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Colombo on top, Prabath and Kamindu remain lead in bowling and batting

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National Super League 4-day Cricket :
Dambulla Skipper Minod Bhanuka celebrating his century (Pix courtesy SLC)

Kandy led by Kamindu Mendis will meet Dambulla in their National Super League four-day cricket fixture today at Pallekele Stadium while Jaffna take on Galle in their match at Hambantota. Colombo led by Sammu Ashan defeated Kandy by six wickets last week already ensured the semi-finals berth while the other three places for the semi-finals are still wide open in this tournament.

Kandy–Dambulla game especially very vital for Kandy who is already in second place on the points table with 29.25 points. This is the last game for the Kandy side before the semi-finals and they are expected to gain victory over Dambulla in this game. Meanwhile, Dambulla led by Minod Bhanuka failed to finish in the top four of the National Super League 50-over tournament and is in danger of suffering the same fate in this four-day tournament as well. Kandy have a very strong batting lineup with skipper Kamindu Mendis who is already top among the batters with 467 runs with three centuries while all-rounder Sahan Arachchige 337 runs with a century and Oshada Fernando 316 runs with two centuries are second and third places among the batters have to repeat their performances to pose a good challenge against Dambulla. However, Dambulla Skipper Minod Bhanuka who scored 163 runs against Galle in their last match is in good form already having 239 runs and is in sixth place among the batters. Dambulla scored 418 and 300 for 7 wickets declared in their last Game against Galle but they couldn’t obtain first innings points as Galle scored a massive 513 all out with two centuries hit by skipper Dhananjaya Lakshan and Hashan Dumindu.

Meanwhile, a keen tussle is to be expected in the game between Jaffna and Galle at Hambantota. Jaffna led by Sadeer Samarawickrama is in fourth place with 15.69 points and hopes to go forward for the semi-final stage. Jaffna scored the tournament’s highest total of 555 all out against Colombo in their first game to get first innings points while they lost to Kandy on first innings and after laps of one week rest now Jaffna have to play against Galle today. Jaffna’s Saminda Fernando is the most successful batter with 243 runs with a century while with the presence of Janith Liyanage they have a good batting lineup. Two youngsters Nishan Madushka and Navod Paranavithna have good touch with the bat and they have to come back in this game to pose a good challenge against Galle. Skipper Dhannajaya Lakshan, Hashan Dumindu the previous match centurions are in good form for the Galle side while opener Pabasara Waduge and Sangeeth Cooray have a big responsibility to make a good start.

Meanwhile, Colombo’s two spinners Prabath Jayasuriya (leg spinner) with 15 wickets and Lakshitha Manasinghe (off-spinner) with 12 wickets are leading two bowlers of this tournament while Kasun Rajitha the right arm medium paceman came back strongly for the Colombo side with 11 wickets so far in this tournament and the three top bowlers from Colombo strengthen their bowling department. Rajitha who came after injury had an impressive figure of 5 for 48 against Kandy in their last game is once again heading for the National Team for the forthcoming Bangladesh Test series.

Team standings 1. Colombo (39.64 pts ), 2. Kandy (29.25 pts), 3. Galle (16.20 pts), 4.Jaffna (15.69 pts), 5. Dambulla (8.22 pts)

Best batting performances 1. Kamindu Mendis (Kandy) 467 runs , 2. Sahan Arachchige (Kandy ) 337 runs , 3. Oshada Fernando (Kandy) 316 runs , 4. Saminda Fernando (Jaffna ) 243 runs , 5. Roshen Silva (Colombo ) 242 runs , 6. Minod Bhanuka (Dambulla ) 239 runs

Best bowling performances 1. Prabath Jayasuriya (Colombo) 15 wickets , 2. Lakshitha Manasinghe (Colombo) 12 wickets , 3. Kasun Rajitha (Colombo ) 11 wickets , 4. Chanaka Ruwansiri (Galle) 9 wickets , 5. Avindu Theekshana (Kandy) 8 wickets , 6. Asitha Fernando (Kandy) 7 wickets.

Thursday, March 17, 2022 – 01:00

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