Tap on the door by Arnold and Chandana
By M. Shamil Amit
Former national stars Russel Arnold (67 not out and Upul Chandana ( 5 for 34) helped NCC clinch the Sirasa Premier Limited Over title when they recorded a convincing six wickets win over Moors in the final concluded at the SSC grounds yesterday.
|NCC batsman Ishan Mutalp in action – Picture by Ranjith Perera
Chasing a modest target of 168 they achieved it with the minimum of fuss though losing four wickets. It was sweet revenge for the Maitland Place club who were beaten by their opponents in a round robin game earlier in the season.
NCC who finished as runner up last year is winning the title for the second time having earlier won it the 2001/02 season.
NCC in their chase lost their first wicket in the fourth over that of U.K.D. Aravinda and lost two more wickets within a space of five overs before Russel Arnold was joined by Tharaka Kottehewa. The pair made things look easy and added a valuable 90 runs to see NCC reach the target in the second ball of the 40th over.
Moors sent into bat by NCC skipper Upul Chandana were given a solid start by openers Roy Silva and Janaka Wannakuwatte with the pair scoring at the rate of over five runs to reach 40 runs in the seventh over. But the dismissal of Silva in the fifth ball of the seventh over with the score on 40 stemmed a collapse as they lost two more wickets with Kottehewa capturing the wickets in the first and second ball of his fourth and the eighth of the inning.
Kottehewa was unfortunate to miss a hat-trick but it was enough to put the breaks on their opponents scoring at will. The Moors batting got bogged down as they were able to yield only another 28 runs from a further ten overs. At the end of the 20th over half of the Moors batting were back in the pavilion with the score just on 90 which included their batsman in form Bhatiya Perera who got out for a duck giving a return catch to pacie Kottehwa.
With Kottehewa responsible in taking four of the wickets five top order wickets it was skipper Upul Chandana who took over from as he first got rid of Ridgammanagedera followed by Tharanga Priyadharshana and then the danger man Hemantha Boteju who was shaping well and incidentally ended as the top scorer for Moors with 43.and with Moors score reading162 for 8 after Boteju’s dismissal the remaining two batsmen had nothing to offer as Chandana wiped out the tail curtailing Moors to 167 in 41.5 overs.
Moors 167 in 41.5 overs (Hemantha Boteju 43, Roy Silva 22, Ruvin Peiris 21, Janaka Wannakuwatte 16.; Upul Chandana 5 for 34, Tharaka Kottehewa 4 for 48)
NCC 169 for 4 in 39.2 overs (Lasith Fernando 34, Russel Arnold 67 n.o., Tharaka Kottehewa 35 n.o.; Chanaka Welagedera 2 for 47).