Indika de Saram showed that even at the age of 35 he has not lost his thirst for runs when he made twin hundreds for Ragama CC in their drawn Premier Tier A match against Moors SC at Braybrooke Place. Two new leaders emerged over the weekend in both Tier A and Tier B standings.
de Saram, a former Sri Lanka middle-order batsman, followed his first-innings score of 125 with an equally satisfying 150 not out in the second innings. Ragama gained vital first-innings points which lifted them to second place, two points behind new leaders Bloomfield.
Two other former Sri Lanka batsmen scored hundreds as Bloomfield crushed Badureliya CC by an innings and 23 runs to move to the top of the Tier A table. The win was fashioned by seam bowlers Nuwan Pradeep, Tyronne Gamage and Tharanga Lakshitha who knocked out the Badureliya batsmen for 63 in the first innings and 211 in the second. Saman Jayantha (106) and Chamara Silva (100) contributed nearly 70% of the runs in Bloomfield's total of 297. These were the only two Tier A matches played last weekend.
Saracens recorded their third straight win of the season by defeating Police SC by two wickets to move to the top of Tier B. In a low-scoring game at Police Park, Saracens, who conceded a first-innings lead of 67 after they were shot out for 98, came back strongly to dismiss Police for 112. Chasing 180 for victory, Saracens achieved the target with over a session of play remaining on the final day. Left-arm medium-fast bowler Prabath Priyankara, who took his first five-for in his sixth first-class match, left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara and right-arm medium-pacer Arosha Janodha were instrumental in the victory.
Former Sri Lanka cricketer Dinusha Fernando kept Panadura SC in the hunt with a super all-round performance that helped beat Seeduwa Raddoluwa Cricket Club by ten wickets at Panadura. Fernando top scored with 67 and captured seven wickets in the match, including a spell of 4 for 8 in the second innings, as Panadura won with more than a day to spare.
Air Force was the only other club to record a win beating Sebastianites by seven wickets at De Soysa Stadium in Moratuwa.
Player of the Week - Indika de Saram
For a player of Indika de Saram's class, age is no barrier as he continues to fight for recognition in the national side. de Saram's effort against Moors SC. It was a display of batting which proved that de Saram was still determined to show the national selectors that he still has got the ability to score. Since breaking into the national team in 1999, and then losing his place two years later, de Saram has been fighting hard to regain his spot with some outstanding performances in domestic cricket. But his rewards have been meagre as the national selectors continued to ignore him. He led Sri Lanka to their first victory in the Hong Kong Sixes in 2007 and is one of the most hard-hitting batsmen on the domestic circuit today. For the past five years de Saram has continued playing cricket in the English leagues.
"You have to give Indika all the credit for keeping himself motivated and continuing to score runs. He knows he is fighting a losing battle with the national selectors," said Ragama CC president Roshan Abeysinghe. "You don't need to pick Indika for a Test or ODI but he could surely fit into a Twenty20 side because he is 100% fit and is a clean hitter of the ball."