Kulatunga stars in Wayamba victory
Jeevantha Kulatunga continued his good run of form with the bat, hitting an unbeaten century off 101 balls to guide Wayamba to a convincing seven-wicket win over Basnahira South in the opening weekend of the Inter-provincial four-day tournament. Wayamba's victory was achieved inside three days as Basnahira South failed to counter the wily left-arm spin of Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath who finished with match figures of 8 for 141.
Basnahira South never recovered from their poor first innings total of 120 after choosing to bat first. Their batting was wrecked by Chanaka Welagedera (4 for 37) and Herath (3 for 12). Even though they put up a better display in the second innings to score 352, Wayamba were left to chase 224 to win with plenty of time to spare. Although they lost openers Michael Vandort and Mahela Udawatte cheaply, Kulatunga took control of the bowling from there onwards and figured in two century partnerships with his captain Jehan Mubarak who made 61 and Damitha Hunukumbura, who was unbeaten on 55 to ensure victory.
In a high-scoring match at Moors SC grounds, Kandurata established a new domestic record by piling up the highest total - 727 all out - against Basnahira North. The previous highest total was 683 by Colombo Colts CC against Galle CC at the NCC grounds in 2003-04. Sri Lanka middle-order batsman Thilan Samaraweera, leading Kandurata in the absence of Kumar Sangakkara who is away for the IPL, led the way with a superb double century as his team took up the challenge of overhauling Basnahira North's first innings total of 530. Samaraweera scored 214 off 355 balls and was involved in a double century partnership of 274 for the fifth wicket with Jeevan Mendis who made 150.
Kandurata passed Basnahira North's total losing only half the side and further frustration followed when Sri Lanka spinner Suraj Randiv added to his four-wicket haul by bolstering the lower order with an entertaining innings of 74 off 89 balls, helping his captain put on 91 runs for the seven th wicket. He picked up a further three wickets in the second innings for matches figures of 7/230. The Kandurata run chase was launched by openers Nadeera Nawala (113) and Kanchana Gunawardena (64) who put on 122. Five half-centuries featured in the Basnahira North first innings.