Dambulla Giants knock out Colombo Stars from LPL

COLOMBO: Dambulla Giants’ Janith Liyanage’s heroic knock helped his side defeat Colombo Stars by six wickets in the eliminator of the ongoing Lanka Premier League (LPL), here on Sunday.

Chasing 146, the Giants’ openers failed to provide a solid start to the team; losing their skipper for a golden duck. Soon after, Sandun Weerakkody also dismissed after scoring 10, and the Giants, slipped to 20/2.

Phil Salt and Liyanage, however, played brilliant knocks and partnered strongly to pull their side back to the track. The pair added a valuable 48-runs partnership before Salt dismissed on 32; facing 21 balls, he smashed four boundaries and a six.

Liyanage, then recorded a terrific partnership with Najibullah Zadran; adding a 41-runs partnership, Zadran dismissed after scoring 34 off 28 balls; hitting a boundary and two maximums. Whereas, Liyanage scored an unbeaten 56 off 47 balls, laced with five boundaries.

His heroic innings helped the Giants to chase down the total in the 19th over, with six wickets remaining.

For Stars, Dushmantha Chameera, Naveen-ul-Haq, Seekkuge Prasanna, and Jeffrey Vandersay each struck out a batter.

Batting first, the Stars, too, started poorly; losing their first wicket for just three runs, as Kusal Perera departed after scoring three. Tom Banton, too, soon dismissed after scoring run-a-ball 13, and the Stars slipped to 26/2.

Pathum Nissanka then, attempted to anchor the innings with his 42, but, was a touch too slow; facing 39 balls. Dhananjaya de Silva, alongside Nissanka, earlier, was looking solid but departed after scoring 15 off 11 deliveries.

With his side struggling and losing wickets at an alarming rate, the skipper, Angelo Matthews, showed responsibility, and scored a much needed half-century for his side. The batter scored an unbeaten 50 off 34 balls, laced with four boundaries and two sixes. With no help from the batting tail, the Stars, in the end, restricted to 145/6 in 20 overs.

For the Giants, Nuwan Pradeep and Imran Tahir each took two wickets, while Chamika Karunaratne struck out a batter.

READ: Vandersay’s six-fer leads Colombo Stars to the Play-Offs