Wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella stood strong staving a 3 for 26 collapse in three overs to leading Colombo Stars to a close 9-run win Dambulla Aura by a characteristically belligerent Player of the Match 41-ball 62 decked with 8 boundaries in the fifth game of the Sri Lanka Cricket Lanka Premier League 2022 extravaganza at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium today. Dickwella came to the show from ball one holding forth after his opening partner and skipper Angelo Mathews 4, Navod Paranavithana 0 and Charith Asalanka 6 were back in the pavilion in next to no time. Colombo finally reached 165 for 9 off 20 and restricted Dambulla Aura to 156 for 7 off 20. Dickwella proved to be the centre piece to Colombo Stars prevailing in hitting the winning board following the bad defeat in their opener to Kandy Falcons as he and Indian star Ravi Bopara 26 with 2 boundaries added a decisive 54 for the fourth wicket just past the halfway mark. Dickwella was fifth out with the score 114 after 14.3 overs. But Dambulla pulled back the game reducing Colombo to 117 for 6 and it took second phase 33-run seventh wicket effort by Dinesh Chandimal with an unbeaten 26 off 23 with 2 boundaries and Dominic Drakes 18 to keep their side on course in the face of a 4 for 36 burst by Lahiru Kumara.
Dambulla Aura was given a flying start of 53 in 4.5 overs 2 by openers Jordan Cox 29 and Shevon Daniel 28, but lost the initiative slithering to 81 for 3’after 10.2 with Bhanuka Rajapaksa falling for 17. Tom Abell struck 30 off 19 containing 5 boundaries to revive the innings, but Dambulla lost the plot declining to 130 for 7 after 16.4. Requiring a further 36 off 20 the onus lay on skipper Dasun Shanaka, the last of the recognised batsmen to lift his side and with the final ask 23 off 4 he cleared 13 of them with an extra added with Tharindu Ratnayake stuck on 8.
CHIEF SCORES: Colombo Stars 165 (20 Overs) (Niroshan Dickwella 62, Dinesh Chandimal n.o. 26, Ravi Bopara 26, Dominic Drakes 18, Lahiru Kumara 4/36, Lahiru Madushanka 1/17, Tharindu Ratnayake 1/20, Sikander Raza 1/31) Dambulla Aura 156/7 (20 Overs) (Tom Abell 30, Jordan Cox 29, Shevon Daniel 28, Dasun Shanaka n.o. 31, Tharindu Ratnayake n.o. 8, Suranga Lakmal 2/29, Karim Janat 2/30, Dominic Drakes 2/35, Naveen-ul-Haq 1/22)