By M. Shamil Amit
The semi-finals of the Under-23 inter-club cricket tournament, the Major Club Youth Tournament 2020/21, was postponed until further notice, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced yesterday.
“This decision was taken as a precautionary measure following recommendations by the Health Authorities due to the current COVID 19 situation,” SLC said in a media statement. The semi-finals were originally scheduled to take place today.
Following the conclusion of the round robin matches of the Under-23 inter-club tournament on Sunday, defending champions Colts CC, Badureliya CC, Lankan CC and SSC staked their claim for the semi-finals, having taken the top position in the four groups.
Defending champions Colts CC will take on Lankan CC while SSC will battle with Badureliya CC whenever the semi-finals take place.
Looking back at the performances of the group stage, two teams, Colts CC and SSC, had a hundred percent record with Colts CC coming out victorious in all the five matches that they played, while SSC too won all the six matches that they played.
The two other teams to qualify, Badureliya CC and Lankan CC, had to work harder to come on top of their respective groups. Badureliya CC along with Army SC were the contenders in Group 'A' but the latter suffered a surprise defeat against BRC in the final group game which saw them slip to second place.
Lankan CC could be considered the giant killers having prevailed in Group 'B' following a three-team battle with Air Force SC and Chilaw Marians CC for the top spot.
Colts CC have in their ranks players in the caliber of Avishka Fernando, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Jehan Daniel, Nipun Malinga and Rohan Sanjaya while Lankan CC will depend on Vishwa Chathuranga, Sawan Kankanamge, Kasun Abeyratne, Damith Silva and Dunith Wellalage to guide them.
In the other match SSC will come out as favourites but Badureliya CC will not be easy opponents, reflected by their group stage performances.
Man in-form Nipun Dhananjaya will be key for SSC, along with Chamindu Wickramasinghe, Krishan Sanjula, Lakshitha Manasinghe, Ashan Bandara and Kavindu Nadeeshan. Badureliya CC will pin their hopes on big contributions from Dunith Jayatunga, Ranesh Silva, Avindu Theekshana, Rasanjana Silva and Malinda Jayod