By Srian Obeyesekere
Galle Gladiators Dhanushka Gunathilaka’s lone effort 53-ball 82 found no consolidating support from the rest of its specialist batsmen conceding defeat to Kandy Tuskers by 25 runs in the second Day/Night match of the Lanka Premier League played at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium on Monday. They ended on 171 for 7 in 20 overs in reply to Kandy Tuskers 196 for 5 0ff 20 highlighted by Zimbabwean Brendan Taylor’s Man of the Match unbeaten 51 spiced with 7 boundaries and a six and Kusal Mendis’ 49 off 30 filled with 4 over the top and 2 to the ropes.
It undermined the short of depth in the Gladiators frontline batting as Gunathilaka’s standout innings showcased by 13 boundaries and a six fizzled out to nothingness in so much as the ultimate final result. But in defeat, the essence of the lone showmanship was the consolidating high point in the sinking ship. Bar the skipper Shahid Afridi who blitzed a half century in their opening game which though also ended in defeat, the failure of the rest of Galle Gladiators batting continued to bug the side’s fortunes in what was their third consecutive defeat.
With this win, Kandy Tuskers broke their barren run pocketing 2 points from 3 outings to be placed third thus far.
Kandy Tuskers 196/5 (20 Overs) RR: 9.8
(B.R.M. Taylor n.o. 51, M.B.K.G. Mendis 49, P.H.K.D. Mendis 28, ,M.D.K.J. Perera 27, D.A.S. Gunaratne 11, P.A.D.L.R. Sandakan 2/41).
Did not bat: N. Pradeep, Naveen-ul-Haq, M.D.K. Perera, M.M. Patel
|Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz, 2.4 ov), 2-97 (Kusal Perera, 9.5 ov), 3-106 (Kusal Mendis, 11.3 ov), 4-171 (Kamindu Mendis, 16.6 ov), 5-194 (Asela Gunaratne, 19.3 ov)|
GALLE GLADIATORS 171/7 (20 Overs) RR: 8.55
(M.D. Gunathilaka 82, G.S.N.F.G. Jayasuriya 17, Mohammad Amir n.o. 15, Azam Khan 13, T.A.M. Siriwardana 13, P.B.B. Rajapaksa 12)
Did not bat: A. Dananjaya, P.A.D.L.R. Sandakan.
Fall of wickets: 1-3 (Hazratullah Zazai, 0.4 ov), 2-24 (Azam Khan, 3.2 ov), 3-45 (Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 5.4 ov), 4-74 (Milinda Siriwardana, 7.6 ov), 5-85 (Shahid Afridi, 8.5 ov), 6-138 (Shehan Jayasuriya, 15.5 ov), 7-150 (Danushka Gunathilaka, 17.3 ov)