The Vavuniya Police team defeated Unified Sports Club by 46 runs to claim the Aakash Champions Trophy at the inaugural Northern Province T20 Cricket Tournament played at the Urban Council playground in Vavuniya last weekend.
One of Sri Lanka’s largest renewable energy companies – Aakash Group -- gave sports enthusiasts of Northern Sri Lanka a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase their talent, during its inaugural which culminated with a grand finale held last Sunday (14).
Proceedings of the grand final on Sunday started off with a friendly match between the Aakash Group staff led by its Chairman and Managing Director, S. Ramasubramanian, and the indigenous Veddah people, which eventually became the highlight of the two-day tournament.
In the end, the indigenous people’s team emerged winners garnering 60-5 in 6 overs, defeating the Aakash team who managed to gather 55-4 in 8 overs.
In the much-awaited final, the Vavuniya Police team won the toss and elected as they went on to post 187-5 in the allotted 20 overs.
Nishantha top scored with an unbeaten 97 while Duminda (33) and Indika (36) chipped in with useful knocks.
Unified bowlers Anushanth and Madusan were the only bowlers to claim a wicket each.
The Unified team made a positive start to their run-chase, but were eventually bowled out for 141 runs with three overs to spare.
For the losers Rushanthan top scored with 57 runs while Anushanth (20) and Madusan (13) made timely knocks.
For the Cops Rasika and Dissanayake picked three wickets each to steer their side towards victory.
With their brilliant performance, the Vavuniya Police team carried away the coveted trophy and the cash price of Rs 300,000, leaving the runners-up trophy and the cash price of Rs 100,000 to the Unified team.
The man-of-the-match award and a cash reward of Rs 50,000 was won by Nishantha of the winning team and his team mate Vijayalath grabbed award for the best bowler and a cash prize of Rs. 25,000.
The Unified team had the consolation of producing the most productive player when Rushanthan claimed two awards.
He won the man-of-the-series and cash award of Rs 75,000 as well as the best batsman and a cash reward of Rs 25,000.
The semi-finals were played last Saturday with four top teams battling out for honours.
The semi-finals were between the Kalaimagal team and the Vavuniya Police team and St. Joseph’s and Unified Sports Club.
The first 16-over semifinal between Kalaimagal and Police teams was drawn with Police scoring 96-9 and Kalaimagal mustering 96 all out.
However the Cops managed to win the game during the super over.
After the fascinating first match, St. Joseph’s team faced Unified SC, who scored 140-4.
St. Joseph’s could only reach 97-7 in their run chase.
A total of 32 teams battled in the T20 Cricket match for the Aakash Champion Trophy along with accolades for the champion team, the runners-up, man-of-the-match, man-of-the-series, best bowler, and best batsman.
Vanni Range DIG Deshabandu Thennakoon patronised the grand finale as the chief guest.
Vavuniya District SSP T.M.N.S. Thennakoon, ASP Piyasiri Fernando and HqI CI Mahinda Villoarachchi were also in attendance.
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