ANGELO MATHEWS PLAYER OF THE MATCH 25 N.O., KAMINDU MENDIS 44 THE GAME CHANGER
By Srian Obeyesekere
Minus their showman captain Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva by injury lay off, B Love Kandy chased down 147 in a much-hyped final of the fourth edition of the Lanka Premier League snatching victory over Dambulla Aura by 5 wickets with a ball to spare in a tense night face off before a roaring near capacity crowd befitting a country-country international contest at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
The grand finale reached a pitch to a lusty crowd that had queued up in an overflowing surge to catch the action as B Love Kandy stand in skipper Angelo Matrhews led the final charge in carrying his side through from the knife thin edge of 107 for 4 after 15.5 overs in a final face off of needing 41 off 25 balls after upfront openers Kamindu Mendis 44 off 37 upped by 3 boundaries and a six and Mohammad Haris 26 off 22 with an equal number had set the tempo by a 49-run partnership off 49 balls. If veteran former Lankan captain Angelo Mathews played out the final heart throbbing drama to winning the pot of gold by an undefeated 25 off 21 driven by 3 boundaries, indeed, much of the playmaker credit belonged to Pasqual Handi Kamindu Mendis the 24-year old former Richmond College, Galle and former Sri Lanka U19 all-round star, playing in only his second game proved to be Kandy’s game changer in an offsetting counter attack of Dambulla’s run first-wicket thrust of 57 off 51 by Sadeera Samarawickrama 36 off 30 (5×4) and skipper Kusal Mendis’ run a ball 22 (3×4) followed by 63 off 52 by the Dhananjaya de Silva-Kusal Janith Perera third-wicket partnership.
Kandy’s 151 for 5 off 19.5 at run rate of 7.61 overhauling of Dambulla’s 147 for 4 off 20 (run rate of 7.35) was drummed out by the second phase Mendis leverage that yielded 45 off 37 together with Dinesh Chandimal who struck 24 off 21 inclusive of 3 boundaries. The second phase Mendis leverage yielded 45 off 37 together with Dinesh Chandimal. Dambulla hit back claiming three wickets in the space of 13 runs when Mendis fell to departed edging Noor Ahmed with the score 94 after 12.4 overs and Chandimal went 11 runs later Caught by Pramod Madushan off Binura Fernando, and Chathuranga de Silva for a duck caught by Kerr giving Noor Ahmed his third wicket making it 107 for 4. That was when Angelo Mathews rose to the occasion adding with Asif Ali banged 19 off 10 with 2 to the ropes and one 1 over the top in adding 25 off 14. Ali departed with Kandy 16 short of victory when Mathews led the final charge smashing 14 in adding 19 for the sixth wicket with Lahiru Madushanka on 5 off 3 (1×4).
Chathuranga de Silva did compensate for laid down brother Hasaranga in claiming 2 for 25 including that of Kusal Mendis caught behind by Chandimal and bowling Samarawickrama while Nuwan Pradeep claimed the prize wicket of Avishka Fernando caught by Mohammad Haris for 10.
Angelo Mathews was adjudged Player of the Match and Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva Player of the Series.
Dambulla Aura 147/4 (20 Overs) RR:7.35
(Avishka Fernando 10, Kusal Mendis 22, Sadeera Samarawickrama 36, Kusal Janith Perera n.o. 31, Dhananjaya de Silva 40, Alex Ross n.o. 2, Chathuranga de Silva 2/25, Nuwan Pradeep 1/30, Mohammad Hasnan 1/38)
B Love Kandy 151/5 (19.5 Overs) RR: 7.61
(Mohammad Haris 26, Kamindu Mendis 44, Dinesh Chandimal 24, Angelo Mathews n.o. 25, Asif Ali 19, Lahiru Madushanka n.o. 5, Noor Ahmed 3/27, Binura Fernando 2/31)