Less than 24 hours after the Dambulla Viiking bowlers had been hit to all parts by Thisara Perera, the Sons of Thor showed their inner mettle to serve up the standout bowling performance of the LPL so far, as they registered a 28-run win over early tournaments pacesetters the Colombo Kings.
The platform for the win had been setup once again by captain Dasun Shanaka, who’s 34-ball 56 ensured that Viiking bowlers would have a competitive total to defend.
Much like their previous two games, the Viiking top order were sent packing early and it was left to Shanaka and co. to pick up the pieces. Cameos from Upul Tharanga (25), Samit Patel (30) and Angelo Perera (21), would provide Shanaka support throughout a nerveless innings that would see him hit 3 sixes and 4 boundaries.
Shanaka would fall in the penultimate over, but some lusty hits in the final over from Malinda Pushpakumara in the final over would push the Viiking total to 175/9.
With the target 176, the Kings still remained marginal favourites as they had the likes of Andre Russell and Isuru Udana in their batting ranks, but the Viiking spin contingent had other ideas.
Patel started the procession of wickets, picking up the wicket of Dinesh Chandimal with an excellent return catch off the very first ball of the chase. By the end of the powerplay period, two more wickets had been taken, with the Kings restricted to 41/3.
The only mode of resistance came in the form of Laurie Evans, who hit a 33-ball 59, but no other Kings batsmen was allowed to score more than 20.
By the end of the game the Viiking’s spinners had picked up seven wickets between, as the Kings were bowled out for 147 in the 19th over.
The pick of the bowlers was undoubtedly the veteran Malinda Pushpakumara, whose four overs went for 19 runs and included the wickets of Ashan Priyanjan and Udana. Young 22 year-old legspinner Colombage, meanwhile picked up the priceless wicket of Russell, while it was Pulina Tharanga who rattled the stumps of the dangerous Evans.
For the Viiking think-tank the win will be particularly satisfying, as they had made four changes to the side that lost to the Stallions, and each change managed to make a decisive impact on the game.