It is a battle of two qualifiers as Sri Lanka play Ireland in Group One of the Super 12 stage of the 2022 T20I World Cup. The match will be played at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Sunday, October 2022. The match will begin at 3 pm local time.
About the Match
At this stage it is difficult to know if the match will even go ahead, or, if it does, if it will have to be curtailed in some form, given that the weather forecast for the Hobart area in Sunday is as unsettled as it is for much of Australia this weekend.
Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 2014 when it was staged in Bangladesh, and have twice finished runners-up – in 2009 and 2012. Ireland have never yet reached the knock-out stages of the competition.
It has been a difficult year for the people of Sri Lanka, who have endured political and social unrest in the wake of a major economic crisis.
For many, the performance of the cricket team has been a welcome source of distraction, and they returned home national heroes after they defied the pundits, winning the Asia Cup in Dubai in September.
Cheers turned to jeers when they lost the first match in their qualifying group to Namibia. However, they redeemed themselves by beating the UAE and the Netherlands, and eventually went through as group winners.
Ireland will not be overawed in the slightest by finding themselves above the big boys of World cricket, although they have to make do without the services of now retired star batter Kevin O’Brien, who had helped put them on the international stage with a blistering 50 ball century against England in 2011, still the fastest ever in 50 over cricket.
They also chose to drop off-spinner Andy McBrine for this competition, bringing in Simi Singh in his stead.
Sri Lanka (Form)
Few gave the Sri Lankans much chance when they travelled to the Asia Cup in The Middle East, even less so when they were heavily beaten in the first game by Afghanistan. But they reeled off five wins in a row, including victories against regional heavyweights India and Pakistan, to lift the trophy for the sixth time in their history.
Despite that, they had not gained enough ranking points to qualify automatically for the Super 12 stage of the competition and had to play in the first set of group matches alongside Namibia, the Netherlands and the UAE. That proved to be not without its challenges, but they got there in the end.
Ireland failed to qualify for the Super 12 stage of the World Cup which was staged in the UAE last year, after first round defeats to Sri Lanka and Namibia.
A run of seven defeats in T20 cricket followed, with losses to India, New Zealand and South Africa, but they arrested that trend by beating Afghanistan 3 – 2 at home in August,
Their warm-up game against Namibia ended in an 11 run loss, and the potential clash between these two teams two days later was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to the weather.
Their campaign proper got off to a poor start when they were beaten by Zimbabwe in Hobart. But they kept their hopes alive by winning the all Celtic-match with the Scots and then thrashed the West Indies, eliminating the two time champions from the competition.
Sri Lanka v Ireland Head to Head
The pair have played each other twice before in World Cups and Sri Lanka has won both times.
In 2009 they won by 9 runs in a match that was played at Lord’s.
And then last year, in the preliminary group stage of the competition, they won by 70 runs in Abu Dhabi.
The scheduled warm-up game between the two was rained off.
Sri Lanka v Ireland Betting Odds
Sri Lanka v Ireland Betting Tip Prediction & Odds
Sri Lanka will begin the favourites for this match. They have won the previous two games between the two countries and are previous winners of the competition. In addition, as they showed during the Asia Cup they have the ability to shrug off early disappointments and to grow into tournaments.
However, it would be unwise to underestimate the Irish who have a history of producing World Cup shocks. They have a powerful batting line up which has the potential to score quickly, so the Sri Lankan bowlers will need to be disciplined in their approach and not lose their line and length as they did against the Namibians.