Galle and Kandy will fight out in the virtual knock out of the Sri Lanka T20 League 2020 on Thursday night. The winner of this game will play in the first semifinal.
Match Timings: Dec 10, 8 PM IST
Sri Lanka T20 League 2020 got its three semifinalists, and the 4th semifinalist will be decided on Thursday when Galle and Kandy will lock horns in Hambantota. Galle defeated Colombo to open its account in the table, and they kept themselves in contention for the top four. Galle has found its rhythm from the previous three games and came close to the victory.
Mohammed Amir got a fifer, and Galle restricted Colombo on 171, a chasable total in Hambantota. Ahsan Ali scored 56 off 38 balls, and Azam Khan smashed 35 off just 16-balls. For the second consecutive game, Galle put some caliber in the tournament. In the next game, Galle lost against Dambulla in a last-ball thriller. To finish in the top four, they require to keep this momentum high.
The rajapaksa-led side would also hope for another good knock from Danushka Gunathilaka , the leading run-getter of the tournament. The left-hand batsman has aggregated 368 runs and touched the 30-run mark in each innings. Azam Khan has given acceleration, and it will help Galle to get over this hurdle. The wicket-keeper batsman has scored 158 runs with a strike rate of 185.88. Galle don’t need to improve their NRR as they have a better net-run-rate than Kandy, but victory is important to any other equation. If they lose, they will be out of the competition.
Meanwhile, Kandy have made things slightly better after an important victory over the league-leaders, Jaffna. They added Steyn, and he went for 33, picking two wickets. Kandy’s bowling unit was excellent as they restricted Jaffna on 150. It was a collective bowling success for Kandy. Gurbaz and Perera need to showcase some consistency in top-order. Kusal Mendis is crucial in middle-order along with Brendan Taylor, but a lack of consistency is missing in this case as well. Gunaratne has produced good depth in middle-overs. The right-arm pacer has scalped 9 wickets at an economy of 7.5.
Kandy had delivered the result in its favour when they required it, so it would be a cracking game. Galle has a good batting attack, and Kandy improved its bowling, so the competition would rely on these two battles. Both sides locked horns in league-stage, and Kandy had the last laugh by 25 runs, courtesy of Taylor-Mendis fire.
Hambantota’s track provides full assistance to the batsmen. Spinners got good help in day-fixtures, but in this outing, we may expect a high-scoring. Chasing is a great call, but it might be tricky if the score is above 170.
Danushka Gunathilaka, Ahsan Ali, Azam Khan (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (c), Chadwick Walton, Milinda Siriwardana, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Mohammad Amir, Lakshan Sandakan, Asitha Fernando
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Kusal Perera (c & wk), Kusal Mendis, Brendan Taylor, Asela Gunaratne, Irfan Pathan, Dilruwan Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Dale Steyn
SL T20 League – M: 7, Runs: 368, Avg: 68.67
SL T20 League – M: 7, Runs: 158, SR: 185.88
SL T20 League – M: 7, Runs: 195, Avg: 32.50
SL T20 League – M: 7, Wickets: 9, Avg: 18.33