Galle will take on table-toppers Jaffna to break its three-matches losing streak in the Thursday encounter of Sri Lanka T20 League 2020. Both sides locked horns in the first week of the tournament, and Jaffna defeated Galle by 8 wickets.
Match Timings: Dec 03, 3:30 PM IST
Galle is the only Pakistan-owned franchise in the tournament, and its campaign is pretty disappointing so far. Under Shahid Afridi, Galle is finding its first victory of the season after facing three consecutive defeats. They can fix its problems as they got a two-day break in this hectic schedule of the Sri Lanka T20 League. On Monday, two things happened for Galle. First, they lost to Kandy in 25-runs, and second, its two players got involved in an abusive talk on the ground. With a fine batting display from Taylor and Mendis, Kandy posted 195, and Galle failed to achieve this.
This tournament has just five teams, so Afridi can back his unit to pull off a comeback to see the top-four finish. In the previous match, Gunathilaka scored a fine 83 off 53 balls, but he didn’t get enough support from another end. In two matches out of three, Galle were chasing the target and couldn’t hold the pressure after mediocre bowling in the first innings. In the opening match, they didn’t score much to defend. If bowling is not delivering much, batsmen have to take charge for Galle, and this is what Afridi can change in this struggling side.
Meanwhile, Jaffna are sitting at the top of the table, and they are the top contender to finish in the top two. Thisara Perera has led the side to three consecutive victories this season. The unbeaten Jaffna will face the bottom topper, and if they win here, they will seal the berth in the semifinals. After the carnage against Dambulla, the skipper shined yet again with 28-balls 68 to put a vital stand with De Silva, who scored 61 off 38 balls. After scoring 185, Jaffna’s bowlers restrict Kandy to a mere total of 131. In the last match, the middle-order was exposed. It was Thisara Perera who added 118 runs for the 5th wicket from just 47 balls.
Jaffna see at least one player performing on a big stage in each game, which is the positive point in its batting unit. The bowling has been outstanding. Usman Shinwari conceded 17 in a 3-overs spell at the powerplay stage and picked 3-wickets. Lakmal bagged two, and the duo Perera-Hasaranga contributed with a 2-wickets haul. It should be another cakewalk for Jaffna, but in T20s, you can expect a turnaround.
Hambantota’s wicket is only for the batsmen, and it offers a lot of runs in both innings. The track has quick boundaries. It’s a day game, so we might expect slight help to spin in middle-overs.
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
Danushka Gunathilaka, Hazratullah Zazai, Azam Khan (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Shahid Afridi (c), Milinda Siriwardana, Shehan Jayasuriya, Mohammad Amir, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Mohamed Shiraz
SL T20 League – M: 3, Runs: 165, SR: 229.17
Previous outing – 68 (28)
SL T20 League – M: 3, Wickets: 6, Avg: 5.50
Previous outing – 3-0-17-3
Shpageeza T20 League 2020 – M: 7, Runs: 180, SR: 132.35
SL T20 League – M: 3, Runs: 150, Avg: 75