Kulasekara powers Basnahira to final
Basnahira Greens 120 in 17 overs (Rupasinghe 32, Dilshan 2-20) beat Ruhuna Reds 111 for 9 in 17 overs (Dilruwan 24, Kulasekara 3-4) Scorecard
An early rolling collapse did not prevent Basnahira Greens from progressing to the Super Fours final, as they defended a modest total to defeat Ruhuna Reds by nine runs at R Premadasa Stadium. Basnahira were 89 for 8 in the 14th of a 17-over match, but regrouped at the death through Kosala Kulasekara and Isuru Udana to post 120. Their bowlers then tied down a dangerous Ruhuna top order, and though the tail briefly threatened to revive the chase, Ruhuna eventually ran out of steam.
Opener Gihan Rupasinghe provided the impetus for Basnahira's innings, with a 25-ball 32, but his team-mates did not aid his work, as they fell cheaply around him. Dilshan Munaweera was dismissed by Lasith Malinga in the first over, before TM Sampath was dismissed by his brother - TM Dilshan - after a promising 15.
Angelo Mathews' woeful run with the bat got no better, getting out for a duck after having made one run in each of his previous matches, but the slide was eventually arrested by Kulasekara, who hit an unbeaten 28. He and Udana managed to score at just over 10 in the last three overs, to lift their side to a defendable total, despite having to contend with Malinga, who finished with two wickets for 21 from his four overs.
Ruhuna's batsmen stalled against Sachithra Senanayake, who opened the bowling, as both Dilshan and Kusal Perera failed to find their customary early boundaries. They both fell cheaply, but the men to follow were no less inert. Jehan Mubarak fell first ball to Mathews, who had also dismissed Dilshan, before Angelo Perera and Yashoda Lanka departed in quick succession, to Kulasekara. Dilruwan Perera stood for some time at no. 3, making 24 from 34 balls, but by the 13th over, the Ruhuna chase was in tatters, at 68 for 7.
Kaushalya Weeraratne and Seekkuge Prasanna both made quick twenties, and almost gained the advantage in a 37-run eighth-wicket stand, but although they managed to get within 16 runs of the target with 10 balls to go, they perished searching for the boundaries that would have swung the game in their side's favour.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here