Ireland remain confident despite opening day defeat to Sri Lanka

Ireland remain confident despite opening day defeat to Sri Lanka

IRELAND remain confident ahead of tomorrow's second One Day International with Sri Lanka  despite being beaten by 79 runs in their opening game in Dublin.

Ireland were chasing a target of 220 but were dismissed for 140 in 39.5 overs, with many of the home side’s batsmen each failing to score a run total over 20.

Captain William Porterfield impressed and top-scored with 37 from 87 balls whilst Niall O’Brien recorded 33 from 39, hitting five boundaries, but this was not enough to defeat the world Twenty20 champions.

"The batting wasn't good enough, we know that, but we'll pick ourselves up," Porterfield said.

"It'll be a fresh pitch next time and I'm sure we can turn them over."

Ireland had chanced themselves ahead of the match to beat the 1996 World Cup winners, due to the absence of the visitor’s star blower Lasith Malinga and Sri Lanka’s unfamiliarity with early-season playing conditions in Dublin.

Both sides, however, found themselves struggling with the slow pitch in Clontarf, with Sri Lanka’s bowlers benefiting  the most from conditions.

"The ball did move around a lot for the seamers and the spinners," Porterfield added.

"We thought we could chase that total if we kept wickets in hand, and when we got to 60-2 we were okay. Losing the wickets was the problem, not the run-rate."

Tim Murtagh got Ireland off to a great start after Porterfield won the toss, with a wicket in the first over thanks to a superb catch at second slip by Kevin O'Brien.

The hosts had Sri Lanka 95-5 and 176-8 but the momentum swung as Ajantha Mendis and Nuwan Kulasekara hit 43 from the final 22 balls as Sri Lanka made 219-8.

Ireland’s hopes of challenging the visitors were dealt a blow when in-form Joyce was bowled for a duck, and Niall O’Brien was lbw for 33, the first of three wickets for spinner Ajantha Mendis.

The next three wickets fell in quick succession with Gary Wilson run out by his skipper, Kevin O'Brien’s first ball lobbed to mid-wicket and Thompson was beaten on the back foot by man-of-the-match Mendis.

Porterfield’s fine run ended after he swept to deep mid-wicket in search of a sixth boundary leaving Ireland 86-7 and looking ahead to a fresh start when the sides meet on Thursday.