Basnahira edge thriller against Combined Provinces
Basnahira's bowlers held their nerve to deliver a one-run win against Combined Provinces at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Basnahira had been bowled out for 138 after electing to bat, but an incisive spell from offspinner Dilruwan Perera reduced Combined Provinces to 69 for 5 in their chase. Jeevan Mendis, who had taken 3 for 22 with his legspinners, produced with the bat too. He led his team's recovery in a 54-run partnership with Sachith Pathirana, who scored 23, and at 123 for 5 in the 18th over Combined Provinces looked favourites. Perera came back into the attack and turned the game again with a tight over and the wicket of Pathirana. Rangana Herath bowled the 19th over and took another wicket, and a run-out off the fourth ball of the last over left Combined Provinces with six to win off the last two deliveries. Mendis managed to get only four of those, meaning Basnahira picked up their first win of the tournament.
Combined Provinces would have been disappointed to lose after their bowlers had kept Basnahira in check in the first innings. Basnahira lost wickets regularly; their highest partnership was 27 runs for the fourth wicket. Chinthaka Jayasinghe scored 41 not out, but there were eight single-digit scored for Basnahira as Jeevan Mendis ripped through the middle order. Mendis' efforts were in vain in the end though.
In a high-scoring game, Kumar Sangakkara's 85 off 46 balls proved enough to give Kandurata an 11-run win over Wayamba. Kandurata controlled a large portion of the game and, having posted 186, looked comfortable when they reduced Wayamba to 52 for 5 in the eighth over of the chase. Wayamba's middle order counterattacked though: Indika de Saram smashed 46 runs off just 24 balls and Kaushalya Weeraratne got 32 off 23. The pair put together 74 runs in 7.1 overs to give Wayamba hope. Kandurata had to turn to Muttiah Muralitharan to turn things around, and he ran out Saram and struck twice.
Thisara Perera kept Wayamba's chase alive with some big blows but he was left stranded on 30 not out as they fell 11 runs short of the total. Sangakkara had got Kandurata off to a flier in their innings, and was supported by Jehan Mubarak in a 91-run stand for the third wicket. Kandurata's innings was given a further fillip by Angelo Perera's belligerent knock of 36 off 15 balls - runs that proved crucial in the end result.