Jaffna Stallions vs Galle Gladiators, Match 2, Hambantota

Pro tip: Avishka Fernando scored a scintillating 127 against West Indies in the only ODI which happened at this venue in the last three years.

Our XI: Avishka Fernando (capt), Hazratullah Zazai, Snehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Shoaib Malik, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Minod Bhanuka (wk), Akila Dananjaya, Mohammad Amir, Kyle Abbott

Substitutes: Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Asitha Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka

NOTE: 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.

Player availability: Shahid Afridi, who was supposed to captain the Gladiators, will miss the first two games after missing his flight. Bhanuka Rajapaksa is likely to captain the team in his place.

Captain: Avishka Fernando

Avishka Fernando made his national debut at 18, having not played any first-class or List A games. He has recorded four 40-plus scores in his last six innings in the domestic Sri Lanka T20 competition, and the last time he played in Hambantota, he scored a century in an ODI.

Vice-captain: Wanindu Hasaranga

This 23-year-old bowling allrounder has had a good start with his national team. He has picked up 16 wickets in 13 T20I's so far. He is a wicket-taking legspinner, who can contribute with the bat lower down the order too. In the last ten domestic SL T20 competition matches, he has taken 18 wickets and has scored 199 runs.

Hot Picks

Bhanuka Rajapaksa: Rajapaksa turned heads in his debut T20I series in Pakistan last year. He top-scored in that series with 112 runs at a strike rate of 143.59 which helped Sri Lanka defeat Pakistan 3-0. In BPL 2019-20 too, he impressed everyone with his brilliant strokeplay, scoring 188 runs in six games at a strike rate of 155.37, including an unbeaten 96.

Shoaib Malik: The Pakistan veteran has proved that he still has a lot of cricket left in him by top-scoring for his team Peshawar Zalmi in PSL 2020. He aggregated 278 runs in eight innings at a strike rate of 137.62 and an average of 34.75.

Mohammad Amir: Mohammad Amir is the highest wicket taker for Khulna Tigers and Karachi Kings in the most recent BPL and PSL competitions. The left-arm seamer took six and two wickets in the qualifier 1 and final respectively for Khulna, but they finished the tournament as runners-up.

Differential Picks

Akila Dananjaya: Akila Dananjaya might not be your big-name pick but he has surely got his form back after a poor couple of years. In the last 10 SL domestic T20 games, he has not gone wicketless and has got 21 wickets. In fact, in his last 17 T20 games, he has gone wicketless in only one game.

Shehan Jayasuriya: Snehan Jayasuriya set the 2020 SL domestic T20 tournament on fire by topping the run charts with 385 runs in eight games at an average of 48 and a strike rate of 157. He also picked up six wickets in the tournament.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Tom Moores could be a like-for-like replacement option for Shoaib Malik as the finisher for Jaffna Stallions.
  • Duanne Olivier or Usman Shinwari can replace Kyle Abbott if he doesn't play.
  • Asitha Fernando was the most prolific seamer in the SLC T20 Tournament in 2020, picking up 14 wickets in eight games. He can be a replacement option if one of Amir or Dananjaya doesn't play.