Thanks for joining us on our Live Blog of the Lanka Premier League final tonight. It's been a memorable tournament as a whole, even though we had a one-sided final. Congralutions to the Jaffna Stallions once again on a well-deserved title win.
You can read our match report of the final by clicking here.
We've had a great time bringing you updates throughout the tournament. Hope you've enjoyed it as much we have.
Until next time, good night!
Wanindu Hasaranga, the Man of the Series, added another wicket to his tournament tally and not long after the Stallions were crowned champions.
Azam Khan persisted but the final result was never in doubt after the wicket of Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Shehan Jayasuriya
More highlights from the Lanka Premier League final
Galle Gladiators captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa fought on despite having an injury but with his dismissal, the Stallions took control of the game
Galle Gladiators captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa says that his team gave 25-30 runs too many on the field today but he credits his young team for coming all the way to the finals.
Thisara Perera says that he is proud of his side and states that he decided to bowl first today knowing that his bowlers can apply pressure on the opposition when defending a target.
Perera collects the Lanka Premier League trophy and joins his team who are all smiles and huddled together for the celebrations which will doubtlessly continue well into the night.
Wanindu Hasaranga of Jaffna Stallions is the Man of the Tournament.
He says he learnt a lot from playing in this tournament especially from the senior players both among the local contingent and the overseas players.
Galle Gladiators' Dhananjaya Lakshan scoops up the Emerging Player of the Tournament award. He has certainly been the most impressive uncapped player across these three weeks.
Dambulla Viiking are the winners of the fair-play award.
Shoaib Malik is the Man of the Final for his all-round performance this evening. His 46 off 35 balls came after Jaffna Stallions had suffered back-to-back wickets and he followed it up by taking 2 for 13 with the ball from his three overs.
Jaffna Stallions appeared the most organised of the five franchises right from the get-go. They had a clear startegy from as early as the player draft where they went for Wanindu Hasaranga as one of their marquee players when all the other sides opted for two overseas players.
They hardly put a foot wrong since then, pulling in quality replacements for players who pulled out and commencing fan engagement programmes online very early in the piece.
The management also ensured that the local players were able to link up prior to the tournament and have a short camp in Kandy.
Once the tournament actually kicked-off they started with a bang, producing four wins in four games to book their semi-final berth. They did suffer a few losses while resting players in the remaining four games but it ensured that they had a full-strength squad to choose from come the knock-out stage.
Thisara Perera as captain managed his resources well and different players put their hand up at different times.
The standout player for Jaffna without a shadow of doubt was leg-spinning all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga who took 17 wickets at an average of 11 and an economy rate of just 5.1 runs per over. As if that wasn't enough he also produced a number of important cameos down the order that got Jaffna Stallions out of tricky situations on more than one occasion.
Spare a thought for Galle Gladiators who clawed their way into the finals after a less than ideal start to the tournament. Danushka Gunathilaka had been their talisman all tournament but was runout in unfortunate circumstances early in their chase today. Bhanuka Rajapaksa (40) made a valiant effort but the Jaffna Stallions bowlers kept coming at them one after another and at the end of the day 189 proved far too much for the Gladiators.
Jaffna Stallions are Lanka Premier League champions!
Bit of an anti-climax as Sandakan plays out a one run over but it hardly matters as the Stallions have won this final by 53 runs!
Thisara Perera the captain has a wide smile on his face as his team come up trumps quite comfortably in the end.
Delight for Jaffna Stallions who produced a proper team effort today. They had won games with strong individual performances throughout the tournament but today they had contributions from almost everyone.
Lots of cheers, hugs and high-fives as the Stallions revel in the moment.
Jaffna are made to wait another over. Sandakan blocks the first five balls and takes a single off the sixth to keep the strike.
Shoaib Malik to bowl the final over of the tournament.
Galle 133-8 in 18 overs.(Target 189)
Jaffna are on the brink.
Caught on the boundary
Archchige c Hasaranga b Malik 17(18)
The left-hander has no option but to have a swing and he very nearly clears the boundary but Hasaranga is in the action once again as he takes this above his shoulders.
One wicket to go for Jaffna Stallions.
Galle need 61 off 18 balls with two wickets remaining.
Wanindu Hasaranga is done with the ball for the tournament. 1 for 18 from his four overs today and he would have seared himself into the minds of talent scounts from T20 franchises across the world with this simply outstanding performance over the last three weeks.
The Galle Gladiators' chase got off to a bad start when they lost two wickets with just three runs on the board. The second of those wickets was the most crucial when Danushka Gunathilaka was run out for one run.
