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Wanindu Hasaranga on Wednesday announced himself as a “batting allrounder” after his maiden Twenty20 international half-century helped Sri Lanka reach the Super 12 stage of the World Cup with a 70-run thrashing of Ireland.
Hasaranga, who smashed 71, and Pathum Nissanka, who made 61, put on a key stand of 123 to guide Sri Lanka to 171 for seven after being in trouble at 8-3 in the first round match in Abu Dhabi.
Sri Lanka’s bowling attack, led by spinner Maheesh Theekshana who returned figures of 3-17, dismissed Ireland for 101 in 18.3 overs despite a valiant 41 from skipper Andy Balbirnie.
Hasaranga stood out with the 47-ball knock and economical figures of 1-12 with his leg-spin as Sri Lanka remained top of Group A with four points after their second successive win.
“When I went in I was under pressure, but I rotated the first few balls, then I accelerated,” Hasaranga, who was promoted to number five, said after being named man-of-the-match.
When asked how would he like to describe himself, Hasaranga, who has a batting average of under 16 and whose previous best was 44, said: “I am a batting allrounder.”
Fast bowlers Chamika Karunaratne and Lahiru Kumara also made their presence felt by taking two wickets each and skipper…