Table-leader Jaffna would take on Dambulla to retain its top spot in Sri Lanka T20 League. After winning four games out of five, both sides have qualified for the semifinals.
Match Timings: Dec 07, 8 PM
Two top sides of the season Jaffna and Dambulla would fight on Monday night to claim the top spot on the table. Jaffna finally lost its first game as Colombo outclassed them by 6 wickets on Friday. A poor batting display hurt Jaffna and they finished on 148, their lowest score of the season. Hasaranga fired with 23-balls 41 to get this safe total. With the below-par total, Jaffna’s bowlers couldn’t trouble Colombo but they took this game into the final over which is a positive sign. One defeat will not hurt Jaffna as they have already made it into the semifinals. Hasaranga shined with the bowl as well, picking two for 23 in his spell.
Avishka Fernando is doing very well for Jaffna in the top-order, scoring 209 runs at an average of 52.75. He scored two eighty plus scores from five matches. Thisara Perera is also its big asset in batting who fired with the bat this season. The skipper has aggregated 192 runs with a strike rate of 215.73. In the previous game, the middle-order struggled a bit and Jaffna has to improve this. Wanindu Hasaranga has also been impactful with bat and ball. He has scalped 9 wickets and scored 87 runs at down-order in five matches.
Meanwhile, Dambulla has won four matches out of five, and coincidentally, their only defeat came against Jaffna when Thisara Perera fired with 44-balls 97. On Saturday, they overcame Galle to qualify for the semifinals. While batting first, Dambulla posted a huge total of 207, riding on the openers-show. Tharanga and Dickwella both scored a half-century for Dambulla, followed by a quick cameo of 37 from the skipper Dasun Shanaka.
Galle almost chased down the target but the tight bowling in the end, delivered Dambulla a 9-runs victory in the end. The bowling might be a big concern for Dambulla which was not up to the mark in the previous game. Anwar Ali scalped three for 37 and other bowlers conceded runs with ten runs per over. After 4 wins out of 5, they have secured its place for the knockouts, and victory against Jaffna can open give them a top spot on the table. It should be a cracker game of cricket and Dambulla looks favourites this time.
Hambantota’s surface is good for batting and it offers plenty of spin in the middle-half. Due to the night fixture, it could be a batting-friendly affair. Chasing would be tricky.
Avishka Fernando, Johnson Charles, Minod Bhanuka (wk), Shoaib Malik, Thisara Perera (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chaturanga de Silva, Binura Fernando, Kyle Abbott, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth
Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Upul Tharanga, Angelo Perera, Samit Patel, Dasun Shanaka (c), Samiullah Shinwari, Anwar Ali, Ramesh Mendis, Malinda Pushpakumara, Kasun Rajitha, Sudeep Tyagi
SL T20 League – M: 5, Runs: 192, SR: 215.73
SL T20 League – M: 5, Wickets: 9, Runs: 87
Previous outing – 41 (23) & 23/2
SL T20 League – M: 5, Runs: 234, Avg: 49.25
Previous outing: 37 (21)
SL T20 League – M: 5, Runs: 141, Wickets: 6