Hyderabad: Ruhunu Eleven beat Leicestershire Foxes by four runs in their second and final qualifying match of the Champions League twenty20 tournament on Wednesday.
Earlier, Dinesh Chandimal smashed a fine half-century to help Ruhunu post a competitive 160 for six against Leicestershire Foxes in their qualifying match of Champions League Twenty20 on Wednesday.
While Chandimal scored a strokeful 51-ball 62 with the help of six fours and two sixes, Shalika Karunanayake played a 28-run cameo off 15 balls, during which he hit two boundaries and two sixes.
Even as wickets tumbled at the other end, Chandimal maintained his calm to take Ruhunu past 150-run mark, putting 44 runs for the fifth-wicket partnership with Milinda Siriwardana and another 41-run stand with Karunanayake for the sixth wicket.
For Leicestershire, Harry Gurney (three for 33) was the pick of the bowlers while Abdul Razzaq (two for 30) and Claude Henderson (one for 29) also contributed to the team`s cause.
Put into bat, Ruhunu openers Sanath Jayasuriya (6) and skipper Mahela Udawatte (2) got off to a disastrous start as Ruhunu lost the first two wickets for 17 runs in 3.1 overs as Gurney sent both the batsmen back in his first two overs.
Chandimal and Kushal Janith Parera, then joined hands to steady the boat. To begin with, Parera was the more dominant of the two as he managed to set the rhythm with a six and a four off one of Naik`s overs.
But his brief cameo of 15-ball 19 came to an end when Jigar Naik caught him off the bowling off Abdul Razzaq. Razzaq struck once again in his next over as he sent the new batsman Janaka Gunaratne (1) packing as well.
However Chandimal, who got a life at seven when Nixon missed a stumping chance off Naik`s bowling, held his ground and hit the loose balls that came his way.
Mixing cautious with aggression, Chandimal in the able company of Siriwardana (17) added 44-odd runs to the total.
After Siriwardana departed, Chandimal continued to frustrate the Leicestershire bowlers along with Karunanayake and brought up his half-century in 45 balls, setting the path for a good total.
Whosoever between Leicestershire and Ruhunu lose today would go back home, while the other team will have to await the result of the final qualifier between Somerset and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Both those teams with a win each already in hand, might qualify in the event of a close clash where the net run-rate of the losing side may turn out to be the deciding factor to that of the winner of this particular match.
First Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 18:19