Dec 9: Kandy Tuskers vs Jaffna Stallions, Hambantota

Pro Tip: Kandy Tuskers' bowling has been heavily reliant on Asela Gunaratne and Naveen-ul-Haq. No one else has taken more than a wicket in their last five games. So avoid picking other bowlers from the Tuskers.

Our XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Kusal Mendis, Brendan Taylor, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Asela Gunaratne, Wanindu Hasaranga, Usman Shinwari, Duanne Olivier

Substitutes: Naveen-ul-Haq, Irfan Pathan, Shoaib Malik, Johnson Charles.

Player availability: Kandy Tuskers pacers Naveen-ul-Haq and Dale Steyn are doubtful for 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: Wanindu Hasaranga

The 23-year-old allrounder has been in excellent form. He is the highest wicket-taker with ten strikes in six games, at an average of 10.50 and an economy of 5. He has also scored 87 runs in the four innings he has batted in at a strike rate of 197.72.

Vice-captain: Kusal Mendis

One of the top-five scorers of the tournament, and also the best for the Tuskers, Mendis has 193 runs in six innings at a strike rate of 139.85. With the experience of playing over 100 limited-overs games for Sri Lanka, he is expected to step up and score runs in what is an all-important game for the Tuskers.

Hot Picks

Avishka Fernando: The Stallions opener has played a couple of big knocks in LPL 2020: 92* and 84. Both of these were in successful chases. On the other three occasions when the Stallions have batted first, his scores were 4, 3 and 26. If the Stallions are chasing, he might be a good contender to captain your side too.

Brendan Taylor: The Zimbabwe wicketkeeper-batsman has started the tournament with handy knocks of 51* and 46. However, in the last couple of games, he has missed out on a big score and he is likely to bounce back in this game.

Asela Gunaratne: What Hasaranga has done for the Stallions, Gunaratne has done for the Tuskers - Gunaratne has picked up seven wickets in six innings and has scored 104 runs at a strike rate of 140.54. He has bowled exceptionally well in powerplays in particular, picking up four wickets at an economy of 5.40.

Differential Picks

Dhananjaya de Silva: The allrounder has made an impact in only one game so far - a brilliant 38-ball 61 against the Tuskers. He is experienced, and has 61 limited-overs caps for Sri Lanka, and should raise his game for this big one.

Duanne Olivier: Olivier has been one of the under-rated bowlers in LPL 2020. He started the tournament with a bang, picking up four wickets in a high-scoring game, but hasn't been among the wickets too much since. He has picked up seven wickets in five games so far.

Alternate Scenarios

  • If Naveen-ul-Haq plays, he can take Kusal Perera's place. Perera has only scored 80 runs in his last five innings.

  • Shoaib Malik is due for a big score, and can replace Dhananjaya de Silva.