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December 14, 2022
Ravi Bopara 31 off 12 lifts Colombo Stars to dramatic 2- wicket win over Galle Gladiators

Sri Lanka Cricket

When it looked like Colombo Stars was sunk by the Galle Gladiators with 40 off 18 balls for victory following the fall of Skipper Angelo Mathews for 7, Ravi Bopara, the former England all-rounder, who had watched from the other end con 7, performed the incredible thundering his way to 31 off 12 whipping 5 boundaries and a 6 in the Stars dramatic 2-wicket triumph dispatching Anwar Ali to the boundary off the last delivery in clearing the final target of the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium. Carrying the fever pitched drama to the wire the 37-year old former England star and Seekuge Prasanna in a 38-run seventh-wicket blitz off 36. The 37-year old Prasanna, whose last T20 international appearance was in October, 2017, rose to the occasion in style sending two over the top in a 14-run blitz off six deliveries. When Prasanna fell caught at mid wicket off Anwar Ali having dispatched the first ball of the final cover for 6 the Stars needed 2 off the last four balls but next man in Muditha Lakshan was taken out by Ali who had him caught by Lakshan Sandakan off the fourth ball. No. 10 Kasun Rajitha in as the game reached its nerve edge climax. But Rajitha who ran a bye. It was all Bopara needed to execute the winning shot and to cash in on the Player of the Match award.

The ground to the high drama was ignited by the Galle Gladiators posting 193 for the loss of 5 wickets with skipper Kusal Mendis firing 72 off 49 heightened by 4 sixes and 5 boundaries. The 36-year old former Pakistani import was the leverage to it with 58 off 33 hitting 7 boundaries and a six in stringing 85 for the third wicket following 51 for the first wicket between Mendis and Thanuka Dabare 33 off 22 (4×4, 1×6), and 49 for the second with Lahiru Udara 24 off 14 (2×4, 1×6). Mounting the gauntlet for the Stars upfront was Dinesh Chandimal opening the innings striking a 33-ball 63 punctuated with 3 over the top and 6 boundaries while Charith Asalanka broke his run drought with a 38-ball 46 sending 2 over the top and 3 to the ropes.

CHIEF SCORES: Galle Gladiators 193/3 (20 Overs) (Kusal Mendis 72, Asad Shafiq 58, Thanuka Dabare 33, Isuru Udara 24, Naveen-ul-Haq 2/33, Seekuge Prasanna 1/22, Kasun Rajitha 1/32) Colombo Stars 197/8 (20 Overs) (Dinesh Chandimal 63, Charith Asalanka 46, Ravi Bopara n o. 31, Benny Howell 22, Seekuge Prasanna 14, Kasun Rajitha n.o. 1, Nuwan Thushara 3/29, Anwar Ali 3/44, Wahab Riaz 1/61)

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