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April 27, 2010
Basnahira North, led by Thilina Kandamby, came up with another powerful batting performance to qualify for a place in the final of the Inter-provincial four-day tournament which resumed after a break of two weeks due to the country's general elections followed by the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.
Although their final league match against Wayamba ended in a draw due to interruption to bad weather in Moratuwa, Basnahira North gained enough points to remain on top of the league table and ensure their place in the final.
Powerful career-best centuries from left-hander Dimuth Karunaratne (185) and wicketkeeper-batsman Kaushal Silva (158), and their massive partnership of 306 for the third wicket, helped Basnahira North run up their third total in excess of 500 in four matches. With a fine contribution of 71 from young Angelo Perera down the order, the total nearly reached 600. Wayamba didn't have the batting to match Basnahira North and they could manage only 292, 100 of which came from Sri Lanka Test opener Michael Vandort. With little time to play for after a complete washout of play on the third day due to rain, Basnahira North did not enforce the follow-on but batted out the remaining time.
Ruhuna took a step towards joining Basnahira North in the final when they grabbed vital bonus points in their drawn fixture against Kandurata at the P Sara Oval. A stroke-filled 154 from Tillakaratne Sampath, brother of Sri Lanka opener Tillakaratne Dilshan, saw Ruhuna make short work of Kandurata's first innings total of 271, as they replied with an imposing 402 for 6 declared. With rain making play impossible on the third day, the game petered out into a tame draw. Kandurata opener Nadeera Nawala's well-paced hundred and Geeth Alwis' double of four wickets and 72 runs for Ruhuna were the other notable individual performances.
Ruhuna meet third placed Basnahira South later this week and the outcome of that game will decide who will join Basnahira North in the final which his scheduled to be played at the SSC grounds from May 13.
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