Maharoof, Prasanna launch Express into final
Southern Express 158 for 7 (Maharoof 42*, Prasanna 36*, de Silva 3-24) beat Western Troopers 153 for 9 (Rajapaksa 41, Pathirana 4-17) by three wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Farveez Maharoof and Seekkuge Prasanna plundered 56 off the last 4.4 overs to carry Southern Express into the final with a three-wicket win over Western Troopers in the eliminator in Colombo. The duo came together when Express were struggling at 102 for 7 after 15 overs in their chase of 154 following three wickets in three overs from Chaturanga de Silva. While Maharoof hit two fours and three sixes in his 42 off 27 deliveries, Prasanna struck four sixes in his 36 off 17.
Maharoof and Prasanna's efforts revived a chase in which the highest score among the top six was Jehan Mubarak's 25. After Suranga Lakmal bowled a tight 16th over, Prasanna hit de Silva and Isuru Udana for a six each in the next two overs. Lakmal was taken for successive sixes in the penultimate over by Prasanna before Maharoof ended the game by lifting Sachithra Senanayake over the boundary off the fourth ball of the last over.
Troopers were able to score only 15 off their last three overs as they collapsed from a strong position of 138 for 4. Bhanuka Rajapaksa made 41 off 24 at No. 3 but three of the top five fell in their twenties before the lower order crumbled against Sachith Pathirana, who took 4 for 17.