Uthura v Basnahira, SLPL 2012, Pallekele August 21, 2012

Kapugedera gem downs Basnahira

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Uthura Rudras 156 for 6 (Kapugedera 69*, Farhat 26) beat Basnahira Cricket Dundee 150 for 6 (Rossouw 44, Ekanayake 2-35) by four wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A stunning 69 from Chamara Kapugedara propelled Uthura Rudras to a compelling first victory, as they overhauled Basnahira Cricket Dundee's score of 150 with four wickets and four balls remaining. The chase seemed kaput when Dillon du Preez walked to the crease at 86 for 6 in 13.4 overs but he helped keep the Rudras' heads above the rising run rate, until Kapugedara launched the winning offensive. Rudras' win means the bottom four teams of the competition are all still statistical possibilities for a semi-final berth.

Kapugedara has been one of the mighty disappointments for Sri Lanka on the international stage, having impressed and been selected for Sri Lanka at a young age, but never having translated talent into results. At the domestic level though, innings like Tuesday's will make him difficult for the selectors to ignore for the World Twenty20. He had ambled to 21 from 22 balls, perhaps because of the clutter of wickets at the other end that left the Rudras with 64 to win from 6 overs and only four wickets in hand. But in the company of du Preez, Kapugedara built quickly to the deluge of boundaries that would win the match. The pair scrambled ones and twos in the 15th over, before Kapugedara smote a four from the 16thand a six over midwicket in the 17th. Still, with 37 required from the last three overs, victory was still a distance away for the Rudras.

The surge to the finish came in the next eight balls. Du Preez crashed a four over extra cover, before giving the strike to Kapugedara, who whittled down a daunting demand to a simple saunter to victory in three mighty blows. The first six off Dammika Prasad flew high and straight. Thilan Thushara then missed his length in the first ball of the penultimate over and Kapugedara blasted it over cover. The charging six over midwicket to bring the rate down to a run a ball was filled with the kind of audacity he has rarely shown at the top level. If he is selected for the World Twenty20 squad, perhaps Kapugedara should take further confidence in the fact that both the bowlers he mauled to turn the game have played for Sri Lanka. The final six to win the game, with one run required off five, was almost obnoxious.

Despite their poor overall record at the tournament, the Rudras' bowling has largely been encouraging. Muttiah Muralitharan has missed the last two matches due to a family wedding in India, but as in the loss to Uva Next on Sunday, the young attack performed creditably in his absence. Madushanka Ekanayake recovered from a poor first over to remove Tillakaratne Dilshan, just as the batsman had greased his innings into motion with a scooped six. Chathuranga Peiris turned in four tight overs of his own, while du Preez was the most economical of the group, going at only 4.25 an over.

Thushara, Rangana Herath and Prasad had bowled well to get their side into a winning position, but Cricket Dundee could not resist the Kapugedara onslaught that now sees them fighting to stay alive in a tournament they had been one of the favourites to win.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Inaz on August 24, 2012, 2:00 GMT

    @Vibhanu:- Hmmm true, I included Mendis because of the stability he could bring into the side with bat, bowl and fielding. have you got any suggestions for a better replacement for Mendis?

  • cravin on August 24, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    Glad to youngsters got opportunities. Our t20 team is missing Kapugadare & Maharoof. Kapu & Maharoof are real match winners when comes to t20, we saw last t20 wc semis. Kapugadare should play ahead of MAHELA,Sanga,Chandimal, Thirimanna etc these players cannot even clear 30 yard circle when situation demand. Raw talent is missing sineour kabbos and accumulators play all test, odi & t20. The reason we won a series aginst PAk, because they bat poorly and Perera & Mathews gem.That's why we cannot win a series after Arajuna & Aravinda left the team.SL missing classy Kapu. T20 WC is boring will be similar to SL first t20 wehere we blown out by Aus for 80+. Thanks to Kapu last t20 we at least reach semis. This wc all depend on SL bowlers Malinga & Mendis, Batsmens real jokers except Pereara & Mathew

  • Vibhanu on August 23, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    @Inaz:I accept your playing 11.Kapu should be in the team.He is a genuine match winner on his day.There is no one to play in his position.Who else?Chandiamal??Thirimanne?? They barely hit a four in a t20 match.If we can find an alternative for mendis then Srilankan team will be formidable.

  • dummy4fb on August 23, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    I think, Dilshan had made a mistake . In this sub-continent pitch, he would give the ball to the spinners (especially `Mahmudullah' who had two overs left and picked up one wicket considering only nine runs in his 2 overs) . Who knows? This trick might work well for Basnahira & they might win the match instead of giving the ball to the pacers who were proved expensive at the end of the match . Kapukedara also agreed to this matter in the presentation ceremony . I hope, Dilshan will think about this point .

  • tdslbuwa on August 23, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    What is the SL 30 man squad for t20 ? any one know???

  • dummy4fb on August 23, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    if some cricketer wants 50 plus matches to get 1 fifty plus score, we can called him as `Kapu` ,that`s the reality of these type of cricketers.Selectors always work hard than player to keep those type of players in playing 11,unfortunately that`s the sub-culture of current SL cricket!!

  • tgr999 on August 23, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    please dont do the same mistake again and again...please dont select kapugedara.. Call him a gem or whatever you like but this article can sometimes can create huge loses to SL in t20 world cup because it supports kapu. He is very inconsistent. When we draw a graph of his performance there will be lots of ups and downs... If he even gets a hundred dont just ignore it because surely next time he will be out for a duck.. If ten games are given to kapugedera he will only make runs only in one of it.. We have know enough of kapu than anyone... If we call him a gem he should be a gem which shines once in a blue moon... How many chances we have given to him.. Nobody learns from the past... Dont estimate players just after seeing them play a game a player's ability is revealed by his strike rate and average.. Not his sixes and fours and etc. Please just ignore this innings of kapugedera.. Dont remind selceters about him and spoil the future of a youngster.

  • KEVINSL on August 23, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    @munaz:- now where consistant thirimanne, kulasekara, ajantha mendis(genuine match winner)

  • Inaz on August 22, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    My playing ix for the world t20 by batting order; 1)Dilshan 2)D Munaweera 3)Sanga 4)Mahela 5)Kapugedara 6)Mathews 7)Thisara 8)Mendis 9)Eranga 10)Malinga 11)Dhananjaya. If the management decides to bat Kapu below 5 then for the sake of Srilanka cricket please don't pick him. Imagine the start we may get from Munaweera and Dilshan. Any thoughts guys?

  • SL_fan_007 on August 22, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    Well done Kapu..! Work more on your consistency & temperament.. SL team needs you.

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