By Srian Obeyesekere
Dhananjaya de Silva, captaining Dambulla Aura yesterday bamboozled B-Love Kandy claiming 4 wickets for 6 runs in guiding his side to a 20-run victory in the 19th fixture of the 2023 Lanka Premier League at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium.
Put into bat, table leaders Dambulla Aura posted 162 for 7 off 20 and bowled out second placed Kandy for 142 in 19.4 overs as the fourth edition of the LPL gathered momentum with the top two sides coming head on. The win saw table leaders Dambulla Aura take a further leap forward in insulating itself at the top with 12 points on the board to Kandy’s 8 from eight games.
Dambulla was given a flying 61-run start by Avishka Fernando 41 off 27 and Sadeera Samarawickrama 31 off 26 off 47 balls with two drop Ben McDermott keeping up the momentum striking 37 off 23. Fernando clobbered 3 sixes and an equal number of boundaries and Samarawickrama 6 boundaries while McDermott’s flurry came in 3 boundaries and 2 over the top as the Australian was sixth out with the score on 142 after 18 overs with compatriot Hayden Kerr adding 20 off 11 together with Sachitha Jayatilake on 4 off 5 before the former fell in the final delivery caught by Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva off Nuwan Pradeep who picked up 3 wickets for 35.
B-Love Kandy’s batting came apart in a decimation of losing 5 wickets for 90 after 11.5 overs triggered by Dhananjaya de Silva’s stunning Player of the Match feat with only opening batsman Dinesh Chandimal holding forth with 50 off 46 inclusive of 46 balls as wickets crumbled at the other end. Kandy lost its way when skipper Wanindu Hasaranga’s quest to hit his side out of trouble was bowled by newcomer Jayatilake for 19 off 11 having hit 2 boundaries and a six as Kandy hit a low of 47 for 3 after 6.2 overs and when Angelo Mathews was taken out next by Dhananjaya de Silva who caught and bowled him for 26 off 15 (2×4, 1×6) Kandy had precipitated to 88 for 4 after 11.2. Chandimal fell in the first ball of the 17th over playing on to a Kerr delivery with the score 120. No.9 Isuru Udana lashed 23 off 21 with 2 boundaries and a six in a late flurry, but it would not lift Kandy as he fell to the second ball of the final over bowled by pacer Pramod Madushan who finished with pleasing returns of 2 for 27 off 3.4 overs.
Dambulla Aura 162/7 (20 Overs)
(Avishka Fernando 41, Sadeera Samarawickrama 31, Ben McDermott 37, Hayden Kerr 26, Dhananjaya de Silva 10, Sachitha Jayatilake n.o. 4, Nuwan Pradeep 3/35, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 2/32, Chathuranga de Silva 1/21, Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva 1/33)
B-Love Kandy 142 (19.4 Overs)
Dinesh Chandimal 50, Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva 19, Angelo Mathews 26, Isuru Udana 23, Dhananjaya de Silva 4/6, Pramod Madushan 2/27, Sachitha Jayatilake 1/22)