Samit Patel and Dasun Shanaka put on 127 runs for the fourth wickets for Dambulla Viiking
A commanding 127-run partnership between Dasun Shanaka (73) and Samit Patel (58) helped Dambulla Viiking edge out Kandy Tuskers in the fourth match of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) played in Sooriyawewa today (28).
Kandy Tuskers fell victim to their second close defeat of the tournament as they were adjudged 4 runs short of the DLS par-score when rain came down with the Tuskers on 84 for 3 in 9.4 overs in their reply to the total of 195 posted by Dambulla Viiking.
The Tuskers were ahead of the DLS equation at the end of the 5th over but the wickets of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Kamindu Mendis - caught in the deep attempting an aerial pull off Lahiru Madushanka with rain looking imminent - thereafter helped the Dasun Shanaka led Viiking record their first points of the tournament in their opening game.
Earlier, Dambulla Viiking who were sent into bat by Tuskers skipper Kusal Perera lost Oshada Fernando to injury as the right-handed opener went over on his ankle while running between the wickets. Fernando who is Sri Lanka’s incumbent Test match opener, was assisted off the field and appeared in considerable distress.
Asela Gunaratne accounted for the due of Niroshan Dickwella (25) and Upul Tharanga (18) which brought eventual Man of the Match Dasun Shanaka to accompany England all-rounder Samit Patel in the middle.
The pair combined for a classy 127-run stand that started somewhat circumspectly but blossomed into an exhibition of free-flowing strokes. Shanaka had some fortune early on but grew steadily confident as he progressed into his innings and pulled off a number of clean strikes down the ground while also slipping in a few scoops over fine-leg. His 37-ball 73 was punctuated by eight fours and four sixes.
Patel played second fiddle to Shanaka but complemented his captain with timely boundaries including some scorching cuts to either side of the point fielder. By the time the pair were dismissed by Naveen-Ul-Haq in the final over of the innings they had ensured that the Dambulla franchise would have a hefty total to defend when at the 10-over mark they looked more likely to achieve a total 30-49 runs less than the eventual 195 they made.
The Tuskers perhaps erred in not having Asela Gunaratne, Seekkuge Prasanna or Dilruwan Perera complete their full allotment of overs. All three bowlers went at under 7 runs an over on a pitch where the faster bowlers were proving easier to score off than their slow bowling counterparts.
Kandy Tuskers lost captain Perera early in their response but Kusal Mendis and Gurbaz lifted them to 50 runs by the fifth over. The next few overs saw them see-saw over and under the DLS par score before eventually being caught up 4 runs short when the heavens opened up and ended the game.