Enduring performances by Ranabima Baseball Club, Sri Lanka Army, Maroons Baseball Club and Asia Baseball Club helped them to advance into the semi-final stage of the National Open Knockout Baseball Championship after overcoming tough opponents at the University Ground in Colombo yesterday.
|Ranabima dominated against D.S. Challengers at the pre-quarterfinal baseball knockout encounter at the University ground in Colombo. (Pic by Amila Prabodha)
From Group ‘A’ the leading unbeaten team Ranabima will take on the Maroons while Army will meet Asia in the second semi-final. Both semi-final matches will commence today at 8.30 a.m. at the same venue.
From the quarterfinals worked off yesterday, Ranabima advanced to the semi-final beating D.S. Challengers easily at 11-1 while Army got the better of Richmond Sports Club at 10-1. Maroons recorded a thrilling 5-4 win against the tough Kandy Baseball Club while Old Royalists, who had a good run in their first couple of games, were pounded to a massive 11-nil defeat.
Ranabima who played their first game of the day against Old Nalandians went through several anxious moments before registering a thrilling 6-5 win. Exiled Old Nalandians earlier recorded an easy 13-3 win against Nince SC. The match between D.S. Challengers and Moratuwa University was a low scoring yet an interesting affair where the former won the battle at 4-2 to advance before taking on unstoppable Ranabima.
In the pre-quarterfinals Army recorded a comfortable 8-nil win over Mahinda Sports Club after thrashing Kelaniya University 10-nil in the top of Group ‘B’. Meanwhile Richmond SC recorded a thrilling 7-6 win against Shakthi Sports Club before meeting the avenging Soldiers in the quarterfinals. Shakthi SC received a walkover from Old Anandians.
From the bottom of Group ‘A, Kandy received a walk-over from Ruhuna University before trouncing Colombo University 11-nil but lost to Maroons in the quarterfinals after a close battle by 5-4. Maroons handed Peradeniya University a massive hammering as they went on to win the encounter easily at 13-nil. Meanwhile Peradeniya advanced to meet the Maroons after beating Frontiers 18-17 in a gripping battle.
Old Royalists advanced from the bottom of Group ‘B’ after beating Siridamma 11-1 but the losers put up an absorbing performance to beat Wayamba 8-nil earlier on the day. However in a dramatic contrast Asia trounced Old Royalists 11-nil in the quarterfinal stage to enter the semi-finals. Asia met Jayewardenepura University in their pre-quarterfinal and recorded a morale boosting 14-1 win but the losers of the encounter impressed earlier on by giving Navy Sports Club an 18-5 thrashing.
The tournament will come to an end with the final scheduled for 2.00 p.m. today. The losing semi-finalists will battle for honour in the third place play-off which is scheduled to be played at 11.00 a.m. The tournament is organised and conducted by the Sri Lanka Amateur Baseball / Softball Association under the sponsorship of Abans and LG.