Dasun Shanaka fired a superb century as Kandy registered their second successive win in two days defeating Galle by 5 wickets with four balls to spare on Thursday following the emphatic 7-wicket win over Colombo the previous day while Dambulla beat Colombo by 5 runs in the SLC T20 League 2018 matches worked out at the Pallekelle International Stadium, Kandy. Accordingly, Colombo, with four wins from six matches will meet Dambulla who also registered four wins, in the final on Sunday, September 2 at the R. Premadasa Stadium. Kandy and Galle won two matches each.
Shanaka clobbered a 52-ball unbeaten 105 packed with 13 boundaries and 5 sixes as Kandy finished on 199 for 5 wickets in 19.2 overs chasing down an imposing 197-run victory target after Galle totaled 196 for 5 in 20 overs.
Galle’s innings revolved around scores of 47 by Angelo Perera (36b, 4×4, 1×6), 46 by Asela Gunaratne (41b, 3×4, 1×6) and 43 off 17 balls by Kusal Mendis who peppered 3 sixes and 5 boundaries. Charith Asalanka was the pick of the bowlers for Kandy with fine figures of 4 for 14 in 3 overs.
Kandy suffered early blows losing Kusal Janith Perera for 9 with the total on 19 and Lahiru Thirimanne for 4 making it 2 for 20 before skipper Angelo Mathews figured in an absorbing 134-run alliance for the third wicket with Dasun Shanaka. Mathews made 46 off 38 balls inclusive of 6 boundaries. After he exited with the total on 154 off 15.1 overs, Shanaka continued the run pursuit despite the fall of two quick wickets with Charith Asalanka unbeaten on 8.
Meanwhile, Dambulla made 140 for 6 in 20 overs and restricted Colombo to 135 for 8 in 20 overs in a tight finish. It took number eight batsman Isuru Udana to lift Dambulla from a shaky 6 for 71 in 10.5 overs top scoring with 41 off 25 balls smashing 5 sixes. He put on an unbroken seventh wicket alliance of 69 with Wanidu Hasaranga de Silva who struck 26 off 33 with 3 boundaries. Jeevan Mendis claimed 3 for 23 for Colombo.
Colombo’s top scorer was Angelo Perera who made 46 off 47 balls with 4 boundaries and a six. But wickets kept falling at regular intervals as Colombo were tottering on 89 for 7 in 15.5 overs before Shammu Ashan struck 32 off 15 spiced with 4 sixes in lifting his side to 120 for 8 when he was run out. The ninth wicket pair of Asitha Fernando and Nuwan Pradeep were on 6 and 4 respectively adding an unfinished 15 as the overs ran out for Colombo. Amila Aponso was spot on for Dambulla taking 3 for 13.
Kandy beat Galle by 5 wickets.
Galle 196/5 (20 Overs) Run Rate: 9.8
(A.K. Perera 47, D.A.S. Gunaratne n.o. 46, B.K.G. Mendis 43, B.K.E.L. Milantha 24, K.I.C. Asalanka 4/14)
Kandy 199/5 (19.2 Overs) Run Rate: 10.29
(M.D. Shanaka n.o. 105, A.D. Mathews 46, K.I.C. Asalanka n.o. 8, D.M. de Silva 2/9)
Dambulla beat Colombo by 5 runs
Dambulla 140/6 (20 Overs) Run Rate: 7.0
(I. Udana n.o. 41, P.W.H. de Silva n.o. 26, S. Samarawickrama 18, H. Boyagoda 13, B.M.A.J. Mendis 3/230
Colombo 135/8 (20 Overs) Run Rate: 6.75
(Angelo Perera 46, S. Ashan 32, P.H.K.D. Mendis 21, M.A. Aponso 3/13)
By Srian Obeyesekere