By Srian Obeyesekere
Left arm wrist spinner,Tabraiz Shamsi grabbed 4 wickets for 20 and Lahiru Kumara 2 for 9 as Galle Titans won a decisive face off against Colombo Strikers by 8 wickets with 69 balls to spare in the 20th match of the 2023 Lanka Premier League drawing closer to the semi-finals at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium yesterday. Colombo folded up for 74 off 15.4 overs. The Titans raced to victory in 8.3 overs reaching 75 for 2 with opener Lasith Croospulle hammering an unbeaten 42 off 25 inclusive of 3 sixes and 4 boundaries. With him was Shakib Al Hasan on 17 off 15. The win took Galle Titans past B Love Kandy to second place in the points table on the faster net run rate of 0.353 as against Kandy’s 0.185 with both teams having secured 8 points with 4 wins and 4 losses each respectively. Dambulla Aura leads the table with 12 points from 8 outings with 6 wins to 2 losses with net run rate of 0.793.
For the Titans, put into bat it was a setback on a slow wicket with the dew early on as Lahiru Kumara triggered the slide clean bowling Pathum Nissanka with his second delivery of the fourth over for 2 and Babar Azam for 6 off the last ball of his second over and the fourth of the innings with the score reading 2 for 19. The 33-year-old Tabraiz Shamsi then stepped in as the South African accounted for the next three wickets trapping Nipun Dhananjaya leg before wicket for 13 and bowling Lahiru Udara for 14 with the fourth and last delivery of his first over and the seventh of the day as the Strikers nose dived to 4 for 37 after 7 overs. He came back to bowl Nuwanidu Fernando for 14 and have Mohammad Nawaz caught behind by Litton Das for 11 as things got worse and worse for Colombo Strikers who were 68 for 6 at that stage after 12.4 overs. Leg spinner Seekuge Prasanna accounted for the next three wickets bowling Colombo Strikers skipper Chamika Karunaratne for 2, Shoriful Islam for a duck and going on to trap Jeffrey Vandersay for a duck. Tabraiz Earned the Player of the Match award.
Colombo Strikers 74 (15.4 Overs)
(Lahiru Udara 14, Nuwanidu Fernando 14, Nipun Dhananjaya13, Mohammad Nawaz 11, Tabraiz Shamsi 4/20, Seekuge Prasanna 3/14, Lahiru Kumara 2/9)
Galle Titans 75/2 (8.3 Overs)
(Lasith Croospulle n.o. 42, Shakib Al Hasan n.o. 17, Jeffrey Vandersay 1/18, Iftikhar Ahmed 1/26)