Posted by Gareth Parry Added on: August 13 2012
Nagenahira Nagas 160 for 3 (Nazir 58, Mathews 42*) beat Kandurata Warriors 159 for 7 (Perera 72) by seven wickets
The Kandurata Warriors faced the Nagenahira Nagas in the fifth match of the Sri Lanka Premier League 2012. Nagenahira were looking to build on their winning start with a second consecutive win whilst Kandurata wanted to get their first win on the board.
The Kandurata Warriors, who chose to bat first having won the toss, made a listless start to their innings as they slumped to just 61 for 4 after 10.5 overs. In that time they lost the key wickets of Samaraweera and Scott Styris as the Nagenahira spinners Pathirana and Ajantha Mendis caused the Kandurata top order a number of problems.
It took the innings of the tournament so far to rescue Kandurata from the precarious position they found themselves in. It was the Sri Lankan all round star Thisara Perera that delivered a power packed display to take the Warriors to a respectable score of 159. He struck 72 from just 33 deliveries, a strike rate of 218.18, to blast Kandurata back into contention. His innings included six 4's and four 6's as he dismissed the Nagenahira bowlers in contemptuous fashion.
In spite of Thisara Perera's heroics the Nagas were still favourites at the halfway stage with the target of 160 being slightly below par on a placid surface. The Nagenahira favourites tag appeared well justified when their openers, Imran Nazir and Ahmed Shehzad, made easy work of the Kandurata bowlers. Their start to the innings was blistering and in stark contrast to the ponderous efforts of the Warriors batsmen.
The pair put on 85 runs in just 8.4 overs before Nazir fell. Even though he fell in just the ninth over he had reached his sides top score of 58. His runs came in just 32 deliveries as he made short work of the Warriors seamers and regularly skipped down the track to even the faster bowlers.
This was a theme of the innings with most of the Warriors seamers conceding more than eight runs an over and none of them taking a wicket. It was only the leg breaks of Kaushal Lokuarachchi that caused the Nagenahira any problems and he was the only bowler to pick up any wickets on his way to figures of 4-0-24-2.
With only 75 runs required from the last 11.2 overs of the innings it seemed as though the Nagas would stroll to victory. However the loss of Nazir and Shehzad briefly threatened to derail the Nagenahira innings and it took a calm effort from their captain Angelo Mathews, who scored 42 in 36 deliveries, to see his side home in the 20th over.