In a match replete with high drama befitting a semi-final, the individual performance of the tournament from Jacob Oram helped Uva Next derail favourites Wayamba United by 20 runs in Colombo. Oram's 17-ball 41 electrified an Uva Next innings that had spluttered to 89 for 5 from 13.5 overs, before he before he overcame a poor start with the ball to gut the Wayamba United middle order with three wickets for 16 from four overs.
Despite being reduced to 27 for 7 in the sixth over, Azhar Mahmood and Isuru Udana put on 120 for the eighth wicket to resurrect the chase, and give some hope to thousands of Wayamba fans who had made the long trip. The required-rate proved too high, however, and Wayamba United ended at 151 for 8.
Such a close contest didn't appear likely after Oram's efforts with bat and ball. He scored 30 of his 41 from sixes, the first of which came stunningly, from a leading edge. He charged Akila Dananjaya and swung across the line, and although the ball spun in the opposite direction to the one he'd anticipated, the heave had enough power to carry it over the ropes at long-off. Oram didn't misread Brad Hogg in the next over though, when he clobbered him high over midwicket for six, nor was he fooled by two consecutive slower balls from Mahmood that he blasted straight. His last six was the best of the lot. The lofted cover drive had once been a hallmark of Oram's batting pomp, and he reprised the shot once more to send the ball into the Premadasa terraces. He should have launched the next ball, into the night as well, but found backward point with a half-hearted stroke to a knee-high full toss.
Oram bled 13 from his first over when he took the new ball, but returned in the second to remove Mahela Jayawardene with one that jagged in off the seam to strike the batsman in front of the stumps, albeit a little high on the pads. Sachithra Senanayake meanwhile had both openers stumped at the other end, though Dinesh Chandimal was the architect of his own demise when he failed to keep his foot behind the line while reaching out to drive the ball. Two wickets in Oram's next over left the chase in tatters, as he removed Shehan Jayasuriya and Abdul Razzaq with consecutive short deliveries, before Umar Gul extended the collapse further with two scalps of his own.
Mahmood and Udana had no choice but to rebuild with caution from the collapse, or risk capitulating altogether. The pair took the score to 57 for 7 by the end of the 12th over before Mahmood launched his offensive, blasting three leg-side boundaries off Charith Jayampathi and hitting 17 from Andrew McDonald's fifteenth over. Jayampathi's next over cost 16 before Udana also began to find the boundary, launching Senanayake into the stands twice in the 18th over to make the requirement that had once seemed impossible, suddenly conceivable, with 34 needed off the last two overs.
Gul's experience in the 19th, though, put paid to Wayamba United's hopes. The batsmen could manage only 8, leaving 26 to get from the last over. They made only four.
Earlier, Chanderpaul had rarely looked for boundaries for much of his innings, choosing instead to collect risk-free runs into the outfield as his team-mates continued to founder at the other end. His 24-ball association with Jacob Oram brought 56 runs, but at the end of that partnership, he had still only made 26 from 30. A string of boundaries, including a huge reverse-swept six, took him to 50 and lifted his side to 171 for 6.