Jaffna were 42 for the loss of Navod Paranavithana’s wicket in reply to Kandy’s mammoth 444 a rain marred second day’s play that only 68.2 overs were bowled in the finals of Sri Lanka Cricket’s mega National Super League Tournament on Friday. It left Jaffna facing the challenging hurdle of going past 402 runs with nine wickets intact to keep their cup hopes alive. With Paranavithana removed by Lasith Embuldeniya their hopes would depend much on Nishan Madushka, who was unbeaten on 24 and one drop Samida Fernando, their semi-final century maker who was on 2.
Kandy added a further 156 runs in 48.2 overs with Oshada Fernando, who was unbeaten on 91, going on to complete his century. He made 109 inclusive of 12 boundaries and a six as the Fernando-Kamindu Mendis overnight third-wicket pair added a further 44 runs in a partnership that realised 198 runs. However, in an improved display, Jaffna’s bowlers spearheaded by 21- year old left arm spinner Dilum Sudeera who accounted for both Fernando and Mendis, claimed the last 8 wickets for 112 runs.
Fernando’s three figure effort consumed 154 balls. Mendis went for 87 having added a further 30 to his overnight 57 as he fell short of a record fifth ton of the tournament. It marked his fifth half century in taking his run aggregate to 866. Sudeera finished with a haul of 4 for 86 while skipper Dhananjaya de Silva took 3 for 96 and Jeffrey Vandersay 2 for 97.
But Jaffna’s comeback was after the horse bolted. Kandy had the big runs in the bag in final surge by Pulina Tharanga who smote 4 over the top plus a boundary in a 82-ball 43 and Niroshan Dickwella 32 off 48 with two boundaries.
CHIEF SCORES: 444 All out. (131.2 Overs) (Oshada Fernando 109, Kamindu Mendis 87, Pulina Tharanga 43, Niroshan Dickwella 32, Dilum Sudeera 4/86, Dhananjaya de Silva 3/96, Jeffrey Vandersay 2/97) Jaffna 42/1 (20 Overs) (Nishan Madushka n.o. 24, Navod Paranavithana 13, Samida Fernando n.o. 2, Lasith Embuldeniya 1/25)