LB Finance recorded a thumping 9-wicket win against John Keells Holdings today, 20th November at MCA grounds, to advance to the finals of the 27th Singer-MCA Premier Knock-out Championship.
It was one long game that spanned over two days to decide a winner as rain-shortened and pushed the game to the next day. However, LB Finance was on top throughout both days of play.
To sum-up, the first-day’s play, LB Finance won the toss and inserted John Keells Holdings to bat first on a surface which had been undercovers overnight and was irritatingly slow with a swamp-like outfield.
The game began at 1.00 pm after nursing all the soggy patches in the outfield. JKH was troubled right from the start and was never able to get into contention in the game. With a tortoise-like run rate, they were never going to win a rain-shortened game.
JKH managed only 138 runs losing all the wickets in the lease of the crease. Roscoe Thattil top-scored with a hard-fought 34 runs while Dimuth Karunaratne added 30 runs.
Coming out to bat LB Finance openers Lakshan Rodrigo and Sadeera Samarawickrama gave a solid start on the first day of the game which was soon restricted by rain. LB Finance chase saw 5 overs in their innings before the game was forced to the reserve date due to rain.
Starting the game at 33 for no loss in 5 overs on the reserve day, which was again a delayed start, the openers went on to put up a 112-run stand for the first wicket. That completely swept JKH out of the game.
Skipper, Lakshan Rodrigo made an unbeaten 59 while Sadeera Samarawickrama departed with an elegant 47. Kusal Mendis came in at no.3 and finished thing up in a rush scoring 25 off 16 balls.
LB Finance will play the finals on Saturday, 23rd November, against whoever will win in the second semi-final tomorrow, 21st November at NCC grounds between MAS Unichela and Sampath Bank.
John Keells Holdings 138 (31.5)
Roscoe Thattil 34, Dimuth Karunaratne 30, Ranitha Liyanarachchi 2/28, Sahan Arachchige 2/30
LB Finance 141/1 (20.5)
Lakshan Rodrigo 59*, Sadeera Samarawickrama 47, Kusal Mendis 25*
LB FINANCE WON BY 9 WICKETS