The much-awaited semi-finals of the Inter-provincial Twenty20 tournament at the De Soysa Stadium in Moratuwa proved to be one-sided contests, as defending champions Wayamba and Ruhuna made it to the summit clash.
The Moratuwa wicket has a history of breaking up and the captains winning the toss put in the opposition on both occassions. As it turned out, the team batting first made little impression and surrendered meekly.
Wayamba captain Jehan Mubarak's decision to invite Basnahira South to bat first in the first semi-final proved a successful gamble as they bundled out the opposition for 117. Fast bowler Nuwan Zoysa, promoted as a pinch-hitter, top scored for Basnahira with a well-struck 41 off 29 balls, comprising eight fours. The rest of the batting succumbed to the pace of Chanaka Welegedara and Thissara Perera, who shared six wickets between them.
Mahela Jayawardene, opening for Wayamba, raced to his third half-century of the tournament as they knocked off the required runs by the 14th over to win by nine wickets and qualify for their third consecutive final. Jayawardene, who scored 58 off 32 balls, also contributed while fielding with three good catches.
The second semi-final almost followed the same pattern, as Ruhuna captain Upul Tharanga put in Kandurata and dismissed them for just 102. Ruhuna, powered by Sanath Jayasuriya's rapid 35 off 19 balls, then raced to their target inside 10 overs to win by seven wickets. Jayasuriya was supported well by Dinesh Chandimal, who also finished on 35. Muttiah Muralitharan dismissed both batsmen, but Kandurata always found themselves short by at least 50 runs to make a contest of it.