Jaffna Kings totally outplayed Kandy Falcons finally winning the first qualifying day-night match to the final of the Lanka Premier League’2022,on the rain dictated DLS Methodology by 24 runs on a revised target of 75 runs off 11 overs at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. It was in the buzz of the final leg to the championship countdown of the mega tournament attracting cricket crazy fans in the Colombo metropolis where the crowds are centred that the decisive game saw the Jaffna Kings win through outwitting their opponents with the bat and ball- Having restricted the Falcons to 143 for 8 off 20 overs on winning the toss and taking first lease, the Kings powered king sized rattling 71 runs in the power play in ensuring they would beat the eventuality of rain. The downpour came for a second time within minutes with the Jaffna Kings strongly placed on 98 for 3 after 11 overs.
The Falcons recovered from the loss of Andre Fletcher’s wicket for 2 with the Kings skipper Thisara Perera dealing the first blow when he had him caught by Vijayakanth Viyaskanth for 2 off his first delivery of the second over of the innings. But Pathum Nissanka 35 off 31 and Kamindu Mendis 26 off 21 revived the innings as Kandy Falcons reached 69 after 9.2 overs when Nissanka was bowled by Vijayakanth Viyaskanth who followed up there balls later by sending back Mendis as well caught by Thisara Perera as the Falcons slithered to 70 for 3 after 9.5 overs. Jaffna Kings drove home the advantage with the Falcons reeling on 115 for 6 from 15.5 overs following the dismissal of skipper Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva for 3 by Zaman Khan. who had him caught by Shoaib Malik. The rut set in with Mahesh Theekshana accounting for Najibullah Zadran stumped by Sadeera Samarawickrama for 22 and Fabian Allen caught by Rahmanullah Gurbaz for 6. Small contributions by Ashen Bandara 13 and Carlos Braithwaite 12 and Chamika Karunaratne unbeaten on 14 were not enough to secure the Falcons a potential total to defend. The Kandy Falcons skipper Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva might well have missed a trick in not promoting young Chamindu Wijesinghe his CCC club team mate who was in cracking form when their club won the recent Major League Tournament with a huge century. Instead Wijesinghe remained a passenger without getting into the equation when the Falcons needed a playmaker of his sort. Vijayakanth Viyaskanth won the reward of the Player of the Match award for his 3 wickets.
However, all is not lost for the Falcons where they will get a second crack to make it to the final when according to the tournament rules they will play the winners of tomorrow’s game between the Colombo Stars and Galle Gladiators.
CHIEF SCORES: Kandy Falcons 143/8 (20).(Pathum Nissanka 35, Kamindu Mendis 26, Najibullah Zadran 22, Ashen Bandara 13, Carlos Braithwaite 12, Chamika Karunaratne n.o. 14, Isuru Udana n o. 2, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth 3/30, Maheesh Theekshana 2/24, Thisara Perera 1/17, Binura Fernando 1/23, Zaman Khan 1/31) Jaffna Kings 98/3 (11 Overs) Won on revised DLS Target of 75 from 11 Overs. (Avishka Fernando 21, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 10, Afif Hossain 14, Sadeera Samarawickrama n.o. 15′ Dunith Wellalage n.o. 19, Carlos Braithwaite 2/32, Chamika Karunaratne 1/15)