By Phielm Dipak Singh
Colombo: Aug 27, 2012
A strokeful 75 by Dinesh Chandimal and a disciplined performance by his bowling colleagues helped Wayamba United thump Ruhuna Royals by 14 runs in their last league match and top the points table in the Sri Lanka Premier League.
Wayamba scored 162 for seven after opting to bat with wicketkeeper batsman Chandimal top-scoring with a 75 and later restricted Ruhuna to 148 for nine in 20 overs at the R Premadasa Stadium.
Chandimal, who opened the innings with Tamim Iqbal (36), smashed 11 fours in his 54-ball innings before he was out in the 16th over. He shared 66 runs with Iqbal for the opening wicket as Wayamba began in a rollicking fashion in front of a seizable crowd in the range of 7,000 to 8,000 at the 35,000-capacity Stadium.
With today's win, their fifth from six league matches, Wayamba topped the table with 10 points. They will play in the first semifinals on August 28 at the same venue against the fourth-place side which will be decided after tomorrow's last league fixture between Uva Next (seven points from five matches) and Nagenahira Nagas (six points from five matches).
The second semifinal will played on August 29 between the second and third place teams.
Kandurata Warriors, who are now in the second place in the league table, have played all their six league matches and they have collected seven points.
With the loss, their fourth from six league matches, Ruhuna crashed out of the tournament.
Chasing 163 for a win, Ruhuna, who needed to win today's match to have any hopes of reaching to the semifinals, never recovered from a disastrous start which saw their top six wickets falling for just 55 in the ninth over.
Lahiru Thirimanne top-scored for Ruhuna with an unbeaten 34-ball 40 while Daniel Harris contributed 25.
For Wayamba, Chathuranga Kumara and Abdul Razzaq grabbed two wickets apiece while Isuru Udana, Brad Hogg and young sensation Akila Dananjaya took a wicket each.
Wayamba began their innings on a flying note with Chandimal and Iqbal scoring almost at the rate of 10 runs an over. At one stage, it looked like Wayamba would cross 175 as they were 132 for four in the 16th over.
But a late recovery from Ruhuna Royals bowlers, led by captain Lasith Malinga saw Wayamba being restricted to 162 for seven.
For Ruhuna Royals, Dilruwan Perera was the most successful bowler as he returned with two wickets for 32 runs from his four overs.(PTI)