By Srian Obeyesekere
Ben McDermott 69 off 46 and Alex Ross’ 52 off 38 highlighted Dambulla Aura’s 50-run triumph over Colombo Strikers to further insulating its hold at the top of the points table with yesterday’s 2 points in the night fixture and the 16th of the mega Sri Lanka Cricket organised Lanka Premier League (LPL) at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium.
The McDermott-Ross leverage was more the significant having come together with their side reeling on 46 for 4 wickets after 6.5 overs as the duo put on 102 runs for the fifth wicket in bringing back Dambulla into the game after openers Avishka Fernando and skipper Kusal Mendis had gone for 7 apiece, Sadeera Samarawickrama for 1 and Dhananjaya de Silva for 11 against a concentrated Colombo attack mounted by fiery Pakistani fast bowler Naseem Shah who had Fernando caught by Chamika Karunaratne after facing 9 balls. It was followed by Karunaratne clean bowling Mendis who faced 10 balls with Matheesha Pathirana removing Samarawickrama caught by Nuwanidu Fernando having faced just 3 deliveries.
When Jeffrey Vandersay had Dhananjaya, who had faced 9 balls, caught by Iftikhar Ahmed Dambulla was in shambles when No’s 4 and 5 McDermott and Ross came to the show. McDermott went on on the offensive sending 4 sailing over the top and an equal number across the ropes while Ross slammed 4 to the boundary and 2 over the top in that run assault in swinging it Dambulla’s way. Pacer Matheesha Pathirana was the pick of the bowlers for Colombo Strikers with 2 for 36 including the wicket of Ross whom he had caught behind by Niroshan Dickwella. By that time Dambulla was 148 for 5 after 18.4 as McDermott went on to add a further 18 together with Hasan Ali 6. Colombo in their turn flopped against Dambulla’s strike bowlers Hasan Ali who claimed 3 for 16 and Binura Fernando 2 for 18. Fernando started the slide removing Nissanka for 12 off eight caught by Dhananjaya de Silva. Next pacer Janith Liyanage bowled Niroshan Dickwella for 17off 6 in snuffing out the Colombo Strikers captain’s charge that contained 2 boundaries and a six and when Pakistani Hasan Ali accounted for the prize wicket of his country captain Babar Azam caught by Samarawickrama for 11 off it was 55 for 3 after 5.3 as Colombo further precipitated to 5 for 74 after 9.6 from which they never recovered being bowled out for 116 in 19.4 overs. Noor Ahmad and Dushan Hemantha continued the wrecking with 2 for 14 and 2 for 16 respectively.\
Dambulla Aura 166/5 (20 Overs)
(Ben McDermott 69 , Alex Ross 52, Dhananjaya de Silva 11, r Matheesha Pathirana 2/36)
Colombo Strikers 116 (19.4 Overs)
(Nuwanidu Fernando 21, Niroshan Dickwella 17, Mohammad Nawaz 20, Hasan Ali 3 for 16, Binura Fernando 2 for 18.Ifthikar Ahmed 18, Noor Ahmad 2/14, Dushan Hemantha 2/16)