Posted by Gareth Parry Added on: August 22 2012
Uva Next 155 for 6 (Tharanga 48, McDonald 28*, Riaz 3-34) beat Ruhuna Royals 141 for 9 (Riaz 31*, Prasanna 4-19, McDonald 2-16) by 14 runs
The Ruhuna Royals faced Uva Next in the 14th match of the Sri Lanka Premier League. Uva were looking to use their game in hand to lift them to six points and virtually guarantee a semi final spot whilst Ruhuna need a win to keep them in contention for the play off's.
Uva, having won the toss, batted first and posted a competitive total of 155. They were taken there by contributions from Tharanga, Malik and AB McDonald. Tharanga was the top scorer in the innings with 48 and his 3rd wicket partnership of 58 with Malik was the the foundation for the Uva innings as both men continuing their good form. McDonald was the man to bolster the Uva score with a wonderful cameo innings of an unbeaten 28 from just 14 delivers to add 35 runs to the Uva total in the last 3.4 overs.
The Ruhuna bowling was of a good, if not spectacular, standard with their attack looking a little jaded from their efforts in the match with Kandurata on the previous day. It was a surprise that Malinga, the spearhead of the Ruhuna attack, finished wicketless with the Ruhuna captain not being at his best. With Malinga not taking wickets it was Lakshitha and Wahab Riaz who did the damage for the Royals although both men were a touch expensive. Riaz was especially dangerous with all three of his wickets being bowled as he executed his yorkers well to finish with figures of 4-0-34-3.
With 156 to chase the Ruhuna innings started poorly. They lost Jamshed in the second over and by the end of the ninth over had reached just 50 for the loss of 4 wickets. With the loss of regular wickets Ruhuna were never in a position to make a close contest of the match and their efforts were undermined by the fact that only one of their top eight passed 20. Their was a flicker of hope towards the end of the innings with a cameo innings of 31 from Wahab Riaz but with no top order batsman to support him there was little he alone could do as Ruhuna limped to just 141.
The Uva bowling, which has struggled on occasion in the SLPL 2012, was at it's very best in this match. AB McDonald and Seekkuge Prasanna were in fine form taking six wickets between them. Prasanna's figures of 4-0-19-4 were especially impressive with his leg breaks finding turn and bounce to cause a multitude of problems for the Ruhuna batsmen.
Uva's victory took them to six points and second in the Sri Lanka Premier League standings with the result virtually assuring them a semi final spot. Ruhuna were left needing to win both their remaining matches to have a realist chance of finishing in the top four.