After a good start to the BBL, we move our attention back to the LPL. It was time for a game between the Jaffna Stallions and the Colombo Kings. Both the sides had seen the ups and downs during the tournament and were looking to end the league stage on a high. Jaffna won the toss and opted to bowl first.
However, they did not get the start they would’ve liked. The batsmen were struggling to time the ball and the runs were just not coming. Dinesh Chandimal was dismissed early while Laurie Evans and D Bell-Drummond struggled to make use of the powerplay. While the latter was dismissed soon after the former made sure to make his inning count. He had hung in there and it was then time for him to play his shots.
Post Drummond’s dismissal Evans started displaying his aggressive game. He played shots all around the ground as the Jaffna bowlers were clueless on where to ball. He ended up with a huge score of 108* to take his team to a total of 173 at the end of their 20 overs. His knock included nine fours and five sixes. Suranga Lakmal and Wanindu Hasaranga were the only two bowlers who could get a wicket to their name.
Andre Russel’s impressive bowling helps the Kings win a close encounter
174 is not among the biggest targets to chase. The Stallions definitely had the batting line-up to chase this down. All they needed was one batsman to guide their innings much like Evans did for the Colombo side. However, this did not happen. None of the batsmen could capitalize on the starts they got and as a result, the highest score for any batsman was a mere 32.
Thisara Perera and Shoaib Malik were part of a match-turning partnership. It seemed like they would take the game away from the Stallions. Thisara Perera scored 22 runs off just 9 balls to turn the game on its head. It seemed with only 43 required off 26 balls it seemed like the job was done. But just then the T20 superstar Andre Russell pulled off something brilliant. He dismissed both the set batsman of consecutive deliveries to bring his side right back in the game.
The next batsman failed to get the side over the line. Hasaranga did play a good knock of 23 off 14 balls but it was not enough for his team to reach the target. They eventually fell short by 6 runs in a game that seemed like it was theirs just a while back. Russell and Qais Ahmed were the pick of the bowlers as one got wickets while the other kept the run-rate in check. Evans was awarded the player of the match for his match-winning knock.