Lanka Premier League: Galle Gladiators vs Dambulla Viiking: Who won yesterday’s LPL 2020 match?

Samiullah Shinwari. Pic: Twitter
Samiullah Shinwari. Pic: Twitter

Big-hitting Samiullah Shinwari blazed his way to an unbeaten 46 from 20 as Dambulla Viiking got the better of Galle Gladiators in a thriller in match 17 of LPL 2020 at Hambantota.

Chasing 169, the Viiking needed seven runs off the last over. Then, Dhananjaya Lakshan dropped Samiullah Shinwari at long-on off Shehan Jayasuriya’s bowling. To make matters worse, the ball crossed the ropes for four runs.

The bowler fought back to bring the total down to one needed from one. However, Samiullah Shinwari finished the game off in style, hammering a full toss from Shehan Jayasuriya for a six over long leg.

Shinwari had walked in at number seven, with the game in the balance at 110 for 5. He smashed three fours off the 18th over bowled by Nuwan Thushara to keep Dambulla Viiking ahead in the chase.

The 19th over bowled by Mohammad Amir was crucial. Samiullah Shinwari managed to find a boundary towards deep mid-wicket, thanks to some poor fielding by the Gladiators. Ramesh Mendis converted a low full toss into another four before Samiullah Shinwari took them home in style in the last over, by four wickets.

Earlier, Niroshan Dickwella (38) and Angelo Perera (45) made crucial contributions to keep Dambulla Viiking in the hunt. Dhananjaya Lakshan (2 for 33) bowled well for Galle Gladiators, but it wasn’t enough on the day.

Galle Gladiators got off to a flyer against Dambulla Viiking

Asked to bat, the Gladiators posted a respectable 168 for 7, built around Danushka Gunathilaka’s 46 and Shehan Jayasuriya’s 39.

Gunathilaka raced to a whirlwind start, smashing the first two balls from Sandeep Tyagi in the first over for boundaries. The second over bowled by Kasun Rajitha had three fours in four balls.

Galle Gladiators had 26 on the board after two overs. However, Ahsan Ali perished soon after, trapped lbw by Dilshan Madushanka for 5. Skipper Bhanuka Rajapaksa came in and immediately got into the act, sweeping and cutting Ramesh Mendis for a six and a four respectively.

Both continued to attack the Dambulla Viiking bowlers as Galle Gladiators raced to 83 in seven overs. Dambulla Viiking, however, fought back courtesy a double strike by off-spinner Ramesh Mendis in the next over.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa got out for 31 from 18 trying to drive one past extra cover. Azam Khan played the next ball across the line and was plump in front. Dambulla Viiking got the wicket through a review and Ramesh Mendis was on a hat-trick.

Gunathilaka perished soon after for 46, caught behind off Dasun Shanaka’s bowling. There was more bad news for Galle Gladiators as Chadwick Walton had to retire hurt after injuring himself while going for a run.

Shehan Jayasuriya’s 27-ball 39 and Dhananjaya Lakshan’s unbeaten 23 off 18 balls took them to 168 for 7. But, they were clearly at least 20 runs short. Ramesh Mendis, Kasun Rajitha, and skipper Dasun Shanaka led the fightback for Dambulla Viiking with two wickets each, which was completed by Samiullah Shinwari.

The man of the match

Ramesh Mendis put Galle Gladiators on the backfoot by sending back the dangerous Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Azam Khan off successive deliveries. Angelo Perera kept Dambulla Viiking in the hunt with 45 from 31.

Samiullah Shinwari, though deserved the man of the match award. With the match in the balance, he came and delivered the knockout punch.

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