9th Match (D/N), Hambantota, Dec 3 2020, Lanka Premier League
(19.4/20 ov, target 171)174/5
Stallions won by 5 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
player of the match
Avishka Fernando
Jaffna Stallions

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 PWH 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
JS: 168/4CRR: 8.84 RRR: 3.00 • Need 3 runs from 6b
PWH de Silva16 (6)
Shoaib Malik1 (2)
Mohammad Amir4-0-37-0
Dhananjaya Lakshan3-0-24-1
Amir to PWH 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 PWH 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 PWH 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 PWH 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 PWH 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 PWH 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.