Jaffna win opening match against Galle by 24 runs | Daily News

Jaffna win opening match against Galle by 24 runs

Jaffna Kings all-rounder Dunith Wellalage scored 30 in 20 balls   (Pic by SLC)
Jaffna Kings all-rounder Dunith Wellalage scored 30 in 20 balls (Pic by SLC)

Dunith Wellalage, the youngest player in the tournament, gave an outstanding all-round performance as Jaffna Kings recorded a fighting 24-run win over Galle Gladiators in the opening LPL game played at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium yesterday.

It was a superb team effort by defending champions Jaffna Kings led by Thisara Perera which is coached by Thilina Kandambi. Jaffna scored 137 in 19.5 overs and Galle Gladiators failed to reach the target as they were all out for 113 in 20 overs.

The 19-year-old Dunith Wellalage making his debut in the LPL, played a vital role coming as batsman number seven scoring 30 runs in 20 balls with four fours while he used his leg-spin bowling to finish with one for 14 runs in his three-over spell. Wellalage took a superb catch at mid-wicket to dismiss wicket-keeper Azam Khan off the bowling of leggie Vijayakanth Viyaskanth exhibiting an overall performance that paved the way for him to get the Player of the Match award.

Earlier, Jaffna Kings were put into bat first, Dhananjaya de Silva (29), Shoaib Malik (30 in 27 balls), and Wellalage (30) added useful contributions. Opener Avishka Fernando who came to bat after ten months of recovery from his injury was only able to score nine runs in nine balls as he was dismissed LBW to Imad Wasim. Skipper Thisara Perera played a 16-ball 16.

Galle Gladiators skipper and opener Kusal Mendis top scored with 51 in 43 balls hitting five fours and added a solid 58-run opening stand with Nuwanidu Fernando scoring 15 but their efforts were in vain as Jaffna Kings fought back strong to get more wickets to win the game.

Binura Fernando the Jaffna paceman was the most successful bowler taking 3 for 22 while leg spinner Vijayakanth Viyaskanth an old boy of Jaffna Central College took 2 for 20.

Chief scores

Jaffna Kings: 137 in 19.5 overs (Dhananjaya de Silva 29, Shoaib Malik 30, Dunith Wellalage 30, Thisara Perera 16, Wahab Riaz 2/23, Imad Wasim 2/22, Nuwan Thushara 2/31, Nuwan Pradeep 2/23, Ifthikar Ahmed 2/8)

Galle Gladiators: 113 in 20 overs (Kusal Mendis 51, Nuwanidu Fernando 15, Imad Wasim 17, Binura Fernando 3/22, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth 2/20, James Fuller 1/19, Maheesh Theekshana 1/24, Dunith Wellalage 1/14)

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