Dambulla Aura inflicted the third defeat of defending and three times champions Jaffna Kings with a nine runs win in the 11th match of the Lanka Premier League played under floodlights at the Pallekele International Stadium on Monday.
The win also saw them avenge their first round match defeat of 21 runs at the hands of Jaffna Kings played last week at the R. Premadasa Stadium and chalking up their third win of the tournament.
Jaffna Kings in their run chase of 135 runs was made to struggle for their runs and were unable to come in terms with pacie trio Hasan Ali, Binura Fernando and Hayden Kerr who combined with effect to send them reeling to 27 for 4 in the seventh over as they were restricted to a score of 125 runs.
Despite Shoaib Malik and Dunith Wellalage put in some resistance and succeeded to share a brief stand of 39 runs for the fifth wicket the separation of the pair saw them again losing wickets at regular intervals while Malik was forced to see losing his partners at the other end.
Left with the daunting task of making 61 runs in the last five overs with only Malik as their recognized batsman who remained unbeaten on 74 made in 53 balls which had five boundaries and six sixes which proved to be in vain they were unable to achieve the target and slumped to their third defeat of the tournament.
Dambulla Aura taking first lease of the wicket had an inauspicious start as they lost their openers Avishka Fernando and skipper Kusal Mendis with both being dismissed for ducks in the first four balls of the first over with just one run on the board.
Sadeera Samarawickrama and Kusal Perera put on a rescue act with the pair sharing a stand of 51 runs for the third wicket before spinner Dunith Wellalage separated them with the wicket of Samarawickrama.
But they fell back again as they lost three quick wickets for the addition of 33 runs and slid from 52 for 3 to 85 for 6 in the 15th over which included Kusal Perera who made a top score of 41. Hayden Kerr who remained unbeaten on 25 held on for Dambulla Aura to end their innings with a score of 134 for 8.
(By M Shamil Amit reporting from the Pallekele Stadium, Pallekele)
At Pallekele – Dambulla Aura won by nine runs
Dambulla Aura 134 for 8 in 20 overs (Kusal Perera 41, Sadeera Samarawickrama 30, Hayden Kerr 25 n.o.: Shoaib Malik 2 for 13, Nuwan Thushara 2 for 26)
Jaffna Kings 125 for 7 in 20 overs (Dunith Wellalage 16, Shoib Malik 74 n.o.: Hasan Ali 3 for 20)