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The Report by Andrew Fidel Fernando
May 21, 2013
Rest of Sri Lanka 205 (Kandamby 65*, Thirimanne 51, Gunathilaka 4-30) beat Sri Lanka Cricket Combined XI 129 (Herath 3-16, Dilruwan 3-36) by 76 runs
Offpsinner Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath took three wickets apiece in the final of the List-A tri-series in Pallekele, as Rest of Sri Lanka inflicted a 79-run loss on SLC Combined, to take the title. Batting first after winning the toss, Rest of Sri Lanka were all out for 205, riding on fifties from Lahiru Thirimanne and Thilina Kandamby. Despite the modest target, SLC Combined's batsmen could not muster a competitive response against the spinners and were dismissed for 129 in the 33rd over.
Rest of Sri Lanka began poorly, losing both openers inside five overs, before losing five wickets for 26 through the middle overs, but two solid partnerships saw them breach 200. Thirimanne's 62-run stand with Dinesh Chandimal (31) helped their side recover from the early blows, but their work was almost undone by opposition offspinner Danushka Gunathilaka, who struck four times in six overs, to gut Rest of Sri Lanka's lower-middle order. He began by having Thirimanne stumped for 51, before removing Dilruwan Perera, Milinda Siriwardene and Nuwan Kulasekara as well.
Kandamby had remained resolute at one end as wickets fell at the other, but he finally found a capable partner in Suranga Lakmal, who came in at 151 for 8. The pair put on 49 together, and Kandamby remained unbeaten on 65 from 86, having hit seven fours. Gunathilaka finished with the game's best figures, 4 for 30, from his full quota of overs.
Dilwuran opened the bowling, and dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne early in the innings, before left-arm seamer Vimukthi Perera struck twice and effected a run out off his own bowling to make further headway into the SLC Combined top order. Gunathilaka and allrounder Chaturanga de Silva attempted to revive the innings, after it had slipped to 71 for 5, but their 36-run partnership did not constitute a real challenge to Rest of Sri Lanka, and Herath arrived late in the game to wipe out the tail.
Rest of Sri Lanka, who had six of Sri Lanka's 15 Champions Trophy players in their squad, won four out of five of their matches, but Chanaka Welegedara was injured during their penultimate game and is now in doubt for the tournament.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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