Sri Lanka Inter-Provincial Tournament, February 5-8 February 7, 2005

Easy wins for North Central and Central

Cricinfo staff

Central Province 133 and 192 for 3 (Sangakkara 69) beat Western Province 43 and 278 (Tillakeratne 85) by seven wickets

Kumar Sangakkara and Sajith Fernando added 110 for the third wicket to guard against any prospect of an upset, as Central Province eased to their anticipated victory over Western Province at the Sinhalese Sports Club.

The result had hardly been in doubt since the first day, when WP were bundled out for 43, although thanks to Hashan Tillekaratne's 85 in the second innings, they were at least set a challenging target of 189.

Dilhara Fernando raised the brief prospect of an upset as he grabbed two early wickets to reduce CP to 51 for 2, but once Sangakkara and Fernando were into their stride, the result was a foregone conclusion. Fernando struck for a third time before the end, as Sangakkara fell for 69, but Thilan Samaraweera hung around to complete the proceedings.

North Central Province 502 for 8 dec (Kalavitigoda 152, Ramyakumara 84) beat Southern Province 86 and 259 by an innings and 157 runs

North Central Province duly wrapped up victory by an innings and 157 runs over Southern Province at Dambulla, although they were made to wait rather longer than had been anticipated, thanks to some spirited resistance from a side that had been bloodied and beaten from the first day onwards.

Southern began their second innings a whopping 416 runs adrift after North Central had declared on 502 for 8, but they at least made a better fist of things second-time around. Anushka Polonowita top-scored with 62, and Indika de Saram also made a half-century, as they recovered from a rocky 83 for 4 to add 95 for the fifth wicket.

North Central shared the wickets around, with Upul Chandana's 3 for 64 the pick of the bunch.