Nalanda and Mahinda qualify for the 2016 Murali Harmony Cup Finals along with Nittambuwa Ladies and Matale Ladies
The Murali Harmony Cup 2016 Semi Final was nothing short of sheer excitement as Nalanda College, Colombo and Mahinda College, Galle remained unbeaten to enter the Finals of the 2016 edition. The teams will face off on Sunday the 25th of September at the Kilinochchi Maha Vidyalayam Grounds to determine who walks away with the Gold.
Earlier on in the day Mahinda College was sent in to bat after Seenigama Combined Schools won the toss. Banking on their explosive batting lineup and exceptional bowling attack, Seenigama had a good chance at applying early pressure and restricting Mahinda College to a low score. Thanks to Dilshan and De Silva’s coordinated pace attack Mahinda College was left reeling at 3 for 38 by the fifth over of the innings. Things went from bad to worse when they lost two more wickets leaving them at 5/64 by the 9th over but the strong partnership established between players Kaveen (15) and Ediriweera (41) was able to add 30 crucial runs for the sixth wicket.
However Seenigama came back with added pressure and at the end of the first innings Mahinda had scored 139 runs with Seenigama bowler Mendis picking up 3/24.
Seenigama needed 140 runs at seven an over to finally beat their Semi Final losing streak. After losing an early wicket Dilranga (35) and Milan were able to add 26 runs together and Dilranga added a further 55 runs with Mendis (42) for the 4th wicket taking Seenigama closer to their target.
When it seemed that the game was poised in favour of the batting side with Seenigama needing 16 runs from 12 balls Mahinda proved that they would not go down easily, choosing to bring in the field and attack the batsmen. Young Malinga struck in quick succession as he went on to take 3/17, and inflicted a vicious batting collapse which ensured that Mahinda College won the game by 7 runs.
Mahinda College 139/9 (20/20 ov)
Seenigama Combined Schools 132/9 (20/20 ov)
The Second Semi Final saw St. Joseph’s College, Colombo take on Nalanda College, Colombo. R Kelly and Sumanasinghe had a strong opening stand of 51 runs which set the tone for the rest of the innings. Madurawela (13) and R Perera (34) did well in the middle overs to ensure that the Joes were within a good first innings total as they steered the side to 93 in 13 overs. However Nalanda’s Mannaperuma (3/23) and Manasinghe (3/19) soon had the middle and lower order batters of St. Joseph’s in tatters with a classic display of spin bowling. St. Joseph’s were only able muster up 120 runs which would have to be stalwartly defended against the strong Nalanda College batting lineup.
Nalanda’s Polgampola (34) and Kasthuriarachchi (22) were calm and sensible in their approach as they set the tone with a brisk 58 run partnership while Wijewardena and Sandaruwan worked the ball through the gaps to get within the required rate. Although Nalanda lost two quick wickets they held their nerve and were able to win the game with just two balls to spare.
St. Joseph’s College 120/8 (20/20 ov)
Nalanda College 126/5 (19.4/20 ov)
In the ladies’ tournament Nittambuwa Ladies and Matale Ladies having scored the highest points in their groupings, will face off at the finals to be held in Kilinochchi at 9.30 a.m. with the Boys’ match scheduled to commence at 2 p.m. at the same venue.