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LPL: Hasaranga six-fer lifts B-Love Kandy as Jaffna Kings crash out

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COLOMBO: Wanindu Hasaranga, with impressive bowling figures of 6-9, scripted a thumping victory for B-Love Kandy as they defeated defending champions Jaffna Kings by 61 runs in the Eliminator of Lanka Premier League (LPL) on Thursday.

After winning the toss, Jaffna Kings opted to ball first and drew first blood early on as Nuwan Thushara castled Fakhar Zaman in the first over.

However, Dinesh Chandimal recovered Jaffna Kings as he played a quick cameo of 41 runs in 24 balls, featuring six boundaries and one six.

He departed at a total score of 69 in the eighth over, after knitting a solid 39-ball 68 runs partnership with Mohammad Haris.

Hasaranga joined Haris at the crease and started off well, hitting two sixes to Asela Gunaratne, however, the bowler got the last laugh as he was bowled two balls later after scoring 19 off 11.

Mohammad Haris, who anchored through the innings with 38 runs off 32 balls shifted gears in the 14th over hitting 18 runs off Gunaratne and completed his half-century in the process.

Kamindu Mendis rotated strike while Haris attacked Jaffna bowlers amid their 55 runs partnership off 33 balls.

Haris finally departed after scoring 79 runs off 49 balls with the help of eight fours and four sixes. Maheesh Theekshana picked up the prized wicket courtesy of stumping by Rahmanullah Gurbaz.

B-Love Kandy appeared to be in a position to breach the 200-run mark at the end of the 18th over with 180 runs on the board, however, Jaffna Kings’ bowlers pulled them back as they only managed eight runs in the final two overs to reach 188/8.

Nuwan Thushara topped the bowling card with 4-40, including three wickets in the final over of the innings. Meanwhile, Maheesh Theekshana and Asela Gunaratne picked up two wickets each.

Jaffna Kings started their chase horribly as they were reduced to 49-4 in seven overs after Wanindu Hasaranga’s double-wicket sixth over.

However, veterans Shoaib Malik and David Miller then knitted a partnership of 52 runs from 33 balls before the latter fell prey to Hasaranga after scoring 26 off 22. Asela Gunaratne followed him two balls later as Hasaranga registered another double-wicket over.

Jaffna Kings needed 88 runs from seven overs with Shoaib Maik and Thisara Perera at the crease, however, Perera perished without opening his account.

Ultimately, the whole team bundled out at a total of 127 in the 18th over as Hasaranga returned for his final over and once again picked two wickets in the over to complete his six-fer.

This was the first five-wicket haul in this year’s LPL and the best-ever bowling figures in the league’s history.

Shoaib Malik top-scored for Jaffna Kings with 31 runs from 23 balls with the help of three boundaries and one six.

After knocking out defending LPL champions Jaffna Kings, B-Love Kandy will now face Galle Titans in the Qualifier 2 of LPL on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Dambulla Aura has already qualified for the LPL final after winning Qualifier 1 against Galle Titans.

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