SLC NATIONAL SUPER LEAGUE TOURNEY FINAL:
Jaffna sped to an emphatic stroll in the park 9-wicket semi-final triumph over Colombo early into a first session wrap up on the fourth and final day at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium on Monday while in the other semi-final, Kandy, in contrasting style, trumped Galle on the first innings at the Pallekelle International Stadium.
That the two-way results to the grand finale of Sri Lanka Cricket’s National Super League Tournament will culminate in a showdown between the two strong arms to the cup stakes in a surge of the survival of the fittest in a show up of the trump cards of the two finalists in the decisive reckoning has set a charged up run up to which of the two would come thumbs up when they clash on April 7.
As for Jaffna, not that victory came on a platter as the final result would suggest in knocking off the required 92 in that final flourish of 95 for 1 off 23 overs with Navod Paranavithana leading the victory charge on an unbeaten 59 off 84 deliveries fine edged by 9 hits to the ropes. Nishan Madushka was the perfect cushion to it stroking 32 off 47 hitting 5 boundaries. Up against a tough opposition in Colombo, it was a tooth and nail tussle of coming from behind after being reduced to 204 for 8 from which Jaffna from behind to finally totalling 339 in reply to their opponents 272.
Of course, Colombo’s nailing bundled out for 158 in the second innings was perfected by a concentrated bowling performance by Jaffna spearheaded by Dilum Sudeera’s 3-wicket take on a first innings platform of Dhananjaya de Silva’s 5-wicket haul in the first essay.
CHIEF SCORES: Colombo 272 And 158 Jaffna 339 And 95/1 (Navod Paranavithana n.o. 59, Nishan Madushka 32)
Meanwhile, Kandy’s 104-run first innings rolling was fashioned on a 458-run rampage in a typical cat and mouse game of putting out of the contest a compatible Galle batting line-up that was fazed out by the massive total before them. Try as they did and big as their final score of 354 was, it was not big enough to make it to the final. Kandy, secure on having made it, played out the final phase of 34.1 overs scoring 155 for 4.
CHIEF SCORES: Kandy 458 And 155/4 (Kamil Thushara 63, K amindu Mendis 42, Lahiru Udara n.o. 37, Akila Dananjaya 2/67) Galle 354 (Pabasara Waduge 78, Hashan Dunidu 72, Dhananjaya Lakshan 60, Kavishka Anjula 37, Asitha Fernando 4/64, Ashen Daniel 3/86)