Sri Lanka’s summer tour of England begins with two one-day internationals in Ireland, with the Test hopefuls keen to spring a surprise on their more established visitors.
Venue: Clontarf Cricket Club Ground, Dublin
Date: Tuesday, May 6
Start time: 10.45 a.m. BST
Live on: YouTube, Cricket Ireland official website
Weather: According to Weather.com, Dublin will be a little on the windy side with a chance of rain throughout the day. Temperatures are unlikely to get much above 13 degrees Celsius.
As part of their preparations for their international series, Sri Lanka begin on the other side of the Irish Sea with two one-day internationals against Ireland in Dublin.
Ireland last played in the World Twenty20 in late March and were unlucky not to advance beyond the initial group stage due to their marginally inferior net run rate.
Since then, plenty of their players have been gaining a good amount of time on the field in English county cricket, with Niall O’Brien making a good impression recently with 133 for Leicestershire against Glamorgan.
In the bowling department, spinner George Dockrell will once again play a leading role despite not playing for Somerset’s first team this year, while Tim Murtagh and Max Sorensen will lead the seamers.
They will still be on a high from their victory in the World Twenty20, although it is unclear how the loss of coach Paul Farbrace to England will affect them.
He was replaced by Marvan Atapattu, who has been promoted from batting coach and will be assisted by Ruwan Kalpage.
In his first squad, Atapattu chose an experienced and strong squad for these two matches, which will serve as a useful warm-up before three one-day matches against English county sides.
Ireland (from): William Porterfield (capt.), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Andrew Poynter, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson
Sri Lanka (from): Angelo Mathews (capt.), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Chathuranga de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Ajantha Mendis, Kusal Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Ashan Priyanjan, Sachithra Senanayake, Upul Tharanga, Kithuruwan Vithanage
With his explosive batting in the top order and his leadership qualities, Porterfield will be relied upon in a big way during this game.
He has had a good start to the year with Warwickshire and will be keen for that to continue.
Sri Lankan captain Mathews remains a crucial player for his team with both bat and ball and will be looking for a strong start to this tour.
He will want to lead in all aspects and has shown himself in the past to be enormously capable of doing so.
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