Isuru Udana starred with the bat and ball as Colombo Kings came back from nowhere to stun Kandy Tuskers in the opening match of the Lanka Premier League, LPL 2020, at Hambantota on Thursday.
Udana’s brilliant unbeaten cameo of 34 from 12 balls lifted Colombo Kings to the Super Over in a tough chase of 220 in the first game of LPL 2020. Needing 20 off the last over, Udana slammed Asela Gunaratne for two sixes to steal 19 off the over, and keep the game alive.
The left-arm seamer then successfully defended a target of 17 despite being hit for a four and a six. The LPL 2020 opener wasn’t short of controversy though, as a delivery down the leg side in Udana’s Super Over was declared as a dot ball instead of a wide.
Earlier, after being dropped off Irfan Pathan in the second over of the chase when he was on five, Colombo Kings opener Dinesh Chandimal made Kandy Tuskers pay heavily with some brutal strokes. Things got worse for the Tuskers when, after having conceded 19 in his second over, Pathan hobbled off the field clutching his hamstring, leaving his LPL 2020 future in doubt.
Chandimal and Laurie Evans got Colombo Kings off to an excellent start in the tough chase, adding 64 in 5.2 overs. The partnership was broken when Evans was caught off a long hop from Asela Gunaratne.
Chandimal continued to smash the ball all around the park. At 131 for 1 in the 13th over, the game was very much on. However, Naveen-ul-Haq, who had dropped two catches, including one of Chandimal, redeemed himself by claiming two in two. He got the massive scalp of Chandimal with a short of the length ball as a ramp shot went straight into the hands of third man.
Chandimal fell for a brilliant 80 from 46 balls, hitting 12 fours and two sixes. Very next ball, Naveen-ul-Haq sent back Thikshila de Silva for 22. The Colombo Kings lost their way after that in the LPL 2020 opening clash. Skipper Mathews was bowled for 2 and the dangerous Andre Russell perished for 24 from 13 before Udana kept them in the hunt with some fabulous hitting.
Kusal Perera’s brilliant knock for Kandy Tuskers in LPL 2020 opener in vain
Kandy Tuskers got their Lanka Premier League, LPL 2020, campaign off to an excellent start with the willow, smashing 219 for 3 at Hambantota after being sent into bat by Colombo Kings.
Attacking wicket-keeper batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz and skipper Kusal Perera got Kandy Tuskers off to a sensational start. Gurbaz, in particular, was exceptional taking on the bowlers from the very start, and succeeding in his endeavour.
The Kandy Tuskers openers added 75 in just 5.4 overs. Gurbaz raced to his fifty with six fours and four sixes before being dismissed for 53 off just 22 balls, striking at 240.90.
Following the dismissal of Gurbaz, captain Perera took it upon himself to see the team through to a massive score in the LPL 2020 opener even as Kusal Mendis struggled to get the big hits, perishing for 30 from 24.
Perera opened up further towards the end of the innings, and went into the last over with a decent chance of reaching three figures. However, he fell for 87 from 52, slamming nine fours and four sixes, top edging Dushmantha Chameera trying to go for another big hit. Gunaratne also chipped in with 33 from 20.
All the Colombo bowlers went for plenty in the first game of LPL 2020, with Chameera conceding 58 in his four and Manpreet Gony 42. Skipper Angelo Mathews was taken for 26 in his two.
LPL 2020, Kandy Tuskers v Colombo Kings: Who was the Man of the Match?
Udana undoubtedly would have been one of the key contenders for player of the match for his excellent all-round effort in the LPL 2020 opener. Colombo Kings wouldn’t have made it without his special skills. Kandy Tuskers captain Perera’s 87 from 52 in a losing cause also deserves a word of praise.
However, in the end, Chandimal was the rightful owner of the man of the match award. Under pressure in a huge chase, he came out all guns blazing. His 80 from 46 clearly put Kandy Tuskers on the backfoot and seized the advantage they had at the halfway stage.Published 27 Nov 2020, 02:36 IST