Sri Lankan domestic cricket December 2, 2004

Premier League reaches the semi-final phase

Man in form: Mahela Jayawardene © Getty Images

Colts, Sinhalese Sports Club, Burgher Recreation Club and Colombo Cricket Club will compete in the semi-finals of the Premier League, Sri Lanka's first-class three-day club competition, which start on Friday (Dec 3). The final and third-place play-off is scheduled for next weekend.

SSC, unbeaten this year, will take on Burgher RC at the Colts ground with Mahela Jayawardene in prime form, having scored 293 runs at 97.66 since returning from Pakistan. BRC's hopes will be pinned on the batting of Varuna Waragoda, who has scored 376 runs at 75.20 so far this season, and Sajeewa Weerakoon, a left-arm spinner who is the leading wicket-taker in the country with 40 at 18.27.

Colts, last year's runners-up, and CCC will play at the Sinhalese Sports Club. Colts' wicketkeeper Rashan Peiris will be looking to maintain his good form and impress the selectors before the New Zealand tour, after a productive season with the bat (303 runs at 75.75). His fellow wicketkeeper Lanka de Silva leads CCC's batting with 326 runs at 40.75.

The Premier League will be followed by the Premier Limited-Overs competition, the main domestic one-day tournament, and then the new five-team Provincial Tournament, which started last year and is now being promoted as Sri Lanka's leading first-class competition.