Bowlers drive Jaffna Kings to second LPL title

HAMBANTOTA: Jaffna Kings’ bowlers held their nerves to guide their side to win the second season of Lanka Premier League (LPL); defeating Galle Gladiators by 23 runs in the final.

Chasing 202, the Gladiators had a superb start to their innings, with their openers recording a quickfire 63-runs partnership. the pair appeared too solid for the Kings’ bowlers, but, Danushka Gunathilaka departed after a quickfire 54 off 21 balls, laced with seven boundaries and three sixes.

After Gunathilaka’s dismissal, Ben Dunk bagged a golden duck on the very next ball. Mohammad Hafeez and Kusal Mendis then partnered brilliantly, but, briefly. Both Hafeez and Mendis lost their wickets in a mix-up, running between the wickets. Hafeez scored 10, while Mendis managed to score 39 off 28 balls, including three boundaries and a six.

Following their dismissal, the Gladiators lost their way, with none of their batters could go big at the depth, the side, eventually, restricted to 178/9 in their allotted 20 overs; losing the match by 23 runs.

For the Kings, Chaturanga de Silva and Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva each claimed two wickets, while Suranga Lakmal, Jayden Seales, and Maheesh Theekshana, shared one wicket apiece.

Batting first, the Kings’ batters displayed combined batting effort to achieve a commendable total of 201 in 20 overs. Openers, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Avishka Fernando provided a powerful start to their side. Gurbaz, who was smashing the ball over the park, departed early after scoring quickfire 35 off just 18 balls, laced with three boundaries and as many sixes.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore then joined Fernando, both the batters scored half-centuries and recorded an astonishing partnership of 64-runs. Fernando departed after scoring 63 off 41 balls, he smashed eight boundaries and two sixes. Kohler-Cadmore, however, remained not-out with 57 off 41 balls, laced with two boundaries and three sixes.

Shoaib Malik and Thisara Perera also chipped in, down the order. Malik scored a valuable 23 off just 11 balls, while Perera scored 17 off just nine.

For the Gladiators, Mohammad Amir, Nuwan Thushara, and Samit Patel, each struck out a batter.

READ: Jaffna Kings crush Dambulla Giants, advances to the LPL final