Sachithra Senanayake, Dammika Prasad star in big wins
Offspinner Sachithra Senanayake continued his outstanding form for the 2009-10 season by bowling Ruhuna to their first win in the Inter-provincial four-day tournament. His haul of eight wickets coupled with a career-best knock of 89 off 108 balls enabled Ruhuna to thrash Wayamba by an innings and 63 runs at Colts Cricket Club.
Ruhuna never lost their grip on the game after dismissing Wayamba for 161. Sri Lanka one-day opener Mahela Udawatte's pleasing knock of 90 off 106 balls was the only redeeming feature of the Wayamba innings. Despite interruptions due to bad weather, Ruhuna managed to build a substantial first-innings lead of 298, through contributions from Geeth Alwis who scored 123, and half-centuries from Sri Lanka's only uncapped player in their World Twenty20 side Dinesh Chandimal and Senanayake.
Wayamba, once again, fared disastrously in their second innings to be dismissed for 235, with the major contributions coming from Jeevantha Kulatunga (85) and Shalika Karunanayake (95 n.o.). Senanayake picked up four wickets in each innings and was well supported by fast-medium bowler Tharanga Lakshitha, who ended up taking seven wickets in the match. Senanayake has captured 113 wickets so far in all three forms of domestic cricket for Sinhalese SC and Ruhuna and has been one of the most prolific wicket-takers for the season.
Basnahira North went to the top of the table with their second win of the tournament, getting the better of their southern rivals Basnahira South by eight wickets in Moratuwa. Their first-innings lead of 97 proved crucial, as they were left to chase only 163 in the fourth innings.
An unbroken third-wicket stand of 118 between Dimuth Karunanayake (84) and Kaushal Silva (52) saw them home. Basnahira South were put out for totals of 224 and 259, rocked by the pace of Sri Lanka Test fast bowler Dammika Prasad who took 6 for 74 in the second innings and eight wickets in the match, and the offspin of Sachitra Serasinghe, who took four wickets in the first innings.
In-form opener Dilshan Munaweera reached his second successive century, scoring 136 off 109 balls to give Basnahira North the edge. Munaweera is the leading run-getter in the tournament so far with 412 at an average of 101. Basnahira North, led by Sri Lanka one-d ay batsman Thilina Kandamby, remain the only unbeaten team in the competition with two wins and a draw, and their current form indicates they are firm favourites to win the title.