Dec 5: Dambulla Viiking vs Galle Gladiators, Hambantota

Pro Tip: Galle Gladiators are yet to post their first win of the tournament and with their skipper Shahid Afridi also not available, things are looking bleak for them. So, pick more players from Dambulla Viiking team.

Our XI: Azam Khan, Danushka Gunathilaka, Upul Tharanga, Angelo Perera, Ahsan Ali, Chadwick Walton, Samit Patel, Dasun Shanaka, Akila Dananjaya, Ramesh Mendis, Malinda Pushpakumara

Substitutes: Samiullah Shinwari, Kasun Rajitha, Shehan Jayasuriya, Asitha Fernando

Player availability: Afridi is the only unavailable player in this game.

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: Danushka Gunathilaka

One of the easiest choices for this game. The Gladiators opener is the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 206 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 145.07. His scores in the tournament are 38, 30*, 82 and 56. He is extremely good against pacers, scoring 156 runs in 97 balls and getting out only once.

Vice-captain: Angelo Perera

Perera came into the tournament after a century in a first-class game but didn't get any opportunity in the first two matches. Once he got the opportunity, he grabbed it with both hands by scoring 21 off 16 and 67 off 49. His T20 average of 24.14 and strike rate of 117.45 don't reflect his true potential.

Hot Picks

Dasun Shanaka: The Viiking skipper has scored 197 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 171.30, which makes him the second-leading run-maker of the tournament. He has been a master in the middle overs (7-15) scoring 142 runs in 89 balls, which ranks him the best in LPL 2020 so far.

Malinda Pushpakumara: From not getting to bowl in the second game to getting four wickets in the next couple, Pushpakumara brought his experience into play. Among the wealth of left-arm spinners in the tournament, he is the joint-most prolific bowler with five wickets in total.

Samit Patel: The experienced allrounder has scored 140 runs and picked up five wickets in four games in the LPL so far. He is among the top ten run-scorers as well as the top ten wicket-takers, which makes him one of the contenders for MVP of the season. He is enjoying a phenomenal year in the sub-continent after being one of the top performers in the Pakistan Super League too.

Differential Picks

Ramesh Mendis: The uncapped allrounder has been impressive with the ball so far with two wickets at an economy of 5.77 in three games. He is also handy with the bat which was evident from his 42-ball 70 in the last game of Sri Lanka's domestic T20 tournament. He also picked up eight wickets in six games in that tournament.

Azam Khan: Khan is our preferred wicketkeeping option for this game. He has played important cameos so far with knocks of 20, 10*, 13 and 25, which showed his big-hitting abilities. In 25 T20s so far, Khan's strike rate is 149.54 with 30 sixes.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Samiullah Shinwari looked good with the bat in the last game even though he bats lower down the order. He can be a replacement for Mendis.

  • You can also consider bringing in Asitha Fernando for Akila Dananjaya.