SLC T20 INVITATION TOURNAMENT FINAL
Sri Lanka utility player Wanidu Hasaranga starred with a pulsating 34-ball unbeaten 60 runs in pulling Colombo Cricket Club from the brink of defeat of 6 wickets for 96 runs in 13.2 overs to a thrilling 4-wicket triumph over Chilaw Marians in the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) T20 Invitation Tournament final played at the Sinhalese Sports Club grounds onTuesday.
Indeed, it was a truly herculean effort as Hasaranga, who took strike at No.7 with his side on 96 for 6, wove a magic wand with his willow in riding an ominous on fire Chilaw Marians bowling attack which had dominated the final up to that point. True to the adage, ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’, Hasaranga smote the strong Chilaw Marians bowling attack in typical warrior style as his shot making pierced the fielders for 6 boundaries and a six. He found an able partner in Manelker de Silva who struck 15 off 12 balls inclusive of a boundary in mounting an unfinished 69-run seventh wicket alliance to the victory post. It was a giant effort given the fact that the pair had to score the final 40 runs in just 4 overs which Wanidu Hasaranga fronted in the gallantry of some clean hitting as they went in to the final over bowled by Thikshila de Silva requiring 17 runs for victory.
Following a subdued penultimate over by Asitha Fernando that yielded 5 runs, Hasaranga hammered the very first ball of the final over for six and reduced the deficit to two runs before palming the strike of the final ball to de Silva, and what a finish the lean and lanky left hander executed clobbering the delivery for four through gully.
Upfront, Minod Bhanuka struck a battling 38-ball 59 containing 6 boundaries and a six in keeping CCC in the fight as wickets tumbled around him.
Chilaw Marians innings of162 for 8 revolved around a captain’s knock of 80 off 52 balls by Shehan Jayasuriya inclusive of 9 boundaries and 46 by Kamindu Mendis off 30 balls containing 5 boundaries and a six. CCC’s off spinner Muthumudalige Pushpakumara took 2 for 27.
Chilaw Marians 162/8 (20 Overs) Run rate: 8.1
(G.S.N.F.G. Jayasuriya 80 52 9, P.H.K.D. Mendis 46 30 , 5 1, P.M. Pushpakumara 2/27, P.L.S. Gamage 2/30)
CCC 165/6 (20 Overs) Run rate: 8.25
(P.W.H. de Silva n.o. 60, M. Bhanuka 59, M. de Silva n.o. 15,S.M.A. Priyanjan 12, D.H.A.P. Tharanga 2/24)
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-