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Disciplined pacers, belligerent Gunathilaka demolish Kandy as Galle seal semi-final berth
Match Report

Disciplined pacers, belligerent Gunathilaka demolish Kandy as Galle seal semi-final berth

Galle Gladiators' pacers put in a perfect show to skittle Kandy Tuskers for a subpar total before Danushka Gunathilaka ran riot to power his team to a thumping nine-wicket win.

Gunathilaka cemented his status as the tournament's leading run-getter with another spellbinding performance filled with an array of extravagant strokes.

The opening batsman dominated Galle's chase of the paltry 127-run target to such a great deal that he had a realistic chance of racking up his maiden LPL ton towards the end of the match.

Gunathilaka's resolve of getting to the magical three-figure mark was curtailed by four byes conceded as the winning runs on the last ball of the 17th over.

He thus finished the game at 94 not out from 66 deliveries, smacking four sixes and 12 fours in his unbroken stay at the crease.

The left-hander launched his remarkable assault from the get-go by dispatching the Kandy bowlers all over the park whilst fellow opening partner Hazratullah Zazai struggled for fluency.

The two added 101 runs for the wicket during a stand where Zazai contributed only 20 at a miserly strike rate of 58.82.

Gunathilaka rarely looked devoid of his crisp touch as no bowler threatened to unnerve his admirable balance.

Earlier in the contest, the Tuskers' batting largely revolved around the lone ranger Kusal Mendis, who hit four sixes and six boundaries in his 42-ball 68.

Mendis' spectacular effort failed to find any supporting acts with just Brendan Taylor briefly providing some semblance of resistance before he too perished off the bowling of Lakshan Sandakan.

Galle witnessed a tremendous start to the encounter when a fired up Mohammad Amir darted in a maiden over to mute the usually aggressive Rahmanullah Gurbaz upfront.

The pressure built from his dot deliveries helped Nuwan Thushara dismiss Gurbaz and Kusal Perera to leave them two down for nine runs.

Kandy's flailing innings met a hurried conclusion when Mendis departed after his fine knock with Amir destroying the tail with his pace variations.

Galle's commanding victory has earned them a spot in the knockout round with the Tuskers finishing last in the inaugural LPL season.