MOMENTUM FOR WORLD CUP PLACES HOTS UP
As the countdown to the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup reaches its climax with the Sri Lanka squad to be shortly finalised, the battle of the heavyweights between Galle and Colombo in the final of the Sri Lanka Cricket Super Provincial Limited Over Tournament 2019 that gets underway tomorrow Thursday April 11 at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium will generate tremendous interest. It will be more the so as the second round match between the two sides having been rained off as a no result last Monday at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium. The four cornered mega tournament of the country’s cream of talent has seen Galle and Colombo emerge as the top two sides and the final will thus be the ground for stakeholders to further catch the eyes of the national selectors when they sit to name the squad for the world cup. While several players from both sides have already impressed in the run up matches, the final is bound to generate the best from the players as they vie for honours to represent their country in world cricket’s greatest spectacle on earth that is a cricketer’s ultimate dream.
In the rained off game, Galle’s frontline batsmen were not able to produce the same form as in the previous matches with the highest among the recognised being 34 by Dhananjaya de Silva. It was left to Hasaranga de Silva to do the repair work for his side with a top score of 56 in taking Galle to a respectable 258 for 9 wickets in their 50 overs. As it was, the day belonged to Akila Dananjaya who reaped a haul of 5 for 53 as the off spinner rekindled the form that had propelled him as Sri Lanka’s No.1 spinner in the trade before having to undergo rehabilitation of his bowling action.
Colombo’s reply of 55 for no loss off 7.1 overs pleasingly saw Avishka Fernando, the Sri Lanka Under-19 batting prodigy unbeaten on 27 in the wake of a fine half century when he struck a fluent 54 off 52 balls in the game against Dambulla. Veteran opener Upul Tharanga was on 15.
The winner takes all prize money is Rs.1 million and runner-up purse Rs.750,000/=.
Meanwhile, Galle heads the points table with 12 points from 3 matches having won two and shared 2 points from the no result versus Colombo for a net run rate of 2.32 while Colombo second with 11 points from 3 with 2 wins and 2 points from the no result with a net run rate of 0.955. In third place is Kandy with 5 points having won 1 and lost 2 for a net run rate of -0.581 and Dambulla fourth having lost all three matches with net run rate of -1.793. Kandy and Dambulla meet today in the third place play off at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium.
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-