The Dambulla Giants kept their title hopes alive after defeating Colombo Stars by 6 wickets in the Eliminator match of the Lanka Premier League on Sunday. The Giants will take on the losing team of the Qualifier 1 match between Jaffna Kings and Galle Gladiators in Qualifier 2 on Monday. After restricting the Stars to 145/6 in their 20 overs, the Giants chased down their target in 18.5 overs.
Dushmantha Chameera got the Stars off to a great start with the ball by dismissing Niroshan Dickwella on the very first ball of the Dambulla Giants’ innings. The Stars stayed in the game by taking the wicket of Sandun Weerakkody in the fourth over, reducing the Giants to 20/2. However, Philip Salt, Janith Liyanage and Najibullah Zadran chipped in with scores of 32, 56* and 34 respectively and ensured that the Giants walked off the ground as winners of the match.
Janith Liyanage played a brilliant innings of 56* runs from 47 balls and strung crucial partnerships with Salt and Zadran. Liyanage struck 5 boundaries during his innings.
Earlier, Captain Angelo Mathews’ magnificent innings of 50 runs from 34 balls, laced with 4 boundaries and 2 sixes helped the Colombo Stars put up a fighting total on the board. Pathum Nissanka also chipped in with an innings of 42 runs from 39 balls. He struck 4 boundaries during his innings.
Nuwan Pradeep set the tone with the ball for the Dambulla Giants by taking the wicket of Kusal Perera in the second over. Thereafter, the Stars couldn’t string partnerships and kept losing wicket at regular intervals. Nuwan Pradeep and Imran Tahir were the pick of the bowlers for the Giants with figures of 2/23 and 2/25 respectively.