Wins for Chilaw Marians, Ragama and Bloomfield
Sri Lanka's 2010-11 domestic season began with the Under-23 Youth Tournament Division 1 matches being played over three days instead of the usual two as in the past. Sri Lanka Cricket tournament committee chairman, Ravi de Silva, said that the idea to make it a three-day tournament came from the selection committee chairman Aravinda de Silva, who wanted the younger cricketers to get used to playing for longer hours in the middle. He however stated that it would not enjoy first-class status because of the age limit.
"It is a brilliant idea because this age group is the platform for young cricketers to build their future careers," Ravi said. "We want the players to play longer innings and for bowlers to bowl longer spells. It has been done for the longevity of Sri Lanka cricket."
The tournament got off to a flying start with former Sri Lanka Under-19 World Cup captain Ashan Priyanjan hitting twin centuries for Tamil Union against Colombo Colts in a drawn match at Havelock Park.
Premier League Tier A champions Chilaw Marians showed they had plenty of talent in their reserve bench when their U-23 side thrashed Burgher RC by an innings and 68 runs at the BRC grounds. Offspinner Umesh Karunaratne's match haul of eight wickets coupled with Buddhi Samarawickrame's cautious unbeaten knock of 111 off 235 balls contributed to the victory.
Ragama CC and Bloomfield also began their campaign in style with victories over Moratuwa SC and Air Force SC respectively. The left-arm spin of Sameera Perera (match haul of 10 for 123) and Kaushalya Gajasinghe's century (123) were responsible for Ragama's win at De Soysa Stadium in Moratuwa.
An opening stand of 193 between Nipun Karunanayake (100) and captain Madawa Warnapura (93), laid the foundation for Bloomfield's victory at Rifle Green.
Despite running up the highest total for the week - 403 for 9 declared, Sinhalese SC ran short of time to pull off a victory over Seeduwa Raddoluwa CC at the SSC grounds. SSC had the visitors on their knees at 160 for 9 in their second innings after forcing them to follow-on, but with the ninth wicket falling off the penultimate ball of the match, the last ball was negotiated safely much to the relief of Seeduwa Raddoluwa.
The legspin of Sanka Ramesh Abeyruwan (match haul of 7 for 63) and fast bowling of Suresh Wickrema (match haul of 6 for 139) proved decisive but not quite.
Moors SC held the strong Nondescripts CC to a draw at NCC grounds. Moors captain Chaturanga de Silva (97 and 41) and Yasoda Lanka (86 and 78) ensured Moors come out honourably despite NCC gaining a 104-run first innings lead.