Full and swings hard, straight to extra cover. And Jaffna are back-to-back champions! The players rush the field, you can hear the shouts of jubilation through the stump mics. Well deserved winners.
11.50pm And on that note, it's a wrap from us for a another season of the LPL. There was more rain than anyone would have liked, but it still provided drama aplenty with spinners dominating, and then when the action shifted to Hambantota, the batters finally had their day in the sun in more ways than one. And ultimately it was Jaffna that proved to be the team for all seasons. Thanks for joining our coverage, good night!
Jaffna captain Thisara Perera is understandably elated, and gives thanks to all the support staff and the fans. He does admit though that Gunathilaka's innings had him worried: "We were all worried, because Dhnushka batted really well, but we knew 200 was still a lot to chase. I think we can do even better next year in terms of performance."
Galle skipper Bhanuka Rajapaksa says he's happy with how the team performed throughout the tournament, even if they came up short at the final hurdle: "I'm very satisfied with the boys' efforts. Not too great to finish second yet again, hopefully we can go one better next year. I think we misfielded too many, and that affected the game," he added.
11.40pm So Avishka Fernando picks up the Player of the Match and Player of the Series, having turned up just when his team needed him. "I'm very happy that I was able to what I do to the best of my ability. I batted at number four but I had a couple of failures, so I'm quite happy to do well again at the top of the order," he said speaking post-match.
chathura dharma: "Again two brothers from Galle stands in the way of Galle Gladiators"
Saad: "Just tuning in after an hour, and not sure if someone has noted this. This Gladiators franchise is very similar to its counterparts Quetta Gladiators over at PSL. Quetta Gladiators were the first to qualify for the final in the first two PSL editions, but were beaten in the final. Galle franchise is headed for the same outcome."
11.05pm So it's another LPL in the bag for Jaffna and what a consummate performance it has been! Yes, when Gunathilaka (54 off 21) and Mendis (39 off 28) were going in the powerplay they would've had doubts, but they have game-changers in their ranks. And while Theekshana had an uncharacteristically poor game going for 51 in his four overs - much of that down to Gunathilaka - Wanindu came to the party and dismissed Gunathilaka and Dunk off back-to-back balls to swing the momentum.
Even then the Gladiators had the required rate within reach, but the Kings were outstanding in the field, effecting two runouts, one which was the final nail in the coffin - the wicket of Mendis. They also took every catch that came their way, including some extremely dicey ones.
Galle by contrast had a day to forget in the field, and that probably cost them around 20 runs in total - which in the end was the margin of defeat. The Kings batters needed little invitation though, who were on it from the get go. Avishka followed his century last game with another fifty, while TKC also notched a half ton. And then cameos from Gurbaz, Malik and Thisara pushed the Kings beyond that 200-mark. That was always going to be a tough ask, and so it proved in the end.
Yorker and driven back to the bowler.
Low full toss and driven exquisitely over extra cover.
full and driven to extra cover.
And again, nicely timed from Thushara. Full on the stumps, opens the face and guides this past point. Sweeper comes around to stop the four.
Length ball and swings hard. It's sliced through the covers.
It's Lakmal to finish things off.
Full and times this quite splendidly! Just opens the blade and guides it over point. Great shot.
Last man in now. It's Nuwan Thushara.
And that should be the game. Udana looks to loft this length ball straight over the bowler. But it's full and he gets under it but doesn't get the distance. Malik at long on completes a comfortable take.
Slower ball on a length, slashed over backward point from Amir. Boundary is cut off by third man.
Full toss and muscled towards midwicket. Can't get the timing.
Full outside off, and lofted over extra cover. Bisects the two men in the deep.
Bouncer and Udana goes for the hook, misses and is hit flush on the helmet. The ball flies away for four.
Seales is back.
So Hasaranga is limping off, with the help of two men.
Length ball and Patel gets right under this, but that's all he does. It goes high and straight to long-on who comes in from the boundary to complete an easy take.
Full and chipped towards long-off but falls just short.
Low full toss this time, flicked away towards deep midwicket and fielded incredibly well in the deep! But Wanindu has pulled something here. Oh no, that's unfortunate.
Full again, nails the yorker. Udana goes for the big booming drive and gets nowhere near it. Shaves leg stump.
Full and straight and driven straight back to Lakmal.
Pushed through the covers off a length.
48 needed off 18.
Length outside off, it's the googly and Udana tries to do...something here. Just gets an inside edge onto the pads in the end.
Back of a length and pushed through the covers.
|Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa, Hambantota|
|Toss||Jaffna Kings, elected to bat first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Player Of The Series|
|Series result||Jaffna Kings won the 2021/22 Lanka Premier League|
|Match days||23 December 2021 - night (20-over match)|