SLC T20 LEAGUE KICKS OFF:
Colombo and Dambulla won their respective opening matches over Galle and Kandy respectively in the SLC T20 League 2018 worked off at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday.
In the first day-night match, opening batsman Upul Tharanga starred in a whirlwind unbeaten knock off 124 runs off 67 balls striking 11 sixes and 5 boundaries as Colombo trounced Galle by 90 runs.
Tharanga launched his run assault on the Galle bowlers in lifting his side from a shaky 34 for 3 wickets to 197 for 5 from 20 overs at a run rate of 9.85. Galle were bowled out for 107 in 19.2 overs with off spinner Akila Dananjaya reaping 3 wickets for 13 runs and Lahiru Madushanka 2 for 12.
Colombo, having elected to bat on winning the toss, lost skipper Dinesh Chandimal for 4, Mahela Udawatte for 9 and Sammu Ashan for 9, but the 33-year old veteran batsman Tharanga stood firm clobbering the bowling at will. He shared in a 67-run fourth wicket alliance off 50 balls with Shehan Jayasuriya who made a run a ball 22 hitting 2 boundaries. With the total on 129 for 5, Tharanga figured in a 68-run unfinished partnership for the sixth wicket off 29 balls with Jeevan Mendis who was on 30 off 13 with 3 boundaries and 2 sixes.
Kasun Rajitha claimed 2 for 38 and Nishan Peiris 2 for 40 for Galle.
Galle’s run chase suffered early setbacks losing Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Dimuth Karunaratne in the space of 5 runs in 2.1 overs. Dhananjaya de Silva followed soon after for 9 and it was 4 for 45 after 8 overs. The innings was given some respectability by a 35-ball 54 by Angelo Perera inclusive of 5 boundaries and 2 sixes. The only other batsmen to reach double figures were Asela Gunaratne who made 18 off 25 containing a six and Jehan Daniel 13 off 12 with 2 boundaries.
Meanwhile, Dambulla beat Kandy by 18 runs in the second night match that followed. Batting first, Dambulla rattled up 202 for 5 wickets in 20 overs anchored by a 52-ball 108 by Ashan Priyanjan. Kandy was restricted to 184 for 8 wickets in 20 overs.
Priynjan’s rollicking innings was studded with 9 boundaries and 6 sixes.Dambulla were given a fine 44-run start by openers Danushka Gunathilaka who made 39 off 43 balls inclusive of 3 boundaries and Ramit Rambukwella who scored 24 off 15 containing 5 boundaries.
Malinda Pushpakumara picked 2 for 33 for Kandy.
Kandy’s innings revolved around a top score of 63 by opening batsman Thikshila de Silva off 38 balls spiced with 7 boundaries and 4 sixes while Lahiru Thirimanne struck a 32-ball 43 containing 3 sixes and a boundary. Banuka Rajapaksa scored 26 off 18 with 2 sixes and a boundary.
Shehan Madushanka was the pick of the bowlers for Dambulla with 2 for 9 with Isuru Udana taking 2 for 28.
Colombo 197/5 (20 Overs) Run Rate: 9.85
(W.U. Tharanga n.o. 124, B.M.A.J. Mendis n.o. 30, G.S.N.F.G. Jayasuriya 22, C.A.K. Rajitha 2/38, K.N. Peiris 2/40).
Galle 107 All out (19.2 Overs) Run Rate: 5.53
(A.K. Perera 54, D.A.S. Gunaratne 18, J.D.F. Vandersay 13, A. Dananjaya 3/13, L.D. Madushanka 2/12).
Dambulla 202/5 (20 Overs) Run Rate: 10.1
(S.M.A. Priyanjan 108, M.D. Gunathilaka 39,
R.L.B. Rambukwella 24, I. Udana n.o. 13, P.M. Pushpakumara 2/33).
Kandy 184/8 (20 Overs) Run Rate 9.2
(S.T. de Silva 63, H.D.R.L. Thirimanne 43, P.B.B. Rajapaksa 26,
K.I.S. Asalanka 15, D.S.K. Madushanka 2/9, I. Udana 2/28)
By Srian Obeyesekere