November 19, 2022
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Jaffna Kings reach playoffs after demolishing Dambulla Giants by 7 wickets

Thisara Perera’s Jaffna Kings continued their king-sized domination of the Lanka Premier League 2021 by demolishing Dambulla Giants by 7 wickets to pick up their fifth successive triumph on Monday at the R. Premadasa Stadium. With the win, the Jaffna Kings confirmed a spot in the playoffs.

After winning the toss and electing to bowl, the Kings bundled out Dambulla Giants for 69 with Chaturanga de Silva coming to the party, picking up 4 wickets for 16 runs.

Perera’s decision to bowl on a spinning track proved to be the correct one as off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana gave early blows to Dambulla Giants, dismissing Niroshan Dickwella and Sohaib Maqsood in the first over itself. In his next over, Theekshana dismissed Nuwanidu Fernando for 2 runs, forcing the Giants on the backfoot.

Afterward, De Silva’s magical spell began, as he cleaned up the Giants’ middle-order in quick succession. Philip Salt, who was the only one who showed a bit of resistance, was dismissed by star spinner Wanindu Hasaranga for 23 runs as the Giants were bowled out in just 14.1 overs, setting up a meager total for the Kings to chase.

In the chase, Jaffna Kings lost Upul Tharanga early on, but the side made a surprise call, promoting Wanindu Hasaranga to bat at No.3. The pinch-hitter rose to be the darling of the spectators as he bludgeoned an 18-ball 37 to set the tempo in that victory charge.

Upfront, Avishka Fernando infused the razor edge as he belted the bowling, scoring 22 runs in 17 balls with six and 2 fours in his innings, making a short work of the target. The game came to a close as hard-hitting opening batsman Fernando slammed the second delivery of the ninth over by Ramesh Mendis over mid-wicket for a six, finishing off the chase in style.

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