M. Shamil Amit
Colombo Kings brought an end to Jaffna Stallions’ unbeaten record with a convincing six-wicket win in their Lanka Premier League T20 Cricket Tournament match played under lights at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Hambantota yesterday.
After keeping the Stallions down to 149 for nine, the Kings went on to reach their target with six wickets and four deliveries to spare.
Opener Dinesh Candimal led the run chase with a fine unbeaten half century with the back-up support coming from Skipper Angelo Mathews and Andre Russell.
Earlier, the Stallions were restricted to 148 for nine wickets from their 20 overs, after they were put into bat by the Kings Skipper, Mathews.
The Stallions lost wickets at regular intervals against some accurate bowling and their batsmen were unable to build up any significant partnership throughout the innings.
In fact, the Stallions managed to collect only 39 runs from the batting powerplay with Dushmantha Chameera and Qais Ahmad causing the early damage.
Leg-spinner, Ahmad had the satisfaction of removing the key batsman and opener, Avishka Fernando for 26 and he followed up with the wicket of Minod Bhanuka for 21.
Skipper Thisara Perera and all-rounder, Wanindu Hasaranga made a determined effort to revive the Stallions innings during the last few overs of the game.
Hasaranga hit a top score of 41 from 23 balls inclusive of one six and seven boundaries while Perera hoisted two sixes and struck one boundary for his contribution of 18 runs which came in eight deliveries.
However, the Kings made sure that they kept the pressure on, until the end of the innings through some splendid death bowling from Mathews and Russell.