December 3: Galle Gladiators vs Jaffna Stallions, Hambantota

Pro Tip: In the last four games, only two openers managed to score 30-plus runs. So, pick more middle-order batsmen and allrounders in your XI.

Our XI: Avishka Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Azam Khan, Dhananjaya de Silva, Shoaib Malik, Thisara Perera, Milinda Siriwardana*, Wanindu Hasaranga, Usman Shinwari, Lakshan Sandakan, Mohammad Amir

*(The XI was updated after Shahid Afridi said he'll return to Pakistan for a "personal emergency")

Substitutes: Akila Dananjaya, Hazratullah Zazai, Chaturanga de Silva, Minod Bhanuka

Player availability: All players are available for selection. 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: Thisara Perera

Perera has been the best batter of the tournament so far, with 165 runs in two innings. Despite arriving at scores of 64 for 5 and 49 for 4, he has smashed 97 not out from just 44 balls and 68 from 28 deliveries, respectively. He has also taken five wickets so far, which makes him an automatic pick as captain.

Vice-captain: Danushka Gunathilaka

One of the in-form players of the tournament, Gunathilaka has scored 150 runs in three innings at a strike rate of 153.06, which makes him the third-highest run-scorer so far. In the Gladiators' previous match, he hit a 53-ball 82 when the next highest score from his team was 17.

Hot Picks

Usman Shinwari: The 26-year old left-arm Pakistan pacer has been the most impressive bowler in LPL 2020 so far. In two games, he has picked up six wickets at an astonishing average of just 5.50, economy of 4.71 and a strike rate of merely 7.00. Since the start of the year, Shinwari has picked up 17 wickets in 14 T20s.

Avishka Fernando: After scoring a match-winning 92 not out in his first game, Fernando missed out in the next few matches. But since December 2019, he averages 35.73 with the bat at a strike rate of 143.81, and is due a big score.

Differential Picks

Azam Khan: Khan is our pick out of the three wicketkeeping options for this game. He has played important cameos so far with knocks of 20, 10 not out and 13, which showed his big-hitting abilities. And in 24 T20s so far, Khan's strike rate is 148.27 with 28 sixes.

Lakshan Sandakan: Spinners have been slowly making an impact in recent games, and left-arm wristspinner Sandakan had dismissed Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis in the previous game. He is a genuine wicket-taker, having picked up 52 wickets in 46 T20 innings at an average of 23.36.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Akila Dananjaya can replace Mohammad Amir, who had an indifferent start to the tournament.

  • Minod Bhanuka or Tom Moores can be swapped for Azam Khan as wicket-keeping options.