Jaffna Kings defeated Colombo Stars by two wickets in the final of the Lanka Premier League 2022 to secure the championship title for a record third time on Friday night at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium.
The game went down to the wire before a large crowd with the ninth-wicket pair of Binura Fernando and Vijayakanth Viyaskanth running two off a wide off the third ball of the final over sent down by Kasun Rajitha after the wicket-keeper had fumbled with the ball as the Jaffna Kings finished on 164 for 8 off 19.4 overs in response to the Colombo Stars 163 for 5 off 20. The game went down to the wire with the Kings needing 6 off the final over with skipper Thisara Perera on strike dispatching the first ball to the boundary, but he was dismissed in the next delivery when Dominic Drakes held on to a skier.
As an overjoyed Viyaskanth, who was on strike of the delivery that brought the side victory was to later air when he collected the award for the Emerging Player of the Tournament, “I had bragged to my teammates that I would win the match for them. The Kings hero of the day of course was opening batsman Avishka Fernando who scored 50 off 43 balls for the Player of the Match award having added 49 for the first wicket with Rahmanullah Gurbaz who hit a quickfire 36 off 18. Then Sadeera Samarawickrama steadied the innings stroked 49 in consolidating the innings following the dismissal of Afif Hossain for 3. Samarawickrama departed making it128 for 3 after 16 overs. Avishka Fernando was sixth out to Suranga Lakmal who had him caught by substitute fielder Navod Paranavithana with the score 153, but Colombo Stars came back sending back Shoaib Malik for 10 bowled plumb by Suranga Lakmal and Dunith Wellalage caught and bowled by Mohammad Nabi for 2 and Maheesh Theekshana run out for 1 as the Kings slipped to 154 for 7 after 18.5. Skipper Thisara Perera brought his side back crashing the first delivery of the final over through extra cover. but Rajitha put the Stars in the reckoning when he claimed the decisive wicket with his next delivery before Viyaskanth and Binura Fernando saw the Kings through.
Colombo Stars, put into bat, hashed it up from a healthy 75-run second wicket partnership between Dinesh Chandimal and Charith Asalanka after 9.3 overs. But rush of blood by both batsmen threw the whole thing out off the window. Asalanka threw it away holing out to Viyaskanth off Dunith Wellalage for 31 while Chandimal committed the bigger fault by getting out the worst way by running himself out when well set on 49 which a good batsman is forbidden especially in a decisive!! final. The rot set in from that point with skipper Angelo Mathews falling for 13, but Ravi Bopara with an unbeaten 47 off 34 rallied the innings from 114 for 4 after 16.3 in adding 45 for the fifth wicket with Mohammed Nabi 15.
Player of the Final: Avishka Fernando,
Most Runs: Avishka Fernando,
Most Wickets: Carlos Braithwaite,
Innovative Player of the Tournament: Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
Emerging Player of the Tournament: Vijayakanth Viyaskanth
Player of the Tournament: Sadeera Samarawickrama
CHIEF SCORES: Colombo Stars 163/5 (20 Overs) (Dinesh Chandimal 49, Ravi Bopara 47, Charith Asalanka 31,Mohammad Nabi 15, Mathews 13, Thisara Perera 1/16, Dunith Wellalage 1/18, Maheesh Theekshana 1/34, Binura Fernando 1/48) Jaffna Kings164/8 (20 Overs) (Avishka Fernando 50, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 36, Shoaib Malik 10, Suranga Lakmal 3/23, Benny Howell 2/17, Kasun Rajitha 1/27, Mohammad Nabi 1/42)