Gunaratne, Lakmal star in Basnahira win
Basnahira Greens 139 for 6 (Gunaratne 40, Dananjaya 2-20) beat Uthura Yellows 125 for 9 (Lakmal 3-20) by 14 runs
Janaka Gunaratne's confident 40 from 31 powered Basnahira Greens to a challenging 139 for 6 on a slow Premadasa surface, before their bowlers ensured a 14-run win over Uthura Yellows in the Super4s T20 tournament in Colombo.
Gunaratne arrived with his side struggling at 43 for 3 in the ninth over, after being put in to bat by Uthura. However, he quickly set about accumulating runs along with Dimuth Karunaratne, who took a cautious approach as wickets fell around him. Gunaratne struck two sixes off Jeevan Mendis in the 13th over to get the innings going, but lost Karunaratne after the opener went for a big shot against Akila Dananjaya in the 14th over.
Left-arm spinner Sohan Boralessa was Uthura's early strike weapon, conceding only 14 from his first 3 overs and dismissing Dilshan Munaweera and Angelo Mathews. But the spinner ended badly, giving away 19 runs in the 15th over, his last of the match. Shaminda Eranga had Gunaratne out to a hook before the batsman reached 50, but Kithuruwan Vithanage and Kosala Kulasekara ensured the final overs were fruitful, scoring 22 and 15, respectively.
Uthura began with an assured 45-run stand between Mahela Udawatte and Ashan Priyanjan, but boundaries proved elusive after the openers fell, and the required rate kept climbing. Captain Dinesh Chandimal made 19 from 20 balls, and Jeevan Mendis 19 from 23, leaving Thisara Perera with plenty to do when he arrived in the 16th over.
Perera had been in fine batting touch in the Twenty20s against South Africa, and he began well, gathering 17 off his first 6 deliveries. However, he fell to a mis-hit off a low full toss from Suranga Lakmal to long-off, taking the side's chances of a victory with him. The Basnahira bowlers finished with good economy rates, while Lakmal was the leading wicket-taker with 3 for 20.