The Jaffna Stallions were crowned champions of the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League as they crushed the Galle Gladiators by 53 runs in the final at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.
The skipper of the Jaffna Stallions Thisara Perera won the toss and opted to bat first without any hesitation hoping to replicate what they managed to do in the semifinal against Dambulla Viiking. The only change in playing XIs from the semis was the inclusion of Hazratullah Zazai in the place of Chanaka Ruwansiri for the Galle Gladiators.
The best opening pair for the Jaffna Stallions; Avishka Fernando and Johnson Charles got them to another flying start as the duo added 44 runs in 4.4 overs before Danushka Gunathilaka held on to a screamer to dismiss Charles on 26. Charles tried to loft one over long-on but mistimed it toward Gunathilaka who had to cover about 20 yards before diving left to complete the catch inches from the ground.
Fernando and number 3 batsman Charith Asalanka fell soon after that, leaving Dhananjaya de Silva (33 off 20) and Shoaib Malik (46 off 35) to do the dirty work of rebuilding the innings. The pair took their time to settle but managed to add 69 off 7.1 overs setting the perfect platform for the lower-order hitters to express themselves.
Skipper Thisara Perera put the finishing touches as he blasted an unbeaten 39 off just 14 taking Stallions to 188 at the end of their quota of 20 overs. The trusted pace trio of the Galle Gladiators, Mohammad Amir, Nuwan Thushara and Dhananjaya Lakshan all went the distance but Lakshan snatched three wickets to climb to the 2nd position of the highest wicket-takers column in LPL 2020.
|Most wickets – LPL 2020|
|PWH de Silva||10||17||3/15||11.29||5.18||0|
The start of the chase for Gladiators couldn’t have been worse as they lost 3 wickets in the first two overs including the MVP of the tournament Danushka Gunathilaka who has been churning out runs for fun throughout the tournament. Gunathilaka’s dismissal was unfortunate as he collided with bowler Suranga Lakmal and lost his way in the middle of the pitch before being run-out at the non-striker’s end.
|Most runs – LPL 2020|
After those three quick wickets and with a struggling Shehan Jayasuriya at the other end, Bhanuka Rajapaksa had to take on all the responsibly on his shoulders, despite carrying an injury. The injury hindered his stroke-play especially when he tried to guide the ball through the off side so he opted to clear the leg side with four sixes. Rajapaksa played a courageous knock through the pain but it wasn’t enough to take his team over the line.
Stallions exhibited another brilliant bowling display just like their last one in the semifinal, and by the time their star Wanindu Hasaranga came onto bowl, the Gladiators were already 5 wickets down. Hasaranga finished things off and ended the tourney as the highest wicket-taker.
The conclusion of the final wasn’t as exciting as expected as Galle Gladiators surrendered meekly to give the Stallions a 53-run win.
- Player of the final – Shoaib Malik
- Player of the Tournament – Wanindu Hasaranga
- Emerging player of the tournament – Dhananjaya Lakshan
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|Avishka Fernando||c Shehan Jayasuriya b Sahan Arachchige||27||23||1||2||117.39|
|Johnson Charles||c Danushka Gunathilaka b Dhananjaya Lakshan||26||15||6||0||173.33|
|Charith Asalanka||c Danushka Gunathilaka b Lakshan Sandakan||10||9||2||0||111.11|
|Shoaib Malik||c Hazratullah Zazai b Dhananjaya Lakshan||46||35||3||1||131.43|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||c Shehan Jayasuriya b Dhananjaya Lakshan||33||20||2||2||165.00|
|Thisara Perera||not out||39||14||5||2||278.57|
|Wanindu Hasaranga||c Bhanuka Rajapakse b Mohammad Amir||1||3||0||0||33.33|
|Chathuranga de Sliva||not out||1||1||0||0||100.00|
|Extras||5 (b 0 , lb 0 , nb 0, w 5, pen 0)|
|Total||188/6 (20 Overs, RR: 9.4)|
|Did not bat||Suranga Lakmal, Usman Shinwari, Duanne Olivier,|
|Danushka Gunathilaka||run out (Thisara Perera)||1||1||0||0||100.00|
|Hazratullah Zazai||c Avishka Fernando b Dhananjaya de Silva||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Ahsan Ali||c Johnson Charles b Suranga Lakmal||6||6||0||0||100.00|
|Bhanuka Rajapakse||c Usman Shinwari b Shoaib Malik||40||17||3||4||235.29|
|Shehan Jayasuriya||c Shoaib Malik b Usman Shinwari||15||25||0||1||60.00|
|Azam Khan||c Charith Asalanka b Duanne Olivier||36||17||1||4||211.76|
|Dhananjaya Lakshan||c Johnson Charles b Usman Shinwari||9||9||2||0||100.00|
|Sahan Arachchige||c Wanindu Hasaranga b Shoaib Malik||17||18||2||0||94.44|
|Mohammad Amir||c Dhananjaya de Silva b Wanindu Hasaranga||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Lakshan Sandakan||not out||9||24||0||0||37.50|
|Nuwan Thushara||not out||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||2 (b 0 , lb 0 , nb 1, w 1, pen 0)|
|Total||135/9 (20 Overs, RR: 6.75)|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||4||0||31||1||7.75|
|Chathuranga de Sliva||1||0||1||0||1.00|