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Andrew Fidel Fernando
March 20, 2013
Kushal Janith Perera's brutal 336 from 275 deliveries for Colts Cricket Club was the highlight of round seven in the Premier League tournament, after which Panadura Cricket Club and Tamil Union remained atop the group tables. The round produced one draw and five innings victories, and the leading clubs have now pulled firmly away from those that will fight to remain in the league in the two remaining rounds. Each group presently has ten teams in it, and the bottom three teams in each group will be relegated to an emerging tournament next year, which will not have first-class status.
Perera's blitz came against Saracens Sports Club at the Colts' home ground. Coming in at 46 for 2 after the Colts had been asked to bat, Perera put on a 224-run partnership with Nisal Randika, who made 93, before combining with Thisara Perera for the sixth wicket for 137 from 110 balls. Perera's 336 featured 29 fours and 14 sixes, and Colts' innings was eventually declared when he was out on the second morning with the total at 611 for 8. Colts' bowlers then ripped through Saracens twice, dismissing them for 184 and 140. Ishan Jayaratne took five wickets in the second innings, while Akila Dananjaya and Sajeewa Weerakoon grabbed useful hauls. Only Rajkumar Rathika was able to cross fifty for Saracens, who are bottom of Group A after the innings and 287-run loss.
Tamil Union remained the only team in the competition to have won all its matches, despite its four best bowlers being away on Test duty, as they defeated Chilaw Marians by four wickets in a low-scorer at the P Sara Oval. Marians batted first and made 209, thanks to an aggressive fifty from Sachith Pathirana who earned a call-up to the ODI side after his 75 runs and 7 for 124 in this match. His five-wicket haul in the first innings helped secure a 53-run lead for the Marians, but a total of just 155 in the second innings, as TN Sampath took five wickets for Tamil Union, allowed the opposition back into the match. In the end 58 from Sachith Pathirana in the final innings, as well as contributions from Pulina Tharanga and Denuwan Rajakaruna, helped Tami Union score the 209 runs required for victory.
Panadura Sports Club defeated Air Force Sports Club by 254 runs at Riffle Green, thanks largely to a ten-wicket haul to left-arm spinner Gayan Sirisoma and a strong first-innings total, built largely by the lower-middle order. Chamara Silva and Chandana Aravinda hit fifties for Panadura in the first innings, with Chathura Peiris, Dilruwan Perera and Sudesh Umangaya also helping propel their side to 309. Sirisoma then helped his side secure a big lead with 5 for 72, as Air Force slumped to 173. Dilruwan Perera then made from 60 balls in the second innings, after Chamara Silva had notched up another fifty, and Dilruwan Perera returned with the ball, to remove four batsmen for 60 runs as Air Force chased an unlikely 440.
Sohan Boralessa's seven-wicket haul and Farveez Maharoof's 116 highlighted Nondescript Cricket Club's five-wicket win over Navy Sports Club. Navy were dismissed for 180 in the first innings, before NCC hit 354, with Maharoof top-scoring. Boralessa then reaped 7 for 96, as Navy put up better resistance, with Duleeka Thissakuttige's unbeaten 100 from No. 3 being the backbone for the team's 278. NCC lost five wickets in their fourth innings, but chased 105 comfortably. Angelo Perera and Niroshan Dickwella also hit half-centuries in the match.
Sinhalese Sports Club, who remained ahead of NCC at second on the Group B table, scored an innings and 70-run victory over Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club. Sachithra Senanayake took nine wickets in the match in the same week he earned an ODI recall, and he is now second on the league's wicket-takers list, with 49. Kaushal Silva provided the anchor for SSC's 448, with 148, with support from Kaushal Lokuarachhi, who made 85 and then took four wickets in the second innings.
A 153 from 181 from Shehan Jayasuriya and a five-wicket haul for Malindu Pushpakumara could not prevent Moors Sports Club from succumbing to Army Sports Club, after Army made 365 in the first innings, with Manjula de Zoysa hitting 142. Army's offspinner Roshan Jayatissa took six wickets in the final innings to help dismiss Moors 265 runs short of an unlikely target.
Elsewhere, Bloomfield Cricket Club's left-arm slow bowler Upul Indrasiri took ten wickets in their innings victory over Ragama Cricket, while another left-arm spinner, Colombo Cricket Club's Dinuka Hettiarachchi became the league's top wicket-taker, when he took 11 Galle Cricket Club scalps, in his side's innings win.
In Badureliya Sports Club's match against Ports Authority cricket club, a 165-run second-innings partnership between Badureliya's No. 7 Malinga Bandara and No. 9 Saliya Saman, rescued the side from defeat, and set Ports Authority a target of 91, which they could not achieve in the nine overs remaining to them in the match.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala