|| CF DESK ||
Jaffna Kings became the champions of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2021 season by knocking off Galle Gladiators by 23 runs in a high-scoring final at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota on Thursday (December 23).
Avishka Fernando smashed 63 runs off 41 balls, and Wanindu Hasaranga was the pick of the bowling attack as he took two wickets in his four overs, starred in the encounter for the Kings.
Chasing 202, Danushka Gunathilaka gave Gladiators a brisk start as he smashed 7 fours and 3 sixes to score 54 off 21 balls. Hasaranga, then dismissed Gunathilaka and also got the wicket of dangerous Ben Dunk for a golden duck in the same over.
After Mohammad Hafeez got run out for 10 in the 7th over by Chaturanga de Silva Kusal Mendis scored 39 before getting run out by Perera. Gladiators continued to lose wickets in quick succession, and eventually could only muster 178/9 in 20 overs, falling short by 23 runs.
Earlier, Jaffna Kings opted to bat first winning the toss. Openers Avishka Fernando and Rahmanullah Gurbaz gave their side a flying start.
The duo amassed 56 runs in 5.2 overs before the latter was dismissed by Galle Gladiators spinner Samit Patel. Fernando went on to complete his half-century, but Nuwan Thushara dismissed him with a slower one for 63.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore (57 off 41) also went on to score his first fifty of Lanka Premier League 2021 season, while Shoaib Malik (23 off 11 balls) and Perera (17 off 9 balls) added crucial runs in the death overs.
Kings posted a mammoth total of 201/3 in 20 overs, setting a target of 202 for Galle Gladiators to chase.
Jaffna Kings 201/3 (Avishka Fernando 63, Tom Kohler-Cadmore 57, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 35) beat Galle Gladiators 178/9 (Danushka Gunathilaka 54, Kusal Mendis 39; Chaturanga de Silva 2/15, Wanindu Hasaranga 2/30) by 23 runs.