Carrying on their dominance over Jaffna Kings, Galle Gladiators defeated them third time in the LPL 2021 to fix a berth in the final. Galle has been inconsistent in the tournament but somehow they have managed to outclass Jaffna Kings, who have been the best team of the tournament.
Batting first, Gladiators posted a daunting 188-5, with Kusal Mendis scoring a brilliant 85 and Danushka Gunathilaka making 55. The duo added 121 runs for the first wicket and laid the platform for a big score. A strong finish by Bhanuka Rajapaksa helped Galle propel to a strong total.
Jaffna’s batting has struggled against Galle’s bowling and this match was no different. The team was bowled out for 124, losing the match by 64 runs. Nuwan Thushara bowled a magnificent spell of 5-13 in 3.5 overs.
Earlier in the day, Dambulla Giants brought their A-game on display when it mattered the most. They defeated Colombo Stars to book a berth in Qualifier 2, where they will take on Jaffna Kings.
Batting first, Colombo Stars could only manage 146 in their 20 overs. After picking some momentum in the recent few games, the batting once again looked ordinary from the stars. Angelo Matthews carried on his good run and scored 50. He got good support from Pathum Nissanka, who scored 46. However, Stars needed big runs from the likes of Kusal Perera and Tom Banton, which didn’t happen and the team had to settle for a below-par score.
Chasing anything around 150 in the tournament has not been very easy but Dambulla Giants looked in complete control of the chase. They were aided by the fact that Colombo’s bowling didn’t look at its best. A brilliant 56 by Janith Liyanage and 35 by Najibullah Zadran helped them win the match by 6 wickets.