MenuSections Premium subscribers enjoy unlimited access to all articles. But there’s more: discover your full benefits now. Cricket Close Ireland coach Heinrich Malan said the weather has made things challenging / Ian Callender
If the heavy showers which were forecast for Melbourne today abandoned Ireland’s final warm-up match ahead of the T20 World Cup, they will have played only two of their proposed five games since arriving in Australia 12 days ago. As head coach Heinrich Malan said: “Ideally we would have played a few more games but we can’t control the weather. “The boys have been working hard getting our plans in place with the support staff and I’m sure the work we are doing in this space will put us in good stead as we head to Hobart (for their opening World Cup game against Zimbabwe on Monday).” There was also encouraging news about captain Andrew Balbirnie who missed Tuesday’s game against Namibia with a stomach upset. He was improved yesterday and the medical staff assessed him again to make sure he was back to 100 per cent. Today’s game was against Sri Lanka at the Junction Oval, a repeat of their first round World Cup match in Abu Dhabi almost exactly a year ago which the Asians won by 70 runs. Since then Ireland have played 29 T20 internationals, so they can’t say their under-prepared, although they have won only nine. *Dawid Malan underlined his value with an innings of 82 off 49 balls to help England claim a T20 series victory against Australia on a chilly evening at Canberra. Sam Curran collected three for 25 as the tourists claimed an eight-run win at the Manuka Oval to go 2-0 ahead with one to play. Get the best analysis and comment from our award-winning team of writers and columnists with our free newsletter.