By Mustaq Sydeen
Jaffna took major honours at stumps on day one against Colombo despite Kusal Mendis’ unbeaten 83, in the semi-final of the National Super League 4-Day Tournament which commenced at MRICS Hambantota yesterday.
After electing to bat on a cloudy day in Hambantota, Colombo posted 224-6. Colombo were off to a positive start with skipper Dimuth Karunarathne (39) along with Krishan Sanjula (39) adding a 75 run partnership before Dhananjaya de Silva (DDS) got the breakthrough to send Dimuth back to the pavilion in the 25th over.
From there onwards, it was an uphill struggle for Colombo to score runs, as a disciplined Jaffna bowling unit led by Dhananjaya de Silva reduced them from 1-75 to 3-83 in just 32 overs.
Kusal Mendis (83*) then got together with Madawa Warnapura (42) and added a 111 run partnership for the 4th wicket to steady the ship. Madawa’s 42 came off 150 deliveries with 4 boundaries before he departed in the 80th over when pacer Nuwan Pradeep got the breakthrough with a peach of a delivery.
DDS bowled a dream spell to end up with 4-42, claiming the wickets of Dimuth, Pramod Maduwantha (2), Sithira Gimhan (7) and Lakshitha Manasinghe (0).
Nuwan Pradeep and Jeffrey Vandersay also claimed a wicket each to end Day one on a high.
Kandy Vs Galle (in Pallekele)
In the second semi final between Kandy and Galle, Kandy ended day one on top thanks to brilliant knocks from Oshada Fernando and Kamindu Mendis.
The home team were 192-2 at stumps with Oshada looking good at 71*, while skipper Kamindu Mendis’ contribution was 51*. The duo was involved in an unbeaten 81 run partnership for the third wicket.
Colombo: 224-6 (Kusal Mendis 83*, Madawa Warnapura 42, Dhananjaya de Silva 4-42) Vs Jaffna
Kandy: 192-2 (Oshada Fernando 71*, Kamindu Mendis 51*, Dhananjaya Lakshan 2-29) Vs Galle