Four best teams identified after super action on Monday
Jaffna Combined College and St. Peter’s College remained unbeaten as they topped their respective groups and booked themselves into the Murali Harmony Cup semi-finals on Monday.
In Group D at the IODR Oval, Maliyadeva College from Kurunegala ended up winners after a shock defeat of group favourites Dharmasoka College by Anuradhapura Central College.
Dharmasoka College had been expected to breeze into the semi-finals after two confident wins on the first two days, but a crushing defeat battered their net run rate so badly that they ended up in third place.
The Ambalangoda team was bundled out for just 69 in 14.3 overs as Man of the Match Sandeep Nisansala claimed 4 for 16 and Kasun Weeranga took 2 for 8.
Anuradhapura powered home in just 8.2 overs, lifting their net run rate high enough to claim the final place in the semi-finals.
Maliyadeva College started the day knowing that a crushing win against Mullaitivu was needed to boost its net run rate and was ruthless as it skittled out the home team for just 23.
To guarantee its progression and top its group Maliyadeva College then needed to chase down the total in 10 balls to lift its net run rate above Anuradhapura. It won in just 1.4 overs.
Jaffna Combined College’s unblemished first round record was put under threat early on at St. Patrick’s College grounds with two brilliant run outs off direct hits and some fine seam bowling from Mannar-Vavuniya.
However, a late rally from lower order batsmen K. Januthas (30) and L. Athithan (24) rescued it in the final overs and lifted them to a competitive 141 for 9, a total it defended comfortably thanks to good bowling from seamer GJ Erick (2 for 18) and their spinners.
Trinity College had its backs to the wall in the tournament after its opening defeat to Jaffna, but had a theoretical qualification chance if they defeated Debarawewa College heavily.
Trinity College did win by 68 runs after scoring 148 for 9, with spinner Dinuk Wickramanayake taking 3 for 8, but its final net run rate was 2.26 while Anuradhapura’s was 2.92.
In Kilinochchi a Combined Batti-Trinco team that has impressed many observers, gave itself a chance of qualification with a clinical display against Kilinochchi Combined Schools.
Kilinochchi was bundled out for 51 and then Batti-Trinco reached the target in four overs.
That result left St. Peter’s College under pressure despite its two early wins. Had it lost to Seenigama FOG, then Batti-Trinco would have qualified thanks to a superior net run rate.
Seenigama FOG, however, lost its way after a quick start as it tried to improve its own net run rate and were bowled out for 125.
St Peter’s strong batting showed no nerves as it motored home with 5.2 overs to spare.
The semi-finals will now take place on Tuesday in Kilinochchi with St Peter’s playing Anuradhapura at 10am in the morning and Jaffna taking on Maliyadeva at 2.30pm in the afternoon.
The Murali Harmony Cup is a 20-team reconciliation tournament staged to promote community-building and friendship in post-war Sri Lanka. The five-day tournament has been jointly organised by Muttiah Muralidaran’s charity the Foundation of Goodness, travel company Red Dot Tours, the International Cricket Council and the Sri Lanka Army.
Scores in Brief
Kilinochchi Central College (Mens)
Kilinochchi Combined v Batti-Trinco Combined
Kilinochchi Combined 51 all out in 12.3 overs (A Mayuran 8, B Ayesh 5 for 10, S Sanjeewa 4 for 17) v Batti-Trinco Combined 54 for 1 (ATM Riyaz 18, MTM Thameem 18). Batti/Trinco Combined won by 9 wickets.
MOM: B Ayesh
Seenigama FOG v St Peter’s College
Seenigama FOG 125 all out in 17 overs (Pulina Tharanga 36, Tharindu Kaushal 23, Dushan Hemantha 2 for 21) v St Peter’s College 127 for 3 in 14.4 overs (Ranitha Liyanaarchchi 46, Jeson Buljons 39*, Dushan Hemantha 24*, Tharindu Namal 2 for 18). St Peter’s College won by 7 wickets.
MOM: Dushan Hemantha
IODR Oval, Oddusuddan (Mens)
Dharmasoka College v Anuradhapura Central
Dharmasoka College 69 all out in 14.3 overs (Yohan de Silva 34, Sandeep Nisansala 4 for 16, Kasun Weeranga 2 for 8) v Anuradhapura Central 73 for 3 in 8.2 overs (Sandeep Nisansala 36, Ramesh Mendis 1/14), Anuradhapura won by 7 wickets.
MOM: Sandeep Nisansala
Mullaitivu Combined v Maliyadeva College
Mullaitivu Combined all out 23 in 11.2 overs (K Nishanthan 6, Thenith Manishka 3 for 9, Keshan Wijeratne 2 for 4) v Maliyadeva College 24 for 0 in 1.4 overs (Rasanjana Jayaratne 18*). Maliyadeva College won by 10 wickets.
MOM: Thenith Manishka
St. Patrick’s College, Jaffna (Mens)
Jaffna Combined v Mannar-Vavuniya Combined
Jaffna Combined 141 for 9 in 20 overs (K Januthas 30, L Athithan 24, M Dhayaparan 2 for 12) v Mannar/Vavuniya Combined 108 all out in 19.5 overs (S Jethurshan 53, GJ Erick 2 for 18, T Kokulan 2 for 19). Jaffna Combined won by 33 runs.
MOM: K Januthas
Trinity College v Debarawewa MV College
Trinity College 148 for 9 in 20 overs (Rajitha Jayatunga 45*, Bhagya Palihawadana 26, Ayesh Nimantha 3 for 26, LP Dilantha 2 for 18) v Debarawewa MV College 80 all out in 17.3 overs (LP Dilantha 29, WGT Indushan 22, Dinuk Wickramanayake 3 for 8 with a Hat-trick). Trinity College won by 68 runs.
MOM: Dinuk Wickramanayake