Kamran Akmal fifty flays Basnahira; takes Wayamba to top

Monday, 20 August 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

ESPNCricinfo: Kamran Akmal’s second half century in three matches and a stifling bowling performance carried Wayamba United to their third consecutive victory, as they crushed Basnahira Cricket Dundee by 67 runs in Pallekele.

Kaushalya Weeraratne took 3 for 11 from 3.1 overs, while Akila Dananjaya again turned in impressive figures; his four overs cost 15 runs and brought him two wickets.

Cricket Dundee began well enough in pursuit of 166, but could not prevent the fall of wickets once the initial breakthrough was made. Tillakaratne Dilshan was removed for 9 by Azhar Mahmood in his first match of the SLPL, before Mohammad Hafeez caught Dimuth Karunaratne off his own bowling to expose the middle order to Weeraratne and Dananjaya. Cricket Dundee were perhaps guilty of allowing a rising required-rate to fluster them too much, but even when slight release came in the form of a boundary, the Wayamba United bowlers returned fire with a spate of dot balls or a wicket. Cricket Dundee were eventually dismissed for 98 in 19.1 overs.

Earlier, Akmal had crashed four boundaries from his first seven legal deliveries to set the evening alight in front of the first decent crowd of the tournament. Two fours to midwicket off a wayward Dirk Nannes and two crisp strokes through cover propelled Wayamba United to a rapid start, before Tamim Iqbal launched a quartet of fours of his own at the other end, and then holed out attempting a straight six. Akmal was busy, rather than explosive, following the initial surge, but dined out on the poor balls from time to time, to ensure his strike rate remained around 140 for the duration of his innings.

His teammates, meanwhile, were dismissed too regularly for Wayamba United to turn a strong start into an imposing total. Hafeez and Mahela Jayawardene both got starts, but could not build a partnership of substance along with Akmal, while Dinesh Chandimal’s abysmal form saw him squander a promising beginning as well. Charl Langeveldt bagged three scalps for 36 in four aggressive overs, while spinners Jeevan Mendis and Rangana Herath helped stem the run-rate through the middle passage.