Basnahira South, led by Sri Lanka's stand-in Twenty20 captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, maintained their winning streak in the Inter-Provincial Twenty20 tournament with victories over Basnahira North and Schools Invitation XI over the weekend.
Former Sri Lanka Under-19 cricketer Lahiru Thirimanne starred in their 13-run win over Basnahira North at the SSC, scoring an elegant 70 off 46 balls to push the total to 158. The spinners Malinga Bandara and Dilshan throttled the Basnahira North batting with five wickets between them for 32 runs.
Against Schools at the Moors Sports Club Grounds, Basnahira South once again did well to defend their total of 172 for 9 by restricting the opponents to 145 for 7 despite a sparkling knock of 58 off 44 balls (3 sixes, 4 fours) from Banuka Rajapaksha and a valiant unbeaten 33 off 21 balls (3 sixes, 1 four) from Angelo Perera.
Ruhuna, who began well with two consecutive victories, lost ground when they suffered defeats against Wayamba and Kandurata. At the SSC, despite a brisk opening stand of 64 in six overs between Sanath Jayasuriya (45 off 23 balls) and Upul Tharanga, Ruhuna were disappointingly shot out for 127 by the spinners Ajantha Mendis (3 for14) and Kaushal Lokuarachchi (2 for 16). Wayamba passed the total without raising much sweat in 17.1 overs to win by five wickets with Mahela Udawatte (51 off 36 balls) and Mahela Jayawardene (37 off 28 balls) contributing 65 for the third wicket.
At the Colts Cricket Club, the Ruhuna batting capitulated once again and they failed to match the excellent performance of their bowlers, losing by 12 runs to Kandurata the following day. The target of 120 shouldn't have been a tough ask for the strong Ruhuna batting line-up, but with the exception of the in-from Indika de Saram, who contributed an aggressive 53 off 51 balls, the rest succumbed to Dilhara Fernando, who ended up with impressive figures of 4 for 14. In Kandurata's innings, Sri Lanka's newly appointed captain Kumar Sangakkara hit his best score in the tournament with a well-controlled 41, supported by an aggressive 47 off 26 balls (3 sixes, 4 fours) from Chintaka Jayasinghe. But after their departure, fast bowler Tharanga Lakshitha scythed through the rest of the batting taking 5 for 16 off 3.3 overs.
By virtue of this victory, which followed their six-wicket win over Schools XI the previous day, Kandurata along with Wayamba moved into second spot with only net run rate separating them. Wayamba captain Jehan Mubarak led from the front with a forceful knock of 55 off 39 balls (3 sixes, 3 fours) in his team's 29-run victory over Basnahira North at Colts. Farveez Maharoof, Ajantha Mendis and Isuru Udana took two wickets apiece to bowl out Basnahira North for 127.
|Schls Inv XI||4||0||4||0||0||0||-2.395||439/80.0||469/59.3|