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Andrew Fidel Fernando
May 16, 2013
Rest of Sri Lanka 259 for 7 (Tharanga 102, Lokuhettige 3-38) beat SLC Combined XI 258 for 8 (Silva 99, Mubarak 54, Kulasekara 3-45) by 3 wickets
Teams: Sri Lanka
Rest of Sri Lanka snuck home with two balls to spare and three wickets in hand against SLC Combined, to score their third win in as many matches in the List A tri-series in Pallekele. Upul Tharanga held Rest of Sri Lanka's innings together through a top order collapse, hitting 102 from 121 balls, before Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath combined to propel their side to victory in the late overs. SLC Combined had made 258 for 8 from their 50 overs, thanks largely to Kaushal Silva's 99 and Jehan Mubarak's 54.
Having sent SLC Combined in to bat, Rest of Sri Lanka made two early breakthroughs through offspinner Perera and Nuwan Kulasekara, before Silva and Mubarak forged a 109-run partnership that arrested the slide. Sachithra Serasinghe joined Silva in the middle after Chanaka Welegedara had dismissed Mubarak in the 28th over, and the pair added a further 63 before Serasinghe fell for 38. Dilhara Lokuhettige provided the late-innings impetus, hitting two fours and a six in his 29-ball 35, that took his side beyond 250 after Kulasekara had Silva caught behind, one run short of a century, in the 48th over. Kulasekara collected the best figures of the bowlers again, taking 3 for 45 from his 10.
Seam bowlers Dilhara Lokuhettige and Isuru Udana combined to take five top order wickets in Rest of Sri Lanka's chase, but Tharanga eventually found a resolute partner in Chamara Kapugedara, and the pair put on 95 after their side had been reduced to 80 for 4. Tharanga's hundred featured 12 fours and one six, but he was dismissed soon after reaching it. That wicket, and Kapugedara's soon after, left Rest of Sri Lanka at 188 for 6 in the 41st over, with 61 runs still required, but Perera and Herath, surged towards the target, after coming together in the 44th over, and hit 54 runs in six overs to secure the win. Lokuhettige took 3 for 38 from his 10 overs.
Rest of Sri Lanka play Sri Lanka A in the next match on Friday.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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