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Toss Winner - Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first
Sri Lanka beat Ireland by 280 runs
Ireland's quest for maiden win in Test Cricket
Sri Lanka to win
Tournament: Ireland tour of Sri Lanka, 2023 | Format: TEST | Venue: Galle International Stadium, Galle, Sri Lanka | Toss: To BatBet Now
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Sri Lanka will be looking for an early lead as they take on Ireland in the 1st Test of the two-match series. Both sides come into this game, having lost their previous series. Sri Lanka had a poor tour of New Zealand and failed to capitalize on their chances. Ireland had a poor tour of Bangladesh.
Ireland has never won a Test Match in their short tenure as a Test-playing nation. The side will look to get this monkey off its back with a win. Sri Lanka has always been a tough side to beat in these conditions. The hosts would look to start the series with a win and regain their confidence.
Dimuth Karunaratne and his team would look to get over their poor show in New Zealand. The side hardly matched up against the Kiwis on that tour. They are back playing on home turf, and the Sri Lankan skipper shall look to use it to his side's advantage. He would aim for an unassailable lead in the two-match series.
Oshada Fernando and Karunaratne will look to lay a strong platform for the side in this game. The middle-order has a lot of experience, and the trio of Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, and Dinesh Chandimal will look to score runs. Nishan Madushka, Dhananjaya de Silva, and Prabath Jayasuriya shall look to add quick runs down the order.
The bowling attack didn't fare well in New Zealand, and the side will expect better spells from Kasun Rajitha and Vishwa Fernando with the new ball. Lasith Embuldeniya and Ramesh Mendis have done well in these conditions in the past, and they will play an important role. Jayasuriya and Dhananjaya de Silva add variety to this bowling attack.
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Nishan Madushka (wk), Prabath Jayasuriya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Ramesh Mendis, Vishwa Fernando
Angelo Mathews, Asitha Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, Vishwa Fernando, Nishan Madushka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Ramesh Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Prabath Jayasuriya
Andrew Balbirnie's side will have to come up with a strong performance to win this game. Their batsmen struggled in Bangladesh in the recent Test Match against spin bowlers. The same will wait for them in this game. The Irish skipper would like his batsmen to show their character and put runs on the board to challenge the hosts.
Murray Commins and James McCollum failed against Bangladesh, and they must see the new ball off to put the side in a strong position. Balbirnie is the most experienced player in the side, and he must hold the innings, building partnerships with Harry Tector and Curtis Campher. The side must use its depth in batting and expect runs from Lorcan Tucker, Matthew Humphreys, and Andy McBrien.
Their bowling attack won't find these conditions friendly, and they will need a good opening burst from Mark Adir and Graham Hume. Benjamin White and McBrine shall be the most important bowlers for the side, and they must do well. Campher and Matthew Humphreys will have to do well in the supporting role.
Andrew Balbirnie (c), Murray Commins, James McCollum, Harry Tector, Matthew Humphreys, Curtis Campher, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Mark Adair, Andy McBrine, Graham Hume, Benjamin White
James McCollum, Mark Adair, Andy McBrine, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Peter Moor, Murray Commins, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Harry Tector, Andrew Balbirnie
There is a forecast for overcast conditions at Galle. Unlike other Sri Lankan wickets, the wicket has been a good one for the bowlers. It does offer some support to fast bowlers on Day 1, but the spinners have always dominated here. The side batting first in the game shall be happy to have at least 400 runs.
Galle International Stadium, Galle, has been a good ground for the batsmen and the spinners. Batsmen enjoy the conditions on days 1, 2, and 3 when playing strokes is a good surface. Spinners have dominated on days 4 and 5 at this ground. Fast bowlers get some support from the wicket under overcast conditions and in the morning session.
It is one of the toughest wickets in the world to bat in the fourth innings as the wicket turns into a minefield making life difficult against the spinners. The sides batting first have won most games at this venue. The skipper winning the toss should not hesitate to bat first on this wicket.
Ireland is taking baby steps in Test cricket, and they got a dose of this format's demands during their tour of Bangladesh. Their batsmen must do well in the game, as the absence of Paul Stirling hurts the side. Sri Lankans have done well in these conditions and have a strong spin attack. It will make them favorites to win this game.
Sri Lanka to win
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