London: Sri Lanka were given a scare by Ireland but were the eventual winners of their super eight match in the T20 World Cup at Lords.
Sri Lanka beat Irelanad by 9 runs in close match to march to the finals of T20 world cup.
Electing to bat first Sri Lanka could manage only 144/9, thanks to a classy half century by former captain Jayawardene.
Chasing a modest target of 145 Ireland were off to a good start as their openers O'Brien and Port Field put on 59 runs on the first wicket. Both these batsmen scored 31 runs each.
Ireland were 84/1 at the end of 14nth over and it looked liked as if they were all set to cause the second biggest upset on the tournament.
But Lankan spinners fought back and tightened their grip on Ireland batsmen. After the departure of White in 14nth over, Ireland batsmen struggled to score runs and wickets kept on tumbling.
Mendis and Murali outclassed the minnows with their clever bowling and then Malinga towards the end delivered the knock out punch with a string of deadly yorkers. These three bowlers bowled 12 overs between them and gave away for 55 runs and they dismissed five Irish batsmen.
Earlier, Ireland gave disciplined bowling performance as they restricted Sri Lanka to 144/9 in their allotted 20 overs.
It was the classic half century from former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene that helped Sri Lanka to reach a respectable total at Lords. Jayawardene scored 78 off 53 balls which was studded with nine boundaries and a sixer.
Apart from Jayawardana's classy half century, it was a sad story of Sri Lanka's famed batting line up as eight of their batsmen could not reach even double fingers.
Cusack who ended with figures of 3-0-18-4 was the pick of the Ireland bowlers. Rankan and McCallan shared two wickets each.
Ireland gave shocking start to Lankan innings as they dismissed batsman Dilshan for a duck and captain Sangakkara for 3 runs. At that time Lakan score read 14/2, but a cautious 81 partnership between Jayasuriya and Jayawardene helped Lanka to come out of woods. Jayasurya was dismissed for 26.
After the departure of Jayauriya, Irish bowlers tightened their grip and Lankans innings ultimately finished at 144/9.
Mahela Jaywardene was declared man of the match for his match winnings of 78.