The rejuvenated Galle will face table-leaders Colombo in the first semifinal of the Sri Lanka T20 League. The winner of this game will face either Jaffna or Dambulla in the final.
Match Timings: Dec 13, 7 PM IST
The first edition of the Sri Lanka T20 League is in its final stage, and the knock-out stage starts with the first semifinal between Colombo and Galle. Angelo Mathew’s Colombo defeated Dambulla in its final league-stage fixture to seal the top spot in the points table. This league doesn’t have the playoffs system so Colombo cannot create any error on Sunday. Galle has delivered a turnaround after losing five consecutive games and one bad day can spoil all the efforts for Colombo.
On Friday, Colombo pulled off the highest successful chase of this tournament and proved its dominance. Dambulla posted a huge total of 203 and the bowling issues continued for them Colombo. Lauri Evans mastered the chase with yet another fine knock. He fired with 24-balls 53 to maintain the run-rate. In death-overs, Qais Ahmad finished the chase with a cracking half-century off just 22 balls. Priyanjan also remained not out on 47 off just 28 balls. This collective brilliance from the down-order boosted Colombo and now, they are the top contender to lift this trophy.
Colombo now has the best combination. Dinesh Chandimal and Laurie Evans both are in solid form. Chandimal aggregated 232 runs and Evans contributed 289 runs, including a century. Russell is already a great inclusion to their side and he will be back in the semifinal after resting in the previous match.
Meanwhile, Galle had changed its fortune after a poor start to the season. They lost five straight games and in the remaining three, they managed to get four points. Out of two wins, Galle has also defeated its semifinal rivals and it will boost its side to deliver the same performance on Sunday night. The Rajapaksa-led side finished fourth in the table with better NRR than Kandy.
Danushka Gunathilaka is the big asset of Galle’s batting unit and if does well in the semifinal, Galle can enter into the final. The Sri Lanka International is the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 462 runs at an average of 77. He has scored more than 30 in each inning of this tournament. In the previous do-die game, he smashed 94 off just 66 balls.
Bowling is also a weak part of Galle but they showed improvement in the previous game when they restricted Kandy to 126. Amir is getting some rhythm as he got two wickets for 11 in the last game. He has already got a fifer in this tournament. Rajapaksa’s troops require to carry its confidence on the ground and if they got enough support from the top-order, they can outperform Colombo.
Hambantota’s surface is completely a batting surface, and we cannot expect a turn-around for this game. It’s a night fixture and dew can play a vital role. The chasing side will have an advantage.
Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Laurie Evans, Thikshila de Silva, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Angelo Mathews (c), Andre Russell, Ashan Priyanjan, Isuru Udana, Qais Ahmad, Dushmantha Chameera, Tharindu Kaushal
Danushka Gunathilaka, Ahsan Ali, Azam Khan (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (c), Chadwick Walton, Milinda Siriwardana, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Mohammad Amir, Lakshan Sandakan, Asitha Fernando
SL T20 League 2020 – M: 8, Runs: 289, Avg: 57.80
SL T20 League 2020 – M: 8, Wickets: 11, Avg: 15.27
SL T20 League – M: 8, Runs: 462, Avg: 77
SL T20 League 2020 – M: 8, Wickets: 10, Avg: 23.20