cause.

"We had a poor start with the bat and couldn't recover, but Shillers (Clare Shillington) batted really well at the back end.

Half centuries from Prasadani Weerakkody (61) and Dilani Mandari (53) saw Sri Lanka take control in the furnace-like cauldron.

The Irish attack conceded no fewer than 29 boundaries, with only Gaby Lewis (2-41) offering any real support to former skipper Joyce.

History was against a successful Irish run chase - only once have they scored more than 200 batting second in an ODI, and so it proved once again.

Makeshift opener Mary Waldron was involved in a run out with Cecelia Joyce (4) and it was a sign of things to come.

Left-arm seamer Fernando (3-21) drummed out the Irish top order, and at 27-4 it was all about respectability.

Clare Shillington did her best striking six boundaries - twice as many as her colleagues - in an unbeaten 36 from 37 balls, but it was all in vain as Ireland were skittled for just 93.

Thursday is a rest day in Sri Lanka, so Ireland will have a chance to recuperate ahead of meeting Group favourites India in the live broadcast game on Friday, with Thailand to follow on Saturday.

Ireland still have Super Six qualification in their own hands - indeed a win on one of their final two group game should be enough.

Fomer skipper Isobel Joyce was the best of the Irish bowlers taking 4 for 39 in the losing cause, but was disappointed at the manner of the loss.

"239 was within our capability but we didn't fire," she said. "We gave away too many as we should have restricted then to under 200 considering the boost of the big two early wickets.

"Personally I was really happy to take four wickets as my focus is usually on keeping the runs down, but I just wish it was under better circumstances given the result."

ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier, Colombo

SrI Lanka 239/8 (50 overs; P Weerakkody 61, D Mandara 53, I Joyce 4-39, G Lewis 2-41)
Ireland 93 all out (36.1 overs; C Shillington 36*. I Fernando 3-21)

Sri Lanka won by 146 runs

Via Cricket Ireland