Lahiru Thirimanne stakes World Cup claim with 115 in one-day final

Sri Lanka

Galle 337 for 7 (Thirimanne 115, Hasaranga 87) vs Colombo (match abandoned due to rain)

Rain washed out the entire second innings of the final of Sri Lanka’s Super Four Provincial Limited-Over tournament, but not before Lahiru Thirimanne threw his hat in the ring for a World Cup berth, hitting 115 off 128 balls.

Thanks in part to the platform that Thirimanne had set, the Galle team’s lower middle order amassed some quick runs towards the close of the innings, to propel the team to an imposing 337 for 7. The most notable among the middle-order contributions was that of Wanindu Hasaranga, who struck 13 fours and a six in a 53-ball innings that yielded 87. Milinda Siriwardana, Minod Bhanuka and Lahiru Madushanka also produced quick runs through the final overs.

There were no standout performers from among Colombo’s bowlers, with five players taking no more than one wicket apiece. Significantly, however, Akila Dananjaya – who had taken a five-wicket haul in his previous game – went wicketless in the final, conceding 63 from his nine overs.

Thirimanne’s hundred means he ends the tournament as its second-highest run-scorer, with 213 at an average of 53.25 and a strike rate of 81.92. Only Angelo Mathews, who made 227 runs at an average of 56.75, fared better. With the team’s regular openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella having fared poorly throught the Super Four tournament, Thirimanne perhaps has an outside shot of making the World Cup squad. Dimuth Karunaratne – a potential captain – produced the second-highest run tally from among the opening candidates, hitting 165 at an average of 55.

The rain meant the selectors could not have a proper look at fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera. With Lasith Malinga and Isuru Udana virtually certain to feature in the World Cup squad, the selectors are understood to be mulling over several of their other fast-bowling options. Chameera took four wickets at an average of 23.00 in the three previous games.

With the Super Four tournament now concluded – Galle and Colombo shared the trophy – the selectors will finalise their World Cup squad over the next few days.

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