Colombo and Galle joint champions

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The Inter-Provincial one-day tournament final ended in a no result due to inclement weather and the two finalists – Galle and Colombo were declared joint champions at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Galle posted 337 for seven in their 50 overs after electing to bat first but rain denied any play after lunch.

Opening batsman Lahiru Thirimanne was in good nick making a hundred for Galle and all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga came up with an eye-catching performance smashing 87 off 53 deliveries with nine fours and a six.

Thirimanne and Hasaranga added 144 runs for the fifth wicket to help Galle to a commanding total. The wickets were shared among the Colombo bowlers.

These teams’ final group game was also washed out by rain at Pallekele and hence both Galle and Colombo ended the competition unbeaten.

Dambulla captained by Angelo Mathews finished third having won the play-off against Kandy although they had lost all three games in the group stage.

Dhananjaya de Silva, who excelled with both bat and ball was named Player of the Series while Angelo Mathews, who finished as the highest run getter in the competition with 227 runs at 56 was named the Best Batsman.

Lasith Malinga was the Best Bowler having claimed eight wickets in three games at 10:12.

The tournament was conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket in an effort to help the selectors finalize the World Cup squad.

The performances of some of the World Cup hopefuls were not up to the mark and the fact that the last leg of the competition was hit by rain was a huge blow.

Sri Lanka’s selectors will announce the World Cup squad shortly. Mathews, who was sacked as captain after the Asia Cup debacle in September last year, is expected to take over the captaincy again.

In December, Ashantha de Mel’s selection panel appointed Lasith Malinga as the white ball captain but the results have been extremely poor as Sri Lanka lost all 12 games under his charge.

The national cricket team will leave for England in the second week of May in a bid to acclimatize to the conditions. Sri Lanka will play two ODIs in Edinburgh against Scotland. They will also play two warm-up games in England before moving to Wales for their opening two games of the World Cup.

The ten nation tournament, cricket’s showpiece event, will get underway on the 30th of May with hosts England taking on South Africa at the London Oval. Sri Lanka’s opening game is on the 1st of June in Cardiff. Three days later they will play Afghanistan, also in Cardiff before moving to Bristol.