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March 8, 2009
Basnahira North clung on to a narrow two-point lead at the top of the points table with a draw against Wayamba in Dambulla. But it was second-placed Wayamba who had the better of the exchanges and first-innings points helped them narrow the gap. A feature of the Basnahira North batting was the excellent form of Angelo Mathews who completed his second century of the tournament to help his team reach 374 in the first innings after they chose to bat. Fast bowler Isuru Udana and Chanaka Welagedera shared seven wickets, dismissing the last five Basnahira batsmen for 72 runs. In reply, Wayamba lost a wicket off the third ball of the innings and slipped to 89 for 3 before being rescued by skipper Jehan Mubarak and Lanka de Silva, who put on 201 for the fourth wicket. Both batsmen hit contrasting hundreds - Mubarak scoring 136 off 187 balls and de Silva finishing with 103 off 203. The partnership enabled Wayamba to gain a vital 47-run lead. By stumps on the penultimate day Basnahira North were staring at defeat when they lost four wickets for 28 runs, but a sturdy performance from wicketkeeper Kaushal Silva (100 off 168 balls) who figured in a 119-run stand with Mathews (44), along with Gayan Wijekoon's attacking 62 not out off 65 balls carried them to safety.
Upul Tharanga's twin knocks of 98 and 39 helped Ruhuna beat Kandurata by 87 runs in a low-scoring tie in Colombo. There were no oustanding performances individually and it was a collective effort from the Ruhuna's bowlers which helped them clinch victory. Kandurata, set 276 for victory, collapsed for a disappointing 188 to give Ruhuna their first win of the tournament following two defeats.
From two embattled captains to the challenge for India's openers against the new ball, ESPNcricinfo picks five contests that could determine the series
It's close to inexplicable how India's best spinner is being left out in favour of bits-and-pieces players