Uva Next v Nagenahira Nagas, SLPL final, Colombo August 31, 2012

Munaweera's knock the difference as Uva claim final


Uva Next 63 for 1 (Munaweera 44*, Mendis 1-25) beat Nagenahira Nagas 134 for 4 (Mathews 73*, McDonald 2-24) by 19 runs (D/L)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A marauding Dilshan Munaweera trumped an Angelo Mathews special to launch Uva Next to victory in the SLPL, and a Champions League berth, in a rain-plagued final that just managed to eke out the overs required to constitute a full match. Munaweera clubbed five sixes in his 23-ball 44 to leave Uva 19 runs ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis par score after 5.1 overs, after they had hurtled to 63 for 1 in pursuit of 137 from 15 overs.

Following a two-hour rain delay earlier in the evening, the match had already been shortened, but when the second downpour came, it left an already sodden field unusable. The weather frustrated the first full house of the tournament, and spectators had already begun filing out when the match was deemed over, and a lengthy fireworks delay went off in the damp. It was a pity, for the on-field fireworks had the makings of a grand finish to the tournament.

Chasing just over nine an over, Uva bludgeoned at least one six from each of the overs they faced. Mathews perhaps erred by taking the new ball himself and by pushing for wickets, rather than bowling to contain, with the threat of more bad weather looming.

Their opponents meanwhile got their strategy right; attacking from the outset to push beyond the Duckworth-Lewis score. Munaweera strode down the pitch to pound Mathews high over square leg off the third ball of the innings, before leaning back to send Shaminda Eranga over the same boundary next over. A four over point, making room to carve a short ball angled into him, and a six over long off, extended the ballistics, before Munaweera effectively sealed the match with two straight sixes and a four off Mendis in the fifth over.

Mathews had earlier performed a stunning resuscitation on Nagenahira Nagas' stagnating innings, stroking a scintillating 73 from 27. The Nagas were at 48 for 3 from 9.1 overs when the first rains came, but despite a two-hour break in play, Mathews launched immediately after resumption, cracking the offspin of Sachithra Senanayake back over the bowler's head to herald his charge. Everything short was aimed at the deep midwicket fence, and everything wide, backward of point. The balls in the slot disappeared over long on. A six and a four off Andrew McDonald saw the twelfth over fly for 17, before Dilhara Fernando was crashed away for 22. Umar Gul did not escape punishment either - his final over went for 17, with two fours pounded square and a massive six over the straight boundary.

Before the rain, Uva peppered the openers with a short barrage, and until Gul pitched three consecutive balls slightly fuller in the fourth over, Nagenahira batsmen had few answers. Imran Nazir and Ahmed Shehzad's swipes to the legside veered from awful to mediocre as neither managed the footwork nor the timing to make adequate contact. Jacob Oram embellished his reputation for parsimony at the SLPL, conceding only nine from his first spell of three overs, while accounting for Shehzad after Nazir had been dropped off his previous over.

Nazir had provided Nagenahira with several blazing starts earlier in the tournament, but struggled to a laboured six from 16 balls in the final. He became the first victim of an Andrew McDonald double strike in eighth over, having his middle stump pegged back after attempting to sweep a length ball from the seamer. McDonald then removed Travis Birt, shortly before a heavy rain and intermittent drizzle forced the long delay.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shamalka on September 3, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    Congrats Uva! Wel played in the Semis and the Finals...Munaweera and Oram won it for Uva!

  • Lakpriya on September 2, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    There is a big possibility that Chris Gayle might play for UVA in the champions league, because none of the other franchises he plays haven't qualified for that. It would be a real good chance for UVA to make a big upset in that tournament. With Gul, Oram and 2 good spinners in their side they always have a good bowing attack.

  • FARHAN on September 2, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    Congrats Uva, welcome to CLT20 qualifiers. What makes ur win more special is that you'll won without the prescence of the most dangerous batsman in the world - CHRIS GAYLE ! I'm sure Trinidad & Tobago and Hampshire will have a lot to fear against you guys after Gayle comes back in CL.

  • Dummy4 on September 1, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    Munaweera shares birthday with God Sachin. Any indication of greater things to come?

  • Dummy4 on September 1, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    This tournament gave so much for SL

  • Sreekanth on September 1, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    Low quality tournament, might as well watch domestic cricket instead of SLPL.

  • Dummy4 on September 1, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    Rain ruined the game. there should be better scheduling

  • Ranil on September 1, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    Congrats to UVA for winning the trophy.They are an excellent outfit who now could give a good challenge in the champion league.Hope Munaweera will take his form to the T20 cup too. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • Yohan on September 1, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    Congrats UVA . hope this boost cricket in Uva province . SLPL organizers can be satisfied with overall tournament . It s going to be better and better . Crowd slowly but starts gathering to ground . quality of cricket is good .But there should be reserve days for rain interruptions . Also semi finals should be like in IPL which will give a second chance to superior 2 teams in group stage . Wayamba was dominant and deserved another go . As i hv been telling from the start SLPL matches should be decentralised having few in Hambantota . day match or two in Galle . Or even 1 each game in Welagedara (Wayamba) Radella (Uva) if conditions are ok . that is how to rise fan bases .

  • Susan on September 1, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    Whatever said and done, I personally feel that the inaugural SLPL was a success. The success is in the fact that it brought out into the limelight stars in both batting and bowling, possibly in fielding too.This short for of T20 also made it possible for the new stars to adapt to the ground realities while being alone on the centre stage and pace their batting to a strategy that would have needed fine tuning at every ball of the game.The same would have applied to the fielding side and the captains kept at their wits end.The Final proved this as some analists feel that Mathews should not have bowled himself permitting the new "clobber", Munaweera to light up the stadium on this rain filled night. All round, the success in my opinion is that the event opened up the opportunities and also a pool of talent for various forms of the game of cricket. Many can also take a cue from Jacob Oram. His line and length bowling and the record "dots" are lessons to be learnt in good judgement.

  • No featured comments at the moment.