Wayamba’s Tamim, Kamran overpower Uthura

Monday, 13 August 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A blazing opening stand between Tamim Iqbal and Kamran Akmal made a chase of 180 seem a cakewalk, as Wayamba United crushed Uthura Rudras by nine wickets, with four balls to spare at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday.

Tamim savaged an unbeaten 93 from 61 deliveries, while Kamran made 79 from 55. The latter’s dismissal in the penultimate over was the only hiccup during the run chase, and that too when the game was already in the bag. Earlier, Imran Farhat’s breakneck fifty and Chamara Kapugedara’s 38 had lifted Uthura to an imposing 179 for 6, but the bowlers’ inability to create chances, or even contain the batsmen for any length of time undid hopes of securing a first-up win.

The Wayamba openers bludgeoned 14 fours and nine sixes between them, feasting on a buffet of friendly length balls from the Uthura pace bowlers, that were mostly heaved brutally onto the leg side. Unafraid to use their feet to the spinners, the pair made plenty off them as well. Muttiah Muralitharan prides himself on being economical in this format, but Tamim’s six off him into the second tier of the stands over wide long-on was the biggest hit of the night. Murali disappeared for 36 from his four - a marginally better economy rate than Uthura’s other spinner, Janaka Gunaratne, who went at 12 an over.

Tamim reached his fifty from 31 balls with a lofted cover drive, before Kamran launched two sixes over midwicket in the next over to reach his milestone from 32 balls. The pair slowed slightly as the target neared, but were never in danger of becoming too complacent about the required rate.

Wayamba’s fast bowlers had erred in length as well, allowing Farhat to propel Uthura to 68 from 6 overs, but Wayamba’s spinners were on hand to pare back the run rate, bowling ten overs for 68 between them.

One of those spinners was 18-year-old Akila Dananjaya, who was picked for Wayamba and Sri Lanka’s 30-man ICC World Twenty20 provisional squad, despite not having played any first class or list A cricket. He made a creditable debut, conceding only 24 from his four overs. Only five of Dananjaya’s supposed seven variations were on show today, as he unfurled a doosra, googly, carrom ball and finger-spun topspinner to go with his stock off-breaks. (ESPNCricinfo)