Rex Clementine in Abu Dhabi
A stunning run chasse in Abu Dhabi last night saw New Zealand snatching victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to some terrific big hitting by Darryl Mitchell and James Neesham. Chasing a stiff 167 to win, New Zealand were reduced to 107 for four needing 60 runs in 29 balls when Neesham walked into the crease. No team had chased that many to win a T-20 International in Abu Dhabi and the odds were against the Kiwis.
The 17th over bowled by Chris Jordan brought New Zealand back into the game as 21 runs were scored in an eight ball over with Neesham clearing two sixes and a four.
That reduced New Zealand’s target to 34 in 18 balls and in the next over Mitchell smashed a six off Adil Rashid to complete a superb half-century and they now required 21 in 14 balls. You would have expected them to milk the bowling but Neesham was dismissed in Rashid’s last delivery of the game and there seemed to be another twist in the tale.
Irish born England skipper Eoin Morgan first wanted to bring Jordan for the penultimate over but in the last minute had change of plans and trusted Chris Woakes, who had been England’s best bowler until then having bowled a wicket maiden early on in the innings, something very rare in modern day T-20 cricket.
With New Zealand needing 20 runs off the last over, Mitchell smashed two sixes off Woakes and then hit a four off the last ball of the over to complete a terrific run chase.
Mitchell’s unbeaten 72 contained four fours and four sixes and came off 47 deliveries. Neesham had hit 27 off 11 balls with one four and three monstrous sixes. Wicketkeeper Deveon Conway had steadied the ship scoring 46 runs off 38 balls with five fours and one six.
Earlier, after being put in, England posted 166 for four with Moeen Ali top scoring with an unbeaten 51 in 37 balls with three fours and two sixes. Dawid Malan had chipped in with 41 runs.
Australia will meet Pakistan in the second semi-final tonight in Dubai.
Pakistan are the only unbeaten team in the competition and they are favourites over Australia to win the game.
The finals will take place on Sunday in Dubai.
Quarter-finals from today
Under 19 Division III Tier ‘B’ Cricket
The quarter-finals of the Under 19 Inter Schools Division III Tier ‘B’ cricket tournament conducted by Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association will commence with the Maris Stella College, Thimbirigaskatuwa meeting Wickramabahu National School, Gampola at Wickramashila National School ground Giriulla today.
Quarter-finals line up
Maris Stella, Thimbirigaskatuwa V Wickramabahu NS, Gampola at Giriulla
Ananda NS, Puttalam V Sri Sumangala, Kelaniya at Giriulla
Hindu College, Matale V St. Michael’s College, Batticalloa at Polonnaruwa
D.S. Senanayake, Ampara V Pannala NS at Polonnaruwa
Neyara to meet Anjalike in the women’s singles final
Neyara Weerawansa beat top seed Savini Jayasuriya in the semi-final to book a final berth in the women’s singles final against Anjalika Kurera in the 106th Colombo Championships at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Monday.
The semi-final, which recommenced on Monday after being interrupted by wet weather on the previous day, the British School Colombo player scored 6-1, 5-7, 10-7 to oust last year finalist Jayasuriya.
She will now encounter Anjalika Kurera in the final.
Aahil Kaleel Under 12 champion
Meanwhile, S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia player Aahil Kaleel beat Methika Wickramasinghe to win the Under 12 boys singles title on Sunday. He scored 1-4, 4-2, 10-7 in the final after edging out Pasindu Rukunnayake (quarter-final) and Chaminda Abeysinghe (semis).
Hayleys crowned winners of MCA premier league
Hayleys Group Recreation Club (HGRC) led by Avishka Fernando were crowned as the “League” winners of the 28th Singer-MCA Premier League which came to conclusion with a glittering awards presentation held at the MCA Legends New Wing on Thursday.
Though the tournament had a pre-mature ending, Hayleys by virtue of being unbeaten led the table of points at the point when the tournament was stopped. The MCA Tournament Committee with the consent of the rest of the three teams, decided to award the league title to Hayleys.
Hayleys, playing only their third season in the MCA Premier League, won the T20 title under Avishka Fernando in the previous season.
On their way to the title Hayleys beat HNB (by five wickets), CDB Finance (by 96 runs), John Keells (by two wickets) and HNB in their return game (by two wickets).
Avishka Fernando captained the title winning Hayleys team.
Hayleys squad included Avishka Fernando (Captain), Prabath Jayasuriya (VC), Dilruwan Perera, Kithruwan Vithanage, Chathuranga de Silva, Ron Chandraguptha, Lahiru Samarakoon, Nimesha Gunasinghe, Pasindu Thirimadura, Kavishka Anjula, Santhush Gunatillake, Kalana Perera, Vishad Randika, Navindu Fernando, Mohamed Shamaaz, Lahiru Tirimanne, Binura Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya, Thashik Perera, Kabil Kapilraj, Lakshina Rodrigo and Sahan Nanayakkara. They were coached by Nishantha Weerasinghe with Vimukthi Deshapriya as the assistant coach. Pramoth Fernando was the manager.
Awards were given away by the Chief Guest, CEO, Singer Group Companies, Mahesh Wijewardene, Marketing Director, Singer SL, PLC, Shamil Perera and MCA Officials, President, Nalin Wickremesinghe, Senior Vice President and Chairman Tournament Committee, Mahesh de Alwis and Vice President Sirosha Gunatillake.
It was a memorable moment for Hayleys Group Chairman and CEO, Mohan Pandithage, Group Head HR, Dharshi Thalpahewa and the HGRC Officials – Jeramy Anandappa (President), Mohan Fernando (VP) and Ruchina Jayatillaka (Co Ordinator), who were present at the event.
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