Neither side is expected to make the semis but this is an important game for both sides who will want to at least start the World Cup in style with a win. And this could just be their best chance of getting one, for both teams.
The match will take place at Hobart on Sunday, October 23 at 9:30 am IST and could be an intriguing contest, so keep reading.
Up next are our cricket betting tips for this match and we’re about to explain why a confident Ireland are more than capable of springing an upset here against a Sri Lanka side who did well to win two in a row to get to this stage but who are missing key players through injury.
There are other reasons for taking the gamble on the outsiders, not least the fact the game is in Hobart. We’ll explain the significance of that just now.
There’s also the toss winner prediction coming up next.
Recommended Bet: Back Ireland to win @ 3.25 with BlueChip
It’s worth taking a gamble on Ireland as 3.25 outsiders.
The most important factor of all here is that Ireland played their qualifying matches here in Hobart over the past week and will have learnt a lot about how to go about their business in these conditions.
But that’s not the only factor.
Sri Lanka are missing just about all of their best fast bowlers through injury including their most important of all in Dushmantha Chameera.
They may have the spinners to try and make up for that but if they don’t make inroads with the new ball, they could be in trouble.
The fact there isn’t a toss bias (an advantage to bowling or batting first) means that even if Ireland lose the toss, they’ll still have every chance of causing an upset.
The Asia Cup winners did things the hard way over the last week.
They started with a shock loss to Namibia in the first round where they made plenty of mistakes with both bat and ball.
But there’s no doubt that they were a cut above the rest of all the other sides in that preliminary round and showed their extra little bit of class in their next two matches, winning both.
First there was a comfortable win against the UAE where a well-paced 74 from Pathum Nissanka allowed them to get to a competitive 152/8 on a tricky wicket.
Then it was over to the bowlers.
Their superstar bowler Hasaranga de Silva bowled 3-8 and should really have got the man-of-the-match award rather than Nissanka. But before he picked up those three wickets, it was Dushmantha Chameeera who had done most of the damage with three wickets of his own.
In their second must-win match they got the better of the Netherlands.
This time round it was their other opener, Kusal Mendis, whose 79 off 41 set the tone and this time it was his turn to pick up the MOM award for making the difference.
Hasaranga did his bit once again with another three wickets.
He’s now the clear favourite to end the tournament as the top bowler now that he has a head start of seven wickets, compared to the bowlers at the other sides who didn’t play in the first round.
But if all this sounds like excellent news and suggests Sri Lanka can go deep in the tournament, it’s not quite as simple as that.
Chameera has been ruled out of the tournament with injury, as have other fast bowlers.
Dilshan Madushanka is another who has gone home and they’ll need his replacement Kasun Rajitha to hit the ground running.
These two have only played each other twice in T20Is.
The second of those was in the qualifying round at last year’s World Cup.
Sri Lanka posted a big total of 171 with that man Nissanka shining with a fine 61, which was then bettered by Hasaranga’s 71 off 47.
They then bowled Ireland out for just 101 with only Andy Balbirnie showing any fight with a battling 41 off 39.
Back in 2009 at the World Cup in England, Sri Lanka just about defended 144.
Unsurprisingly, none of the players who featured in that match will be playing on Sunday.
Venue & conditions
We know Hobart pretty well from the fact that Ireland played their qualifying matches here last week.
So in that sense, they have the upper hand as a result of being more familiar with the conditions.
Here are the first innings scores from the matches played there in Group B: 160/174/176/153/146/132. That’s an average first innings total of 156 so remember that when playing the first innings runs line.
Of those six matches, three were won by the side batting first and three by the side chasing.
So the toss isn’t necessarily going to have a big bearing on the outcome of the match because one (batting or bowling) doesn’t seem to carry an advantage over the other.
There is something of a chance of showers in Hobart on Sunday but that’s likely to be more in the morning so we should get a completed match one way or the other.