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Harvestors reap the benefit of Manjula Guruge in Kerala Premier League

The Sri Lankan left-arm medium pacer, who plays for the UAE national team, took two wickets in the final.

DUBAI // Manjula Guruge capped off a wonderful year last night, with a second Kerala Premier League title to go with his selection to the UAE national team in the summer.

Having won the inaugural KPL Twenty20 final with Kannur Veerans last year, the Sri Lankan left-arm medium pacer did his part in helping Palakkad Harvestors become the new champions.

He grabbed two wickets for his team, who emerged resounding six-wicket winners over Thrissur Dynamites in the final at the Dubai Sports City stadium.

"Thrissur was the only unbeaten team in the competition but we managed to bowl them out for a low total and provided our batsmen with an easier task," Guruge said. "The success of course was due to the great team effort throughout the competition. Our first task from the onset was to go beyond the group stage and then take one game at a time. And to win was really a bonus."

It has been a wonderful year for the 31 year old store assistant at New Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi. Guruge received his first call up for the UAE in July on the tour to the Netherlands for the ICC World Cricket League Championship and in October he turned up for the team to share the ACC Elite trophy with Nepal.

"This is the time you think and reflect of all the hard work that eventually paid off," he said. "I was with the Veerans last year but moved to the Harvestors on a better offer. I was really lucky. It was just being at the right place at the right time."

Renjith Mani was the pick of the Harvestors bowling with four for 14 from four overs as Thrissur Dynamites were bowled out for 88.

The Harvestors chase was set up by Mohamed Bilal - who stroked a 28 studded with half-a-dozen fours - and Malintha Perera, who struck a run-a-ball 30.

The Harvestors also flew down Kaushalya Weeraratne, who has played 15 ODIs and five T20s for Sri Lanka, and Chandra Sekhar, a Ranji Trophy player from India.

apassela@thenational.ae

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