By Anjana Kaluarachchi
The National Super League 4-day tournament has reached the semi-final stage, and the two semi-finals get underway today in Hambantota and Kandy.
Undefeated table leader Colombo will meet 4th placed Jaffna in Hambanthota, while 2nd placed Kandy will meet 3rd placed Galle in Kandy. Each team played four matches, meeting each other once in the league stage before qualifying for the semi-finals.
Left arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya has been the driving force with the ball for the Colombo team and leads the bowling chart with 26 wickets in four matches at an average of 22.15 and economy rate of 3.58. Jayasuriya has three 5 wickets hauls in an inning and one match bag of 10 wickets, with best bowling figures of 11 for 152 in a match.
Colombo was led by Shammu Ashan during the first three matches before Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunarathne returned for the last match and led the team to victory scoring an unbeaten 125 (off 143 deliveries which saw 15 fours and a six), in the fourth inning chase of 219 against Galle in the last game to breathe life into them.
Karunarathne’s heroics meant Colombo chased the target of 219 in just 50.4 overs. He partnered with his schoolmate Roshen Silva (who made an unbeaten 55) in their 106 runs stand for the third wicket. Silva was star of the Colombo middle order where he made an unbeaten 174 in the first game against Jaffna.
Kandy skipper Kamindu Mendis is leading the batting chart with 649 runs in four games at an average of a whopping 81.12. He has scored three centuries and three fifties so far in the series with a highest score of 137. Oshada Fernando, also from Kandy, is second in the batting chart with 476 runs in four games at an average of 68.00 which saw two centuries and three fifties.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket announced the winners of the league will receive Rs 5 million, while the runner-up will get half of that. Player of the Tournament will receive Rs 500,000, while the Best Batter and Best Bowler will receive Rs 250,000 each.
31 March – 3 April
1st Semi-final: Colombo Vs Jaffna in Hambantota
2nd Semi-final: Kandy Vs Galle in Kandy
Final (7-10 April) in Galle