Ireland Wolves captain Harry Tector scored his maiden century in a senior Irish side and shared a record fifth-wicket partnership with Shane Getkate, but it was not enough to defeat a rampant Sri Lankan side in the third 50-over match of a five-match series at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Sri Lanka.
After winning the toss, Ireland Wolves captain Harry Tector elected to bat first. While the Wolves lost early wickets and found itself 84-4 in the 19th over, captain Harry Tector and all-rounder Shane Getkate set about solidifying the innings, before building a competitive team total.
Tector’s 103 from 111 balls included seven fours and three sixes, and was his first century at senior levels. Having brought red-hot form from Sydney Grade cricket into the tour, Tector has had a quiet time with the bat, scoring 83 runs in eight innings – but today his form returned and he dominated the Sri Lankan attack, and – together with Getkate – put on a record-breaking 178-run stand for the fifth wicket.
For Getkate, today’s innings of 86 from 93 balls continues his good run of batting form since joining the squad for the white-ball series. His three innings on tour have returned scores of 37, 56 and 86, and was unlucky to miss a century, however settled for his highest score in senior Irish colours.
The Wolves total of 268-6 looked a defendable total, and the team would have gone in to the innings break with confidence. However, when the teams returned to the field the home side set about attacking the Wolves bowlers from the outset.
The opening stand of 47 runs was achieved before the end of the fifth over, and Avishka Fernando was once more the chief aggressor. His 89 came from just 67 balls, and included eight fours and four sixes – and he now has scored 272 runs in his last three innings against the Wolves attack, at an average of 90.67.
Fernando was joined in a 155-run second wicket stand by wicketkeeper-batsman Minod Bhanuka (113 runs from 87 balls). Bhanuka, yet to play for the Sri Lankan men’s senior side, has a first-class triple-century to his name and this was his first appearance with the bat in hand during this white-ball series.
The Sri Lankan side passed the target in the 32nd over and lead the white-ball series 3-0, with two matches to play.
After the match, Harry Tector said:
“Going into today we were definitely looking to bat first. In the second ODI we were also looking to bat first, but we lost the toss. So today we didn’t hesitate to bat first with the aim of posting a decent total – which we did – and then try and put a squeeze on them. But it was obviously disappointing how the game played out in the end with them chasing down the runs pretty easily.”
“I felt pretty good out there, and I approached my innings today just how I’ve approached the other ones, when out there I tried to rotate the strike and put the bad ball away. I’d obviously been in a bad run of form recently, which has been a bit disappointing, I would’ve liked to have scored more runs on this trip up until now, but I guess that’s cricket. I’ve actually felt quite good every time I’ve gone out to bat, so fortunately today I was able to kick on from a start – and to build a partnership with Shane Getkate was brilliant. He’s been batting brilliantly in the three ODIs he has played, and he’s really shown all the batters a formula that works.”
“From a series perspective, it’s disappointing for the series to have been decided with two ODIs still to play but I think what we will focus on over the last two ODIs is how could we get a result out here – how we can get a win. They’re a very experienced side and we’re a very young side, but really the only difference between the sides is not skill, but that they are performing more consistently over the period of the games. So we want to get that win, maybe two, and there will be no let up from us. All the lads will be working hard, as they have all throughout the tour so far. I just hope for the lads sake that we can get a win to give them just reward for their effort on this tour – we truly deserve that.”
SCORECARD IN BRIEF
Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 50-over match, 24 January 2019, Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Ireland Wolves 268-6 (50 overs; H Tector 103, S Getkate 86; I Udana 3-45)
Sri Lanka A 272-2 (31.1 overs; M Bhanuka 113, W Fernando 89; J Cameron-Dow 2-77)
Sri Lanka A won by 8 wickets (Sri Lanka A lead the five-match series 3-0)