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Team bowled out for 31, still wins match

Unlikeliest of victories saves Sri Lankan premier club from relegation

Most teams would consider a match to be in the bag after bowling the opposition out for 31.

Incredibly, Galle Cricket Club recovered from the dismal first-innings total to win by four runs and save themselves from being relegated from Sri Lanka’s first class competition.

Sent in to bat by Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club in a crucial match to decide which team would drop out of the Premier Championship at the weekend, Galle were toppled for 31 in 15.1 overs thanks largely to the bowling of Asiri Karunaratne, who claimed 5-21.

In a team boasting eight debutants, it was 16-year-old Navindu Nirmal who top-scored for Galle with seven.

Air Force then scored 215 to lead by 184 with a comfortable victory in sight, but there was where the game turned.

Galle cruised past 184 for the loss of just two wickets, scoring 295 courtesy of a century from former Sri Lanka U-19 Charith Asalanka to set the Air Force team 112 to win.

The task proved too much and Air Force were bowled out for 107, handing Galle the unlikeliest of four-run victories.

It was the lowest winning first-innings score in a first-class match since 1924, when Gloucestershire were dismissed for 31 against Middlesex.

The lowest of all time was in 1827, when England were skittled for 27 against Sussex.