A much anticipated matchup was affected by rain today (17th October) at the Mercantile Cricket Association between Unilever and Singer Sri Lanka. After much inspection umpires Vidura Prasad and Ravindra Kottachchi reduced the match to 38 overs per side.
Batting first Unilever were off to a decent start, with Sachin Fernando leading the Unilever team on his way to 46. Fernando’s start helped Unilever reach 70 for the loss of two wickets in the 18th over. The next 20 overs were crucial as Gihan de Soysa’s 63 helped Unilever amass a total 210 for the loss of 9 wickets with skipper Gayan Rupasinghe’s quick fire 22 coming in handy for Unilever.
Vimukthi Kulathunga picked up 3 wickets for 17 runs for Singer whilst big match winning Royalist skipper Devind Pathmanathan’s wrist spin came in use as he picked up 2 wickets for 37 runs.
Chasing a target of 211 in 38 overs, the Singer opening batsmen were off to a conventional start. Inform top order batsmen Jacob Sachin and Harsha Rajapakse guided Singer to 122 for the loss of 3 wickets by the 25th over needing another 89 runs in the final 12 overs. Rajapakse and Sachin were unbeaten on 30 and 57 respectively.
It seemed like Singer had the game under control, but a tenacious bowling effort by Rasika Pradeep gave Unilever a chance back in the game. Singer were still trailing by 56 runs half way in the final eight overs with half the side back in the hut and Rajapakse battling it out on 76.
The game went right down to the wire with both teams fighting till the very last over of the match. Rajapakse was the day’s star performer but it was the tail enders who took Singer past the 210 run mark in the final delivery of the match.
Unilever Sri Lanka 210/9 (38): Gihan de Soyza 63, Sachin Fernando 46, Gayan Rupasinghe 22, Vimukthi Kulathunga 3/17, Devind Pathmanathan 2/37
Singer Sri Lanka 211/9 (38): Harsha Rajapaksha 112, Raveen Yasa 37,Jacob Sachin 25,Rasika Prasad 2/33
SINGER WON BY 1 WICKET
HNB outclass John Keells Holdings
In another rain affected game at the BRC Ground down Havelock Road, John Keells Holdings took on Hatton National Bank in a Mercantile ‘Tier-B’ encounter. The wet outfield reduced the match to 30 overs per side and the match was finally underway past the lunch break. It seemed like an evenly poised contest was in hand with an unbeaten John Keells team looking to secure the top spot in Group A.
Batting first John Keells lost wickets in regular intervals as the score read 73 for the loss of 3 wickets by the 15th over. Malinda Maduranga’s 30 was the only decent batting performance in the first half of the innings. The able hands of Sachintha Jayathilaka and Tharindhu Rathnayaka helped John Keells Holdings reach 197 before they were bowled out in the penultimate over of the innings.
197 seemed like an above par score for John Keells Holdings as Aktab Cader added a little more spice into the competition picking two quick wickets to leave Hatton National Bank at 65 for the loss of 2 wickets in the 11th over. Requiring another 133 runs in 19 overs Deshan Dias held the HNB batting together with some methodical stroke play.
Intermediate showers haltered play once again but a fiery knock by Madawa Warnapura helped Hatton National Bank win the contest via the Duckworth-Lewis system. Warnapura remained unbeaten on 59.
With this win John Keells Holdings lose their unbeaten streak in the Mercantile ‘Tier B’ tournament.
John Keells Holdings (B) 197 (30): Tharindu Rathnayaka 32, Malindu Maduranga 30, Sachitha Jayathilaka 57, Vimukthi Perera 3/50, Kosala Kulasekara 2/28
Hatton National Bank (A) 139/3 (23): Deshan Dias 49, Madawa Warnapura 59*, Aktab Cader 2/26
HNB WON BY 2 RUNS (D/L PAR-SCORE 137)