The current table-toppers Jaffna would face Kandy in Tuesday's Sri Lanka T20 League 2020 encounter to extend its winning run in the tournament.
Match Timings: Dec 01, 8:00 PM (IST)
After dramatically losing its first two encounters, Kandy finally secured its first victory of the season against struggling Galle. Recalling Brendan Taylor in the playing XI worked for Kandy. The Zimbabwe international scored a 35-ball 51, and with a blistering partnership with Mendis, he took Kandy to 196 while batting first. Kusal Perera introduced Munaf Patel in the previous game, and he picked the wicket in the first over. In the entire chase, Galle was struggling with regular wickets, and later, they fell short of 25 runs.
Kandy required a much-needed victory in the league, and Kusal Perera-led side can add one more victory to fancy its chances for the top two finish. Mendis looked promising good after 30-balls 49, and after the inclusion of Taylor in the middle, Kandy look like a proper batting unit. The skipper would avoid any change in the squad. Despite sitting at the middle of the table, Kandy are the side who can stop Jaffna’s winning run.
Meanwhile, Jaffna was rescued by its skipper Thisara Perera yesterday with the finest knock of this season. Jaffna was in deep trouble after losing 4 wickets in the powerplay, but the Sri Lankan star delivered destruction in flag-overs. In the last 6 overs, they smashed 100 runs to post 218 on the board. Thisara Perera scored unbeaten 97 runs off 44 balls with 8 fours and 7 sixes. In the chase, Samit Patel tried to entertain with 22-balls 41, but it wasn’t enough, and Jaffna topped the table with a 66-runs win.
T20 is the only format where one player can change the outcome of an entire game, and Jaffna did the same in both wins. Avishka Fernando scored 92 off 63 balls to script an 8-wicket victory over Galle in the opening fixture. The top-order is in fabulous form, and they have Shoaib Malik and Dhananjaya de Silva in middle-order, followed by Perera at the finishing end. It will be a big contest between Jaffna’s batting and Kandy’s bowling. One more win can boost Jaffna’s chances in the top four because the tournament is not so long, and a team can also qualify with at least three wins.
We haven’t seen any dryness on Hambantota’s surface, but we expect slowing down of the pitch in the second half. It’s a pure batting paradise, and batsmen can make full use of the pitch. 200 isn’t safe on this ground, and you can see another high-scoring game on Tuesday.
Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka, Tom Moores (wk), Shoaib Malik, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chaturanga de Silva, Usman Shinwari, Duanne Olivier, Binura Fernando
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Kusal Perera (c), Brendan Taylor (wk), Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Kamindu Mendis, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dilruwan Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Naveen-ul-Haq, Munaf Patel
This tournament – 92 (63), 4 (3)
Last outing – 97 (44)
Pakistan tour – M: 6, Runs: 235, Avg: 39.16
Last match – 50 (31)
WI ODI series – M: 3, Runs: 194, Avg: 64.67
Last match – 49 (22)