Clashing Teams- Galle Gladiators and Jaffna Kings
Date: December 23rd 2021 (Thursday)
Time: 07:30 PM (Local) and 07:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
Head to Head- Galle Gladiators- 00 and Jaffna Kings- 03
Live Telecast- Sony Six and Sony LIV App
The much-awaited Lankan Premier League 2021 finals will see Galle Gladiators lined-up against arch rivals Jaffna Kings in Thursday’s blockbuster. Gladiators wrapped up their group-stage tussle while installed at second position and carrying four wins from eight overall fixtures. Gladiators recently catch-up Kings in the Qualifier-1 where they grind the opponents for a 64 runs cakewalk victory. Kusal Mendis collected ‘Player Of the Match’ trophy for eye-catching 85 runs knock off 53 balls decorated with seven smartly knocked 4s and four gigantic sixes.
Riding on Qualifier-1 confidence, Gladiators would aim to repeat the same massacre with bat and bowl in the ultimate showdown. Bhanuka Rajapaksa has already hinted that there will be no alter in the playing XI and Kusal Mendis alongside Gunathilaka will lead the batting charge yet again. Samit Patel and Bhanuka Rajapaksa will be Gladiators bet to deal with the death bowling attack. On bowling front, Nuwan Thusara will try his best to capitalize last outings 5-wicket haul and would be accompanied by the likes of Mohammad Amir, Isuru Udana and Nuwan Tharanga.
Jaffna Kings, on the other hand, finished atop of the leaderboard carrying 12 points lead. Thisara Perera & Associates sealed six wins from eight games to seal a birth in Qualifier-1 where they were knocked-off by Gladiators with a humiliating 64-runs defeat. In Qualifer-2, Jaffna Kings regains past success by performing edge above against Dambulla Giants and win the adrenaline rush competition with 23 runs edge. Avishka Fernando acknowledged the ‘Player Of the Match’ award for stockpiling 100 runs off just 64 balls.
Kings are yet to win a match against Gladiators this season, and forthcoming final will be the impeccable opportunity to settle all the scores. Kings are also expected to field the winning team combination from the Qualifier-2 and firing opening pair Avishka Fernando alongside Gurbaz will lead the charge. On bowling front, Jayden Seales will look forward to repeat three-wicket haul show while skipper Perera and Theekshana will be paired to plug the loose holes in the middle overs.
A gripping contest between bat and bowl will be visible for the one last time in the ultimate showdown of the Lankan Premier League 2021. However, tracking Galle Gladiators winning stats against Jaffna Kings and their performance in the ongoing season announce them favorites for the winning crown. The available wicket at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium is a belter of a track and new ball comes nicely to the bat. The surface will remain true to its nature and fans will be feasted with the high-scoring face-off. Expect toss winning skipper to field first in the game and challenge the opponents to erect a competitive total.
Top Batsman For Galle Gladiators- Kusal Mendis- This experienced wicket-keeper batter has yet again proved his mettle by being the second highest run-scorer this season. Mendis has scored 288 runs this season carrying 154.36 strike rate from 9 games.
Top Batsman for Jaffna Kings- Avishka Fernando- Avishka is the upcoming star of the Sri Lankan limited forma t cricket and he exhibit his white ball supremacy being highest run scorer for Jaffna Kings. Avishka has scored 249 runs this season carrying strike rate of 152.76.
Probable Playing XI for the Match
Galle Gladiators- Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (c), Samit Patel, Sahan Arachchige, Isuru Udana, Anwar Ali, Pulina Tharanga, Mohammad Amir, Nuwan Thushara
Jaffna Kings- Avishka Fernando, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Ashan Randika, Shoaib Malik, Thisara Perera (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chaturanga de Silva, Jayde Seales, Suranga Lakmal, Maheesh Theekshana
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