For the final time this tournament, the teams will take a strategic time-out.
Hard to think that any amount of strategising is going to change the way things are going for Galle right now.
Hasaranga has 17 wickets for the tournament so far. Can he add two more?
Seven runs off the 16th over bowled by Olivier.
Galle Gladiators need 65 from 24 balls with two wickets
The writing is on the wall for Galle Gladiators.
Dhananjaya Lakshan was the pick of the bowlers for the Gladiators, even though he was expensive, taking 3 for 36 in his four overs
Galle for 117 for 8 in 15 overs.
S Arachchige 8(9), L Sandakan 1(2)
Galle Gladiators need 72 in 30 balls with two wickets left.
A very vibrant mood in the Jaffna Stallions dugout at the moment.
Amir tries to go after Hasaranga -- a feat much more accomplished batsmen have failed to do this tournament -- but holes out to long-on.
M Amir c De Silva b Hasaranga 0(1)
Jaffna Stallions are all smiles as they are only two wicket away.
Thisara Perera came in and slogged 39 off 14 to help the Stallions reach 188 for 6 in 20 overs
Six, Six, Gone!
Azam Khan c Asalanka b Olivier 36(17)
Olivier has the last laugh over Khan and this might just be the game.
Azam clubs the bowler for two sixes but in trying to go a third time can only offer a simple catch to deep mid-wicket. Jaffna are closing in on the LPL trophy.
The pair put on 69 runs for the fourth wicket, and Malik top scored with 46 off 35 balls and set things up for the Stallions
But the Stallions were 70/3 in the ninth over, when Shoaib Malik was joined by Dhananjaya de Silva
Duanne Olivier in for his first over. Speaks to the riches that Jaffna Stallions possess among their bowling options that a player like him can come in as their seventh bowling option of the innings. They also have Chathuranga De Silva who has not been called upon yet.
Avishka Fernando also contributed with 27 off 23 balls
Here are some highlights from the Lanka Premier League final so far:
Johnson Charles got the Jaffna Stallions off to a quick start, with 26 off 15 balls.
Galle 96/6 after 13 overs.
Azam Khan 23(13), Sahan Arachchige 1(4)
They can only get three runs from Hasaranga's second over.
93 needed from 42 balls. This is the last recognised batting pair for Galle Gladiators.
Another for Shinwari
D Lakshan c Charles b Shinwari 9(9)
The left-hander tries to swat this over point but nicks behind to hand Shinwari his second wicket. Jaffna Stallions continue to peg back Galle Gladiators.
Galle need 96 runs in 48 balls.
Sahan Arachchige joins Azam Khan.
Azam Khan chips Shinwari over cover and the power behind the stroke is such that it goes all the way for six. He tries to pick up his compatriot over square-leg a few balls later and it presents a chance to the fielder on the boundary who runs in but puts it down to the annoyance of Shinwari.
Azam Khan's boasts a strike rate of 184 this LPL. So if anyone can pull Galle Gladiators out of this mess it's him.
Four dot-balls followed by consecutive boundaries for four Dhananjaya Lakshan by virtue of a controlled sweep and drive down the ground.
Galle need a further 105 runs off 54 balls. (RRR:11.67)
A Khan 13(8), Lakshan 8(6)
Galle 76/5 in 10 overs.
S Jayasuriya c Malik b Shinwari 15(25)
Usman Shinwari rushes Jayasuriya who is cramped for room and can only pop this up to short time-leg. Not for the first time in this tournament, it's been a tortured stay at the crease for the left-hander.
Hasaranga in for his first over.
Sweet hitting from Azam Khan.
Khan stands tall and lifts Shinwari over mid-off for four. He then picks up a short ball with impeccable timing for a huge six over the leg-side boundary.
Galle need 124 more in 66 balls.
Shehan Jayasuriya 15(24), Azam Khan 2(3)
Seven runs and a wicket off Malik's over. Shehan Jayasuriya has struggled to get going so far.
Usman Shinwari is handed the ball to bowl the 10th over.
One more boundary and gone.
B Rajapaksa c Shinwari b Malik 40(17)
The Galle captain tried hard in spite of what appears to be a side-strain. He has little choice but to keep going and in attempting to go over cover, edges to Usman Shinwari at short third-man.
A valiant innings but Galle have a long long way to go.
Azam Khan is the new batsman. The Gladiators will need a major contribution from him is they are to manage the current asking rate.
Galle 58/3 in 8 overs.
