Hyderabad: Alankara Silva and Janaka Gunaratne took 3 wickets each as Ruhunu XI beat Leicestershire Foxes by 4 runs in the fifth qualifying match of the Champions League Twenty20 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Both teams came in looking for their first win, hoping to make it big enough to spoil the party for Kolkata Knight Riders and Somerset, who won their first games and were due to face each other later in the evening.
Chasing a stiff victory target of 161 runs, Leicestershire managed 156/8 in their 20 overs. Abdul Razzaq gave the Foxes the best start as he smashed 68 off only 46 deliveries, and Leicestershire was in an excellent position on 128 for four.
Abdul Razzaq's blazing 68 went in vain as Leicester lost the match by 4 runs.
However, their inability to play spin was the deciding factor in the end, and they managed to lose their next four wickets for 22 runs to end their aspirations of joining the main draw.
Both Janaka Gunaratne and Alankara Asanka Silva took three wickets each.
Earlier, an unbeaten 62 runs from Dinesh Chandimal ensured Ruhune Elevens reached 160 for six after they were invited to bat first. Chandimal faced only 51 balls and hit six fours and two sixes to hold together an innings that threatened to fall apart on 67 for four. Shlika Karunanayake provided some much-needed impetus at the end with a 15-ball 28.
This was Chandimal's seventh fifty in T20 cricket and it came after Abdul Razzaq dismissed Kushal Perera and Janaka Gunaratne in successive overs.
Razzaq first had Kushal Perera caught by Jigar Naik at fine-leg and in his next over had Gunaratne caught behind by Paul Nixon for his 100th T20 wicket.
Ruhunu XI got off to a bad start as Harry Gurney dismissed Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Udawatte in successive overs.
Gurney first clean bowled Jayasuriya in the second over off a slower delivery and in his next over took an easy return catch to send Ruhunu captain Udawatte back to the pavilion.
Harry Gurney took 3/33, and Pakistan's Abdul Razzaq chipped in with 2/30.
Ruhune now awaits the result of the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Somerset to fill the final two spots in the main tournament.
(With agency inputs)