SLC Blues confront Reds in final today
SLC Blues will meet SLC Reds in the final of the SLC Invitational T20 League cricket tournament fixture which will be played today (15) at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, commencing from 7.00 pm.
The two teams met each other in the last league game on Saturday when the Reds led by Kusal Mendis recorded a 33-run victory to enter the final. Mendis the top form batter played a superb knock of 86 in 60 balls with ten fours and a six which is also the highest individual total of this tournament. The opener Kusal Mendis was leading from the front while all rounder Wanindu Hasaranga played a remarkable unbeaten knock of 69 in 41 balls with 3 fours and 5 sixes and was adjudged Man of the Match in this game.
The opener Lasith Croospulle, dashing stroke maker Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Kamindu Mendis young all rounder Dunith Wellalage and Lahiru Madushanka are the other stroke makers of the Reds side.
The useful all rounder Sahan Arachchige also strengthens the middle order while paceman Asitha Fernando, and Matheesha Pathirana who has an action similar to Lasith Malinga while two main spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana have been always challenging for the opponent Blues team today at the final. Reds scored 178 for 5 wickets in their last game against Blues which was the highest team total so far in their tournament.
Meanwhile, the Blues team had a big blow as their regular skipper Charith Asalanka tested positive for Covid-19 while all rounder Dhananjaya de Silva is standing skipper from the last game. Dhananjaya de Silva has good experience to handle the team while Lahiru Udara, Sadeera Samarawickrama, and wicket-keeper Sithara Gimhan are the top order batters to build up the innings.
Ashen Bandara and Chamika Karunaratne strengthen the middle order while all rounders Suminda Lakshan and Lahiru Samarakoon are also useful batters who can make good contributions in today’s final.
Dilshan Madushanka the young paceman who bowled really well during this tournament has a good ability to do early damage for team Blues while Kasun Rajitha and leg spinner Praveen Jayawickrama are the talented bowlers of the Blues team.
Both teams have good all rounders while the National team players from both teams have the extra benefit to make a good challenge at this final The game will commence at 7 pm while both teams have to play under lights and the toss is not a vital factor today but Reds team have good hard hitters like Wanindu Hasaranga, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Kusal Mendis have a good advantage to chase a target.
The spinners like Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana both from the Reds while Praveen Jayawickrama of Blues and Red’s paceman Asitha Fernando are among the wickets in this tournament and all are in this final which is going to be a keen tussle today.
SLC conducted this tournament before the Asia Cup and T 20 World Cup while selectors were keen to see this tournament to select the best for the Asia Cup and T 20 World Cup. The Asia Cup team has already been submitted for the Sports Minister’s approval while all the players are keen to succeed in this final before this Asia Cup.
SLC Reds skipper Kusal Mendis and all rounder Wanindu Hasaranga (Pix courtesy SLC)