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Angelo Perera brilliance trumps Kusal Mendis valiant effort as Dambulla win
Match Report

Angelo Perera brilliance trumps Kusal Mendis valiant effort as Dambulla win

Angelo Perera crafted a sensational half-century to guide Dambulla Viiking to a five-wicket win over Kandy Tuskers in a relatively low-scoring encounter in Hambantota.

Amassing just the sixth fifty of his T20 career, Perera was in crisp touch throughout his match-winning knock as he frequently punished the bowlers for their wayward lengths.

Perera expertly negotiated the slowness of the surface by often skipping down the track against the spinners and opting for the aerial route to bludgeon three sixes.

Viiking were disrupted by the loss of three wickets till the ninth over of their chase with the batsmen succumbing under the dot ball pressure.

Perera then stitched a fantastic 79-run stand with skipper Dasun Shanaka and propelled Viiking to a comfortable winning position.

Even though, Perera and Shanaka were dismissed in the space of six deliveries towards the end of the contest, reigniting faint hopes of an unlikely win for Tuskers.

However, these ambitions were discarded in the face of attacking strokeplay from Samiullah Shinwari and Anwar Ali, who helped Dambulla crawl over the finishing line without any more troubles.

A majority of the first innings belonged to the class of Kusal Mendis as the star Sri Lankan batter set up an exquisite exhibition of quality strokes in his 45-ball 55.

Mendis was involved in a substantial partnership of 58 runs with captain Kusal Perera but the two gradually found it hard to pierce the gaps owing to tactful field place and tight bowling from the spinners.

Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara then caused damage by accounting for the scalps of Brendan Taylor and Seekkuge Prasanna on successive deliveries, dimming Kandy's prospects of ending up with a daunting total.

The last four overs saw the Tuskers make only 31 more runs with Kasun Rajitha and Samit Patel further blunting the opposition's progress with two wickets.

Dambulla used a total of seven bowlers in their disciplined effort, constraining the glory shots from Kandy, who finished with 156-6 in their 20 overs.