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Danushka Gunathilaka's 82 in vain as Galle Gladiators lose to Kandy Tuskers
Match Report

Danushka Gunathilaka's 82 in vain as Galle Gladiators lose to Kandy Tuskers

A disciplined all-round performance from Kandy Tuskers helped them achieve their first win of the tournament in the match against Galle Gladiators in Hambantota.

Although Galle star Danushka Gunathilaka outscored batsmen from both sides, he failed to find any substantial support during his team's unsuccessful pursuit of the 197-run target.

Gunathilaka hit 13 fours and a solitary maximum in his valiant half-century while the next-best contribution for Galle was Shehan Jayasuriya's tame 23-ball 17.

While the Gladiators opening batsman was able to pierce the gaps in the field to regularly find the boundary fence, he lacked the requisite power-hitting ability to blast sixes and keep up with the required run rate.

His attempts at pushing for an unlikely win were impeded by an absence of fireworks from the other end. Galle's struggles in the field were encapsulated by Jayasuriya's hopeless stay at the crease as his pedestrian knock was void of any fluency.

Gladiators' chase eventually fizzled out towards the end with Gunathilaka's unfortunate run-out dismissal via a bullet throw from Asela Gunaratne in the deep.

Much was expected from Shahid Afridi but the captain departed for a golden duck when he hammered a Seekkuge Prasanna delivery straight to the fielder at cover.

As Kandy closed in on a comfortable win, tempers flared with Naveen-ul-Haq involved in a heated exchange with Mohammad Amir.

Later, Naveen and Afridi threw choice words in each other's direction whilst the teams were following the handshakes ritual in the aftermath of the game's outcome.

In the first innings, Kusal Mendis and Brendan Taylor drove Tuskers to an imposing total of 196/5 in 20 overs.

Mendis was in blistering form during his blazing knock of 49 as he racked up four glorious maximums. Meanwhile, Taylor brought forth an array of sweep shots to counter the opposition's spin attack and innovated against pacers to race to his half-century.