Thisara Perera brings himself on and Rajapaksa welcomes him with a pull and a pick-up shot all the way over the leg-side boundary.
Galle Gladiators 43/3 in 7 overs.
Rajapaksa 23(12), Jayasuriya 12(20)
Rajapaksa decides to go leg-side with the slog sweep. He connects sweetly and collects two sixes off De Silva's final over.
He appears in less difficulty going leg-side as opposed to when he was targeting the off-side in the previous overs.
Six runs off Lakmal's third. Galle are wobbling at 30/3 after the powerplay.
Rajapaksa isn't moving fluently and is wincing in pain after most of his strokes.Jayasuriya on the other end is going at a strike rate of just 60.
Galle Gladiators 24 for 3 after 5 overs.
S Jayasuriya 11(16), B Rajapaksa 5(4)
It's not looking good for Bhanuka Rajapaksa. He is in a lot of strife at the moment. He opens up the off-side and creams De Silva to the cover boundary but collapses in pain after completing the stroke.
Galle need 165 in 90 balls.
Dhananjaya De Silva is given a third over by his skipper.
Galle Gladiators 17/3 in 4 overs.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa who sustained an injury while on the field is in with Shehan Jayasuriya but does not appear to be comfortable running at full tilt.
Lakmal gets a second over and concedes just one run. Jaffna right on top at this stage.
Galle 16/3 after 3 overs.
Shehan Jayasuriya runs down to Dhananjaya De Silva and clears the long-off boundary.
Three down now.
A Ali c Charles b Lakmal 6(6)
Lakmal gets movement away from the batsman and Ali fishes for the ball with limited foot movement. An easy catch for Charles and Galle Gladiators are in all sorts of trouble.
Galle Gladiators 7/3 in 2 overs.
Massive wicket! The dangerous Gunathilaka is gone.
D Gunathilaka run-out T Perera 1(2)
Lakmal from around the wicket angles it in to Gunathilaka and there is a loud appeal. Gunathilaka runs down the pitch and collides with the bowler who is in the middle of his appeal and is spun around.
Meanwhile, Thisara Perera swoops in amidst the chaos and knocks down the stumps with a flick.
Gunathilaka would probably have made it back if not for the collision. What a terribly unfortunate way to put an end to his tournament.
Jaffna 2/1 after 1 over.
A tidy opening over from Dhananjaya De Silva. Just two runs and the wicket of Zazai.
Early wicket for Jaffna!
H Zazai c A Fernando b D De Silva 0(2)
Hazratullah Zazai's miserable tournament comes to an end. He looks to hoick the off-spinner over the leg-side but his lack of foot movement means it's no surprise that it goes straight up in the air, giving Avishka Fernando ample time to settle underneath.
So 189 is the target for Galle Gladiators to take home the Lanka Premier League trophy.
Hazratullah Zazai to open with the highest run-getter of the tournament by a country mile, Danushka Gunathilaka.
An expensive return from the Galle Gladiators' bowlers today, with no one going for less than nine runs an over. There was a nine over spell where they pegged Jaffna Stallions a bit, but it also coincided with Dhananjya de Silva and Shoaib Malik building a solid foundation in their partnership, before they upped the tempo with Thisara coming later to add his quick runs. It's not insummountable considering the dew, but the Gladiators will face a formidable bowling attack. Dhananjaya Lakshan had the best, albeit expensive, figures with 3 wickets for 36 runs off his four overs.
13 runs off the 20th over and the Jaffna Stallions end on 188/6
Thisara Perera throws his bat at the last ball of the innings sbut it finds the fielder at deep cover. Just a single, means that the Stallions end on 188/6 in 20 overs. Thisara Perera was unbeaten on 39 off 14, with 32 off those runs coming in fours and sixes.
Wicket to end the over
Clever bowling from Mohammad Amir who sees Wanindu Hasaranga charging and bowls it wide of off. Hasaranga throws his bat at it. Hits the bottom of the bat and is caught at cover. 10 runs from the over means Amir ends his spell with 1/36 from 4 overs. Wanindu Hasaranga c Sahan Arachchige b Mohammad Amir 1(3), Jaffna Stallions 175/6 in 19 overs
Six to end the over
Thisara Perera hammers the last ball of Lakshan's quota straight down the wicket and gets his first six. Jaffna Stallions 165/5 in 18 overs
Mohammad Amir to bowl the penultimate over
Third wicket for Dhananjaya Lakshan
Malik falls short of his half-century. Whacks a full-toss from Lakshan to the deep-midwicket boundary for a four, but picks Zazai on the next ball.
