Uva Next v Nagenahira Nagas, SLPL final, Colombo August 1, 2012

Nagenahira's total was defendable - Mathews

Angelo Mathews, the Nagenahira Nagas captain, believed his side had a winning total in the SLPL final which they could have defended had weather not intervened to cut the second innings short, and make Uva Next champions via the Duckworth/Lewis method. Mathews' dazzling 73 from 27 balls took Nagenahira to 134 for 4 from their 15 overs after his side had spluttered to 47 for 3 from 9 overs, following a first rain delay that shortened the game. Uva then hurtled to 63 for 1 from 5.1 overs, before a second heavy downpour stopped play and the D/L calculation deemed them victors by 19 runs. 

"Getting to [134] after losing a few wickets early on and being 40-odd after nine overs, it was a great effort by the whole batting unit," Mathews said. "In the remaining six overs, we got the maximum number of runs you could hope for. The wicket was pretty slow, so [134] was a very good score, but unfortunately the rain gods had their say and that was that."

Uva opener Dilshan Munaweera blasted 44 from 23 balls to propel his side beyond the D/L par score. He struck five sixes and two fours in his innings, and with a promoted Seekkuge Prasanna also contributing two sixes, Uva hit a six in each over they faced. 

"The way Uva batted when they came out, they had nothing to lose, so they went for their shots and batted well."

The match may not have been completed had the two captains not agreed to continue playing on a sodden outfield. Three days of heavy rain had left parts of the ground muddy and the downpour that interrupted Nagenahira's innings made those areas more slippery. Uva captain Thilina Kandamby commended Mathews on his willingness to play on, but Mathews said it was not a difficult decision to make, given they were playing in front of around 30,000 fans - by far the biggest crowd of the tournament.

"I thought it [outfield] was pretty good apart from the boundary line. We couldn't disappoint the crowds as well because it was a huge turnout today. After all it became and exciting game."

Mathews also said despite the poor result in the final, he was proud of his side's performance in the SLPL, particularly as they did not have the star players other teams had secured in the draft.

"We never had big names, it's just that we gelled quite well and we enjoyed each other's company and success. I thought the team spirit was wonderful. Each time we walked into a game we just wanted to win and the whole unit was unbelievable."

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shamalka on September 3, 2012, 3:09 GMT

    @ Shanepe 2003: Buddy i know you're reading this comment and i'm sure now you're hiding behind the bush after seeing Mathews murderous knock in the finals...you questioned about his value and now he has answered from the bat...being chosen as the captain of SLPL XI, he answered to all his critics those who have a very little knowledge of the game like you...grow up mate! we're not talking about Elle...it's about Cricket!

  • Bilal on September 2, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    I thank the the SLPL for letting Pakistami players participating in the tournament and well I have I always seen sri lanka as great country. ,Thanks a lot Sri Lanka!

  • Shamalka on September 2, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    Weldone Anji & Co..! It was a great acheivement by NN despite of not having the big names nor good weather. Anji you beauty! You'll be the real threat to all the other teams coz you are born to deliver for your side when it needs the most. Anji is the man to watch in the T20 WC. Hope to see Mune opening wth Dili in the WC. Mune deserves a chance

  • Dummy4 on September 1, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    kan da thambi.....well done....but u never performed

  • mark on September 1, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    congrats to the Uva... NN would hav had a chance though...but good batting displayed by some players... more importantly better to see that SLPL is finaly completed succesfully with lots of difficulties... WELL DONE EVERY ONE... it was good criket played in this tournament... hope this series would provide some form and experience to SL team to win the T20 World Cup... Good Luck SL !!!

  • chamil on September 1, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    Well done and congratulations to all the teams who have battled in SLPL. Lack of spectators, one can find it as a pro in continueing these type of contests in Sri Lanka. But it was enjoyed by the same cricket fans via the media. The participation of Sri Lankan cricket board in SLPL is an admirable point where the board can intervene with the organizers and it was an overall benefit to the Sri Lankan cricket. Thanks specially to DILSHAN MUNAWEERA and hope u become our next JAYASURIYA....

  • amila on September 1, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    good Angelo came to some sort of form. That was a wonderful hitting but proper cricket shots.We need similar innings in T20 WC. Good luck Angie!

  • Surath on September 1, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    Well done Nagas & Anji..No worries about losing the final..Well played...:)

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