Jaffna and Galle get their Sri Lanka T20 League 2020 campaign underway in Hambantota on Friday night. Bhanuka Rajapaksa will lead Galle in the absence of Afridi, and Thisara Perera will be the skipper of Jaffna.
Match Timings: Nov 27, 8 PM (IST)
Sri Lanka T20 League’s first edition started on November 26, and the second game of the season will be played between Jaffna and Galle. The Pakistan-based franchise appointed Shahid Afridi as the captain of Galle, but he missed the flights, and in his absence, Sri Lankan cricketer Rajapaksa will lead the side for the first two matches. Malinga opted himself out due to the injury, and it’s a big blow to Galle in their pace-attack. Mohammed Amir and Asitha Fernando will now take the ball in the powerplay. In middle-overs, they can try Lakshan Sandakan and Akila Dananjaya, the best spinning options for Galle. Dananjaya will feature in the competitive cricket after one year, so his numbers would be affected.
In top-order, Danushka Gunathilaka and Hazratullah Zazai can give Galle a good start as openers. Rajapaksa, Shehan Jayasuriya, and Ahsan Ali will take the spot in middle-order. They only lack the all-round option. Afridi will join the squad after two matches, but his current form would not create any impact for Galle. They have an excellent mixup of quality batsmen and bowlers, but opponents can attack their bowling, and with no finisher, they can miss the acceleration in death-overs.
Meanwhile, Jaffna has built its squad around talented local players. Two of its marquee players are locals, including Thisara Perera and Wanindu Hasaranga. The duo can contribute with both bat and ball. It has also got Dhananjaya de Silva and Chaturanga de Silva in all-round options. Avishka Fernando can propel the team’s top-order, and they have Minod Bhanuka who has impressed with his blistering batting on the international level.
In bowling attack, Jaffna relies on South African pacer Kyle Abbott and Pakistani left-arm seamer Usman Shinwari. West Indies' Johnson Charles can open for Jaffna, and Shoaib Malik will play the sheet-anchor in middle-order. They lack most in the spin department as Hasaranga and Dhananjaya de Silva bowl spin, but they are not the specialists. Jaffna’s success in Sri Lanka T20 League depends on their local players, and they look like a strong unit under Thisara Perera and the experienced Shoaib Malik.
Hambantota’s surface provides good assistance to spinners due to the sluggish behavior of the pitch. Spinners will be crucial on this track. Overall, it’s a good batting track, and we can expect a score of around 165-175. Chasing is a great idea, considering the slight dew in the second half.
Thisara Perera (C), Prabhath Jayasuriya, Wanidu Hasaranga, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari, Avishka Fernando, Dananjaya De Silva, Minod Bhanuka (WK), Chathuranga de Silva, Kyle Abbott, Johnson Charles
Danushka Gunathilaka, Hazratullah Zazai, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (C), Akila Dananjaya, Milinda Siriwardane, Lakshan Sandakan, Shehan Jayasuriya, Mohammed Amir, Asitha Fernando, Chadwick Walton, Ashan Ali
West Indies series 2020 – M: 5, Runs: 222, Avg: 44.4
National T20 Cup 2020 – M: 7, Wickets: 10, Avg: 22
Shpageeza T20 League 2020 – M: 7, Runs: 180, SR: 132.35
Hard-hitter in the powerplay and a handy player in top-order