Jaffna Kings led by Thisara Perera won today’s inaugural game of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) organised historic Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2022 defeating Galle Gladiators by 24 runs at the picturesque Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium at Sooriyawewa, Hambantota. The hero turned out to be 19- year old Dunith Wellalage who struck 30 off 20 inclusive of 4 boundaries in Jaffna Kings total of 137 off 19.5 overs batting first. The Galle Gladiators were shot out for 113.
Fresh from his match winning exploit of unbeaten decisive 31 for Sri Lanka against Afghanistan in the recent third ODI, Wellalage, the teenage prodigy once again came to the show taking strike at No.7 with the Kings on 79 for 5 after12.1 overs following the departure of skipper Thisara Perera for a run a ball 16. He was soon into rhythm putting on 39 for the sixth wicket with veteran Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik who also struck 30 off 27 hitting 2 boundaries. Dhananjaya de Silva was equal to the task upfront stroking 29 off 19 containing 3 boundaries.
The Galle Gladiators failed to capitalise on a fine start of 58 by openers Kusal Mendis, the skipper who struck a belligerent 53 off 43, and Nuwanidu Fernando who scored 15. But the innings came apart with Imad Wasim the only other Gladiators batsman to reach double figures. The wrecker was Binura Fernando who took 3 for 22 .
CHIEF SCORES: Jaffna Kings 137 (19.5 Overs) (Dunith Wellalage 30, Shoaib Malik 30, Dhananjaya de Silva 29, Thisara Perera 16, Wahab Riaz 2/23, Imad Wasim 2/22, Nuwan Pradeep 2/23 Thushara 2/31) Galle Gladiators 113 (20 Overs) (Kusal Mendis 51, Imad Wasim 17, Nuwanidu Fernando 15, Binura Fernando 3/22, Vijayakanth Viyakanth 2/20, Dunith Wellalage 1/14, James Fuller 1/19, Mahesh Theekshana 1/24)