Jaffna Kings Down Colombo Strikers in 2023 LPL


Jaffna Kings Down Colombo Strikers in 2023 LPL

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Jaffna Kings cruised to a six-wicket victory after they downed Colombo Strikers in the 2023 Lanka Premier League (LPL) match held on Tuesday. A collective bowling effort paved the way for Jaffna Kings, and Nishan Madushka’s knock of 46 runs played a significant role in the successful chase.

Leaving the usual pattern seen in LPL 2023, Babar Azam, the captain of Colombo Strikers, chose to bat first after winning the toss. The opening duo of Pathum Nissanka and Babar Azam, the latter having scored a century in the previous game, set a strong tone by constructing a sturdy partnership of 57 runs in seven overs. However, Nissanka’s contribution ended as he was dismissed by Wellalage. His innings of 36 runs off 27 balls featured seven well-placed boundaries.

Following Nissanka’s departure, Babar Azam’s innings was short-lived as he was caught by David Miller at backward point, a victim of Madushanka’s bowling, after contributing 24 runs from 21 deliveries. In the same over, Nuwanidu Fernando (2) was dismissed, courtesy of an exceptional catch executed by Maheesh Theekshana at deep square leg.

In the subsequent over, Wellalage knocked down the stumps of Iftikhar Ahmed (2), who was making his LPL debut. Ahmed had recently led Surrey Jaguars to the final of the GT20 Canada tournament.

Lahiru Udara and Mohammad Nawaz stitched together a short-lived partnership, adding 30 runs before Udara’s dismissal. Udara played cautiously for his 29 runs off 25 balls, including two boundaries and one six, before he was caught out by Theekshana.


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Nawaz and Chamika Karunaratne then combined forces, contributing a substantial 40-run partnership for the sixth wicket. This collaboration propelled the Strikers’ total to 139 runs. However, Nawaz’s innings concluded in the 19th over after scoring 27 runs from 21 deliveries.

On a different note, Karunaratne remained unbeaten throughout, tallying an impressive 21 runs. His composed batting guided the Strikers to conclude their innings at 146/8 after the allotted 20 overs.

Jaffna Kings’ bowling attack was skillfully led by Dunith Wellalage and Dilshan Madushanka, both claiming two wickets each. Additionally, Theekshana, Thushara, and Shoaib Malik contributed with one wicket apiece. The Kings wasted no time in their pursuit, taking off at a rapid pace and crossing the 50-run mark within the fifth over.

At the beginning of the chase, Rahmanullah Gurbaz became the primary aggressor, aggressively accumulating 39 runs from 21 deliveries at a striking rate of 185. His innings consisted of three boundaries and an equal number of sixes. Unfortunately, Gurbaz’s fiery start came to an end as he was dismissed by Pathirana in the sixth over.

Following Gurbaz’s departure, his opening partner Dilshan Madushanka, who had cautiously navigated the initial phase while Gurbaz dominated, shifted his approach. Madushanka teamed up with Charith Asalanka (12) to form a 39-run partnership. Madushanka continued to build momentum, and later added another 30 runs for the third wicket with captain Thisara Perera (17).

As Madushka and Perera held their ground, the victory seemed within reach for the Kings, with just 20 runs needed from the remaining eight overs. However, Naseem Shah injected excitement by dismissing both well-set batsmen in his third over, causing a shift in the game’s dynamics.

Madushka stood out as the top-scorer, contributing 46 runs from 32 deliveries, including three boundaries and three sixes.

Towhid Hridoy added the finishing touches to an already impressive run-chase, sealing the match with a four off Naseem Shah’s bowling. This final stroke guided Jaffna Kings to a commanding six-wicket triumph. Hridoy secured 14 runs from nine balls, aided by three boundaries.

Naseem Shah took two wickets for the Strikers, while Pathirana and Sandakan each chipped in with one wicket.

In the upcoming matches, Jaffna Kings are set to compete against B-Love Kandy on August 12 in the 15th match of the LPL, while Colombo Strikers will face Dambulla Aura in the 16th game on the same day.


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