Ireland and Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe and the West Indies as the warm-up matches for the ICC World Twenty20 2012 got underway in Colombo.
Ireland produced an impressive performance to hammer Zimbabwe by 54 runs while hosts Sri Lanka defeated West Indies by nine wickets in a dominant display.
A brace of wickets for Nuwan Kulasekara and one apiece from Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews limited the powerful West Indian line-up to a modest score of 131 for six, Johnson Charles top scoring with 30 in 26 balls.
That score proved well within Sri Lanka's reach and thanks to unbeaten half-centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan (50 in 38 balls) and Mahela Jayawardne (57 in 35) they were able to coast home in the 16th over.
Niall O'Brien scored a sparkling 62 in 49 balls as Ireland posted 181 for five against Zimbabwe. His brother Kevin smashed 30 not out in 14 balls and Ed Joyce laid the foundations with 29 in 28.
Zimbabwe's senior spinners failed to take a wicket between them and Chris Mpofu took three for 39.
Zimbabwe then found themselves in trouble with the bat as Vusi Sibanda (0) and Brendan Taylor (3) fell early although Hamilton Masakadza (44 in 27 balls) attempted to revive the innings.
He was given good support by Craig Ervine, who made 24, but until Prosper Utseya and Ray Price hit 23 and 17 not out respectively at the death, he was the only other player to reach double figures.
Doing the damage for Ireland as they maintained control with the ball were George Dockrell and Alex Cusack, the former returning figures of three for 28 and the latter three for six as Zimbabwe limped to 127 for eight.
The warm-ups continue on Saturday when Australia play New Zealand and Bangladesh meet Zimbabwe.
© Cricket World 2012
Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Deposit Bonus.