9th Match (D/N), Hambantota, December 03, 2020, Lanka Premier League
(19.4/20 ov, T:171) 174/5

Stallions won by 5 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)

Full commentary

Stallions have only embellished their reputation as the team to beat at the LPL, though they haven't played the dangerous Colombo Kings yet. That's it for our coverage from this game. Join us for the second match of the evening - Dambulla Viiking v Kandy Tuskers, in a bit.

Avishka Fernando is the player of the match: "I don't panic too much when I chase, because I know exactly how many we need. I didn't have a particular plan to target the spinners. If the ball is in my zone I hit the shot and today it worked well."

Stallions captain Thisara Perera: "It's not a secret. We're planning well and executing well. Everyone's contributing. We had some top order issues but we saw how Avishka batted today, which is good to see. We have so many youngsters in the side, so in the next few matches we can try a few things."

Gladiators captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa: "We're still having hope. We just need one win to get ourselves closer to that semi-final. We wanted to score at least 180. We lost three wickets in quick succession, and we were short at least five or ten runs. We have two match-winning spinners in our side but unfortunately it didn't work out for us today."

Stallions didn't quite run away with this one, but aside from a couple of hairy moments, they weren't exactly pushed either. Another relatively comfortable win for them.

Gladiators, though, now have their fourth defeat in a row. Their weak finish with the bat, in which they hit only 18 runs off the last 19 balls of the innings, was awful. They should have been headed to 190 after Danushka Gunathilaka's half-century, but the lower middle order couldn't find any timing.

Wanindu Hasaranga was excellent again for Stallions. He got hit for 15 in one of his overs, and still returned figures of 2 for 29 from his four overs - Gunathilaka among his victims. With the bat, he came out at slightly tense moment in the chase with Stallions needing 18 off 12 and having lost a bit of momentum, but he effortlessly stroked four boundaries off Mohammad Amir's last over and all-but sealed the win.

Avishka Fernando was good too, and provided the guts of the Stallions innings with an 84 off 59 balls - his second 80-plus score against Gladiators in the LPL. He started slowly but found his timing eventually. He and Minod Bhanuka put on 99 for the second wicket.

Dananjaya to Dhananjaya, FOUR runs

languid finish from DDS. This is flatter and faster from Akila, and DDS steps out and launches him back over his head for a one-bounce four

Dananjaya to Hasaranga de Silva, 1 run

legbreak I think, pitched on legstump and turning. Wanindu makes room and clubs this down the ground. Long on fields. Scores a tied

Dananjaya to Dhananjaya, 1 run

full delivery, googly again I think, whipped away to deep midwicket for an unfrussy one

Dananjaya to Malik, OUT

Googly to start, and I think that's out! Malik stepped out and tried to send this screaming through cover, but he's hit that slightly in the air, and Lakshan Dhananjaya has done incredibly well at short cover to dive to his right and pluck a catch while the ball was traveling rapidly past him. Not sure this will be enough to stop Stallions, Lakshan's performance in the last few overs has been fantastic

Shoaib Malik c Lakshan b Dananjaya 1 (3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 33.33

Kapil Baldawa: "Awful fielding, missed catches, poor bowling and now their spearhead Amir comes and gives away 2 easy boundaries. This is not what you expect from an overseas pro. No yorker or quick bouncer. Oh my.. only if standards were higher "

Akila Dananjaya to bowl the last. Only three to get for Stalions.

end of over 1916 runs
JK: 168/4CRR: 8.84 RRR: 3.00
Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva16 (6)
Shoaib Malik1 (2)
Mohammad Amir 4-0-37-0
Dhananjaya Lakshan 3-0-24-1
Amir to Hasaranga de Silva, FOUR runs

another boundary behind square on the offside. Amir not bowling to his field here. This is back of a length and outside off stump. Wanindu opens the face again, and beats a diving short third man to get help himself to the fourth four of the over

Amir to Hasaranga de Silva, no run

slower ball outside off angled across the batsman. Hasaranga chases it but can't get bat to it. Almost a wide, but that's fine

Amir to Hasaranga de Silva, no run

back of a length ball outside off stump that Hasaranga tries to slap to the offside but misses. A little bit of extra bounce again

Amir to Hasaranga de Silva, FOUR runs

another dinky shot, which Hasaranga middles, and that's another fine boundary. This is such clever batting. Again Amir goes full and wide, but he has third man in the circle this time. Hasaranga places it beautifully, opening the face, and bisecting the short third man and backward point. Any pressure created by Lakshan's over has been released

Amir to Hasaranga de Silva, FOUR runs

what. a. player. Bowler of the tournament so far, and he's easing his team's nerves with the bat now. This is overpitched wide of off and Hasaranga drills this powerfully past cover, and beats the fielders running around to try and cut that off in the deep.

Amir to Hasaranga de Silva, FOUR runs

deft work first ball from Hasaranga, opening the face to a full wide-ish yorker and getting it to zoom away fine of third man for four

Amir to bowl the 19th. Wanindu Hasaranga is the new batsman and is facing.

end of over 185 runs • 1 wicket
JK: 152/4CRR: 8.44 RRR: 9.50
Shoaib Malik1 (2)
Dhananjaya Lakshan 3-0-24-1
Asitha Fernando 4-0-30-2
Lakshan to Fernando, OUT

what an over from Lakshan! Created three chances and this one is finally taken. This is a short of a length delivery, again getting a little extra bounce, that Avihska tries to launch over long on. But he gets it off the top half of the bat and it goes high into the night. Long on runs in and gets under it. DHananjaya Lakshan has brough Galle back into the game

Avishka Fernando c Jayasuriya b Lakshan 84 (59b 7x4 5x6) SR: 142.37
Lakshan to Fernando, 1 wide

that's outside the tram lines, wide of off stump

Lakshan to Fernando, no run

another swing and a miss as Lakshan bowls another one into the pitch and seems to be getting extra bounce

Lakshan to Fernando, no run

has he nicked that? I thiink so. That's a quicker one from Lakshan, which Avishka tries to crash over long on, but he nicks it and would you believe it, Azam Khan has put down the regulation chance behind the wicket

Lakshan to Fernando, no run

slower short ball again, Avishka misses

Lakshan to Fernando, FOUR runs

terrible misfield by Jayasuriya on the long off boundary. That was hit in the air and almost carried. Jayasuriya was attack the ball looking for the catch at first, but changed his minde halfway, and didn't manage to stop the boundary. He got his hands to it but fumbled

Lakshan to Fernando, no run

slower one, 105kph, into the wicket, so it gets up to about waist high. Avishka tries to ramp it and misses

Dananjaya Lakshan is back. He's gone for 19 from his two overs so far.

end of over 178 runs • 1 wicket
JK: 147/3CRR: 8.64 RRR: 8.00
Avishka Fernando80 (53)
Shoaib Malik1 (2)
Asitha Fernando 4-0-30-2
Shehan Jayasuriya 3-0-20-1
Asitha Fernando to Fernando, 1 run

full and wide again, carved away with good timing behind square by Avishka, but he hits that deep backward point fielder

Asitha Fernando to Malik, 1 run

full and wide, almost a yorker. Malik throws his bat at that and squeezes it away to deep point

Kapil Baldawa: "This is why death batting was important. 10-15 more and this game could have been a very close one. Shehan Jayasuriya is in the set up since years but still struggles more often. He needed to play smartly and take 2s instead of going for big ones and getting nothing"

Asitha Fernando to Malik, no run

short of a length delivery outside off stump. Opens his face but can't beat short third man. They think about a run but decide against, wisely

Shoaib Malik walks to the crease.

Stallions Innings
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