Galle Gladiators suffered another heart-breaking defeat at the hands of Dambulla Viiking by 4 wickets in the 17th fixture of the Lanka Premier League 2020 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.
Gladiators had the game in their hands for most of the match but the usual mishaps in the field and a brilliant cameo from Samiullah Shinwari turned the game around.
The skipper of Dambulla Viiking Dasun Shanaka won the toss and elected to bowl first with four changes to his side including a debut for 20-year-old left arm seamer Dilshan Madushanka.
Team Changes Dambulla Viiking | In –U Tharanga, P Stirling, D Madushanka, S Tyagi | Out – S Samarawickrama, L Madushanka, A Ali, M Pushpakumara
Galle Gladiators | Unchanged
The In-form pair Danushka Gunathilaka and Ahsan Ali gave the Gladiators a flying start [0/33(2.2)] but young Madushanka who hails from Hungama Vijayaba National School produced a perfect left arm seamers’ delivery which swung into Ali’s pads, to break the opening partnership.
Then the Gladiators best batting pair, skipper Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Gunathilaka added 50 runs in 29 balls for the 2nd wicket, setting the perfect platform for the latter batsmen to fire. But the tournament’s best finger spinner, Ramesh Mendis, struck twice in his third over to put the brakes on the opposition’s innings.
Just after that double strike the highest scorer of the tournament Danushka Gunathilaka threw his wicket away chasing a wide delivery off Dasun Shanaka’s bowling, falling 4 runs short of a well-deserved half century.
From that moment onwards, the Gladiators innings didn’t really get going and to make matters worse, one of their accelerators with the bat, Chadwick Walton, injured his groin/hamstring stretching for a run. Walton had to leave the crease and he didn’t return to the field for the rest of the game.
Middle order batsman Shehan Jayasuriya who has been struggling to find his usual touch, stepped up the pace of the innings at the death overs with a quick 39 as Gladiators reached 168 for the fall of 7 wickets at the end of 20 overs.
The start of the Viiking innings was a disaster as Pakistan veteran Mohammad Amir knocked over Irish opener Paul Stirling with the very first ball.
Even though the Gladiators were defending a low score, they managed to bowl well and more importantly field well to make life difficult for the Viiking batsmen in the first 15 overs unlike in the previous games where they had a few mishaps in the field.
Angelo Perera tried to steady the ship for the batting team with a gutsy knock of 45 off 31 balls but he too departed leaving the rest of the batsmen to make 59 runs from 5 overs. Responding to the situation brilliantly, Afghan all-rounder Samiullah Shinwari played a gem of an innings [46*(20)] to take the Viiking to victory in the last ball of the match.
However, the fielding was poor from the Gladiators in the death overs again as they dropped a few catches including the Player of the Match Shinwari when he was on 13.
With this win, Viiking has gone to the top of the points table while Gladiators will need to win their next match against Kandy Tuskers to qualify for the semifinals.
The next match day of the tournament will be another double header as Jaffna Stallions, Colombo Kings and Galle Gladiators, Kandy Tuskers will go head-to-head on Thursday (10) at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.
Keep it logged on to ThePapare.com for all the news, updates, videos and photos of the Lanka Premier League 2020.
|Danushka Gunathilaka||c Niroshan Dickwella b Dasun Shanaka||46||31||8||0||148.39|
|Ahsan Ali||lbw b Dilshan Madusanka||5||3||1||0||166.67|
|Bhanuka Rajapakse||c Dasun Shanaka b Ramesh Mendis||31||18||2||3||172.22|
|Azam Khan||lbw b Ramesh Mendis||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Shehan Jayasuriya||c Samiullah Shinwari b Kasun Rajitha||39||27||4||1||144.44|
|Sahan Arachchige||c Upul Tharanga b Kasun Rajitha||9||10||1||0||90.00|
|Dhananjaya Lakshan||not out||23||18||1||1||127.78|
|Mohammad Amir||b Dasun Shanaka||0||3||0||0||0.00|
|Lakshan Sandakan||not out||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||8 (b 0 , lb 1 , nb 1, w 6, pen 0)|
|Total||168/8 (20 Overs, RR: 8.4)|
|Did not bat||Nuwan Thushara,|
|Fall of Wickets||1-33 (2.3) Ahsan Ali, 2-83 (7.2) Bhanuka Rajapakse, 3-83 (7.3) Azam Khan, 4-90 (9.3) Danushka Gunathilaka, 5-104 (11.3) Chadwick Walton, 6-122 (14.3) Sahan Arachchige, 7-148 (17.2) Shehan Jayasuriya, 8-156 (18.5) Mohammad Amir,|
|Paul Stirling||b Mohammad Amir||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Niroshan Dickwella||c Lakshan Sandakan b Dhananjaya Lakshan||38||30||4||1||126.67|
|Upul Tharanga||lbw b Shehan Jayasuriya||9||11||1||0||81.82|
|Angelo Perera||lbw b Lakshan Sandakan||45||31||4||1||145.16|
|Dasun Shanaka||c Sahan Arachchige b Dhananjaya Lakshan||9||12||0||0||75.00|
|Samit Patel||run out (Dhananjaya Lakshan)||11||8||1||0||137.50|
|Samiullah Shinwari||not out||46||20||6||2||230.00|
|Ramesh Mendis||not out||13||7||1||1||185.71|
|Extras||3 (b 0 , lb 0 , nb 0, w 3, pen 0)|
|Total||174/6 (20 Overs, RR: 8.7)|
|Did not bat||Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madusanka, Sudeep Tyagi,|
|Fall of Wickets||1-0 (0.1) Paul Stirling, 2-23 (3.3) Upul Tharanga, 3-76 (10.2) Niroshan Dickwella, 4-100 (13.4) Angelo Perera, 5-104 (14.3) Dasun Shanaka, 6-128 (16.4) Samit Patel,|