Three-cornered tussle for title

By Sa’adi Thawfeeq

It will be a three-cornered tussle for the Women’s Inter-Club Division I (50-over) title when the final round of league matches takes place today at four venues.

In the running for the championship crown are defending champions Navy SC who currently head the league standings, second-placed Air Force SC A, and Army SC A who are in the third position.

All three clubs stand a chance of winning the title with Navy SC strongly favoured to retain it for the second year.

On Sunday Navy SC ended Army SC A’s unbeaten run with a compelling performance beating them by 110 runs at their own den at Dombagoda.

Navy SC’s opponents today will be fifth-placed Chilaw Marians CC whom they meet at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Chilaw Marians despite possessing players in the calibre of national women’s captain Chamari Athapaththu and a host of other national players have not lived up to their talent and experience winning just two out of six matches.

Unless Athapaththu can produce something out of the ordinary that she is quite capable of, it will be a walk in the park for Navy SC.

Athapaththu has so far scored two fifties in her six matches but is capable of far bigger things as she has shown on numerous occasions when representing her country.

A win for Navy SC (25 points) will give them the title regardless of how Air Force SC A (24 points) and Army SC A (23 points) perform.

Navy SC however should be wary they gain the bonus point as well just in case Air Force SC A wins with a bonus point in their match against Army SC A at Army grounds, Panagoda.

If Navy SC wins without the bonus point Air Force SC A will tie with them on points and the winner will be decided on the net run rate. Currently, Air Force SC A has the best net run rate amongst all the teams with 2.513 as against Navy SC’s 2.385 and the Army SC A’s 1.174.

The Air Force SC A and Army SC A game should be a close one. Both teams will be hoping for Navy SC to lose their game against Chilaw Marians CC so that whoever wins this contest will emerge the champion.

The other two matches down for decision today will have no bearing on the championship. Air Force SC B host Seenigama CC at Katunayake and Colts CC will meet Army SC B at Colts.

The winning team will receive a cheque for Rs. 500,000 and the runner-up Rs. 250,000. Individual awards include Rs. 100,000 for the Best Player of the Tournament and Rs. 75,000 each for the Best Batswoman and the Best Bowler of the tournament.

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