A fine knock of 96 runs by Kelum Fernando, helped Nondescripts Cricket Club make 248 runs against Sebastanites Cricket & AC in their Under 23 semi final clash at Braybrooke place in Colombo today.
In reply, Sebastanites had scored 39 runs for the loss of two wickets in 14 overs. Akalanka Ganegama bowled a superb spell for NCC to claim two wickets, and was close to claiming a hat trick. The fast bowler struck first with last ball of his third over of match, when he clean bowled Prabath Fernando for two. Nilantha Peiris caught and bowled for 20 with the first ball of his next over.
"I didn't know about the possibility of a hat trick until you told me now. Had we known we could have made some extra effort," said a rueful Ganegama.
Earlier in the day NCC were asked to bat first. Nondescripts started the innings positively, with a first wicket stand of 93 runs between Johannes Jayasuriya(26) and Kelum Fernando(96).
Fernando, who was dropped at 34 with the total on 56, was eventually caught at short-leg trying to pull off Sajeewa de Silva. His 96 took just 129 balls and included 13 crisp boundaries and two sixes.
His departure at 156 for three triggered a collapse as none of the other NCC batsmen settled down at the crease. The two Sebastianits spinners, skipper Nimesh Perera and Umal Irandika, shared six wickets to bundle NCC out for 248 runs in 73.2 overs. Sajeewa de Silva also picked up three wickets with his left arm pace.
Explaining his decision to bowl first, Nimesh Perera said: "Unfortunately the fielders let down our bowlers and we didn't full exploit the early morning moisture."
Nevertheless the match appears to be evenly poised. Despite losing two early wickets Sebastianites will be confident of overhauling the NCC first innings score on a good batting wicket.