Jaffna will lock horns against Colombo in its final league-stage game of the Sri Lanka T20 League 2020. Both sides have already qualified for the semifinals.
Match Timings: Dec 10, 3:30 PM
Jaffna and Colombo both have qualified for the semifinals, and the only point is who finishes at the top. The table-topper will take on either Kandy or Galle in the first semifinal. After the 8-wickets loss to Galle, Colombo can still finish at the top spot if they defeat Jaffna and Dambulla in its remaining affairs. Colombo’s previous two matches showed a different picture. On Friday, they delivered Jaffna its first loss of the tournament, and on Monday, Galle got its first victory of the season. Drummond played some fine shots in the previous outing and scored 44, which is a great sign ahead of the semifinal clash. Colombo posted 171, but again, their bowling failed to defend a total. Galle chased down the target with 15 balls spare, and Colombo lost the opportunity to top the table.
In top-order, only Chandimal is in good touch, scoring 218 runs at an average of 72.66. Laurie Evans is not converting his start, but Drummond got runs in the previous game, so Angelo Mathews can relax with the batting unit. Qais Ahmed is excellent in middle-overs, but he is not getting enough support from other ends. Colombo has to improve its bowling skills as they have to face tough opponents this week.
Meanwhile, Jaffna would have to remember that Colombo was the team who defeated them last week and took advantage of its middle-order issues. Jaffna crossed the line in all matches with Perera or Fernando's help, but you cannot rely on a single player. Hasaranga is giving a boost to its side after a dominant all-round display. The leg-break spinner is the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 10 wickets. His economy is best amongst all bowlers in Sri Lanka T20 League. He controlled runs in middle-overs and provided breakthroughs when it needed the most. Perera’s performance would definitely propel its chances along with Avishka Fernando.
The equation is straightforward for Jaffna for the top spot. The Thisara-Perera-led side needs to win this game if they want to top the table. If they lose, Dambulla or Colombo will finish at the top, and the losing side of the last league-encounter will face Jaffna in the second semifinal. Thisara Perera would not take this equation in mind. They are in the semis, and two wins are enough to secure a title.
Hambantota’s track is purely a batting wicket. After back-to-back matches, the surface is proving little help to spinners. It’s a day-fixture, so scoring would be affected.
Possible Lineups & Current Form
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
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
SL T20 League – M: 6, Runs: 192, SR: 215.73, Wickets: 5
SL T20 League – M: 6, Wickets: 10, Avg: 10.50, Runs: 87
SL T20 League – M: 6, Runs: 218, Avg: 62.57
SL T20 League – M: 6, Wickets: 8, Avg: 16.25, Runs: 87