Ireland will aim to level series against Sri Lanka on Saturday © Getty Images
Ireland will aim to level series against Sri Lanka on June 18 © Getty Images

After a positive start to their ODI campaign, visitors Sri Lanka are all set to lock horns with hosts Ireland in the 2nd ODI at The Village, Dublin on Saturday. Sri Lanka bounced back from their 2-0 Test series loss against England by crushing Ireland with their all-round performance in the first ODI. The home team did show glimpses of their batting and bowling prowess, but it was the visitors show all the way round. Sri Lanka registered a facile victory, thanks to their debutante Dasun Shanaka, who grabbed an fifer and also scored some handy runs in the lower middle-order. However, Ireland also had their newcomer Barry McCarthy, who was useful and took wickets at regular intervals. If both teams go in with same XI, these could be possible key clashes to watch out in 2nd ODI at Dublin: FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Ireland vs Sri Lanka 2016, 2nd ODI at Dublin

Kusal Perera vs Tim Murtagh: Kusal Perera looked decent during his 31-run knock in the first ODI, unlike his previous outing in 2014, where he was gone for a duck. In the 2014 series, Murtagh was the most economical bowler, conceding just 21 runs at the end of his spells along with two wickets. In the first ODI in this series, he started off conceding most number of runs and managed to grab just a solitary wicket, that too in death overs. It will be interesting to see if Perera goes past Murtagh or if the pacer grabs more wickets in the final ODI.

Kusal Mendis vs Barry McCarthy: Mendis performance in Test series was very usual and this time he stood out when the opening pair was not up to the mark. He scored fifty in first ODI, and before he could continue his form, he was grabbed by Kevin O’Brien. But there was one particular right-arm medium pacer who stood out on his debut. Barry McCarthy picked two wickets, although he went for 69 runs at the end of his overs. Mendis’ form can be at risky at No.3 as both the opening batsmen were picked by the debutante. Who knows Mendis could be next on target for the new comer!

Angelo Mathews vs Max Sorensen: Sri Lanka’s all-rounder skipper Mathews was not just excellent with his batting stint in the middle, but also scalped two wickets with his bowling. Sorensen was right on target and got his man, dismissing Mathews before he could reach his half-century. The bowler was unlucky to not get any wickets when the last time these teams met in 2014. If Mathews continues his strong form, he surely can prove to be helpful to guide his team to positive start ahead of their ODI series against England. ALSO READ: IRE vs SL 2016, 2nd ODI at Dublin: Predictions and Preview

Kevin O’Brien vs Dasun Shanaka: Shanaka was the star on his debut. When he entered at No. 6, who knew he would smash 42 off 19 that included five fours and three sixes. He was not just at his best with bat, but with the ball as well. He achieved a fifer on his first ODI match. Shanaka was effective in the first Test match against England, taking three wickets. Kevin O’Brien is also an all-rounder for his side and he was effective with the bat as well as ball. He secured a strong partnership with Porterfield which could have won the game for Ireland, until Nuwan Pradeep managed to get the breakthrough.

William Porterfield vs Shaminda Eranga: Irish skipper Porterfield remained until the end of the game from the beginning with his knock of 73 off 88, but was unfortunate as his counterparts were scalped at regular intervals. Skipper Porterfield will be expected to step up once again should Ireland hope to level the series against visitors. As for Eranga, he gained experience from Test series and implemented the same in ODI as well. He scalped one wicket, removing the Irish skipper. Will Eranga decide to attack the skipper or Porterfield decide to come out stronger is to watch out for.

(Shruti Hariharan is a Content Writer with CricketCountry. You can follow her on Twitter at @Shruti_2890)