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Charinda Fernado bowled Moors SC back into the game to beat Sinhalese Sports Club by 24 runs in the first match of the Premier League One-Day Tournament, which was played at Maitland Place. Fernando claimed six wickets in his 10 over spell and conceded just 29 runs.
SSC were heading comfortably towards their 211 run victory target when they were on 107 for two in the 29th over. Fernando the entered the fray to dismiss Tilan Samaraweera for 43 runs and end a 79 partnership with Sajeeva Ranatunga.
Suresh Perera was bowled next ball and Ranatunga was dismissed in Fernando's following over.
With the exception of SSC captain, Hemantha Wickramaratne, who made 36, none of the other batsmen were able to establish themselves at the crease. Fernando took three more wickets and SSC were left reeling on 178 for 8 with four overs remaining. The 23 runs needed off the final overs proved too much for the star studded SSC side and Ragana Herath mopped up the tail.
"They bowled tightly and our batsmen failed to accumulate enough singles early on, to keep the run-rate under control. The pressure began to add up on the batsmen," said a disappointed Wickramaratne after the defeat.
Earlier, Moors SC elected to bat first and got of to a steady start, with the openers adding 48 runs in the first 13 overs. However, the two openers, Heshan Tillakeratne(23) and Dilshan Witharana(19), were back in pavilion at the 16th over with the total on 65. Thereafter, skipper, Rasika Priyadarshana (29), took charge of the innings and put up 41 runs with Bathiya Perera (19) for the third wicket.
Nilantha Cooray who had a good start to the season, making 173 runs in four innings in the Under 23 tournament, showed his form again to score 49 runs in 54 balls. He dispatched five balls to the boundary and hit one six.
Dilhara Fernando proved to be a handful for the visitors. He wrapped up the Moors innings for what appeared to be a modest score of 210. Fernando finished with figures of five for 32. Samaraweera chipped in with two for 28.