DV vs GG, 12th Match, Lanka Premier League 2020, 05 Dec 2020

(20 ov)
(20.0 ov)

Dambulla Viiking won by 9 runs

Anwar Ali snapped up three crucial wickets in the death overs to prevent Galle Gladiators from earning their first win of the tournament after Azam Khan and Danushka Gunathilaka struck fine half-centuries.

Set a daunting 208-run target, it would have required a herculean effort from the Gladiators batsmen to chase down the towering total.

The impetus was provided by Azam, who swatted a plethora of boundaries in his scorching blitz that propelled Galle into a commanding position at one stage.

Azam arrived onto the stage when Ahsan Ali and Bhanuka Rajapaksa were dismissed after a steady start for the Gladiators.

Having shown glimpses of his reputed power-hitting ability in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the National T20 Cup, Azam brought his excellence to the fore with belligerent hits on a regular basis.

The 22-year-old displayed his nifty wristwork as he made use of his 'quick hands' to unleash a barrage of sweep shots.

Azam often swivelled on his back foot to punch the ball through the midwicket or the square leg regions.

He reached his fifty off just 20 balls by skipping down the track and drilling the spinner back over his head for a huge six.

After being receiving a reprieve through a spilled chance at fine leg when he was on 39, Dambulla held onto a cut shot from Azam as he departed for a blistering 55 off 25 balls.

At the point of his dismissal, the asking rate for Galle had dipped to less than 10 runs per over but they soon found it hard to score freely against Anwar's searing lengths.

Anwar picked the wickets of the dangerous Chadwick Walton and Shehan Jayasuriya in his third over and returned to prise out the well-set Gunathilaka in the penultimate over of the game.

Gunathilaka had batted splendidly until the last few overs of his team's chase as he started to lose his fluency amid tight bowling from Anwar and company.

Needing 17 off the final six deliveries, Kasun Rajitha consistently darted the ball in the blockhole to consign Gladiators to their fifth successive defeat.

The first innings belonged mainly to the opening duo of Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga, who combined to slam the highest first-wicket stand in the inaugural LPL season.

The two added 110 runs in 76 balls and set the platform for skipper Dasun Shanaka to cut loose towards the end.

Tharanga's substantial contribution of 77 runs was laced with 11 fours and one six as he paced his innings expertly to keep up with Dambulla's steep scoring rate.

Match Predictions