Premier League Tournament 2012-13 March 20, 2013

Kushal Perera slams triple for Colts


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 here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • udendra on March 22, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    He is one of those exciting types of players. His batting style is definitely similar to Sanath.

  • Mausifan on March 22, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    It seems we have found a dashing opener to replace Dilshan, Dilshan replaced Sanath and hopefully Kusal Perera will take Dilshans place when he decides to hang his boots. Its too soon to compare him to anyone, where 1st class performance is totally different to International games. The public and the media should avoid the hype and expectation, and let him come into terms with international cricket

  • vimukthi on March 21, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    good luck kusal. i like your stile of play keep it up!

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    @Sinhaya: Don't even try to compare Kusal (KJP) with Legend Sanath (STJ). Because STJ done much more for Sri Lankan cricket. KJP is far behind him. KJP want to go long way....! Its depend on his performance, consistence, fitness etc. For example you see Upul Tharanga. He marked his 6th ton at 31st match (average at that time 40.03) and people speaks Tharanga will overtake great Sachin. But finally, he played (up to now) 162 matches with 12 tons at average 33.70.

  • anand on March 21, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    @Sinhaya...what is need of bowling,when u alredy have tharindu,herath,mendis,malinga,kulasekera,matthews

  • sam on March 21, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    As an Indian I must say I am very impressed with the young batting talent coming through in Sri Lanka. I mean Mathews, Chandimal, Karunaratne, Kushal Perera, Thirimanne. But more importantly the SL selectors gives these talented players chances. In India many of the extremely talented batsman like Rayudu, Rahane and Rohit Sharma haven't got a single chance in a test match. Bowling is a problem for both teams though. And I wish both BCCI and SLC stops playing meaningless, seamingly endless number of bilateral ODIs and plays more test matches (if they want to play each other more).

  • Ryju on March 21, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    Guyssss slow down , its too early to compare him with Sanath , but yes he ll be a good opener and can become that X factor what Sanath was , just to remind Sanath changed the style of ODI batting ... Cheers

  • Vihanga on March 21, 2013, 2:22 GMT

    Hats off. WHat a knock! Good luck to you sir. Another Royalist making his way through just like Vithanage. I wish you the very best.

  • Prashan on March 21, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    @Htc-Android, yes Angelo Perera is very good as well. By the way Kithruwan Vithanage may only be suitable for tests.

  • Prashan on March 21, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    @NJ_De_Zoysa, Sanath was quite inconsistent. His ODI average was just over 30 and just over 40 for tests purely due to his inconsistency. Kushal Perera (KP) was our top scorer in the chase of 74 that day and he seems to have boosted his confidence after getting the national call up. So KP has overtaken his school colleague the much hyped up Bhanuka Rajapakse who is even dropped from the SSC XI. KP even fits the test XI and hope once Dilshan quits, KP opens for us in tests.

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