Chandimal, Mendis steer Kandy Falcons to second win

By M. Shamil Amit reporting from Dambulla

(Daily Mirror) - In a high-scoring contest, Kandy Falcons came from behind with a vengeance to pull off a seven-wicket win over Jaffna Kings in their Lanka Premier League (LPL) T20 Cricket Tournament match played at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium.

The top score of 119 by Pathum Nissanka proved to be in vain as the foundation for Kandy Falcons’ win was laid by Dinesh Chandimal who slammed 89 in 37 balls which had eight boundaries and seven towering sixes.

In the process Chandimal shared two valuable partnerships - 58 runs for the second wicket with Mohammad Haris and 72 runs for the third wicket with Kamindu Mendis - who later turned out to be the match winner.

Chandimal’s dismissal almost sealed the fate for Kandy Falcons, who at that stage were left with 37 balls to make 61 runs. But Mendis found a reliable partner in the experienced Angelo Mathews whose support gave the confidence for Mendis to reach his half century in 33 balls.

Mendis shared a 50-run stand for the fourth wicket with Mathews and fittingly Mendis hit the winning runs for Kandy Falcons with a six off Asitha Fernando to remain unbeaten on 65 off 36 balls which had five boundaries and four sixes.

In the process Kandy Falcons turned tables to make the highest score of the tournament of 230 while eclipsing the 224 runs scored by Jaffna Kings in the same match.

Earlier, Jaffna Kings were invited to take first lease of the wicket by the Kandy Falcons Skipper Wanindu Hasaranga.

But his decision turned out to be a nightmare as the opening pair of Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis sent the bowlers on a leather hunt.

Nissanka was on fire as he along with Mendis posted the Jaffna Kings 50 runs in 22 balls before Nissanka raced to his half century in no quick time in just 21 balls which had 10 boundaries and a six while Mendis was way behind.

But the Jaffna Kings’ next 50 runs came in 38 balls with the 100 coming in 59 balls which followed with the separation of the pair 19 runs later after a partnership of 119 runs in just 63 balls.

Nissanka joined by Rilee Rossouw and they continued the onslaught as they succeeded to put up the 150 runs on the board which came off just 85 balls before Nissanka raced to his century which took him only 52 balls that comprised 13 boundaries and three sixes.

The pair was separated 12 runs later with the dismissal of Rossouw having put on 50 runs for the second wicket.

Nissanka was dismissed having added a further 19 runs to his tally making 119 in 59 balls which is the highest individual score of the tournament that included 16 boundaries and four sixes and having associated in a brief 40-run stand for the third wicket with Avishka Fernando.

The last five overs for Jaffna Kings yielded 62 runs.

  • Chief scores

Jaffna Kings: 224/7 in 20 overs (Pathum Nissanka 119, Rilee Rossouw 41, Kusal Mendis 26, Dasun Shanaka 3/40, Ramesh Mendis 2/28, Dushmantha Chameera 2/44)

Kandy Falcons: 230/3 in 18.2 overs (Dinesh Chandimal 89, Mohammad Haris 25, Kamindu Mendis 65 n.o, Angelo Mathews 29 n.o, Tabraiz Shamsi 2/46). 

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