Shoaib Malik c Hazratullah Zazai b Dhananjaya Lakshan 46(35), Jaffna Stallions 159/5 in 17.5 overs
Jaffna Stallions 149/4 in 16 overs
Thushara concedes a boundary off the penultimate ball, with nine from the over in all. Shoaib Malik moves into the 40s. Dhananjaya Lakshan to bowl out.
Second wicket for Dhananjaya Lakshan
A tight over this from Lakshan, with neither batsman able to find a boundary. Dhananjaya de Silva tries to force it, but there is simply not enough pace to work with and he's caught on the long-off boundary. Dhananjaya de Silva c Shehan Jayasuriya b Dhananjaya Lakshan 33(20), Jaffna Stallions 139/4 in 15.5 overs
Just six off that over. Nuwan Thushara (2-0-17-0) on for his third over.
Amir pulls things back
The left-arm fast bowler can't break the partnership but gives just six off the over. Jaffna Stallions 134/3 in 15 overs
Dhananjaya Lakshan (2-0-14-1) back into the attack
20 from the over!
A predictable length from Lakshan Sandakan and Dhananjaya de Silva is quick to exploit it with two sixes and four. Brings up the 50-run partnership in the process. It started slow but they've really got things moving now. Another fielder, Sahan Arachchige, hits the surface hard and needs medical attention. Shoaib Malik 31(22), Dhananjaya de Silva 30(15), Jaffna Stallions 128/3 in 14 overs
Mohammad Amir (2-0-20-0) back to bowl the first of his last two overs.
Big over for the Stallions
Malik targets Arachchige bowling his final over. Adds a boundary straight down the ground to the six earlier in the over. The Stallions are upping the tempo here. Jaffna Stallions 108/3 in 13 overs
SIX - 100 up for the Stallions
Malik charges and whacks Arachchige's first ball of the over for a six. Brings up the 100 runs for the Stallions. Shoaib Malik 18(17), Dhananjaya de Silva 9(8)
11 runs off the over
Some intent shown by both batsmen, scoring a boundary each off Sandakan. They were without a boundary for five overs, and they get two off this over. Jaffna Stallions 94/3 in 12 overs
A single off every ball of that over
Arachchige may be a part-time bowler, but he's kept it tight in his last two overs. Jaffna Stalions 83/3 in 11 overs
Lakshan Sandakan (2-0-10-1) to bowl a third over
Jaffna Stallions 77/3 at the half-way point
Just four runs from that Sandakan over. Dhananjaya de Silva 2(4), Shoaib Malik 8(9)
Arachchige will sneak in another over.
Six runs off that over
And more importantly for the Gladiators, a wicket as well. Jaffna Stallions 73/3 in 9 overs
Lakshan Sandakan to continue
Avishka Fernando hasn't looked particularly fluent today and is drawn into a false shot from Arachchige. Attempts a slog sweep but the top edge is caught comfortably at deep midwicket. Avishka Fernando c Shehan Jayasuriya v Sahan Arachchige 27(23), Jaffna Stallions 70/3 in 8.4 overs.
Dhananjaya de Silva is the new batsman in.
Jaffna Stallions 67/2 in 8 overs
The Stallions have dropped off a bit after the blazing start they made. 34 runs off the last five overs. Six off that Sandakan over. Avishka Fernando 26(21), Shoaib Malik 1(6)
Charith Asalanka cuts the second ball of the over for a boundary, but a change in length draws a thick edge that flies to Gunathilaka at backward point. Charith Asalanka c Danushka Gunathilaka b Lakshan Sandakan 10(9), Jaffna Stallions 66/2 in 7.2 overs
SIX to end the over
Arachchige almost sneaks in a good over, but Avishka Fernando hits him for a six off the last ball. Jaffna Stallions 61/1 in 7 overs
Lakshan Sandakan to bowl his first over
A good finish to the powerplay for the Gladiators
Nuwan Thushara, who conceded 14 off his first over, returns and gives away just three runs. There is an injury concern for the Gladiators though, as captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa hurt himself trying to stop a boundary. Jaffna Stallions 51/1 in 6 overs
Sahan Arachchige to bowl the first of spin.
