Heshan Flex Packaging win maiden mercantile cricket title

Monday, 1 August 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Heshan Flexe Packaging Ltd., who are relatively  new to mercantile cricket, won their very first title when they scored a fine 36-run win over Nippon Paint Lanka Ltd. at the first Commercial Credit and Finance Plc sponsored MCA ‘F’ Division 25-Over League Tournament final, which concluded at the MCA grounds on Saturday.

Heshan Flexe batted first after winning the toss and got off to a flying start, with their openers D. Harshana (27 runs in 13 balls) and R. Chandana (18 runs in 16 balls) putting on 30 runs from 20 balls. The next batsman in, Gayan Prasanga, chipped in with a solid 28 runs from 30 balls, as Heshan Flexe progressed to 90  for 4 in 11 overs. 

The nucleus of the innings was the 52-run stand from 35 balls for the fifth wicket between Tharindu Suraj (25) and Buddhika Prasad  (41 runs in 20 balls with a six and five fours) which put them on a sound footing at 142 for 5 in 17 overs. 

After a slump, Heshan Flexe’s tail wagged with Sapumal  Senadeera  (18) and Chathura Perera (15) putting on 30 runs for the ninth wicket to end up with a challenging 198 in 25 overs.  

Spinners Naveen Kavikara (5-25-2) and skipper Heshan de Silva (5-40-4) were the pick of the bowlers for Nippon Paint. Naveen Kavikara thus took his seasonal figures to 33 overs, 157 runs and 18 wickets from eight matches. 

In their run chase, Nippon Paint never kept up the required run rate of 7.96 RPO. The only redeeming factor was the second wicket stand of 60 runs in 46 balls between opener Tharanga Indika (69 runs in 51 balls inclusive of 5 sixes and 2 fours) and No. 3 batsman Malith Cooray (36).   

None of the other batsmen entered double figures as slow medium pacer Risith Upamal took full control to skittle out Nippon Paint from 132 for 4 to 162 all out in 24.4 overs, thus finishing with fine figures of 4.4-1-20-5.

Heshan Flexe’s Risith Upamal, who was also responsible for the brilliant run out of Nippon’s skipper Heshan de Silva, was named as the Man of the Match by Match Referee Pemlal Fernando. 

Nippon Paint’s opening batsman-wicketkeeper Tharanga Indika, who took his seasonal tally to 567 runs from 8 innings, inclusive of 5 half centuries and 155 not out, won the Best Batsman award and the Man of the Series award.

The Best Bowler award went to Buddhi Perera from HNB ‘B’ (7 matches, 33 overs, 154 runs, 17 wickets up to the semi-finals). 

The Chief Guest at the post tournament awards presentation was Asst. General Manager Sales, Commercial Credit & Finance Plc Nirosh Madawela. He along with President Niran Mahawatte, General Secretary Nalin Wickramasinghe, Sponsorship Committee Chairman Rohan Somawansa and Tournament Committee Chairman Sujeewa de Silva - all from the MCA - gave away the awards. 

Chief Scores

Heshan Flexe Packaging – 198 in 25 overs  (D. Harshana 27,  R. Chandana 18,  G. Prasanga 28,  T. Suraj 25,  B. Prasad 41,  S. Senanayake 18, Chathura Perera  15, Dhaham Liyanage  3/57,  Naveen Kavikara 2/25,  Heshan de Silva  4/40).

Nippon Paint - 162 in 24.4 Overs (Tharanga Indika 69, Malith Cooray 36, N. Hasaral 2/29, Risith Upamal 5/20).