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Andrew Fernando at the R Premadasa Stadium
August 13, 2012
Nagenahira Nagas 160 for 3 (Nazir 58, Mathews 42*) beat Kandurata Warriors 159 for 7 (Perera 72) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A blistering 85-run opening stand between Imran Nazir and Ahmed Shehzad and a cool finish from Angelo Mathews trumped perhaps the innings of the tournament so far, from Thisara Perera, as Nagenahira Nagas overhauled Kandurata Warriors' 159 for 7 in the final over. Nazir blasted five sixes and four fours in his half-century, and left his side needing just 75 from 68 at his dismissal - a task Mathews ensured never got out of hand.
Fleet of foot was the key to Nazir's success, as he routinely skipped down the track to change the lengths of both the spinners and the quick men, as well as backing away in his crease on occasion to line up the extra cover fence. Sohail Tanvir's second over cost 20, as both Nazir and Shehzad took full toll of some hittable lengths, before the next over, from Perera, disappeared for 15 to get Nagenahira well ahead of the required rate.
Kaushal Lokuarachchi beat Nazir in the flight in consecutive deliveries when the batsman was on 41, only for the wicketkeeper Kaushal Silva to fluff both straightforward stumping attempts, losing sight of the ball as it passed between bat and pad. Shehzad had been dropped on the boundary earlier too, and the mistakes continued to stack up for Kandurata, who bled at least 15 more runs through misfields alone, leaving aside the runs they might have saved had those chances been taken. When Mathews arrived at 110 for 2 from 12.3 overs, he showed off his improving knack for finishing innings by calmly taking his side over the line to make it two wins from two.
In the Kandurata innings, Perera arrived at the crease with his side stagnating at 61 for 4 from 10.5 overs, and though he took seven balls to get going in earnest, when the explosion came, it was dramatic and effective. A towering six over midwicket, followed by a scorching boundary to the same area set the tone for his assault; the Nagenahira bowlers would continue to offer him length throughout the innings, and he rarely missed an opportunity to pepper his favourite midwicket boundary. Amid the heaves to cow corner there were clobbered fours down the ground and to third man as well, but few balls cramped him for space or posed a genuine threat to his technique. When he fell at 149 for 6, he had contributed 72 of the 88 runs scored during his stay. In the end, Kandurata's total wasn't enough to challenge their opponents.
Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri LankaFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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