Leonard Ratnayake / Altaf Junaid
Sebastianites win but coach unhappy with regulations
Sebastianites progressed to the semi-finals after securing a first innings victory against Antonians SC on the only day of play that was possible at Moors Sports Club in Colombo today.
"Play was possible only in the final day and that was also under cloudy conditions. If a match winner to be decided with only a short duration of play, it would be unfair for any side," said Sebastanites coach Ranjan Paranawithana. He said that they had pointed that out to the tournament organisers and their team decided to play under protest.
Sebastanites won the toss and asked Antonians to bat first and soon had them in trouble with six wickets falling for just 23 runs in 20 overs. Dinusha Fernando (2/30) and Sajeewa de Silva(4/22) were the pick of the bowlers.
Antonians recovered to score 102 runs in 46 overs thanks to a 53-run stand for the seventh wicket between, Janaka Wannakuwatta, who was the top scorer with 40, and H Perera(16).
Antonians SC captain, Fleming Joseph, did not seem to be a happy man about the ground conditions: "It was difficult to bat on a wet wicket early on and that caused a top order collapse, from which we were never able to fully recover."
However, when Sebastanites batted, the early morning moisture had long disappeared, and the batsmen scored freely, finishing on 161 runs for eight wickets in 42.2 overs at close play.
Opener Nilantha Peiris anchored the innings with a well compiled 86 runs in 125 balls, which included seven boundaries and a six. Gihan Fernando supported him well with an unbeaten 28 runs.
"We are glad to be in the next round and it is interesting that with us two teams from the outstations have qualified for the semis" said a delightful Sebastanites skipper Nimesh Perera after the match.
Panadura SC is the other outstation team to qualify for the semi-final round.
NCC fight back to secure shock victory against SSC
Fast bowlers, Akalanka Ganegama and Ishara Amarasinghe, shared seven wickets as the Nondescripts Cricket Club bowled out the Sinhalese Sports Club for just 115 and win this quarterfinal on the first innings.
Resuming at seven for one this morning, none of the SSC batsmen lingered long at the crease. Over night wicket taker, Amarasinghe(3/33), was the first to strike, when he trapped SSC skipper Shantha Kalawitagoda (10) LBW in the 13th over in the morning. In his next over, Amarasinghe, struck again when he dismissed Muditha Fernando.
Thereafter, Ganegama(4/39) and Malinga Bandara (2/32), bowled in tandem to great effect. The only SSC batsman to spend any significant time at the crease was number seven batsman, Mahesh Dissanayake(25), who occupied the crease for 80 deliveries.
"It was a bad feeling to miss a great opportunity after being on top the previous night. I think the opposition fought back well today," said a disappointed SCC skipper after the match.
NCC, batting in their second innings, occupied the crease until close of play to score 101 runs for three in 37 overs. Dilan Ramanayake(34) and skipper Pradeep Hewage(25) were the unbeaten batsmen at stumps.
The NCC skipper Pradeep Hewage is hopeful that they come out with a repeat performance in next weeks semi-final clash versus Sebastanites: "We all hope to do well in the next game. We have a week of training now to prepare. I hope there won't be other interruptions to the game."
Colombo Cricket Club too good for Kurunegala
The only day of cricket possible in the match between CCC and KYCC saw 15 wickets fall at the NCC grounds today. After the first two days were abandoned because of rain, a result seemed only a remote possibility at the outset, but CCC eventually progressed to the semi-finals after a first innings victory.
KYCC, who due to a lack of points in the preliminary round needed a win to qualify for the semi-finals, were put into bat and were bowled out for a mere 77. Only four batsmen reached double figures and Bandara Ellepola top scored with just 15.
Subodha Jayawardene, the KYCC captain, said afterwards: "we hoped to meet a tough team at the semis and we got the toughest." Sudeep Rupasinghe and Jehan Mubarak bowled brilliantly capturing 4 for 22 and 4 for 9 respectively.
A brilliant century by Hemantha Boteju insured a comfortable first innings victory. His innings of 116* in 88 balls consisted of 9 sixes and two fours. He put on a 137 run partnership with Tavindu Mendis (38).
Damitha Hunukumbura, the captain of CCC was optimistic about meeting Panadura SC in the semis: "It was very nice to have a result in a day, we are very happy to qualify and we are very optimistic about the semi-finals."
Pandura clinch place in semi-finals after total washout
The third consecutive day of play was abandoned at Bloomfield Sports Grounds today. Panadura Sports Club, however, managed clinched a place in the semi-finals as they had accrued more points in the preliminary round matches than Moors SC. They will face Colombo Cricket Club.