Nov 28: Colombo Kings vs Galle Gladiators, Hambantota

Pro Tip: In-form players like Dinesh Chandimal and Isuru Udana are key in the line-up; pick another batsman-heavy team.

Our XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Hazratullah Zazai, Dinesh Chandimal, Laurie Evans, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Andre Russell, Angelo Mathews, Shehan Jayasuriya, Isuru Udana, Asitha Fernando, Mohammad Amir

Substitutes: Chadwick Walton, Akila Dananjaya, Thikshila de Silva, Ashan Priyanjan

We didn't include Shahid Afridi here because of the confusion about his availability, but after a 23-ball 58 and four economical overs in the Friday game, he has to be one of the top picks.

Player availability: The Kings' Ravinderpal Singh has not yet recovered from Covid-19 either. We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Captain: Hazrutullah Zazai

Zazai, still only 22, is one of the most outstanding hitters in the game, and the 62-ball 162* against Ireland last year has made him one of the most feared batsmen wherever he plays. In 15 T20Is, he has scored 570 runs at an average of 40.71 and a strike rate of 155.31. The numbers in T20s overall is poorer, but only in comparison - 1656 runs at a strike rate of 147.33 and average of 30.66.

Vice-captain: Dinesh Chandimal

Chandimal last represented Sri Lanka in the shortest format in 2018. But he has 392 runs in the last two seasons of the domestic T20 competition at an average of 39.20 and a strike rate of 133.33. He started the tournament with a bang too, scoring a match-winning 46-ball 80.

Hot Picks

Bhanuka Rajapaksa: Rajapaksa turned heads in his debut T20I series against Pakistan in 2019, when he hit 112 runs at a strike rate of 143.59, which helped Sri Lanka win 3-0. In BPL 2019-20, too, he impressed with his strokeplay, scoring 188 runs in six games at a strike rate of 155.37.

Isuru Udana: The left-arm seamer was the most economical bowler for the Kings in their opening game. He also showed his prowess with the bat, scoring a 12-ball 34 and successfully defended 16 runs in the Super Over.

Mohammad Amir: Amir was the highest wicket-taker for his sides in both the last editions of the BPL and the PSL. He has the quality and the pedigree - 205 wickets from 175 T20s at an economy rate of 7.03. Always a must-have.

Differential Picks

Asitha Fernando: The 23-year-old was the joint-most-prolific seam bowler in the Sri Lankan domestic T20 competition this year, picking up 14 wickets in eight games at an economy of 5.66.

Laurie Evans: The Kings' Evans was the top scorer for Surrey in the T20 Blast as they finished runners-up. He scored 363 runs in 11 games at a strike rate of 153.16, and though he started the LPL with a 14-ball 22, he is capable of more.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Akila Dananjaya can replace Asitha Fernando if the pitch looks spin-friendly.

  • Thikshila de Silva can be an option for Angelo Mathews since he is expected to bat higher up the order.