good length on off, goes back and across to flick through square leg for the winning run. Jaffna Stallions win by 8 wickets with three balls to spare courtesy of an unbeaten century stand between Avishka Fernando and Shoaib Malik.
That's it from us for tonight. Come back tomorrow for a crackerjack doubleheader starting off with Dambulla Viiking against Kandy Tuskers followed in the nightcap by Colombo Kings against Galle Gladiators. With kudos to Andrew Fernando, I'm Peter Della Penna. See you again Saturday!
Man of the Match Avishka Fernando (via translator): "During the Powerplay I couldn't get any runs. I decided to hang around and play a long innings and that's exactly what I did. It's a great honor to bat with a player of that stature and [Shoaib Malik] was really helpful in the middle and we put a partnership to win the game. The wicket is a flat wicket, full of runs and I'm looking forward to playing more innings like this."
Stallions captain Thisara Perera: "As a captain, I'm really happy with this performance. As a bowling unit, we have done pretty well. We have so many youngsters. Congratulations to Avishka. He has batted really well and hopefully he can do something really special this series."
Gladiators captain Shahid Afridi: "From the end of the sixth over to the 14th over, we didn't execute our plan batting. We didn't bowl according to the plan and we didn't execute. I was expecting more but it's a good wakeup call. In T20 if you make less mistakes than the opposition, than you'll win the game."
11:40 pm Did I mention that ESPNcricinfo fantasy expert Rahul Maniraja had Avishka Fernando as his pick to be fantasy squad captain today? Justified and then some with an unbeaten 92 including seven sixes, sure to sweep up the Player of the Match Award in a few moments from now. Now that's what I call a blockbuster Black Friday steal!
floated full on middle, punched back awkwardly to the bowler.
full on the stumps, dug out back to the bowler.
Dananjaya to bowl the last over.
Isaac Marshall: "In T20's, Shoaib Malik is the master chaser and top three in the world for saving a team from disaster. Pakistan are really gonna miss him if they don't pick him again."
bouncer over middle at 134 kph, left alone. Malik with a gentlemanly move to give Avishka the chance to clip the winning run at the start of the next over with scores level.
full outside off, driven to the sweeper.
attempted slower ball lands too full on sixth stump, Avishka not fooled by this 111 kph delivery and keeps the hands back before tonking a drive down on one knee high over mid-off for six.
wide yorker on fifth stump at 132 kph, expertly guided out by Malik just wide of short third man. Diving stop but can't prevent the run. Did well to save four though.
full and wide, carved again to deep third man.
short and wide, taps a cut to deep third man. 100 partnership comes up off 66 balls between Avishka Fernando and Shoaib Malik. Fernando has 66 of the runs in this stretch.
lenirodha: "I think Shoaib Malik has given great advise on how to move about in this sort of situation...That is experience shared for you...really impressed...Never seen this side of Avishka before....." The partnership between Shoaib and Avishka is now at 99.
Amir to bowl his last over. 11 off 12 to win.
full toss at thigh height on the stumps at 136 kph, flicked to deep midwicket.
full and wide, driven through the covers, beats extra cover in the ring and the sweeper on the rope. Wonderful placement.
low full toss at shin height on middle, prodded awkwardly into the covers.
full and wide, driven out to the cover sweeper.
attempted wide yorker, stabbed out to deep point.
thigh high full toss from Shiraz at 127 kph prodded back tentatively to the bowler. Avishka is looking to square leg wanting a no ball called on height. His bench is looking out to the middle wanting to know why Avishka didn't send that ball 50 yards over the square leg umpire.
Abhijato: "Today was basically a contest to decide which side fields slightly less worse than the other."
Malik charges Dananjaya but doesn't quite connect cleanly with a heave for deep midwicket, cut off by Walton running across from long-on before it gets to the rope but they come back for an easy two.
full on the legs, tapped through midwicket.
full on off and heaved flat to Walton at long-on.
dropped by Walton diving forward at long-on! Sums up the day really.... Floated full on off, Avishka went down to a knee to hammer this straight, it screams flat toward Walton who charges forward and dives. He claims the ball brilliantly... but it squirts out when his elbows slam into the turf on the landing from the dive.
flighted on a full length on fifth stump, Avishka reaches a long way forward to slog sweep this high and deep over midwicket, lands 10 yards over the rope.