Opener Laurie Evans hit a splendid unbeaten century as the Colombo Kings got the better of the Jaffna Stallions by six runs in the 18th match of LPL 2020 at Hambantota on Thursday. Andre Russell's 3-wicket haul then sunk the Jaffna Stallions in their chase of 174.
Sent in to bat by the Jaffna Stallions after losing the toss, the Colombo Kings innings was all about Laurie Evans’ brilliance as wickets kept falling at the other end. The hard-hitting batsman slammed five sixes to go with his nine fours as he remained unbeaten on 108 from 65 balls.
After losing the experienced Dinesh Chandimal for 11 inside the powerplay, Laurie Evans was unfortunately involved in the run out of DJ Bell-Drummond. A full-blooded drive found bowler Wanindu Hasaranga’s hands on its way to the stumps. Backing up, Bell-Drummond was found short having made 12.
Following the dismissal, Laurie Evans took it upon himself to see the Colombo Kings through to a challenging total. The 11th over of the innings bowled by Duanne Olivier saw Laurie Evans bring up his fifty off 34 balls.
He began by carting one down the ground for four, then hammered a length ball over deep midwicket for a maximum. Laurie Evans slashed the last ball past backward point to bring up his half-century.
The 15th over sent down by Binura Fernando proved to be a massive one, as 25 came off it. Laurie Evans began by carting the left-arm pacer over long-off for a maximum. A six off a waist-high full toss, which was declared a no ball, was followed by two consecutive boundaries.
Laurie Evans brought up a well-deserved century off 60 balls by flicking Wanindu Hasaranga for a couple. Monster hitter Andre Russell chipped in with a cameo of 21 from 14 towards the end before proceeding to star with the ball.
Suranga Lakmal (1 for 26) and Wanindu Hasaranga (1 for 31) were the only Jaffna Stallions bowlers to make an impression.
Andre Russell three-for stalls the Jaffna Stallions’ chase against the Colombo Kings
Andre Russell picked up the key wickets of Charith Asalanka (32), Shoaib Malik (29) and Thisara Perera (22 from 9) to put Colombo Kings ahead in the contest, although he did concede 46 runs in his spell.
After Dushmantha Chameera cleaned up Johnson Charles for 8 and Toom Moores (23) gifted his wicket to Qais Ahmad, Charith Asalanka and Shoaib Malik went about steadying the innings.
At 82 for 2 after 12 overs, the game was in the balance. However, Charith Asalanka hit a length ball from the West Indian medium pacer straight to deep midwicket.
Thisara Perera came in and hammered two sixes and as many fours. He was looking extremely dangerous before he cross-batted Andre Russell straight to deep point. Off the very next ball, Shoaib Malik cut the bowler into the hands of deep point to give the Colombo Kings the edge.
Wanindu Hasaranga (23 not out from 14) and Suranga Lakmal (17 not out from 11) tried their best but the Jaffna Stallions still fell short of the Colombo Kings' total.
LPL 2020 - Colombo Kings vs Jaffna Stallions: Who was the Man of the Match?
There were only two contenders for the Player of the Match. Andre Russell came up with an impressive all-round show. He followed up his cameo of 21 from 14 with three massive wickets with the ball.
Andre Russell, though, wouldn’t have had the runs to bowl with had it not been for Laurie Evans’ brilliant hundred. His knock made the major difference in the end for the Colombo Kings as the Jaffna Stallions fell agonisingly short of the target.