SLC Combined make it to final
SLC Combined XI 180 for 4 (Silva 58*, Udawatte 55) beat Sri Lanka A 176 (Vimukthi Perera 33, Serasinghe 4-43) by 6 wickets
SLC Combined will play in the final of the List A tournament in Pallekele, after making short work of Sri Lanka A in the final round-robin match. Off-spinning allrounder Sachithra Serasinghe took four wickets and effected a run out to help dismiss Sri Lanka A for 176 before returning with the bat to strike a brisk 47 that took his side to the cusp of a six-wicket win. SLC Combined reached their target in the 35th over, and will now contest the trophy against Rest of Sri Lanka on Monday.
SLC Combined opening bowlers Dilhara Lokuhettige and Madura Lakmal made two early breakthroughs, but Serasinghe pushed home the advantage by gutting the Sri Lanka A middle order soon after coming into the attack in the seventh over. Serasinghe had opposition opener Udara Jayasundera bowled in his second over, before dismissing Kithuruwan Vithanage in the same manner, in his fifth. Isuru Udana took the prized scalp of Angelo Perera at the other end, before Serasinghe removed yesterday's centurion Ashan Priyanjan, and Ramith Rambukwella in quick succession. At the end of Serasinghe's spell, Sri Lanka A had crashed to 109 for 9 - though as has been the case throughout the tournament, the tail mustered a valiant stand and No. 10 Lahiru Jayaratne and No. 11 Vimukthi Perera hit 30s, to give themselves something to bowl at.
Jayaratne bowled SLC Combined captain Dimuth Karunaratne first ball, but an aggressive fifty from Mahela Udawatte quickly set the run chase on track, and SLC Combined cruised comfortably towards their target thereafter. Wicketkeeper batsman Kaushal Silva then steered the chase with a measured unbeaten 58, striking up an 86-run association with Serasinghe that effectively sealed the result.
Angelo Perera tried seven bowlers, but none were able to manage more than one scalp, and his side exit the tournament, having won only one match out of four.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here