Traditional rivals Sinhalese SC and Nondescripts CC will meet in the final of the Premier Tier A on Saturday after they won their respective semi-final matches against Chilaw Marians and Colts.
SSC coasted to a six-wicket victory, thanks to a match-winning fourth wicket stand between skipper Thilina Kandamby and Kaushal Lokuarachchi. They put on 128 runs after SSC had faltered at the beginning of their chase of 161, losing their first three wickets for 23.
Both batsmen hit half-centuries, Kandamby's comprising three sixes and five fours and Lokuarachchi's three sixes and two fours. The Chilaw Marians' batting capitulated against the off-spin of Sachitra Senanayake, whose five wickets included the first three of the innings for ducks. Marians, asked to bat, never recovered from losing three wickets for two runs and their score of 161 wasn't a threat.
In the other semi-final, NCC scraped through, beating Colts by four runs by way of the Duckworth-Lewis rule after rain had interrupted Colts' run chase. NCC, asked to bat, reached a competitive total of 263 for 9 with Demintha Dahanayake and Jehan Mubarak each making 60. Colts, led by a half-century from Kushal Perera, were on course to overhaul NCC's total when rain interrupted play and their target was revised to 225 from 45. They fell short by five runs.
When SSC and NCC met in the group match, NCC emerged victorious by six wickets.
An encouraging development, from Sri Lanka's point of view, was that two of their injured fast bowlers Dhammika Prasad and Nuwan Kulasekara showed they had recovered to full fitness.
Prasad bowled ten overs and took three wickets for 30 for SSC and Kulasekara's seven overs yielded 37 runs for two wickets.
The Premier Tier B final to be played on Friday will be contested between Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Ports Authority (formerly Seeduwa/Raddoluwa CC). The Navy made short work of Saracens, routing them for 96 and knocking off the runs in 29 overs to >win by five wickets. Chamod Pathirana, with 47 not out, was the only batsman to get into double-figures for Saracens as they fell to the pace of Sattambi Chamika (4 for 22) and the leg-spin of Dulanjana Mendis (3 for 26).
Saracens fought back to dismiss half the Navy side for 53, but their own total was too small for their bowlers to defend.
SLPACC were involved in a thrilling finish against Sri Lanka Army whom they beat by one run under the Duckworth-Lewis rule. Army had the game in control when they picked up five SLPACC wickets for 107 runs chasing 248. However, at the 35-over mark, SLPACC had made 205 for 5 in 35 overs, which turned out to be the exact score D-L computed as the target when rain intervened. SLPACC were winners by one run thanks to an unbroken 98-run stand between Dinusha Fernando (57) and Ranesh Perera (43).