Nov 28: Dambulla Viiking vs Kandy Tuskers, Hambantota

Pro Tip: Load your team with top-order batsmen, especially from the team batting first, and expect another high-scoring game.

Our XI: Paul Stirling, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Oshada Fernando, Asela Gunaratne, Samit Patel, Lahiru Kumara, Naveen ul Haq

Substitutes: Ramesh Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Nuwan Pradeep, Seekkuge Prasanna

Player availability: Dale Steyn and Irfan Pathan might not be available for the Tuskers because of isolation protocols and an injury respectively. 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: Kusal Perera

Perera has scored the most T20I runs among current Sri Lankan players, with 1293 at an average of 28.10 and a strike rate of 135.25 in 46 innings. He started the tournament in style too, with a 52-ball 87, which included in nine fours and four sixes.

Vice-captain: Paul Stirling

Stirling is the in-form player for the Viiking. He has played 17 T20s in 2020 and has scored 468 runs in them at an average of 31.20 and a brilliant strike rate of 156. He even scored a 47-ball 95 against a strong West Indies bowling line-up at the start of this year.

Hot Picks

Samit Patel: Patel is one of the premier T20 players in the world, and was one of the top performers at PSL 2020, scoring 188 runs in nine innings and picking up ten wickets. He was the only player in the tournament to pull off the 150-10 double.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz: We picked Gurbaz ahead of Brendan Taylor in the previous game too, and it proved to be a great call. The LPL started off with a bang thanks to his 22-ball 53 and he kept the Tuskers in the Super Over until the last ball.

Niroshan Dickwella: When New Zealand toured Sri Lanka last year, Dickwella scored 96 runs in three T20I innings at a strike rate of 137.14. He can change a game single-handedly on his day.

Differential Picks

Upul Tharanga: The experienced Tharanga has scored more T20 runs than all current Sri Lankan players apart from Thisara Perera, and with 3188 runs from 116 innings at an average of 29.51 and strike rate of 129.22, he can be counted on to deliver.

Lahiru Kumara: Kumara is more of a long-format specialist, but with 18 wickets at a strike rate of 16.8 and an economy rate of 7.56 from 15 T20s, he looks like he has what it takes.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Dasun Shanaka, the Viiking captain, can replace Oshada Fernando as he provides a fine all-round option.

  • Nuwan Pradeep can replace Naveen-ul-Haq since the latter has a minor injury - wait for the toss.