Shanuka Dissanayake managed a maiden double century in his 14-year first-class career to help Bloomfield Cricket & Athletic Club secure an innings-and-90-run win against Badureliya Cricket Club and move to within three points of table leaders Nondescripts Cricket Club at the end of the third week round of matches.
The 32-year-old allrounder brought his experience to the fore, and followed up his 5 for 29 with the ball in the first innings with a well-compiled 205 off 304 balls, which enabled Bloomfield pile up the highest total of the season - declaring on 491 for 7 at Reid Avenue. Badureliya, who were dismissed for 183 in the first innings after falling to cop with Dissanayake's left-arm spin, had the odds stacked against them. When they began their second innings, trailing by a massive 308 runs, the pressure by the Bloomfield bowlers proved too much to handle. The batsmen succumbed to the offspin of Suraj Randiv who picked up five wickets.
Nondescripts faltered in their third game of the season as they conceded vital first-innings points to Ragama Cricket Club in a drawn match at Maitland Place. Nondescripts, who were so dominant in their first two matches, allowed Ragama to score 347 in their first innings and in their turn fell short by 50 runs, despite a maiden first-class hundred from Dinesh Chandimal (138 off 217 balls). The Nondescripts batsmen floundered against left-arm spinner Upul Indrasiri, who bagged a five-for. Ragama used the remaining time to gather some useful batting bonus points by running up 330 for 5 off 85 overs, with Indika de Saram leading the charge with a 127-ball unbeaten century. Nondescripts used ten bowlers during the innings trying to force a declaration from Ragama.
Defending champions Colts Cricket Club lost ground when Chilaw Marians Cricket Club took the honours in their drawn match played at Havelock Park. Hard hitting left-hand opener Amal Athulathmudali's maiden first-class hundred in his 14th match - 153 off 127 balls with eight fours and nine sixes - and the 200-plus opening partnership with Mahela Udawatte (60) saw Chilaw Marians pile up 442. Colts spurred on by Roshen Silva's 155 off 210 balls kept themselves in the hunt, but the Marians bowlers kept chipping away and the lack of any major partnerships resulted in Colts falling short by 96 runs.
Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) were left searching for their first win of the season, after being held to their third draw by Saracens Sports Club at Maitland Place. The SSC bowlers spearheaded by Sri Lanka fast bowler Dammika Prasad (5 for 45) did well to defend their first-innings total of 367 by keeping Saracens down to 281. Last week's double-centurion Geeth Alwis was on course for another big score when he was unfortunately ruled out leg before wicket off an inside edge on 89. In SSC's second innings, the leading Test run-getter for Sri Lanka in 2009, Thilan Samaraweera, warmed up for next month's tour of India with an attractive 131 off 160 balls.
A fine spell of left-arm spin bowling Sohan Boralessa failed to give Colombo Cricket Club (CCC) the win against Moors Sports Club at Maitland Crescent. Boralessa took a career-best of 9 for 47 to finish with a match haul of 13, but CCC failed to convert the brilliant bowling performance into the season's first victory and now stay rooted to second-last position on the points table. Chasing 192 for victory, CCC lost wickets at regular intervals and it was left to their ninth-wicket pair had to bat out nearly five overs to earn a draw. Moors' left-arm spinner Rangana Herath kept the CCC batsmen in check finishing with eight wickets in the match.
Jeewan Mendis' all-round performance ensured Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club took full points against Army Sports Club at the P Sara Oval. He smashed a 153 off 179 balls, comprising 15 fours and five sixes, in Tamil Union's first-innings and then set up the win by picking up 4 for 76 during Army's second innings.
Lankan Cricket Club (LCC) held on to top spot in Tier B despite being held to a draw by Moratuwa Sports Club, as Burgher Recreation Club and Panadura Sports Club posted victories to edge closer to LCC.
LCC's chances of a third victory for the season was thwarted by Sanka Peiris who made twin seventies to deny them, after LCC had posted an imposing 431, achieved largely through Bradman Ediriweera's 12th first-class hundred.
Burgher's 104-run win over Police Sports Club came from an all-round team effort, while Panadura's five-wicket win against Sebastianites Cricket and Athletic Club was masterminded by bowlers Amila Perera, Nilantha Cooray and Dhanuja Nandana who together captured 17 of the 20 Sebastianites wickets.
Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club and Sri Lanka Navy Sports Club played out a draw at Riffle Green.
Player of the Week - Sohan Boralessa
Taking all ten wickets in an innings is easily said than done. Colombo Cricket Club's (CCC's) 24-year-old left-arm spinner Sohan Boralessa came within one wicket of achieving that feat twice in his brief career. The first instance was for his school St Peter's when he took all ten wickets for 30 runs in the first innings against Wesley College in an inter-school first XI match played in 2004. This week Boralessa nearly repeated that achievement when he took 9 for 47 off 18.5 overs to send Moors Sports Club crashing to 134 in their second innings. With four wickets in the first innings it was easily Boralessa's career best achievement since his first-class debut in 2004-05.
What surprised the opposition was that CCC captain Jehan Mubarak opted to open the bowling with Boralessa. "It was thought that with the extra bounce and spin the pitch was taking I could chip in with a few early wickets," Boralessa said. But his first spell of four overs yielded little, but when he was brought on for his second spell around the 12th over of the innings, the wickets started to tumble. By then, fast bowler Sujeewa de Silva had already achieved the initial breakthrough for CCC and Boralessa was left to clean up the rest of the batting.
"I bowl an arm ball which goes straight through and a normal leg-break. I've benefited a lot from working hard during the off season with Sri Lanka spin bowling coach Piyal Wijetunga [also a left-arm spinner]. Sumithra Warnakulasuriya, who was coach of CCC, when I first joined from school, moulded me into a good cricketer," Boralessa said.
The presence of another good left-arm spinner Nishitha Rupasinghe sidelined Boralessa for the past two seasons when he appeared for CCC in only six matches. But this year he is one of the club's front line bowlers and he is determined to keep his place. "The current season is easily my best," Boralessa said. "In three Premier league matches I have 18 wickets which is easily the highest achieved by any bowler. My ambition is to work hard at my game and earn recognition to get selected in the Sri Lanka A squad and then hopefully represent my country."