Galle Gladiators’ struggle to register first victory of the season
Jaffna Stallions to win
Galle Gladiators would be up against a formidable challenge as they take on the table toppers Jaffna Stallions in the 9th game of the Lanka Premier League. The Gladiators have lost all their games so far and went down against the Kandy Tuskers in the last game by a big margin. The Stallions on the other hand have been on a roll and come here after a massive win against the Tuskers.
The two sides had met earlier in the tournament where the Stallions had registered an 8-wicket victory. For the Gladiators the problem has been with their bowling as none of their bowlers have managed to trouble the batsmen. One more loss would end their hopes of making it to the next round and the side would look for a better show in this game. Stallions would look to continue with their momentum and retain their top spot on the points table.
Shahid Afridi’s side seems to have failed with its game plans in this tournament. They went down by 25 runs against Kandy Tuskers in what was another bad bowling show from their bowlers. Afridi who is one of the most experienced players in this format of the game shall need to inspire confidence in this side as they meet their formidable opponents in this game.
Danushka Gunathilaka did well in the last game and he would look to provide a good opening stand with Hazratullah Zazai who hasn’t contributed much so far. Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Azam Khan and Milinda Siriwardana haven’t done well yet and they will need to add runs in the middle. In Afridi they have a good hitter of the ball and he along with Shehan Jayasuriya have to make contributions down the order.
Akila Dananjaya and Mohammad Amir need to strike early. This has been the biggest problem for the side so far in this tournament. Afridi bowled well in the last game and this would give him lot of confidence. The side would also look for a better show from Lakshan Sandakan and Mohamed Shiraz who were expensive in the last few games.
Shahid Afridi (c), Danushka Gunathilaka, Hazratullah Zazai, Azam Khan (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Milinda Siriwardana, Shehan Jayasuriya, Mohammad Amir, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Mohamed Shiraz
Ahsan Ali, Akila Dananjaya, Asitha Fernando, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Shehan Jayasuriya, Mohammad Amir, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lakshan Sandakan, Azam Khan, Chadwick Walton
Thisara Perera’s side has looked the best so far in the tournament and the captain has been leading from the front. They won the last game against the Kandy Tuskers by a huge margin of 54 runs. Having defeated the Gladiators by a big margin earlier Perera would be confident about the prospects of his side in this game.
Avishka Fernando and Minod Bhanuka will need to provide a good start. The pair has failed in the last two games. Dhananjaya de Silva played well in the last game and he adds to the strength in the middle order along with Tom Moores and Shoaib Malik. Thisara Perera has been hitting his way to success so far in the season and adds punch to the lower order along with Wanindu Hasaranga and Chaturanga de Silva.
Usman Shinwari has done well with the new ball and the side would expect him to strike early along with Suranga Lakmal. Perera and Wanindu Hasaranga have also done well and bowling tight lines. The side would be expecting a better show with the ball from Duanne Olivier and de Silva who have leaked runs in most of the games.
Thisara Perera (c), Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka, Tom Moores (wk), Shoaib Malik, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chaturanga de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Suranga Lakmal, Usman Shinwari, Duanne Olivier
|D de Silva||61||38||5||3||160.53|
Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka, Duanne Olivier, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanidu Hasaranga, Tom Moores, Chaturanga de Silva, Suranga Lakmal, Usman Khan, Shoaib Malik, Thisara Perera
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||26||0 mm.||8.88 k/h||From: W||100%|
|03h||27||0 mm.||7.25 k/h||From: WSW||91%|
|06h||29||0 mm.||7.26 k/h||From: WSW||95%|
|09h||29||0 mm.||7.52 k/h||From: WSW||98%|
|12h||28||0 mm.||6.29 k/h||From: WSW||96%|
|15h||26||0 mm.||6.06 k/h||From: W||67%|
|18h||26||0 mm.||6.13 k/h||From: W||68%|
|21h||25||0 mm.||5.64 k/h||From: W||95%|
It will be clear skies over Hambantota with slight clouds on December 03 and the conditions would be in favor of the batsmen. The pitch has been flat so far in the tournament and we expect to see a similar track here in this game as well. The side that bats first would need to target a score of 180 runs to defend it comfortably.
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota is a batting friendly ground with a flat pitch and fast outfield favoring the batsmen. There is little on this track for the fast bowlers who have gone for runs. Spinners have done well here as the odd ball tends to stop on the batsmen at this venue.
The mantra so far in the Lanka Premier League has been to win the toss and bat first as the pitches have nothing in there for the fast bowlers. It is an afternoon game and the conditions would favor the batsmen. Hence, we believe the side winning the toss would look forward to batting first in this game.
The two sides are coming into this game with contrasting forms. The Galle Gladiators are yet to win a game and they have so far struggled to get their bowling right. There would be immense pressure in the team to win this game. Jaffna Stallions on the other hand have looked in sublime for with depth in their batting as well as bowling. This would make them favorites in this contest.
Jaffna Stallions to win