The tournament opener for Dambulla Viiking went uphill, as they played Kandy Tuskers in the third game of Lanka Premier League 2020.
After winning the toss, Kandy Tuskers Skipper Kusal Perera decided to bowl first, probably having the weather predictions in his mind. He was also forced to play with just the 2 overseas players due to quarantine rules and injuries.
Dambulla openers Niroshan Dickwella and Oshada Fernando got off to a fine start, scoring 26 runs in the first 17 balls. Fernando found himself in trouble when he twisted his ankle during the 3rd over of the innings. The right-hander hit a glorious six straight over the bowler’s head, and tried to get to the non-striker’s end by running the next delivery to the third-man. He lost his footing while creasing his bat and had nasty topple forward. He was carried off the field in a stretcher and was out for the rest of the game.
Things were dull for Viiking as they were at 65 for 2 in 9 overs without seeing a boundary 19 deliveries. That is when the senior pro Samit Patel and Skipper Dasun Shanaka joined at the centre.
The pair posted a 127-run partnership, which is also the highest so far in the tournament, to give rocket boosters for the side’s total.
The Skipper scored an express 73 in just 37 deliveries. It was all fireworks at Hambantota as Shanaka skied 4 humongous sixes; 3 of them were off his signature lofted straight-drive down the ground.
Samit Patel played a crucial role in Dambulla Viiking innings by holding the innings together and giving Shanaka the luxury of freeing his hands. Patel racked up 58 runs off 38 balls.
Viiking posted a formidable score of 195 runs for the loss of 4 wickets.
The Tuskers suffered a huge blow as they lost their Skipper Kusal Perera for just 4 runs at the start of their innings. However, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Kusal Mendis looked to have made amends by propelling them to a score of 50 for 1 at the end of the 5th over, putting them well ahead of the DLS par score.
A couple of brilliant overs from Samit Patel brought Viiking not just back into the game, but also well over the line to put them ahead of the par score. He was complimented with a 4-run over by Madushanka, which also saw the wicket of Kamindu Mendis turning the tables in favour of the Dambulla boys.
Knowing that the umpires could pull them out at any minute, Kusal Mendis tried his best to bring Kandy back into the game. Just as he struck a six off Patel making the difference of as little as 4 runs, the umpires decided to walk off.
The weather gods weren’t kind enough to allow the play to return as the Viiking were eventually announced the winners by DLS method.
|Niroshan Dickwella||c Rahmanullah Gurbaz b Asela Gunarathne||25||18||2||1||138.89|
|Upul Tharanga||c Kamindu Mendis b Asela Gunarathne||18||18||2||0||100.00|
|Samit Patel||c Asela Gunarathne b Naveen Ul Haq||57||38||5||2||150.00|
|Dasun Shanaka||c Seekkuge Prasanna b Naveen Ul Haq||74||38||8||4||194.74|
|Lahiru Madushanka||not out||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Ramesh Mendis||not out||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||11 (b 0 , lb 4 , nb 0, w 7, pen 0)|
|Total||195/4 (20 Overs, RR: 9.75)|
|Did not bat||Oshada Fernando, Lahiru Kumara, Anwar Ali, Malinda Pushpakumara, Sudeep Tyagi,|
|Naveen Ul Haq||4||0||42||2||10.50|
|Rahmanullah Gurbaz||b Malinda Pushpakumara||30||18||4||1||166.67|
|Kusal Janith||c Ramesh Mendis b Anwar Ali||4||2||1||0||200.00|
|Kusal Mendis||not out||34||26||2||3||130.77|
|Kamindu Mendis||c Pulina Tharanga b Lahiru Madushanka||6||10||0||0||60.00|
|Asela Gunarathne||not out||3||3||0||0||100.00|
|Extras||7 (b 1 , lb 2 , nb 1, w 3, pen 0)|
|Total||84/3 (9.4 Overs, RR: 8.69)|
|Did not bat||Nuwan Pradeep, Naveen Ul Haq, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dilruwan Perera, Priyamal Perera, Kavishka Anjula,|