SSC, NCC, Colts and Ragama in semis
Sinhalese Sports Club, Colts Cricket Club, Nondescripts Cricket Club and Ragama Cricket Club will contest the semi-finals of the Premier Limited Overs competition, after finishing in the top two of their groups at the end of the round-robin phase. Both semi-finals will be played at the Premadasa Stadium with Colts taking on NCC on December 21, before SSC face Ragama on December 23.
Opening the batting in his first match of the tournament, Mahela Jayawardene hit 90 from 83 for SSC, who moved to the top of their group with a 38-run Duckworth-Lewis win over Moors Sports Club. His 133-run opening stand with Danushka Gunathilaka, who scored an unbeaten 75, effectively set up the victory. SSC had been chasing 277, but their innings was cut short by bad weather at 38 overs. Having lost only two wickets at that stage, their 215 runs comfortably secured the match.
Allrounder Chaturanga de Silva's 71 from 67 balls and Isham Ghouse's 57 had provided the substance in Moors' innings, as they amassed what was a commanding score of 276 for 8 by this season's standards. Seam bowlers Dhammika Prasad and Charith Jayampathi struck at various stages of the innings to take five wickets between them. In the end, SSC's bowlers had done enough to ensure a top order strengthened by Jayawardene's arrival would secure their place atop the table.
Ports Authority Cricket Club finished just outside the reckoning for the semi-finals in their group, despite a low-scoring three-wicket win over Bloomfield Cricket Club, at Bloomfield's ground. Seam-bowler Isuru Udana did not open the bowling, but it was he who sparked a Bloomfield collapse that would see them sink to 58 for 5, before finishing at 127 all out in the 34th over. Udana took 3 for 33 and left-arm spinner Anuk de Alwis also claimed three wickets, for 37 runs.
Ports Authority wobbled early in their chase, losing both openers in the fourth over to Suraj Randiv's offspin. However they regrouped through Sachithra Serasingha's 45 lower down the order. Ports Authority lost two wickets when tied with Bloomfield, making the result seem closer than it was, but they completed the chase in the 32nd over.
Tamil Union Cricket Club ended a disappointing tournament with a 196-run victory over the group's bottom team, Chilaw Marians, at the P Sara Oval. The victory was Tamil Union's second in the competition, and was set up by a opener Pabasara Waduge's 120 from 122 balls - an innings that featured 17 fours. Several other Tamil Union batsmen got starts but none crossed 40, as they strode to 300 for 9 from 50 overs. Seam bowler Saliya Saman took 3 for 54 for Chilaw.
Legspinner Jeevan Mendis collected five wickets for 12 as Chilaw unraveled quickly during their reply. The visitors had been 50 for 2 in the 15th over before Mendis began to strike, and he wrapped up Chilaw innings for 104 in the 34th over with some help for Ramith Rambukwella, who claimed two scalps.
Air Force Sports Club recorded a 40-run victory over Badureliya Sports Club, in a match in which neither team could hope to qualify for the semi-finals. Left-arm seam bowler Ruvinda Shamen took 5 for 32 for Badureliya after they had asked the opposition to bat first, but Sajith Kalumpriya struck 68 to help propel Air Force to 194 all out in the 47th over.
Badureliya lost both openers for ducks, inside the first two overs of their reply, and continued to stumble against seam bowler Lasanda Rukmal, who took 4 wickets for 58. Andy Solomons walloped 90 from 60 bakks and put on a 78-run stand with Leven Helambage for the fifth wicket, but it was not enough to save Badureliya, who finished bottom of the group.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here