St. Peter's College and Sri Lanka Army Ladies win Murali Cup 2012

Dropped catches cost Jaffna Combined Schools
By Staff Writers | September 13, 2012

St. Peter's College and Sri Lanka Army Ladies teams celebrate their victory. © Murali Cup
St. Peter's College and Sri Lanka Army Ladies teams celebrate their victory. © Murali Cup

The Murali Harmony Cup 2012, played across northern Sri Lanka, lived up to expectations with St. Peter’s College Bambalapitiya and Sri Lanka Army Ladies scoring dramatic victories in the men’s and women’s finals at the IODR Oval in Oddusuddan on Wednesday.

Jaffna's bowlers helped their side nearly pulled off another upset. © Murali CupJaffna Combined Schools ensured that the tournament ended with a nail-biting finish by nearly bowling out men’s tournament favourites St. Peter’s College after having set a relatively modest target of 90 runs. St. Peter’s College's last pair fought valiantly with a dramatic rearguard action to take their team to victory at 91 for 9 with 11 balls to spare.

Watched by a large crowd, including excited children from all the surrounding local areas and Sri Lanka spin legend Muttiah Muralidaran, Jaffna Combined Schools had St. Peter’s on the ropes at 68 for 9 before the last pair of Crishan Fernando and Sudeel Dissanayake blasted 23 runs.

T. Kokulan (2 for 14) and M. Norbert (2 for 16) were the pick of the bowlers for Jaffna Combined Schools, and caused a sensational collapse in St. Peter’s middle and late order to put the pressure on the Colombo school who are the reigning inter-school champions. But the Jaffna schoolboys will rue several dropped catches that may have won them the match.

Earlier, Jaffna Combined struggled to score after winning the toss and electing to bat in the face of some disciplined pace and spin bowling, aided by variable bounce in the pitch and tight fielding. Julian de Zilva took 3 for 14, and Chemila Obesekera 2 for 9. T. Kokulan top-scored with 25.

Julian de Zilva of St. Peter’s was the Man of the Match for his haul of 3 wickets and 14 runs.

Ladies' final

Muttiah Muralitharan witnessed the finals at the IODR Oval in Oddusuddan. © Murali Cup
Muttiah Muralitharan witnessed the finals at the IODR Oval in Oddusuddan. © Murali Cup

Earlier in the day at the same venue, Sri Lanka Army clinched the ladies tournament with a tense 16 run victory over Shakthi Ladies from Anuradhapura.

Army took early control of the match with a solid batting display. Player of the Match Roshani Perera led the way with a solid 53 and was supported by Nimali Perera who scored 32. The pair ensured Sri Lanka Army posted a competitive 127 for 4 in their 20 overs.

However, Shakthi Ladies, who had earlier beaten the Army in the group stages, fought bravely right until the end before falling agonizingly short, reaching 111 for 9.

Nimali Perera was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 18 while Anurada Alahapperuma (23) and Hansima Karunaratne (22) were Shakthi’s highest run scorers.

The Murali Harmony Cup is a 20-team reconciliation tournament staged to promote community-building and friendship in post-war Sri Lanka. The tournament was played at five grounds across northern Sri Lanka in the towns of Jaffna, Oddusuddan, Mankulam, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya from September 8-12. The T20 tournament featured under-19 schoolboys and under-23 women cricketers. Twelve boys teams and eight ladies teams from across Sri Lanka played two matches every day at each ground, with the finals taking place on September 12 at the IODR Oval in Oddusudan.

The five-day tournament was jointly organised by Muttiah Muralidaran’s charity the Foundation of Goodness, travel company Red Dot Tours, the International Cricket Council and the Sri Lanka Army.

Brief scores

Men’s Final - St. Peter’s v Jaffna Combined Schools
Jaffna Combined Schools 90 for 9 in 20 overs (T. Kokulan 25, P. Thuvaragaseelan 17, Julian de Zilva 3 for 14, Chemila Obesekera 2 for 9) v St. Peter’s College 91 for 9 in 18.1 overs (Julian de Zilva 14, Nimantha Peiris 13, T. Kokulan 2 for 14, M. Norbert 2 for 16). St. Peter’s College won by 1 wicket
MOM: Julian de Zilva

Ladies Final - Shakthi Ladies v Sri Lanka Army

Sri Lanka Army 127 for 4 in 20 overs (Roshani Perera 53, Nimali Perera 32, Hansima Karunaratne 2 for 33) v Shakthi Ladies 111 for 9 in 20 overs (Anurada Alahapperuma 23, Hansima Karunaratne 22, Nimali Perera 2 for 18). Sri Lanka Army won by 16 runs
MOM: Roshani Perera

© Island Cricket

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