Milantha top scorer in domestic cricket


Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Premier League tier A tournament has come to a standstill with the deadly corona virus affecting sports around the world, but not before Colombo Cricket Club (CCC) dominated another season of First Class cricket.

The defending champions from the 2018/19 season have recorded a whopping 97.5 points to top group A while also recording four outright victories in six matches. The fact that they’ve missed their top players Kusal Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga and Lakshan Sandakan to national duty for large parts of the season, makes this feat even more remarkable.

It has been a clear team effort from CCC so far as suggested by none of their batsmen being in the top ten run scorers list, though Lasith Abeyratne has been consistent racking up 451 runs in six matches. The usual suspect Malinda Pushpakumara is number two on the wicket takers list with 32 scalps in five matches, while he has found an ably spin bowling partner in Ashan Priyanjan who also picked up 24 wickets.

Colts and Army convincingly qualified into the super eights along with CCC from group A, while BRC edged out Negombo CC to secure the fourth spot after a close tussle.

Interestingly, BRC’s Duvindu Tillakaratne has topped the wicket taking charts this season with 38 scalps in five matches so far, making sure his team secured a spot in the Super 8s. The spin twins of Colts Dilruwan Perera (31) and Prabath Jayasuriya (32) are not too far behind sharing 63 wickets between them, as spin continues to dominate domestic cricket in Sri Lanka.

Asitha Fernando of Chilaw Marians must be commended for his 29 scalps in five matches as he features as the only seamer in the top ten wicket takers column.

SLC hasn’t confirmed as to who topped group B yet, as the game between NCC and Baduraliya (host) was called off due to an unsafe pitch at Maggona. As it stands Chilaw Marians are on top of group B with 65.71 points in six matches while NCC, Saracens and Ragama CC qualified for Super 8s from the group.

Lahiru Milantha of Baduraliya SC, who will be playing in the Plate Tournament, was the star with the bat as he hit 638 runs in just five matches before receiving a call up for a tour game against the visiting Englishmen. He has already hit an astonishing three centuries including a double hundred to go along with a half-century. The ever consistent Pathum Nissanka who averages over 66 in first class cricket after 34 matches is in second spot with 628 runs this season, while his NCC team mate Lahiru Udara also has amassed 574 runs and is in third place.

With teams carrying forward points for the Super 8s and Plate Tournament against the respective teams that qualified, CCC tops the Super 8s points table at the moment while Tamil Union are on top of the Plate Championship, though it’s going to be a tight race with three teams set to be relegated from the Plate Championship this season. The three bottom placed teams are set to play a round robin with the top placed team in tier B before three out of the four teams competing are set to be relegated to tier B cricket next season.

Moors’ Ramesh Mendis’ triple century against Negombo CC during the first week of the tournament has been the standout innings so far, while Sri Lanka Test spinner Lasith Embuldeniya’s 9/86 has been the best bowling performance of the season.

However, with the current situation in the country in regard with the corona virus aggravating, SLC has decided to postpone all matches until further notice.

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