Thisara Perera, the Sri Lankan allrounder was too hot for Dambulla Viiking as he leads his team to a 66-run win. Early in trouble, Perera first rescued his team from a tough situation before his bowling army ripped through the Viiking batsmen. The win was second on the trot for Jaffna Stallions.
The 5th match of the Lanka Premier League was between the unbeatable teams of the tournament; Dambulla Viiking and Jaffna Stallions. After some early trouble, Stallions finished strong at a daunting total of 218. In reply, Viiking innings never get going. Losing wickets at regular intervals and eventually lost by 66 runs.
Jaffna Stallions innings – Thisara Perera turned the tables
Jaffna Stallions were put in to bat after Dambulla Viiking won the toss and it was a good decision. Viiking bowlers put the team up in front after pegging Jaffna Stallions and restricting them to 64-5.
Avishka Fernando and Minod Bhanuka were the designated openers for Stallions. Lahiru Kumara had caught Fernando behind on the 3rd delivery of the innings. Batsmen were all shatters in the opening burst of spell from the bowlers. They lost their first four wickets for just 36 runs and all inside powerplay. After six overs, the score was 40-4.
Things were still pretty dimmed till the 14th over when Stallions lost their sixth wicket at the score of 115. A score of 150 was hardly on the cards.
Then came the captain in the middle; Thisara Perera. And he changed the context of the game.
First brining the fifty-partnership with Chaturanga de Silva and then had partnership of 48 runs off just 15 balls.
In the last 37 balls of the innings, Stallions managed to collect 103 runs. Perera remained not out on 97 runs of just 44 balls. An entertaining innings that comprised of eight 4s and seven 6s. In the last five overs, Perera went ballistic facing 21 balls and scoring 64 runs on that.
Lahiru Kumara had the figures of 1/33 after his three overs and he finished with the figures of 1/63, courtesy, Thisara Perera. The 19th over read out as; 4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 4. 30 runs was hit in the penultimate over and all in boundaries.
With Perera, Stallions had the final score of 218.
A mix bowling card, bit of combination of expensive and economic bowling. Ramesh Mendis, Samit Patel, and Aftab Alam were economical and they took wickets too. While rest of the bowlers were expensive.
Dambulla Viiking innings – Bowlers make it 2 in 2 for Stallions
Chasing a stiff target of 219 against a good bowling attack. Not the start that Viiking would have wanted. They had lost both of their openers inside the powerplay. Niroshan Dickwella after striking some lusty blows was the first to go in the 3rd over. Soon, Paul Stirling struggling innings come to an end after scoring just 2 runs off 9 balls. Viiking were 39-2.
Samit Patel strike some blows to keep the chase in hand. Upul Tharanga got dismissed in the meanwhile. Once again, Patel and Dasun Shanaka combined together to keep the Viiking ships sailing.
Patel after hitting 41 off 22 balls including four sixes was bowled to Wanindu Hasaranga. All hopes now rest on Shanaka but the pressure of required run rate was mounting too much.
Wickets continued to tumbled and then the big wicket fell, Dasun Shanaka was out on 35 runs of 21 balls in the 16th over.
It was just the matter of time. Final wicket fell on the first ball of the last ball. The innings ended on 152.
Bowlers picked up wicket. Usman Shinwari was the most successful bowler picking up three wickets for just 16 runs in his four overs. Thisara Perera, the star with the bat also picked up two wickets.
Thisara Perera, for his brilliant all-round performance was the man of the match.
Man of the Match: Thisara Perera
Result: Jaffna Stallions win by 66 runs
Points: Jaffna Stallions 2, Dambulla Viiking 0