The final of the Inter-Provincial Twenty20 tournament at the Premadasa Stadium turned out to be a thriller that was decided by the one-over eliminator. Ruhuna trumped Wayamba in the eliminator after a tie, and booked their place in the qualifier stage of the Champions League to be held in India later in the year.
Opting to bat, Ruhuna lost some early wickets but opener Mahela Udawatte held firm, making 65 off 47 and controlling the innings from one end. He ceded the floor to Janaka Gunaratne when the pair got together at 51 for 3. Gunaratne was unstoppable, launching six sixes in his 83 that came off just 42 balls. He added 93 with Udawatte and 36 with Shaluka Karunanayake to propell his team to 198.
There are several Sri Lankan internationals in the Wayamba line-up, the most experienced of them all, Mahela Jayawardene, fell cheaply in the chase. But Thilan Samaraweera and Thilina Kandamby, who was left out of the home series against Australia, struck half-centuries to lead a strong reply. Samaraweera opened the batting and made 57 in 37 while Kandamby struck four sixes in his 60. A crucial contribution came from Indika de Saram, who blitzed his way to an unbeaten 46 and levelled the scores even as offspinner Suraj Randiv grabbed three wickets in the final over.
Randiv bagged a wicket off the penultimate ball but wicketkeeper de Saram smashed a boundary off the final ball to make it 198. His effort, however, went in vain, as Wayamba managed just six in their one over. Ruhuna chased it down off the penultimate ball to seal victory.