Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne led from the front with a superb innings of 86 off 74 balls packed with 9 boundaries in taking Kandy to an emphatic 7-wicketwin over Dambulla in the sixth match of the Sri Lanka Cricket Super Provincial Limited Over Tournament played at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium on Monday.
This pivotal knock by Karunaratne in the wake of scores of 35 and 44 signified his consistency with the bat in the tournament while insulating the left hander’s standings in the wake of his tremendous success as a captain in having led Sri Lanka to a historic first ever series win on South African soil by the recent 2-nil triumph.
After dismissing Dambulla for 198 in 44.5 overs with Thisara Perera producing an impeccable spell of seam bowling to claim 4 wickets for 25 runs, Kandy made light of their target finishing on 199 for 3 off 31.3 overs at a run rate of 6.31. Karunaratne was associated in a 72-run alliance for the second wicket with Sangeeth Cooray who made 33 off 46 balls inclusive of 4 boundaries. After Cooray’s dismissal with the total on 107, Karunaratne went on to add a further 56 for the third wicket with Pathum Nissanka who rattled a quick fire unbeaten 51 off 47 balls
studded with 4 boundaries and a six. It was an innings that showcased the Moratuwa product known for his aggressive batting as he went on to take his side to victory with Sachithra Senanayake unbeaten on a run a ball 13 inclusive of two boundaries.
The top scorer for Dambulla was skipper Angelo Mathews with 47 off 67 inclusive of 3 boundaries in the wake of his 78 in the previous game while young Oshada Fernando, who had a pleasing outing on the tour of South Africa recently, chipped in with a workmanlike 44 off 52 balls spiced with 7 boundaries.
DAMBULLA 198 All out (44.5 Overs) Run Rate: 4.41
(A.D. Mathews 47, B.O.P. Fernando 44, P.B.B. Rajapaksa 27, S.M.A. Priyanjan 24, R.L.B. Rambukwella 17, I. Udana 13, H.I.A. Jayaratne 11, 4/25 N.L.T.C. Perera, J.D.F. Vandersay 2/40).
KANDY 199/3 (31.3 Overs) Run Rate: 6.31
(F.D.M. Karunaratne 86, P. Nissanka n.o. 51, M.M.M.S. Cooray 33,
S.M.S.M. Senanayake n.o. 13)
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-
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