Good comeback from Dhananjaya Lakshan
Six runs and a wicket from that over. Jaffna Stallions 48/1 in 4 overs
OUT! Blinder from Gunathilaka
A stunning catch from Danushka Gunathilaka in the deep. Lakshan sticks to his slower ball routine, and Charles' heave looks like it's heading for the straight boundary. But it's mistimed and Danushka Gunathilaka running from long on dives and holds onto a brilliant catch. Johnson Charles c Danushka Gunathilaka b Dhananjaya Lakshan 26(15)
Jaffna Stallions cruising along
A change of ends for Amir but again, no swing. He reverts to a series of slower balls, but the Stallions still get nine off the over. Jaffna Stallions 42/0 in 4 overs
Jaffna Stallions 33/0 in 3 overs
A good comeback from Dhananjaya Lakshan after getting hit for a six off the first ball of this first over. Eight runs from that over. Johnson Charles 22(11), Avishka Fernando 9(7)
SIX for Avishka
Dhananjaya Lakshan comes on to bowl the third over and is welcomed by a charging Avishka Fernando who anticipated the slower ball and clears him for a six over the long on boundary.
Another expensive over
Nuwan Thushara struggles to find his length in the latter half of that over, and Johnson Charles is not in a mood to let it go unpunished. Adds three boundaries to his tally and races to 22 off 8 deliveries. Jaffna Stallions 25/2 in 2 overs
11 off the first over
Not much swing for Mohammad Amir. Johnson Charles punched the third ball for a boundary straight down the ground, and got a lucky four of the next delivery as the ball squirts off the edge to the third man boundary. Jaffna Stallions 11/0 in 1 over
Nuwan Thushara to bowl the second over.
Mohammad Amir will bowl the first over of the final.
Avishka Fernando and Johnson Charles will open the batting for the Stallions.
Wanindu Hasaranga meanwhile, has been outstanding for the Jaffna Stallions, and is the tournamant's leading wicket taker. He has also returned the best economy rate, and if the Stallions win tonight, he would have a serious claim for the Player of the Tournament award. They have had good contributions from Usman Shinwari, Duanne Olivier and Suranga Lakmal as well. The Stallions' batting has at times been suspect, but they have Avishka Fernando at the top of the order, and when he's fired he has been hard to stop. Johnson Charles also found form in the semi-finals with a half-century. The Stallions have a deep batting order too, so they are more capable of putting a huge target on the board.
Danushka Gunathilaka has led all run-scorers in the tournament, with 475 runs in nine innings, and while the Galle Gladiators haven’t always made the most of his contributions at the top of the innings, he has still been the most consistent batsmen. They also have three of the top five bowlers in the tournament, leading a remarkable turnaround in productively, after their five straight defeats to start the tournament. Mohammad Amir has found a formidable opening bowling partner in Nuwan Thushara with Dhananjaya Lakshan, proving to be the find of the tournament. Lakshan Sandakan has also improved over the course of the LPL and is their leading wicket taker with 11 scalps.
If you haven’t been following the tournament closely, the Stallions and the Gladiators finished third and fourth respectively at the end of the group stage. While that would suggest that the two teams aren’t the best in the tournament and don’t belong in the finals, especially considering the Gladiators’ woeful record in the group stage, they do have the best performers of this year’s LPL among their ranks.
The Jaffna Stallions are unchanged from the team that beat the Dambulla Viiking in the semi-final. The Gladiators meanwhile have made one change, with Hazratullah Zazai coming in for Chanaka Ruwansiri.
Jaffna Stallions: Thisara Perera (Captain), Avishka Fernando, Johnson Charles, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shoaib Malik, Duanne Olivier, Usman Shinwari, Chathuranga de Silva, Dhananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal
Galle Gladiators: Bhanuka Rajapaksa (Captain), Danushka Gunathilaka, Azam Khan, Ahsan Ali, Shehan Jayasuriya, Hazratullah Zazai, Sahan Arachchige, Lakshan Sandakan, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Nuwan Thushara, Mohammad Amir
The Jaffna Stallions won the toss and elected to bat first.
The teams that have won the toss during the LPL have generally opted to field first, especially in night matches, but the Stallions were so good defending their total in the semi-final and that's probably what Thisara Perera considered when electing to bat first.
Considering the circumstances we are living in it’s a miracle that we have had any cricket at all, with the LPL itself looking like a non-starter six weeks ago. Certainly the tournament has many things that need to be worked on and improved ahead of the second season, but it is hard not to look at this year’s LPL as a success, with some exciting new talent emerging and other known quantities taking a step up.
Hello, good evening and welcome to our Live Blog of the final of the Lanka Premier League.
After 22 matches over the last three or so weeks, the Galle Gladiators and the Jaffna Stallions have outlasted the rest of the competition, putting themselves in a position to claim the Lanka Premier League 2020 title and also bragging rights as the tournament’s first ever champion.