Sri Lanka v Eire: Andrew Balbirnie’s 95 helps vacationers put up 319-4 on day one

Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling run between the wickets in Galle


Paul Stirling produced a 115-run partnership with Andrew Balbirnie before having to retire hurt because of cramp and the Ireland captain was soon dismissed for 95
Second Test (day one of five), Galle
Ireland 319-4 Balbirnie 95, Stirling 74 retd inj, Tucker 78*; Jayasuriya 2-95

Ireland battled back from last week’s first Test hammering by Sri Lanka to impressively reach 319-4 by the close on day one of the second Test in Galle.

Skipper Andrew Balbirnie was denied a first Test century as he was dismissed for 95 after his record Irish Test partnership of 115 with Paul Stirling.

The partnership had been halted with Ireland 204-3 as Stirling was 74 not out when he retired hurt with cramp.

But Lorcan Tucker’s unbeaten 78 rounded off a tremendous day for Ireland.

It was a gritty response from the tourists after Sri Lanka’s biggest ever victory last week, as they clinched an innings and 280-run win in Galle, with Ireland’s run of Test defeats since earning full member status in 2017…