By M. Shamil Amit
The Galle Gladiators opened their account with a convincing eight-wicket win over the Colombo Kings in their Lanka Premier League (LPL) T20 Cricket Tournament second-round fixture played at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Hambantota yesterday.
After restricting their opponents to 171 runs in 20 overs, the Gladiators then reached their target with eight wickets and more than two overs to spare.
The Gladiators got off to a solid start with the openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Ahsan Ali putting on 97 runs with the latter completing a fine half century with the help of one six and nine boundaries.
After both openers had departed in the space of eight deliveries, Skipper Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Azam Khan added the finishing touches with an unfinished third-wicket stand of 68 runs in five overs.
Earlier, Mohammad Amir took a superb five-wicket haul but could not prevent the Kings from reaching a challenging 171 from their 20 overs, after they had won the toss and elected to bat first.
The 28-year-old veteran left-arm seamer from Pakistan produced a magnificent spell of bowling to claim five for 26, the best bowling figures of the tournament so far.
Amir ran through the Kings middle order with some real hostile bowling with the back-up support coming from Lakshan Sandakan (3/33) and Dhananjaya Lakshan.
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