Kondurata Warriors hand first defeat on Wayamba in SLPL

Colombo: Kaushal Lokuarachchi grabbed three wickets for 15 runs as Kondurarata Warriors beat Wayamba United by a narrow two runs to keep their semifinal hopes alive in the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League on Friday.

Despite the defeat, their first in the SLPL, Wayamba are virtually assured of a semifinal berth and they also still remained on top of the table with eight points from five matches.

With the win today, their third in five matches, the Warriors are on six points, the same as Uva Next and Nagenhira Nagas, but they are on second position on better net run rate.

Wayamba play their last match on August 26 against Ruhuna Royals while the Warriors play final league game against Uva Next the earlier day.

Set a target of 151 for a win, Wayamba stuttered in their chase with none of their batsmen contributing with a significant score. But the match went down the wire with Wayamba middle-order putting up a fight towards the close in the rain-affected match at the R Premadasa Stadium here.

Wayamba needed 15 from the last over Abdul Razzaq (36 not out) sent the first ball for a four but they could add just three runs from the next three balls.

Wayamba needed eight from the last two balls but they fell short by two runs in the end.

The highest partnership of Wayamba was between Mohammad Hafeez (34) and Shehan Jayasuriya (28) for the second wicket.

With a semifinal berth virtually assured, Wayamba rested captain Mahela Jayawardene, in-from opener Tamim Iqbal and young off-spin sensation Akhila Shananjaya from their squad and their absence was felt today.

Lokuarachchi was the peak of the Warriors bowlers as he grabbed the crucial wickets of Hafeez, Shehan Jayasuriya and Dinesh Chandimal.

Earlier, Chris Lynn struck form in his first match of the tournament as he single-handedly took Kanduratta Warriors to 150 with 51-ball 80 which was studded with three fours and five sixes after his side opted to bat first.

Coming at number five when his side were precariously placed at 14 for three in the fourth over, he held one end together for most part of Warriors innings before he was out in the penultimate over.

The Australian, who played for Deccan Chargers in this season`s IPL, stitched a 59-run stand for the fourth wicket with Jeevantha Kalatunga (23), the next highest scorer.

Warriors top order, including former Sri Lanka captain

Sanath Jayasuriya, failed to deliver. Jayasuriya could contribute just four runs while the two openers Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana scored two and four respectively.

For wayamba, Pakistan Twenty20 skipper Mohammad Hafeez, who captained the side after Mahela Jayawardene rested himself, took two wickets for 14 runs from his four overs. Isuru Udana returned with figures of two for 35 runs.