Kandurata v Ruhuna, SLPL, Pallekele August 20, 2012

Tanvir, Ajmal bowl Kandurata to victory

Three wickets apiece for Sohail Tanvir and Saeed Ajmal tore the guts out of a Ruhuna Royals run chase and handed Kandurata Warriors a 42-run victory, their second in three nights in Pallekele. Chasing a modest 142, Ruhuna were winded by Tanvir's opening spell, before Ajmal suffocated the innings during the middle overs despite a short-lived surge from Shahid Afridi. They also suffered two unnecessary run-outs, and now face the possibility of finishing outside the top four after having begun one of the tournament favourites.

Tanvir was superb with the new ball, as he has been all tournament, as he fired in three venomous overs of swing that yielded him two wickets and cost only three runs. Finch was undone by an inswinger that caught his edge third ball, before Tanvir surprised a struggling Prasanna Jayardene with one that rose sharply and induced a tame bunt that lobbed a simple catch to short cover. In between the wickets, the batsmen could barely get bat to ball.

Ajmal then assumed the mantle of torturing the Ruhuna batsmen, producing his best spell of the tournament. Only Pakistan teammate Shahid Afridi picked his doosra, but even when bowling offbreaks, Ajmal had the batsmen doing just what he wanted. With a short fine leg and a long-leg in place, Ajmal darted one down the legside to Daniel Harris, who promptly accommodated Kandurata's plan by turning it into the hands of Thisara Perera. Ajmal then suffered two mighty sixes at the hands of Afridi, but aborted his rampage with a straighter one shortly after. No. 10 Jerome Taylor couldn't help a heave across the line late in the innings, and missed a ball that would have hit leg stump, and Ajmal claimed his third wicket.

Earlier, Kandurata's innings had stuttered to 142 all out in 19.2 overs after their batsmen had failed to build any partnerships of substance. Offspinner Dilruwan Perera nabbed three wickets, and seamer Imran Khan took two. Jeevantha Kulatunga and Kithuruwan Withanage were the only batsmen to pass 30, and without Tanvir's hitting at the death, the Warriors may never have passed 140.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

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