Jaffna Kings did atone for yesterday’s loss to Colombo Stars with the 21-year old Afghanistan import Rahmanullah Gurbaz leading the way by an exhilarating 35-ball 73 and Avishka Fernando 54 off 30 to powering 240 for 4 in sending Dambulla Aura crashing to their third consecutive defeat by runs and second at the Kings hands in Sunday’s eighth fixture of the Lanka Premier League 2022 at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium. Dambulla Aura, as in the previous game against Colombo Stars, was at the receiving end despite skipper Dasun Shanaka’s rear guard 44 off 23 filled with 3 sixes and 4 boundaries ending far short of the target on 189 for 8 off 20 overs.
The night was lit up by the U-19 Afghanistan discovery Gurbaz who has done his country proud as he plundered 5 sixes and 7 boundaries in a whirlwind 133 for the first wicket with Avishka Fernando off 64 balls. Fernando struck 6 boundaries and 2 sixes. It was the perfect tempo for Sadeera Samarawickrama 38 off 22 and Shoaib Malik 32 off 15 to follow with skipper Thisara Perera on 12 off 6 in the final dash.
Dambulla Aura despite getting to 72 off 52 balls felt the setback of losing 3 wickets by that stage highlighted by the 4 for 22 strike by pacie Binura Fernando. Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s upfront 31-ball 38 didn’t carry the required momentum given the ground situation with the next best contribution being Shevon Daniel’s 29 off 20. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who lit up the night sky by his exhilarating willow fireworks, was rewarded with the Player of the Match award.
CHIEF SCORES: Jaffna Kings 240/4 (20 Overs) (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 73, Avishka Fernando 54, Sadeera Samarawickrama n.o. 38, Shoaib Malik 32, Dhananjaya de Silva 16, Thisara Perera n.o. 12, Lahiru Kumara 2/56, Dushan Hemantha 1/44, Pramod Madushan 1/55) Dambulla Aura 189/8 (20 Overs) (Dasun Shanaka 44, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 38, Shevon Daniel 29, Tom Abell 12, Binura Fernando 4/22, Suminda Lakshan 2/55, Dhananjaya de Silva 1/40, Dilshan Madushanka 1/43)