Defending champions Jaffna kings beat Galle Gladiators by 16 runs in the 17th match of the Lanka Premier League 2023 on Sunday. Gladiators could have taken a big step towards qualification to the playoffs, but they've opened the door for Dambulla Aura to sneak in.
Jaffna were efficient with the ball and good in the field. They needed a win to confirm a top-2 finish and they did so in some style. After winning the toss, Kings’ captain, Thisara Perera opted to bat first. Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Avishka Fernando gave a blazing start to the innings but they couldn’t continue as Gurbaz was dismissed in the fourth over of the innings by Nuwan Thusara.
Avishka Fernando also departed after 2 overs. However, coming at no. 3, Afif Hossain played a magnificent inning of 54 runs off 35 balls, including 5 fours and 1 six. He stitched a responsible partnership of 66 runs with Sadeera Samarawickrama for the third wicket. Thisara Perera's fiery knock of 26 runs off just 13 balls helped the team to achieve a fighting total of 170 runs.
Galle Gladiators' batting lineup failed again
Chasing the target of 171 runs, the Gladiators had a bad start as they lost their in-form opening batter Thanuka Dabare in the 2nd over of the inning. Coming at no.3, Lahiru Udara got out in the very next ball in the 2nd over. Galle’s skipper Kusal Mendis played a very good knock but it wasn’t enough for the team to win the game as no one from the other end could keep the wickets safe.
Kings displayed a brilliant bowling performance as they didn’t let any batter settle in and kept picking wickets at regular intervals. Binura Fernando was the highest wicket-taking bowler from Jaffna as he dismissed 3 batters while conceding only 20 runs in his 4-over quota. Vijayakanth Viyaskanth took 2 wickets, while Maheesh Theekshana took 1 wicket and was very economical as well. He conceded only 18 runs in 4 overs.
Here's how people reacted:
Wahab Riaz has been the reason for the Galle Gladiators' downfall #LPLT20— Zamrikkk (@Zamrikkk) December 18, 2022
Kusal Mendis is the KL Rahul version of LPL. He scores runs but team loses. #LPLT20— Haridh_KL (@HaridhKll) December 18, 2022
Asad Shafiq LPL khail rha #LPLT20 😂— Farhan (@ains_frhn) December 18, 2022
A clinical win for Jaffna Kings as they restrict Galle Gladiators to 154 only off their 20 overs, securing the second spot in the points table. 👏#LPL2022 #LPLT20 #T20 #Cricket #TenSportsHD pic.twitter.com/FnkWKW0j69— TenSports Pakistan (@TenPakistan) December 18, 2022
#LPLT20 is such a pathetic league with poor standards... defines why Sri Lanka Cricket is crushing down...— #Dream11 CricketMoves 🐬 (@CricketMoves) December 18, 2022
No quality by any means...
Binura's superb bowling which made Lahiru down and melted in Dabare !!— Jaffna Kings (@Lycajaffnakings) December 18, 2022
Rambo Strikes early!!
Binura's usual wicket hunt begins...!#YaalKollo #KingsOfTheNorth #JaffnaKings #AdidaMacha #LPL2022 #LPLT20 #WinTogether #එක්වජයගමු #LankaPremierLeague2022 pic.twitter.com/rwPDLEf4Xb