The Dambulla Viiking suffered their first loss of the LPL, falling to the Jaffna Stallions by 66 runs.
The difference in the end proved to be one man – Stallions captain Thisara Perera – who produced a devastating innings of 97 off 44 deliveries (including 8 fours and 7 sixes) to take the game away from the Viiking.
Prior to Thisara’s intervention the Viiking had been well on top, having won the toss and put the Stallions into bat. By the end of the powerplay, the Stallions had been reduced to 40/4 – the lowest powerplay total of the tournament – courtesy wickets from Lahiru Kumara, Ramesh Mendis, Anwar Ali and Samit Patel.
However following Thisara’s entry in the ninth over of the innings, the Stallions punished the Viiking’s seamers who strayed in their attempts to bowl yorkers in the final overs. In the final 10 overs of the game the Stallions scored 147 runs, including 30 from the penultimate over of the innings, as they ended up on 218/7.
In their chase captain Dasun Shanaka and Samit Patel, the stars from the Viiking’s opening win, once again looked good scoring 41 and 35 respectively. But in the end task proved too tall, with the Viiking losing wickets whenever they looked to get a partnership going.
Many set batsmen, such as Niroshan Dickwella, Upul Tharanga, and Anwar Ali, were unable to kick-on after positive starts.
Going forward the Viiking will hope to take forward the positives from their display in the field for large parts, while they will hope their top order fulfils its promise with some big scores.