Sangakkara leads Kandurata to title
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara powered his team Kandurata to the Inter-Provincial limited-overs title when they defeated Ruhuna by three wickets with five balls to spare in an enthralling final played at Moratuwa. The result looked very much in the balance when Sangakkara got out for a well-paced 76 off 79 deliveries, with 43 needed off 41 balls. But Chinthaka Jayasinghe's cameo knock of 28 off 23 balls carried them over the line in the final over.
Sangakkara, sacrificing his customary No. 3 position, came to bat at the fall of the third wicket and stabilised the innings with a stand of 109 with Chamara Kapugedera who scored a half-century off 49 balls. Despite the dismissals of Kapugedera and Sangakkara in the space of three balls for the addition of one run, Jayasinghe was there to provide the finishing touches.
Earlier Ruhuna, winning the toss, rattled off an impressive 263 for 7, making full use of the opening stand of 61 provided by captain Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya in less than 10 overs. Useful contributions from Indika de Saram, Tillakaratne Sampath and Sachithra Senanayake ensured the Ruhuna innings did not lose the momentum provided by the openers.
In the semi-finals, Kandurata crushed Wayamba by nine wickets at Nondescripts cricket ground, winning on the D/L method, and Ruhuna snuffed out the challenge offered by Basnahira South by 39 runs in Moratuwa. Wayamba's strong batting line-up was reduced to a mere 123 by Sri Lanka's left-arm fast bowler Thilan Thushara who ended up with five wickets. Kandurata had no difficulty in knocking those runs off in 20.1 overs with more than half the total coming off the bat of Kaushal Weeraratne. Indika de Saram starred for Ruhuna with a patient knock of 76 off 101 balls.