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Mohammad Amir five-for dismantles Colombo as clinical Galle earn first win of LPL 2020
Match Report

Mohammad Amir five-for dismantles Colombo as clinical Galle earn first win of LPL 2020

Mohammad Amir set up a skilful exhibition of fast bowling to destroy the Colombo Kings' batting before Ahsan Ali drove Galle Gladiators' chase to help them clinch their first victory of the competition.

Having been at the receiving end of five successive defeats, the match presented a do-or-die scenario for the luckless Gladiators.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa's men found the requisite inspiration from a spirited performance from senior paceman Amir, who wreaked havoc on the Colombo line-up to skittle them out for 171.

Colombo had begun sprightly with Dinesh Chandimal excelling once again upfront despite the early loss of opening partner Laurie Evans.

However, Amir provided the breakthrough by removing Chandimal via a rapid short ball that the batsman ended up skying to square leg.

Colombo then battled through the innings to make decent progress, though Lakshan Sandakan's incisive bowling accounted for the wickets of three batsmen.

Amir saved his best for his final spell when he snapped up quick wickets to stem any possible flourish expected from the Kings' batters.

He was assisted by brilliant fielding from the fellow Gladiators' players including a stunning effort from Danushka Gunathilaka, who threw the ball in the air whilst stepping on the boundary cushion and entering the field again to complete the catch in one motion.

Amir's scintillating heroics were further complemented by a sharp effort to run out Tharindu Kaushal off his bowling.

He finished the innings with spellbinding figures of 5/26, marking the second five-wicket haul of his T20 career.

In reply, Galle never looked in trouble for even a split second as Gunathilaka, Rajapaksa and a fiery Azam Khan all rallied behind Ahsan's sparkling knock to outgun the opposition.

Ahsan had a quiet start to his innings but gradually took control of proceedings and stamped his authority with a hat-trick of boundaries off Thikshila de Silva.

His blistering charge did not die down as he reached his maiden LPL half-century off 36 deliveries and added 97 runs for the first wicket alongside Gunathilaka.

The wickets of Ahsan and Gunathilaka did little to deter the Gladiators as Azam launched a furious display of exquisite power-hitting to romp to the target with 15 balls to spare. He slammed three fours and as many maximums in his scorching 16-ball 35.