A fine all round performance by national cap, Romesh Kaluwitharana, ensured Colts CC a 58 run victory over Panadura Sports Clubin a key Premier League Limited Overs encounter at Colts cricket grounds today. The victory means that Colts become the group leaders and now look certain to qualify for the semi-finals.
Kaluwitharana, coming into bat at number two, scored a well compiled 122 runs, which included nine boundaries and two sixes to erase the bitter memories of the day before, when he was run out without facing a ball. This was his second century in consecutive weeks.
Then, when he took the field, he couldn't stay out of the action. He decided not to keep wicket but held onto a brilliant diving catch at first slip in the seventh over to dismiss opener Anjula Perera.
Chaminda Vaas, who captained Colts today, then decided to try his hand at bowling in the 47th over of the innings. Kaluwithrana, clearly delighted to have an opportunity to turn his arm over, took a wicket with his fifth delivery and another in his second over.
Panadura SC who were chasing a target of 295 runs to win, batted doggedly but found it difficult to accelerate the scoring. Chamara Silva was the pick of the batsmen. He scored 55 and when he was at the crease Panadura had a theoretical chance. However, Dinuka Hettiarachchi (3/44) bowled him to leave Panadura 187 for three in the 43rd over.
Panadura skipper, Sham Liyanage, was not too disappointed by the batting performance and remained upbeat about the remaining two matches two matches against NCC and CCC.
"This was our highest total in the tournament so far, out batsmen did well, only thing we gave away too many in the last few overs that was also due to drizzling conditions," explained Liyanage.
Asked to bat first, Colts piled up a massive 294 runs despite the pitch being difficult to bat on the outfield having been slowed by the drizzle.
Openers Chaminda Mendis(14) and Kaluwitharana put on 54 runs for the first wicket before Mendis was out in the 14th over. Then Jeevantha Kulatunge(49) joined Kaluwitharana to put up 105 runs for the second wicket and Kulantuge was the next to go in the 37th over.
Kaluwitharana was joined by Sajith Fernando(77)and the pair put up 85 runs before Kalu was out in the 47th over. Sajith Fernando hammered the bowlers all around the ground in the final overs. He scored his 77 runs from just 41 balls and hit four sixes. 83 runs were scored from the last five overs.