West Indian Andre Fletcher thundered his way to a rollicking unbeaten 102 off 67 balls in becoming the first batsman to reach three figures in the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) organised Lanka Premier League starring as Kandy Falcons crushed Colombo Stars by 109 runs in the second night fixture at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium today. The 35-year old Fletcher hammered 11 boundaries and 3 sixes in combining in a record first wicket partnership of 156 runs off 15.4 overs with Pathum Nissanka who struck 71 off 41 studded with 8 boundaries and 2 sixes. Colombo Stars skippered by Angelo Mathews, were made to see stars being routed for 90 off 14.3 overs with the former Lankan captain top scoring with 23 inclusive of 2 boundaries.
Fletcher, the only West Indian player hailing from the Grenada Islands, simply blazed his way to the Player of the Match by his blitzkrieg showmanship. Colombo fell apart in the face of Kandy Falcons skipper Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva’s wily leg spin with a 4-wicket grab for 14 off 3 overs. CHIEF SCORES: Kandy Falcons 199/1 (20 Overs) (Andre Fletcher n.o. 102, Pathum Nissanka 71, Carlos Braithwaite n.o. 20, Seekuge Prasanna 1/23) Colombo Stars 90 (14.3 Overs) (Angelo Mathews 23, Keemo Pant 22, Dominic Drakes 18, Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva 4/14, Zahoor Khan 1/8, Carlos Braithwaite 1/22)
LPL 2022 unfolds in riot of colour (By Srian Obeyesekere) King cricket, as the adage goes, could not have got any better for Sri Lanka, a country smitten by the cricket bug running well over a century of years when the second edition of Sri Lanka Cricket’s Lanka Premier League (LPL) as several international cricketers lined up along with local cricketers at the colourful opening ceremony that took on a riot of colour at the picturesque Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium at Sooriyawewa in Hambantota on Monday.
As the captains of the five teams lined up flanked by Sri Lanka Cricket’s President, Shammi Silva, the significance of the extravaganza, a version of the now populous Indian Premier League, could not have manifested any better than for many starry eyed youngsters drawn from as far as the country’s grass roots. Indeed, in that ushering, the LPL came full circle in all its splendour holding out the promise of a new chapter to Sri Lankan cricket in galvanising latent talent from the village level to whom cricket has become near religion.