Premier League Tournament, Tier B, 3rd round February 4, 2008

Army advance to the top

The ongoing war in the north of Sri Lanka seems to have had the least effect on Sri Lanka Army who produced an outstanding performance over the weekend to record their third successive win of the season and take over the top position in Tier B.

With Tier A clubs being given a weekend off because of the country's 60th Independence Day celebrations which fell on February 4, clubs in the other tier came to the limelight with Army being the only club to record a win out of the five matches. They beat Lankan Cricket Club by three wickets chasing 242 in the fourth innings in Panagoda.

Army's match-winners were two 22-year-old bowlers who produced career-best returns Ajantha Mendis, the right-arm slow-medium bowler, accounted for seven Lankan batsmen in the first innings for 37 runs and in the second innings, legspinner Seekuge Prasanna took 6 for 76 as Lankan was dismissed for 164 and 283.

The only resistance came from Yasas Tillakaratne, brother of former Sri Lanka Test captain Hashan Tillakaratne. Yasas who spends a good part of his time playing in the English leagues made a rare appearance for his club to score only his fourth hundred (121) in a first-class career spanning 15 years. However, it was not good enough to stop Army from advancing to the top of the table.

In a high-scoring game at Havelock Park, identical centuries by the Burgher Recreation Club pair of Dilan Sandagirigoda - scoring his maiden hundred in only his third first-class match - and Dilum Harischandra, with a hundred on his first-class debut were not good enough to stop Saracens Sports Club from collecting valuable points on the first-innings lead. In reply to Burgher's 418 for 8 declared, Saracens were boosted by a 132-run seventh-wicket stand between Sachithra Serasinghe (118),who also made his maiden first-class century and Ravindra Karunaratne (52) replied with 484 to move to third place in the standings.

Panadura Sports Club lost their position at the top of the table when they were deprived of victory by Sebastianites Cricket and Athletic Club's last-wicket pair at the Panadura Esplanade. Set 403 for victory, Sebastianites lost their ninth wicket at 283 and looked in danger of defeat. But their tenth-wicket pair of captain Primal Salgado (49*) and Suranjana Rajitha (3* off 32 balls), playing in only his third first-class game, hung on for 11.3 overs to deprive Panadura a win.

Tier B
Team Mat Won Lost Tied Draw Aban Pts
Sri Lanka Army 3 3 0 0 0 0 50.4
Panadura 3 2 0 0 1 0 45.07
Saracens 3 1 1 0 1 0 30.05
Singha SC 3 1 0 0 2 0 28.12
Police SC 3 1 1 0 1 0 27.59
Lankan CC 3 1 2 0 0 0 23.815
Sebast CAC 3 0 1 0 2 0 19.1
Moratuwa 3 0 1 0 2 0 18.77
SL Air SC 3 0 1 0 2 0 18.615
Burgher 3 0 2 0 1 0 10.52

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