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The Report by Andrew Fidel Fernando
August 17, 2013
Kandurata Maroons 113 for 3 (Tharanga 32, Lokuarachchi 26*) beat Basnahira Greens 109 for 7 (Mathews 53*, Kulasekara 3-19) by 7 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Kandurata Maroons will represent Sri Lanka in the Champions League T20 qualifiers next month in India, after they overcame a meandering Basnahira Greens by seven wickets in the Super Fours final. Kandurata had been the best side of the tournament, having won their first two matches, and in this game accomplished what no other team had done before - win a match batting second.
Nuwan Kulasekara's early wickets formed the bedrock of the victory, as Basnahira failed to muster a counterattack, despite an unbeaten 53 from Angelo Mathews. With only 110 to chase, Kandurata's batsmen were rarely tested, and cruised to the target with three overs remaining.
Mathews arrived in the sixth over after three wickets had already fallen, and with more team-mates deserting him soon after, he launched his lonely restorative effort at a mild pace. Kaushal Lokuarachchi's spell was treated with particular reverence, with neither Mathews nor his middle-order colleagues venturing a jaunt down the pitch to counter his disciplined legbreaks. Lokuarachchi conceded only 11 runs from his full quota, and Ajantha Mendis commanded similar respect in his first three overs, in which he gave away only 10. Between the fifth and 17th overs, Basnahira struck only one boundary, taking few risks against a tight Kandurata bowling performance, but were so paralysed by their restraint, they failed to hit even poor balls to the fence.
Mathews managed two fours off Mendis' last over, which cost 13, and hit a six in the penultimate over of the innings before completing his fifty in the last, but having dismissed both Basnahira openers in his first spell and taken another wicket in his second, Kulasekara finished strongly to keep Basnahira to 109 for 7. His three wickets cost him 19 from four overs.
Kandurata's openers began swiftly in response. Basnahira had hit only six fours in total, but Upul Tharanga and Thilina Kandamby had already eclipsed that tally in the fourth over, when Tharanga hit three successive boundaries off Isuru Udana. Kandamby departed soon after, but had helped whittle off more than a third of the target when he left, before Kumar Sangakkara continued in a similar vein as his replacement at the crease.
Sangakkara was dropped on 17, but was dismissed for 21, one over after Upul Tharanga had also fallen. The double strike came too late for Basnahira, however, who only had 34 more to defend with eight overs remaining. Lokuarachchi and Lahiru Thirimanne took the chase home with a flourish.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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