By BV Swagath
Uva Next defeated Ruhuna Royals by 14 runs today at the Pallekele International Stadium in Kandy. Led by southpaw Thilina Kandamby, Uva Next now has 3 wins in 4 matches to sit in the second spot of the points table.
Batting first after winning the toss, Uva Next put up a decent total of 155 for 6 with opener Upul Tharanga top scoring with a steady 48 (from 40 balls with 6 fours and a six). Pakistan International Shoaib Malik scored 27 from 20 balls while Australian discard Andrew McDonald did the finishing act with 28* from 14 balls. For the Lasith Malinga led Ruhuna Royals, Pakistani left-arm quick Wahab Riaz picked up 3 for 34.
It was a disastrous run chase for Ruhuna Royals as they were rattled at 49 for 4 in the 9th over. Eventually they could settle for 141 for 9 with the margin of defeat getting drastically reduced by Wahab Riaz’s 31* (from 18 balls). The Man of the Match was the 27-year-old leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna, who claimed superb figures of 4 for 19 in 4 overs. Apart from him, Umar Gul with 4-0-23-1 and Andrew McDonald with 4-0-16-2 bowled extremely well.