Skipper Angelo Mathews struck a timely century 101 off 106 balls and Bhanuka Rajapaksa a quick fire 95 off 87 balls sharing in a 150-run alliance for the fourth wicket as Dambulla posted a massive 325 for 5 wickets off 50 overs to crush Kandy by 94 runs in the third place play off of the Sri Lanka Cricket Super Provincial Limited Over Tournament 2019 at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on Wednesday.
Mathews’ knock was studded with 9 boundaries and 2 sixes signaling his preparedness for the world cup while Rajapaksa hit 11 boundaries and 2 sixes in displaying the type of form that made him a schoolboy batting sensation at Royal College. Having come together with Dambulla reduced to 3 for 45, the duo unleashed some attacking stroke play in collaring the Kandy bowling attack and setting the victory platform. While the veteran Mathews ideally displayed the type of nick required in the wake of his 78 in a run up match, Rajapaksa showcased superb temperament upfront in boosting his prospects for a world cup berth. The good work was continued by Jeevan Mendis who lashed a 33-ball 50 inclusive of 2 boundaries and 3 sixes while Isuru Udana struck a breezy unbeaten 34 off just 14 balls with 3 boundaries and 2 sixes in underlining his consistency as a handy utility player to go with his durable medium pace bowling. Thisara Perera and Nuwan Pradeep claimed 2 wickets apiece for Kandy.
Kandy suffered a setback with a second ball dismissal of Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne for a duck, but recovered to make a fight of it totaling 231 off 42.2 overs with co-opener Sadeera Samarawickrama striking a courageous 70 off 66 balls containing 9 boundaries. Sangeeth Cooray made 57 off 79 hitting 8 boundaries. Isuru Udana, Dhanushka Gunathilaka and Jeevan Mendis took 2 wickets each for Dambulla.
DAMBULLA 325/5 (50 Overs) Run Rate: 6.5
(A.D. Mathews 101, B.P.P. Rajapaksa 95, B.M.A.J. Mendis n.o. 50,
- Udana n.o. 34, M.D. Gunathilaka 15, N.L.T.C. Perera 2/54, N. Pradeep 2/68)
KANDY 231 All out (42.2 Overs) Run Rate: 5.45
(S. Samarawickrama 70, M.M.M.S. Cooray 57, N.L.T.C. Perera 21, P. Nissanka 11, N. Pradeep n.o. 10, I. Udana 2/21, M.D. Gunathilaka 2/34, B.M.A.J. Mendis 2/47).
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-