SLC 2019 SUPER PROVINCIAL ONE-DAY TOURNAMENT
Galle, with 10 points in the bag with two comprehensive wins, is leading the Sri Lanka Cricket Super Four Provincial Limited Over Tournament 2019 while Colombo is a close second with 9 points from two wins after the completion of four matches in the mega tournament. Galle has taken the lead by virtue of a better net run rate of 2.32 as against Colombo’s 0.955. Galle chalked up facile wins against Kandy and Dambulla while Colombo beat Dambulla and Kandy.
Meanwhile, Dambulla and Kandy are placed third and fourth respectively on the net run rate of -1.58 and -1.787 respectively having lost both matches.
The action in the super tournament has generated tremendous heat on the competition front as well as drummed up massive spectator interest as it is regarded as the yardstick to picking the best possible squad for the 2019 ICC World Cup that gets underway in England from May 30 to June 14.
Interestingly, several players have raised their hands for selection by their performances in the four matches played so far. While veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who skippered the Sri Lanka ODI and T20 teams in recent tour exchanges, showed signs of his former form by claiming 7 for 49 in the first game in routing
Kandy in the wake of a match winning 3-wicket haul for Mumbai Indians against Super Kings in the IPL Tournament, Suranga Lakmal was also spot on with 3 for 29 in Colombo’s triumph over Dambulla. Interestingly former Sri Lanka strike bowler Dhammika Prasad, who has been seeking to recapture the form that saw him skittle out England in bowling his country to a memorable Test win over England at Old Trafford, reigned in with 2 for 16 in Galle’s win over Dambulla to stake a claim. Leg spinner Jeevan Mendis with 4
for 36 for Colombo against Dambulla and part time spinner Dhananjaya de Silva 3 for 57 in the wake of his top score of 89 for Galle against Dambulla and Jeffrey Vandersay 3 for 55 for Kandy also impressed. Dambulla’s Hadigallage’s 3 for 43 against Galle and brisk 36 (3×4, 1×6) against Colombo and 26 against Galle as a late order batsman showcased himself as a useful utility player.
On the overall batting front, Shehan Jayasuriya became the only centurion so far with a fine 115 in Colombo’s win against Kandy while Lahiru Thirimanne also got into the reckoning with
a spot on 82 and his team mate Milinda Siriwardena’s 65 in the wake of his 32 in the first match, and Angelo Perera 84 for Colombo versus Kandy. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka veterans Angelo Mathews with 78 for Dambulla against Kandy and Dinesh Chandimal with 42 and 35 in Colombo’s two outings earmarked the duo as old soldiers in the trade while Test opener Dimuth Karunaratne of Kandy too made a strong claim for an opening world cup berth. With innings of 35 having carried his bat in a lone battle when Malinga thundered which he followed up with 44 against Colombo did raise his stocks as a Mr.Reliable upfront with some of the regular one-day openers failing to impress so far.
With two more rounds to go, the tournament momentum is bound to build up with Galle facing Colombo on April 8 Monday at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium in what promises to be a blockbuster with both teams going into the fray with unbeaten records. Dambulla will be pitted against Kandy the same day at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium.
The third place play off will be on April 10 Wednesday between the third placed and fourth placed teams which looks a certainty between Dambulla and Kandy at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium.
The mega high stakes final on April 11 Thursday looks set for a repeat Galle-Colombo tussle at Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium with a winner take all Rs1 million prize money and Rs.750,000/= runner-up prize.
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-