Gunaratne double-century powers SL Army to victory
Gunaratne blasted 22 fours and five sixes during his 170-ball 200 not out, and put up big partnerships with Ravindra Palleguruge and Nuwan Liyanapathirana for the last two wickets to lift SL Army to a mammoth 494 and in the process, secured a 315-run first-innings lead.
This was because Badureliya had been bowled out for 179 in their first outing. Most of their top order made starts, but no one could produce a fifty, as Shalika Karunanayake, Seekuge Prasanna and Liyanapathirana notched seven wickets between them to run through the team.
Badureliya needed at least 315 to make SL Army pad up again, but their batting in the second innings was no better than in their first. Prasanna took four wickets to increase his match tally to seven, and helped skittle Badureliya out for 177 inside 47 overs, as none of the batsmen made more than 39.
Chaturanga de Silva's unbeaten 23-ball 46 helped Moors Sports Club beat Colombo Cricket Club by five wickets to stay unbeaten at the top of Group B. Set a modest 112 to chase, Moors were struggling at 8 for 2 and then 56 for 5 before de Silva's 56-run partnership with Harsha Cooray took the side to victory in the 16th over.
Moors had earlier scored 282 in response to Colombo CC's first-innings score of 302. The Moors chances of victory, however, were boosted when their bowlers scuttled Colombo for 91. Vimukthi Perera took 3 for 25, while Dilhara Lokuhettige and Janaka Gunaratne took two wickets each.
Earlier, Colombo CC had posted a strong 302 based on contributions from Lasith Abeyratne (71), Indika de Saram (57), Hasantha Fernando (49) and Chaturanga Kumar (35). Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara and Lokuhettige took five and four wickets respectively.
Moors responded with 282, although their innings looked promising until Shehan Jayasuriya (108) and Cooray (89) were at the crease. They lost their last six wickets for 50 runs, however, to give Colombo a 20-run lead. Lakshan Rangika was the most successful bowler for Colombo, with first-innings returns of 5 for 53.
Colts Cricket Club (CCC) took first-innings points in a draw against Nondescripts Cricket Club (NCC) at the NCC ground. The hosts were put into bat and were given a solid start by their openers Upul Tharanga and Sandun Weerakkody. Weerakkody fell for 66 before NCC stumbled to 173 for 5, with Thisara Perera taking two wickets. A 109-run stand for the sixth wicket between Kosala Kulasekara and Farveez Maharoof revived NCC. Maharoof scored his sixth first-class century and he was the last wicket to fall, at 332. The left-arm spinner Sachith Pathirana cleaned up the lower order to finish with 4 for 67.
CCC's response was shaped by a third-wicket stand of 135 between Milinda Siriwardana and Kusal Perera, who scored 77 and 117 respectively. However, NCC hit back via the seamer Chaminda Vidanapathirana and at 287 for 8, looked good to take an innings lead. However, half-centuries by Kanishka Alvitigala and Akila Dananjaya gave CCC the crucial lead and their 82-run stand took them to 401. Vidanapathirana finished with 6 for 117. A draw seemed the only outcome when NCC took guard for their second innings on the final day. Pawan Wickramasinghe missed a debut first-class century by five runs when he was dismissed by Dananjaya. He smashed six fours and as many sixes in his knock. Both teams stayed at third and fourth respectively in Group B.
Indrasiri finished with 5 for 35 to run through Panadura's line-up in the second innings, and bundled them out for 98, meaning that Chilaw needed 175 for victory. The team overhauled that paltry total in 45 overs for the loss of seven wickets, as Geeth Alwis, Sahan Wijeratne and Vidura Adikari all chipped in with crucial contributions to take the team home.
Panadura, electing to bat, had made 263 in their first innings, thanks to a 92 from the opener Sasheen Fernando and a 54 from Supeshala Jayathilake. However, Indrasiri's 5 for 83 meant that Panadura couldn't build on that score. Nonetheless, Panadura still managed to wrest a first-innings lead as Chilaw could only muster 187 from their first essay with the bat. Umesh Karunaratne's 73 was the team's only major source of runs, as the team holed out in just 53.1 overs.
Panadura, however, were unable to build on this advantage and slumped to their third straight defeat of the tournament.
Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club captain Jeevan Mendis bowled his team to their first win of the season, claiming a match haul of 9 for 107 with his legspin to see off Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club by 76 runs in Colombo. It was a match dominated by the spinners; offspinner Tillakaratne Sampath played the supporting act to Mendis, taking 5 for 38 in the chase, and the pair undid the work of Bloomfield offspinner Suraj Randiv who claimed 10 in the match.
Bloomfield chose to bowl and kept Tamil Union to 235. Several Tamil Union batsmen got starts, but none could convert them even as the bowlers shared the wickets around. Only Sampath could get past fifty, while Randiv was the pick with the ball, taking 3 for 46. However, Bloomfield's batsmen could not do much better, taking only a seven-run lead. Mendis claimed four of their top five on his way to 5 for 60. Randiv was destroyer-in-chief in Tamil Union's second innings, taking 7 for 76 even as several of his team-mates were taken apart by the batsmen as they looked to get quick runs and declare. The declaration came at 264 for 9, leaving Bloomfield with 258 to get. They fell well short, bowled out for 181, with Sampath and Mendis knocking over nine between them.