Fast bowling sensation Som Pal Kami kept getting better as he took five wickets in a professional display from Kurunegala Combine-XI as Nepal stopped the hosts at 347 all out in their First Class cricket in a gap of nine years.
Kurunegala dealt with the three-day game professionally scoring runs when needed and left Nepal with a tough task to give a perfect reply. Minod Banuka held the Kurunegala innings with a century as their two other batsmen completed half centuries for a desired total.
Openers Rajitha Ratnayake (29) and Leo Francisco began cautiously adding 65 runs for the first wicket. Bhuwan Karki gave Nepal the breakthrough with the wicket of Rajitha. Francisco took Kurunegala close to triple figures adding another 32 with Madawa Warnapura (17) but Sagar Pun put the brakes removing both batsmen.
Francisco made 51 off 115 balls with seven boundaries. Banuka then stepped in and along with Gayan Maneeshan shared 114 runs for the fourth wicket putting Kurunegala right on the top of the game.
Bhuwan dismissed Maneeshan who made 60 off 95 that included four boundaries and a six. Banuka, however, kept playing his shots and shared 63 runs with Shalika Karunanayake (24) taking Kurunegal close to 300 run mark.
Karunanayake fell to Karan KC — the rising medium pacer picking up his first wicket with the national team in debut. Som Pal then picked up the remaining wickets including that of Banuka as Kurunegala lost their last five wickets for 56 runs.
Banuka smashed 113 off 133 with nine boundaries and a six. Som Pal’s figures read 5-64 of 16.3 overs. Bhuwan bowled 25 overs in his 2-72 and Sagar delivered 20 overs picking up 2-76. Karan was a bit expensive in his 1-63 from 11 overs, while veteran left arm spinner was wicketless in his nine overs conceding 28 runs.
Nepal VS Karunegala Combine Eleven 1st Day Scorecard