This year marks the third edition of the Lanka Premier League in Sri Lanka and plenty of strong teams will be going against each other. Initially, the tournament was meant to take place from July 31 to August 21, 2022. Due to the economic situation in Sri Lanka at that time, schedule was changed to December 6 -23, 2022.
From December 6-11, there were eight big matches with five of them taking place at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota while the rest took place in the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele.
The first teams to play against each other in this year’s tournament was the Jaffna Kings vs Galle Gladiators with the Jaffna Kings having won by 24 runs. The Gladiators had started strong in the first innings with Kusal Mendis scoring a half-century, but the Kings turned the tables in the middle innings.
The second match took place on the same day and was between the Kandy Falcons and Colombo Stars. The Kandy Falcons won by 109 runs thanks to Andre Fletcher scoring 101 runs while the Colombo Stars was unable to go over 26 runs in their innings.
After these two matches was the Dambulla Aura vs Jaffna Kings game where the Jaffna Kings won by 9 wickets. Sadeera Samarawickram was the star of the game by hitting a half century and getting a combined score of 113 with Avishka Fernando as the team won with less than 5 batters.
The Kandy Falcons made a comeback with their next match, which was against Galle Gladiators, with a win by 5 wickets. Kamindu Mendis scored the most runs in the game and the team continued to be strong opponents for the rest of their matches this week.
There was only one match on December 8 and that was Colombo Stars vs Dambulla Aura. Colombo Stars took the win by 9 runs. Niroshan Dickwella led the win with a 62-run score. Given that this was their first match in the league, the team presented a strong set of players right out the gate.
Jaffna Kings and Kandy Falcons have been strong contenders for the first few matches of the league. In their first LPL 2022 match against each other, Kandy Falcons won by 3 wickets. At this time, the team launched themselves to the top of the ranks in the league.
Playing after these two was the Galle Gladiators and Colombo Stars. The Galle Gladiators won by 25 runs. The Gladiators gave a powerful comeback in this match thanks to their batters. While Niroshan Dickwella scored a 58-run opener for the team, it was Lahiru Udara, who scored 45 runs from 30 balls with no outs, that allowed the Gladiators to get up to 170. The Colombo Stars, on the other hand, ended with a score of 149/7.
The Jaffna Kings continued to be a strong opponent in their match against Dambulla Aura and won by 51 runs. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Avishka Fernando were the stars of the match as they batted a combined score of 127-runs.
Currently, the Jaffna Kings and Kandy Falcons, are tied in the rankings, though the Kandy Falcons are ranked number 1 due to a higher net run rate of 2.193. So far, the teams have shown plenty of potential at qualifying for the Playoffs.