Six matches of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Major League were worked off around the island during the past week and concluded yesterday(9) with the drawn game between Colts Cricket Club and Moors SC, while four matches of the tier B segment were worked off during the weekend.
Four out of the six matches in the Major League ended with no result while Tamil Union and Army SC recorded two impressive wins over Ports Authority and NCC respectively.
Lahiru Thirimanne starred with an unbeaten 166* as Ragama CC registered a first innings win over a strong CCC outfit. He hit 13 fours and two sixes in a knock where he showed plenty of maturity and patience as he has been struggling in red ball cricket during the recent past. Sahan Nanayakkara was once again impressive with the ball for the Ragama lads picking up 6/102 as the match ended in a draw.
The pick of the match from the past week was the game between Tamil Union and Ports Authority. Tamil Union were blown away for 120 in their first innings on the back of whirlwind spell of fast bowling by Akalanka Ganegama before Ports batted themselves into a strong position to secure a 113 run lead. Tamil Union showed their never-say-die attitude as they went for quick runs and declared their innings on 384/6 with wicket keeper batsman Manoj Sarathchandra hitting his third century of the season.
They completed the job bowling out Ports Authority for 145 to secure a stunning 126 run win after playing catch up cricket for most parts of the match. The star with the ball for the winners was former Trinitian Dinuk Wickramanayake as his right off breaks yielded a ten wicket haul in the match. It was also former English Test opener Nick Compton’s first hit during a Sri Lankan first class game and he made a composed half century for Ports Authority in the first innings before falling cheaply in the second.
The surprise performance from the past week was Army SC’s six wicket win over the much fancied NCC outfit. Army SC batted themselves into a strong position after restricting NCC to 224 on the opening day but it was the spin of Dushan Vimukthi that led Army to an outright win as he was all over the NCC batting line up in the second innings, capturing a mesmerizing 9/108.
Badureliya SC were saved from the jaws of defeat though they surrendered in the first innings to BRC, thanks to a match saving maiden first class century from Shiran Rathnayake, who remained unbeaten on 100* as Badureliya ended on 313/9 in pursuit of 348 for an outright win. The other noteworthy performances of this match were five wicket hauls from Alankara Asanka(Badureliya) and Chamikara Edirisinghe(BRC).
Sangeeth Cooray hit a double century and 98 in the second innings as Colts dominated their drawn game against Moors SC. It was Cooray’s second first class century and he was unfortunate to miss out on twin centuries in the match. Pasindu Lakshanka made sure to cash in during the second innings as he remained unbeaten on a century after Colts secured first innings points.
Left arm spinner Sandaken Pathirana toiled hard for Moors SC, capturing 11 wickets for 312 runs in the match, rolling his arm over for 66 overs. It was the ever consistent Prabath Jayasuriya who made the vital break throughs for Colts as he captured a five haul along with Dilruwan Perera who put up a decent all-round showing with two wickets and 83 runs with the bat.
Dark horses of the tier B segment Air Force SC have reached the top of the table at the half way stage with four games to go. They dislodged table toppers from last week, Navy SC when they recorded an impressive first innings win over them. The highlight of that match was a marathon knock of 155 by Air Force wicket keeper bat Parakrama Tennakoon who hit his second century in his last four innings.
Gayan Sirisoma was back in business after a stellar last season where he captured over 90 wickets, as his 11 wicket haul helped Galle CC register their opening win of the tournament over Police SC.
Hard hitting batsman Lakshan Rodrigo’s century made sure the Lankan CC gained first innings points but had to bat out of their skins to make sure they didn’t lose outright. The other highlights of the match was a 7 wicket haul for chinaman Suresh Peiris and a five wicket haul for Danushika Bandara, both for Panadura SC.
With SLC confirming their 16 man squad for the ODI triangular series in Bangladesh, players who missed out on selection are set to make a comeback in to the domestic arena after they were asked to skip matches in preparation for the ODIs in Bangladesh. Sadeera Samarawickrama stands out of the players who failed to book their place in the squad and is set to turn up for Colts during the weekend while other stars Dasun Shanaka, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Gamage, Lahiru Kumara, Amila Aponso, Jeffrey Vandersay and Chathuranga De Silva are set to turn up for their respective clubs.
The NCC vs SL Ports Authority tussle is one of the matches to watch out for in the coming week and you can catch the live action of this three day encounter starting on the 12th of January on ThePapare.com.