Kandy drove into the box seat running up 288 for 2 wickets against Jaffna on the opening day of the finals of the Sri Lanka Cricket National Super League Tournament 2022 at the Galle International Stadium on Thursday.
Kandy’s batting machine lived true to potential of going big with Oshada Fernando, the Sri Lanka cap reeling out an unbeaten 91 off 133 deliveries studded with 10 boundaries and a six.
The left-hander, in a continuation of his fine form in the tournament, cut into a brittle Jaffna attack capitalising on the perfect century plus first wicket partnership between Kasun Vidura and Kamil Mishara. The opening pair put on 123 in 39.1 overs with Vidura tuning up with 71 off 124 balls inclusive of 3 boundaries and a six and Mishara stroking 56 off 156 containing 3 boundaries.
It was the ideal sedate fanning by Kandy’s openers in what proved to be the cushion for a big total in blunting a waning Jaffna attack. In came the young Kandy skipper, Kamindu Mendis to the fore in infusing the final flourish to the day with an unbeaten 57 off 117 balls. In measured foray, the former Sri Lanka Under-19 batting star symbolised the temperament of run grafting in the long format in tiring out the opposition. Contented with just the three boundaries, Mendis, who has already set the tournament agog with 4 centuries completed his fourth half ton. The Fernando-Mendis fourth-wicket pairing once again proved to be big smoking out stuff.
The 154 off 239 deliveries was on song unfinished business to starting afresh on day two to what holds out to be a grinding out challenge to Jaffna as they had against Galle in outscoring the
opposition to the finals. Fernando was just within sight of the magical three figure mark in quest of his second successive ton following his match winning big one versus Galle.
Jaffna skipper Dhananjaya de Silva was the lone atom accounting for both wickets to fall at a cost of 70 runs.
CHIEF SCORES: Kandy 288/2 (83.1 a overs) (Oshada Fernando n.o. 91, Kasun Vidura 71, Kamindu Mendis n.o. 57, Kamil Mishara 56, Dhananjaya de Silva 2/70)