Boralessa and Bandara star in easy wins
The dominance of spin was quite evident in the second week of the Inter-provincial four-day tournament with as many as three spinners deciding the outcome of their teams' fortunes resulting in both Basnahira teams - North and South recording facile victories.
Basnahira North secured the more impressive of the two wins, beating Ruhuna by an innings with left-arm spinner Sohan Boralessa proving to be unplayable at the Galle International Stadium picking up a match bag of eight wickets. Ruhuna were forced to follow-on despite a fighting century from the promising 20-year-old wicket-keeper/batsman Dinesh Chandimal. They trailed Basnahira North by 237 runs on the first innings and fared poorly in their second innings to be dismissed for a disappointing 129.
Basnahira North who chose to bat first on winning the toss ended the first day on an impressive 359-3 and eventually declared at 538-9, the second time in successive matches they have reached a total in excess of 500. Their innings was boosted by centuries from opener Dilshan Munaweera, Sachithra Serasinghe and wicket-keeper Kaushal Silva. Munaweera, a 20-year-old opener scored an exciting 153 off 180 balls inclusive of eight sixes - his maiden first-class century and starred in a second wicket partnership of 210 with Serasinghe who made 117. Silva (108) and skipper Thilina Kandamby (68) put on a further 109 for the fourth wicket before the declaration.
Legspinner Malinga Bandara played the key role in Basnahira South beating Kandurata by five wickets at the Bloomfield grounds. Bandara, who is fighting for a permanent place in the national team, took 5 for 40 as Kandurata were dismissed for 179 in the first innings and followed that performance with another inspiring spell in the second to take 4 for 75 giving him nine wickets in the match. Basnahira South's first innings total of 300 was largely dependent on Sri Lanka Test wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene's well-paced out knock of 84 off 162 balls and his partnership of 109 with Janaka Gunaratne (58) which lifted them from 106-5. Left with a target of 182 to chase, Basnahira South had to first overcome the wily offbreaks of Suraj Randiv who snapped up five wickets before victory was finally achieved.