Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) claimed a thrilling six-run win over Moors Sports Club to win the Tier A section of the Premier Limited Over Tournament, Sri Lanka's main List A event.
Moors, initially chasing 244 to win from 48 overs, were reduced to 46 for 3 after a fine spell from Shalika Karunanayake. Wicketkeeper-batsman Dasun Randuka and veteran Anil Rideegammanagedera added 75 runs for the fourth wicket to steady the chase. But the duo fell within the space of eight balls - Randuka was run out while Rideegamanagedera was caught and bowled by offspinner Sachithra Senanayake - to leave Moors stuttering at 124 for 5.
Captain Dilhara Lokuhettige (36) and Suresh Perera (39) then brought Moors right back into the game by adding 76 runs for the sixth wicket. Lokuhettige fell to a brilliant running catch by Mahela Jayawardene on the boundary, and next ball Perera was bowled by Thilan Thushara. The wickets proved crucial, as two balls later, the match was called off because of bad light. Moors fell just seven short of the Duckworth-Lewis par score.
SSC, put in by Moors, got off to a solid start with openers Tharanga Paranavitana (29) and Avishka Gunawardene (33) adding 62 runs before Nandika Ranjith, the 35-year-old left-armer, combined with wicketkeeper Randuka to remove the duo. Kaushal Silva, coming in at No. 3, scored a patient 89-ball 62 to see SSC through the middle overs, before he was cleaned up by Chanaka Welegedara, who had made his debut for Sri Lanka in the third Test against England in Galle.
Late hitting from Nuwan Zoysa, who smashed his way to 48 off 29 balls with three fours and three sixes, ensured that Moors needed to score more than five an over to win the game. Ranjith returned to claim two more wickets, including that of Zoysa, but he was expensive, conceding 75 runs off his ten overs, with four wickets.
Zoysa was awarded the Man of the Match for his blitz as well as his economical bowling, giving away only 35 runs off his ten overs.