Clean sweep for Ireland A on Sri Lankan tour
Ireland A made it a clean sweep on their short tour of Sri Lanka after winning both their Twenty20 contests against BRC in Colombo.
Andrew Balbirnie and James Shannon both scored half centuries as Ireland racked up an impressive 202 for 3 in the first match.
Balbirnie top scored with 63 from 42 balls (5 fours, 3 sixes), sharing an opening stand of 132 with Shannon, who made 58 from 43 deliveries (4 fours, 3 sixes).
Stuart Poynter kept the momentum going hitting four boundaries in an unbeaten 26, with Stuart Thompson also in fine touch making 21 not out in 15 balls.
BRC were skittled for just 98 in 15.3 overs with the athletic Irish fielding to the fore, hitting the stumps direct to get three run outs.
There were two wickets apiece for Andy McBrine (2-14), Eddie Richardson (2-17), and James Cameron-Dow (2-19) in the impressive 105 run win.
The second match saw Ireland rejig their batting order with Chris Dougherty at the top of the order top scoring with 32 from just 21 balls (4 fours, 2 sixes).
Andrew Poynter (22), James Shannon (19) and Andy McBrine (18) all chipped in as Ireland finished on 144 for 8.
BRC were never in contention after early wickets from Eddie Richardson (2-6), while the spinning triumvirate of Andrew Balbirnie (3-18), Andy McBrine (2-9) and George Dockrell (1-28) ensured a comfortable 50 run win.
"We played really well in all the formats and deserved the wins," said Ireland A captain Andrew Poynter. "From afar it might look as if the opposition wasn't challenging, but we played excellent cricket and didn't allow teams to settle at any stage.
"The squad has really put the hard yards in this past two weeks and reaped the benefits from it. There's the obvious motivation of two World Cups and a West Indies tour for all the squad, and everyone wants to be on the plane. I think this tour has shown that's there's genuine quality and depth to Irish cricket which is encouraging for everyone."
Ireland Assistant Coach Pete Johnston was also delighted with the performances saying: "It was a fantastic way to end a very encouraging tour. I was impressed with the way the guys went about everything throughout the training camp and leading into the games - that was more important than the results, although it's great we won the four matches.
"Andrew Balbirnie and Chris Dougherty were the pick of the batters from the games. They were very sure in their methods showling great concentration and fitness in the heat. It was good to see Andy Balbirnie push on and get big runs and he impressed in the field too. James Shannon also played with a lot of confidence today in the T20's.
"The two emerging spinners Andy McBrine and James Cameron-Dow have also bowled very well forming a nice partnership and all our seamers have shown a bit of pace and some good one day skills.
"I'm really pleased to see us hitting the stumps out here too, with plenty of run outs, validating the technical work of Phil and myself. Everyone gave their all and can leave proud knowing they have a good base to build on as they work towards the season."
Ireland A tour of Sri Lanka
At Colts Cricket Club, Colombo
IRELAND A 203/3 (20 overs, A Balbirnie 63, J Shannon 58, S Poynter 26*, S Thompson 21*) beat BRC 98 all out (15.3 overs, A McBrine 2014, E Richardson 2-17, J Cameron-Dow 2-19, T Kane 1-14) by 105 runs.
IRELAND A 144/8 (20 overs, C Dougherty 32, A Poynter 22, J Shannon 19, A McBrine 18, Dambarage 2-4, Sarinda 2-19) beat BRC 94 all all out (18.4 overs, A Balbirnie 3-18, E Richardson 2-6, A McBrine 2-9, S Thompson 1-4, G Dockrell 1-28) by 50 runs.
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