Unfancied SL Army Team win Club T20 CompetitionJanuary 26, 2016
Report in the Daily News, 25 January 2016, where the title is “Giant killers Army down Tamil Union to win Premier T20 title
The presence of seven national caps in the Tamil Union line-up did not deter giant-killers Army SC who beat them rather comprehensively by five wickets with three overs to spare to lift the AIA Premier T20 title for the first time at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday. Army SC’s win in the final was no fluke for the day before they had downed another top club SSC in the semi-final also by five wickets.
Invited to bat first Tamil Union managed a total of 164/9 thanks largely to a fine knock of 85 off 57 balls from Tillakaratne Dilshan. The Lankan opener hit 13 fours in his innings to follow his 95 not out in the semi-final against NCC the previous day. However apart from his contribution there was no other noteworthy performance from the rest of the batters. At one stage Tamil Union were 87-7 in the 12th over before Dilshan who had been playing a lone hand at one end found a partner Manoj Sarathchandra (20) and these two raised the total to a decent 146 before Dilshan was dismissed in the 19th over.
The bowler who caused most trouble for the Tamil Union batsmen was leg-spinner Sampath Perera who spun out four top order batsmen for 24 runs including the wicket of Dilshan. Perera was assisted greatly by Sri Lanka spinner Ajanth Mendis who picked up two wickets for 39.
The Army’s run chase was led by Asela Gunaratne who hit an unbeaten 65 off 43 balls with two sixes and seven fours. He shared in partnerships of 53 with Pathum Dilshan (21) and 47 off 19 balls with Sri Lanka spinner and captain Seekkuge Prasanna who slammed four sixes in his cameo knock of 28 off 10 balls to seal the match in Army’s favour.
Tamil Union 164/9 in 20 overs (Tillakaratne Dilshan 85, Pulina Tharanga 20 n.o., Sanjika Ridma 2/31, Ajantha Mendis 2/39, Sampath Perera 4/24)
Sri Lanka Army 170/5 in 17 overs (Pathum Dilshan 21, Asela Gunaratne 65 n.o., Shalika Karunanayake 27, Seekkuge Prasanna 28, Shaminda Eranga 2/19)