After narrow defeats in the last two matches, Kandy Tuskers managed to win their first game of the 2020 Lanka Premier League against Galle Gladiators, thanks to a brilliant batting effort by Kusal Mendis and Brendan Taylor.
The skipper of Galle Gladiators Shahid Afridi won his third straight toss and invited the Kusal Perera led Kandy Tuskers to bat with two changes to their playing XI.
Galle Gladiators | In – Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan | Out – Dhananjaya Lakshan, Asitha Fernando
Kandy Tuskers| In – Brendon Taylor, Munaf Patel | Out –Kavishka Anjula, Priyamal Perera
The opening pair for Tuskers Captain Perera and young Rahmanullah Gurbaz could only add 22 this time as Gurbaz failed to get under one of Akila Dananjaya’s off breaks and skied one to mid-off just after dispatching the same bowler for 2 sixes.
Then the two Kusals, Perera and Mendis put on a rapid 75-run partnership mainly thanks to Mendis’ bludgeoning slog sweep which earned him four maximums. Mendis seemed to be in a different mood today as he kept the scoreboard ticking with a handy run rate while the skipper failed to get into rhythm.
Perera didn’t look as fluent as he normally does, but made 27 with 4 boundaries. Unfortunately, he didn’t return to the field in the 2nd innings due to an injury as Priyamal Perera substituted for him while Brendon Taylor took the gloves. Mendis led the Tuskers in the second innings.
Main playmaker Mendis contributed with 49 runs before he was dismissed off chinaman Lakshan Sandakan’s bowling in the 12th over after gifting a catch to Shahid Afridi at short mid-wicket, trying to steal another boundary from his favourite area.
With more than 8 overs to go, former Zimbabwean skipper Brendon Taylor came to the middle and produced a swashbuckling half century in 30 balls. His way of finding the vacant spaces in the ground was indeed a treat to watch as Taylor manufactured a bunch of unorthodox strokes like paddle sweeps, reverse sweeps and scoops to take the game away from the Gladiators. Supporting Taylor, Kamindu Mendis also added a 28-run cameo taking Tuskers to 196.
The chase did not start in favour of the Gladiators as opener Hazratullah Zazai was dismissed by former Indian cap Munaf Patel in the very first over. From then on, wickets kept tumbling as the Gladiators were reduced to 5/85 in the 9th over with only Danushka Gunathilaka showing signs of fight against the Tusker’s bowling line-up.
While his teammates failed to defend their wickets, including the skipper Afridi who fell for a first ball duck, Gunathilaka seemed like he was playing on a difference planet as he constructed a brilliant innings, carrying all the weight of the Gladiators on his shoulders. Gunathilaka made a quick-fire 82, lighting a sliver of hope amidst all the gloom but it eventually became all too heavy for the southpaw.
Mendis used 7 bowlers to defend 196, unlike other matches where the Tuskers had fewer bowling options. The bowling unit restricted Gladiators to just 171, to register their first 2-points on the board. With this 3rd straight defeat, Galle Gladiators will stay at the bottom of the points table while Tuskers climbed to 3rd position ahead of Dambulla Viiking.
The next match day of the tournament will be another double header as Colombo Kings, Dambulla Viiking and Jaffna Stallions, Kandy Tuskers will go head-to-head on Tuesday (01) 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.
|Kusal Janith||c Danushka Gunathilaka b Lakshan Sandakan||27||24||4||0||112.50|
|Rahmanullah Gurbaz||c Hazratullah Zazai b Akila Dananjaya||19||10||1||2||190.00|
|Kusal Mendis||c Shahid Afridi b Lakshan Sandakan||49||30||1||4||163.33|
|Brendon Taylor||not out||51||35||7||1||145.71|
|Kamindu Mendis||b Mohammad Amir||28||16||3||1||175.00|
|Asela Gunarathne||c Bhanuka Rajapakse b Mohamed Shiraz||11||6||2||0||183.33|
|Seekkuge Prasanna||not out||1||1||0||0||100.00|
|Extras||10 (b 0 , lb 4 , nb 2, w 4, pen 0)|
|Total||196/5 (20 Overs, RR: 9.8)|
|Did not bat||Naveen Ul Haq, Dilruwan Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Munaf Patel,|
|Fall of Wickets||1-22 (2.4) Rahmanullah Gurbaz, 2-97 (9.5) Kusal Janith, 3-106 (11.3) Kusal Mendis, 4-171 (16.6) Kamindu Mendis, 5-194 (19.3) Asela Gunarathne,|
|Danushka Gunathilaka||run out (Asela Gunarathne)||82||53||13||1||154.72|
|Hazratullah Zazai||c Kamindu Mendis b Munaf Patel||2||2||0||0||100.00|
|Azam Khan||c Priyamal Perera b Asela Gunarathne||13||9||1||1||144.44|
|Bhanuka Rajapakse||run out (Nuwan Pradeep)||12||8||1||1||150.00|
|Milinda Siriwardane||st Brendon Taylor b Dilruwan Perera||13||6||3||0||216.67|
|Shahid Afridi||c Kusal Mendis b Seekkuge Prasanna||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Shehan Jayasuriya||c Rahmanullah Gurbaz b Naveen Ul Haq||17||23||0||0||73.91|
|Mohamed Shiraz||not out||9||6||1||0||150.00|
|Mohammad Amir||not out||15||12||1||1||125.00|
|Extras||8 (b 1 , lb 4 , nb 0, w 3, pen 0)|
|Total||171/7 (20 Overs, RR: 8.55)|
|Did not bat||Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan,|
|Fall of Wickets||1-3 (0.4) Hazratullah Zazai, 2-24 (3.2) Azam Khan, 3-45 (5.4) Bhanuka Rajapakse, 4-74 (7.6) Milinda Siriwardane, 5-85 (8.5) Shahid Afridi, 6-138 (15.5) Shehan Jayasuriya, 7-150 (17.3) Danushka Gunathilaka,|
|Naveen Ul Haq||4||0||33||1||8.25|