Colombo vs Jaffna, Sri Lanka T20 League 2020, Match Preview

League-leader Jaffna fights out with Angelo Mathews’ Colombo in the only Friday encounter of the Sri Lanka T20 League 2020.

Match Timings: Dec 04, 8 PM IST 

Team Preview 

Sri Lanka T20 League is in its second stage, and the fight for the semifinals starts now. The only semifinalist, Jaffna, will take on Colombo. Thisara Perera-led side is at the top of the table, and if they lose all remaining fixtures, they will still take part in the semifinals. The tournament will eliminate only one team from the league stage, and it has helped Thisara Perera to seal the top-four finish. 

The skipper himself led from the front and guided Jaffna home in two matches against Dambulla and Kandy. Jaffna finds a match-winner in each game, and they are making fair use of the pitch. Shoaib Malik is not scoring much for them, but he is an experienced player, and Perera would back him for the crucial matches. The bowling unit is also delivering for Jaffna as Usman Shinwari is picking wickets with the new ball. He has picked 6 wickets so far, and his economical spells are giving his side more strength. Hasaranga is also providing depth in middle-overs, and Perera himself is offering a sixth bowling option.

Meanwhile, Colombo is also in a safe zone, and they require a win here to take the topspot back. They have a strong batting unit, but it let them down against Dambulla in the last outing. On a batting track, Colombo’s bowlers restricted Dambulla on a good score of 175, which is the chasable target. Colombo showed poor intent in the chase, and Evans scored a half-century to avoid a big loss. Udana is Colombo’s key pacer, and he got a three-wickets haul in the last game with a good economy. With some positive points from the defeat, Angelo Mathews can form his unit to surprise Jaffna. 

In its first game, they edged past Kandy in a super-over thriller, and in the next fixture, they defeated Galle in a washed-out affair. Four points from the first three isn’t a bad start but finding the best combination before the semifinals can give more smiles in Colombo’s camp. Drummond got back in the team, and he will be crucial despite a disappointing debut on Monday. The Kent player was the top scorer in the T20 Blast with 423 runs. 

Pitch Report 

Hambantota’s surface is improving with every game, and it’s offering a decent T20 cricket. Spinners can take good help from the pitch in middle-overs. Overall, this is the surface where batsmen can enjoy the game. 

Possible XI 

Colombo 

Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Laurie Evans, Thikshila de Silva, Andre Russell, Angelo Mathews (c), Ashan Priyanjan, Isuru Udana, Dhammika Prasad, Jeffrey Vandersay, Qais Ahmad, Dushmantha Chameera

Jaffna 

Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka, Tom Moores (wk), Shoaib Malik, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera (c), Chaturanga de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Suranga Lakmal, Usman Shinwari, Duanne Olivier

Key Players 

Colombo 

Dinesh Chandimal 

Domestic season 2020 – M: 8, Runs: 1027, Avg: 93.36 

Daniel Bell-Drummond

T20 Blast 2020 – M: 11, Runs: 423, Avg: 42.30  

Jaffna 

Thisara Perera 

SL T20 League – M: 3, Runs: 165, SR: 229.17  

Usman Shinwari 

SL T20 League – M: 3, Wickets: 6, Avg: 5.50