Dambulla Viiking 175 for 9 (Shanaka 56, Patel 30, Russell 3-18, Udana 3-25) defeated Colombo Kings 147 (Evans 59, Anwar Ali 2-10, Pushpakumara 2-19) by 28 Runs
The Dambulla Viiking was the LPL’s first truly outstanding bowling feat as their spinner army completely neutralized the hitting Colombo Kings on their way to an impressive 28-run win.
Each of the six bowlers used by the Vikings picked up a wicket, although the standout features were undoubtedly the spin contingent of Samit Patel, Malinda Pushpakumara, Sachindu Colombage and Pulina Tharanga who picked up seven wickets among them.
The latter two had been drafted as part of four changes along with Anwar Ali and Angelo Perera from the team that had lost to the Jaffna Stallions less than 24 hours earlier. Ramesh Mendis and the Tempo trio of Lahiru Kumara, Lahiru Madushanka and Aftab Alam ran out – the latter might have been quite annoyed given his excellent performance with the ball last night.
But the Viiking clearly had a plan when the Spinners throttled a Kings line-up that included Andre Russell and Isuru Udana, as no Kings batsman except Laurie Evans, who hit a 33-ball 59, scored more than 59 20 runs. Incredible no. 10 Dushmantha Chameera was the second highest scorer in the innings at 17.
Halfway through, the Kings would have imagined their chances after capping the viiking to 175 for 9. That the Vikings got so much was largely thanks to their captain Dasun Shanaka, who had to deal again with a collapse of the highest order after both Niroshan Dickwella and Paul Stirling fell cheaply.
Early wickets followed by a medium order restore become a kind of viiking template for this LPL. Luckily they have one of the in shape batsmen of the Shanaka tournament to help them execute. For the third time in so many games, Shanaka had to take most of the goal responsibility from Viiking and he was happy – assisted by cameos from Upul Tharanga, Patel and Perera – on his way to a 34-ball 56.
Pushpakumara has worked domestically for most of his career with barely a hint of Sri Lanka’s national team – largely thanks to the longevity of a particular Rangana Herath. Today, however, he showed why he picked up nearly 800 top-notch wickets as he showed his playful prowess and skillfully varied his pace and trajectory on the way to 2 for 19 including the dangerous Udana scalp.
In the opening game of the Kings, Udana showed his groundbreaking skills with the bat, today he showed up with the ball. His four overs ended in numbers 3 for 25 and were full of subtle variations as he kept proving himself to be the man Angelo Mathews turns to when he needs a breakthrough. While his efforts were ultimately in vain, he and Russell succeeded in suffocating Shanaka, just as the Viking captain would have tried to unleash himself.
There’s a reason the Kings Halfway Down were favorites – that reason is Russell. Enter the 22-year-old Colombage with just 14 List-A games. The young leg spinner ended 1 in 28 after three overs, but he won’t soon forget the feeling of trapping Dre Russ in the deep. At that point, the Viiking players would really have felt that the game was within their reach.
For the Kings, this is a first loss and possibly a reality check after a flawless record in the first two games. However, for the Vikings that win was more important and will help erase memories of the bowling disaster class against Thisara Perera last night. Both teams now have four points, besides the stallions who played less.
Lanka Premier League, Cricket, Twenty20, Dream11, Thisara Perera, Sri Lanka
World News – GB – Dasun Shanaka, spinner star as Dambulla Viiking overturns Colombo Kings
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