The National Super League 50-Over Tournament 2023 got underway today (11th March), with Dambulla and Jaffna registering wins on the opening day.
Team Dambulla registered a 4-wicket win over Team Colombo in the first game of the tournament, which was played today at Rangiri Dambulu International Cricket Stadium.
Having won the toss, Dambulla Skipper Minod Bhanuka opted to field first, and the decision turned out to be gold as they managed to restrict the strong Colombo batting lineup for just 195 runs.
The star-studded batting unit which includes the likes of Kusal Janith Perera, Avishka Fernando, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka and Ashen Bandara, faltered against the disciplined Dambulla bowling attack.
The chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan was the pick of the bowlers for Dambulla as he grabbed 3 wickets for 53 runs. The seamer Lahiru Samarakoon and wrist spinner Dushan Hemantha also shone with the ball, taking 2 wickets each.
The veteran batter Ashan Priyanjan led the charge with the bat in Team Dambulla’s run-chase with a match winning half-century as they crossed over the line in the 43rd over with 4 wickets in hand.
Team Jaffna beat Team Galle by 55 runs (DLS) in the second game played today at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
After winning the toss, Jaffna Skipper Sadeera Samarawickrama opted to bat first and they managed to put on 233 runs on the board. Janith Liyanage and Samarawickrama were the chief scorers for Jaffna as both batters contributed with well-compiled half-centuries.
The left-arm speedster Dilshan Madushanka was the star performer with the ball for Team Galle as he snared 5 wickets for 41 runs.
In reply, Team Galle posted 171/9 before rain interrupted the proceedings at Pallekele. When the rain stopped play, the required DLS score was 226 – therefore Team Jaffna were declared as the winners.
Pathum Kumara (60*) and Pasindu Sooriyabandara (51) played impressive knocks in the run-chase but they couldn’t put Team Galle over the line. A collective bowling display led by seamer Pramod Madushan (3/42), Ravindu Fernando (2/14) and Lahiru Madushanka (2/22) helped Team Jaffna clinched a comfortable win.
Team Colombo 195 (40.4) Dasun Shanaka 35, Ashen Bandara 35, Kusal Janith Perera 29, Nipun Dhananjaya 26, Isitha Dew Wijesundara 24, Lakshan Sandakan 3/53, Lahiru Samarakoon 2/33, Dushan Hemantha 2/37
Team Dambulla 197/6 (43) Ashan Priyanjan 50*, Dushan Hemantha 41*, Lasith Abeyrathna 32, Abishek Liyanarachchi 24, Pavan Rathnayaka 23, Tharindu Rathnayake 3/37
Result – Team Dambulla won by 4 wickets
Team Jaffna 233 (48.4) Janith Liyanage 62, Sadeera Samarawickrama 53, Ravindu Fernando 46, Lahiru Madushanka 22, Dilshan Madusanka 5/41
Team Galle 171/9 (32.3) Pathum Kumara 60*, Pasindu Sooriyabandara 51, Pramod Madushan 3/42, Ravindu Fernando 2/14, Lahiru Madushanka 2/22
Result – Team Jaffna won by 55 runs (DLS Method)