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ACC Premier Cup (2)
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WI 4-Day (4)
Feature

Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis and Carlos Brathwaite feature in ESPNcricinfo's LPL XI

Jaffna Kings and Kandy Falcons are the best-represented teams in our selection

Kamindu Mendis has grown into a consistent run-scorer in the middle order  •  SLC

Kamindu Mendis has grown into a consistent run-scorer in the middle order  •  SLC

Avishka Fernando (Jaffna Kings)
Runs 289, Average 36.12, Strike rate 126.20
Following a 2022 season largely waylaid by injury, Sri Lanka's most destructive top-order option is back to full fitness, and this LPL the 24 year-old looks to have added some consistency to his belligerence; despite a high score of just 54, he has failed to cross the 20 mark only twice in nine innings, making him the most consistent opener in this tournament and a large part of yet another Jaffna run to the final.
Andre Fletcher (Kandy Falcons)
Runs: 266, Average 38.00, Strike rate: 131.68
Fletcher by contrast hasn't been the most consistent of contributors at the top of Kandy's batting order, but when he has got in he's made it count - most notably in Kandy's opening fixture when he batted through the innings on his way to an unbeaten 102, albeit with the aid of 4 (four!) dropped catches. His run count has only been bettered by Fernando.
Kusal Mendis (Galle Gladiators)
Runs 256, Average 28.44, Strike rate 122.48
Mendis was the form batter going into this tournament. He had racked up 521 runs in T20Is this year, striking at 132.23 and scoring five fifties. He has more or less carried on in the same vein during the LPL, hitting three 50-plus scores at the top of the order. Whenever Mendis did well, Galle tended to do the same.
Sadeera Samarawickrama (Jaffna Kings)
Runs 250, Average 62.50, Strike rate 126.90
Samarawickrama was part of the same Sri Lanka Under-19 side as Mendis but he's never been afforded the same faith by the national selectors. Whether it's seeing home a chase or putting the finishing touches on a hefty total, Samarawickrama has comfortably provided what his team has needed this season. Already rumoured to be included in next year's tour of India, this LPL might just be the tournament to make the selectors sit up and take notice.
Angelo Mathews (Colombo Stars)
Runs 201, Average 40.20, Strike rate 124.07
A late addition to this list, Mathews didn't have the most prominent of league stages - an MS-Dhoni-esque late assault aside, in which he scored a 38-ball 73 in a losing cause. Beyond the first three games, he didn't bowl either. But, he's seen through two crunch chases in the Eliminator and Qualifier in indomitable fashion, showcasing a combination of shrewd game-management and nerveless strokeplay. Colombo will need him to fire once more if they are to topple the Kings in the final.
Ashen Bandara (Kandy Falcons)
Runs 244, Average 40.66, Strike rate 118.44
While Kandy are well stocked at the top of the order and lower down - with their plethora of allrounders - their middle order, on paper at least, seemed a little light. Bandara has more than done his part to quell any fears however, emerging as a reliable option, whether it's building on from a platform or digging his side out of an early hole. Oh, and he's not too shabby in the field either.
Kamindu Mendis (Kandy Falcons) Wickets 2, Economy rate 8.00, Runs: 260, Strike rate: 118.18
The former Sri Lanka Under-19 captain has long been tipped for big things, but it's only now that the 24-year-old seems to be adding some consistency to his game. While his ambidextrous spin is still only a part-time option at best, he has earned his keep with the bat, with two fifties scores and just one single-digit score. Kamindu alongside Bandara went a long way to offsetting Kandy's perceived middle-order weak spot for much of the tournament.
Carlos Brathwaite (Kandy Falcons)
Wickets 18, Average 9.88, Economy rate 6.84
To say not many would have picked Carlos Brathwaite to be the tournament's leading wicket-taker would be an understatement. Yet here we are, with the 34-year-old West Indian topping the charts by a good four scalps, at a none too shabby strike rate of 8.6. For the most part Brathwaite has kept things simple, relying on solid lines and lengths, daring batters to take him on, and banking on them erring. And it's worked.
Binura Fernando (Jaffna Kings)
Wickets 11, Average 7.90, Economy rate 5.80
Despite playing just four games, the 6'7" Fernando has been scooping up the wickets, and doing it quickly and cheaply too. While not express - he clocks in the mid 130s - the extra bounce he extracts off good lengths has made him particularly difficult to get away. Sure, some of the wickets have come at the death, but that too is down to the pressure he has managed to create with his frugality.
Nuwan Thushara (Galle Gladiators)
Wickets 14, Average 18.00, Economy rate 7.42
When Thushara first broke onto the scene you would have been forgiven for relegating the slinger to nothing more than a Lasith Malinga tribute act. But the 28-year-old has built on his breakthrough LPL last season, striking in every game bar one this time round. Moreover, his ability to do whatever job is required of him, be it containment or attack, has seen him become one of the tournament's most reliable seamers.
Vijayakanth Viyaskanth (Jaffna Kings)
Wickets 13, Average 14.61, Economy rate 6.78
Viyaskanth has had to remain patient during his three seasons in the LPL, constantly in the shadow of Wanindu Hasaranga. But following the departure of the senior man to Kandy Falcons this season, the 21-year-old from Jaffna Central College has certainly grabbed his opportunity. Offering variety and control with his legbreaks, he's gone wicketless just once in seven outings, marking him out as a go-to option for his team.