Kulasekara sets up win for Sri Lanka
Rest of Sri Lanka 204 (Kulasekara 61, Vimukthi Perera 4-30) beat Sri Lanka A 146 (Angelo Perera 43, Welegedara 3-36) by 58 runs
Rest of Sri Lanka rode on an all-round performance from Nuwan Kulasekara to secure a second comprehensive victory in the List-A tri-series in Pallekele, defeating Sri Lanka A by 58 runs in a low-scoring match. Both sides ran into trouble early on, against the fast bowlers on a seaming track. However, after having top-scored for Rest SL with 61, Kulasekara combined with Chanaka Welegedara to demolish Sri Lanka A's top order within the first four overs of their innings, reducing them to 6 for 5 - a position from which they never recovered. They were eventually dismissed for 146 in the 38th over, chasing a target of 205.
Kulasekara arrived at the crease with the score at 87 for 6 after Dinesh Chandimal fell, the only batsman to reach a score of 20 among the top five batsmen. Chamara Kapugedara and Rangana Herath were unable to assist Kulasekara in the recovery, but he found support in No.10 batsman Shaminda Eranga, who survived for 43 balls and contributed 33 to their 68-run partnership, the most substantial stand of the match. When Eranga fell with the score at 175, Kulasekara added 29 more with Chanaka Welegedara to take the score past 200, before falling to left-arm pacer Vimukthi Perera, who had also accounted for Shehan Jayasuriya, Lahiru Thirimanne and Milinda Siriwardene earlier in the innings. Right-armers Suranga Lakmal and Ishan Jayaratne shared five wickets between them.
Welegedara struck for Rest of Sri Lanka before the opposition had scored a run. Kulasekara bowled a maiden in the first over and picked up Dilshan Munaweera and Kithuruwan Vithanage in the next. That double strike was followed by another wicket from Welegedara, and his consecutive wickets effectively sealed Sri Lanka A's fate.
Sri Lanka A captain Angelo Perera attempted to rebuild alongside a sedate Jayaratne, who hit 2 from 25 balls, but he lost his partner to a run-out before losing his own wicket to Shaminda Eranga, with the team score on 56.
As in Rest SL's innings, an ageing ball somewhat negated the threat of the seam bowlers as the innings wore on, and Seekkuge Prasanna and Suranga Lakmal hit 23 and 38 not out respectively coming in at No. 9 and 10. Vimukthi Perera combined with Lakmal to add 55 for the last wicket.