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Andrew Fidel Fernando
December 7, 2013
Panadura's bowlers were more spirited than their batsmen, and had given hope to the team when they had Ragama at 89 for 5. Chanaka Wijesinghe ensured Ragama would slip no further, however, and was unbeaten on 43 when his team chased down the meagre score.
Akila Dananjaya's 4 for 43 and half-centuries to Roshen Silva and captain Dilruwan Perera pushed Colts Cricket Club to victory, with three balls to spare and four wickets in hand, against Air Force Sports Club. Dananjaya struck twice in the middle overs, as Air Force sought to consolidate a good position, before returning after the 40th over to stall Air Force's final charge. Wicketkeeper-batsman Sajith Kalumpriya was the only Air Force player to hit a fifty, but No. 10 Sahan Jayawardene's run-a-ball 36 was also instrumental, as they hit 208 for 9 from their 50 overs.
Colts stumbled against the opening pace-pair of Jayawardene and Lasanda Rukmal, but Silva helped arrest the slide, which had reached its nadir at 79 for 5, and put on 69 alongside Perera. Air Force were still in the hunt when Silva departed, but Ishan Jayaratne provided competent support for his captain, and that pair's 66-run partnership secured Colts' fourth straight win in the tournament.
Colombo Cricket Club broke Army Sports Club's winning streak with a 62-run triumph at CCC's home ground, in a low-scorer. 102 of CCC's 178 had come from Nos. 7, 8 and 9, after they had stumbled to 101 for 7 against Army's pace attack. Army did not have ace spinners in Ajantha Mendis and Seekkuge Prasanna, who have departed for the UAE with the Sri Lanka side.
CCC captain Hasantha Fernando then tore out Army's middle order, taking 5 for 21, as the visitors failed to capitalise on an opening partnership worth 63. No batsman beyond the top four reached double figures, and Army were all out for 116 in the 37th over.
Moors had a poor start in response, stumbling to 32 for 4 in the eighth over, and despite mild resistance from opener Isham Ghouse, Bloomfield's seam-bowling trio Nuwan Pradeep, Imran Khan and Vishwa Fernando, shared six scalps between them. Suraj Randiv arrived later to take two wickets of his own, and Moors were all out in the 38th over.
Tamil Union Cricket Club sneaked home by 8 runs against Nondescripts Cricket Club, via the Duckworth-Lewis method, after bad light stopped their chase four overs short, at the P Sara Oval. Chasing 243, Tamil Union had 25 to get from four overs with four wickets in hand, when play was called off. In the end TN Sampath's rapid 61 had been enough to propel them past mathematical parity, despite the efforts of NCC's Chaminda Vidanapathirana, who took 3 wickets for 51.
Sampath had earlier opened the bowling for Tamil Union with his offspin, and reaped two top-order wickets for 24, before fast bowler Nisala Gamage dented NCC's middle order, with 4 for 48. NCC had tottered to 155 for 6 in the 37th over, but a 77-run stand between Kosala Kulasekara - who hit 74 - and Tharindu Kaushal, ensured the visitors climbed to a competitive total. The start provided by Ashen Silva's 54 and Sampath's mid-innings salvo, however, earned Tamil Union their first victory of the season, and inflicted NCC's first loss.
Sinhalese Sports Club's bowlers demolished Chilaw Marians to set up a nine-wicket win that was achieved in the 16th over - the most one-sided result in the tournament so far. No Chilaw batsman crossed 25, as SSC's four seam bowlers shared nine wickets between them at their home ground. Chilaw were all out for 90 after 26 overs.
Dimuth Karunaratne hit a brisk, unbeaten fifty in the chase, as he prepares for the Test series in the UAE at the end of the month.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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