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164/7 (20)
110/10 (18.4)
Galle Gladiators won by 54 runs.
Player of the match: Samit Patel
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Bhanuka Rajapaksa (Jaffna Kings captain): It was a good toss to lose. Form from my end was also good and it is good to win the first game. Abu Dhabi T10 was more of a free-flowing game, so it boosted my confidence. We have nice seamers and nice spinners but the pitch aided the spinners today, so I tried to bowl them out. 
Thisara Perera (Galle Gladiators captain): It is happening everywhere in the contest (turn in the second innings). We have to come back stronger. If there is a probability of dew, it is better to bat second. But, this was the first game and we will keep it in mind. We were targeting to restrict them to 140, but even that would have been tough in this pitch. 
Samit Patel: I think the way the skipper (Bhanuka Rajapaksa) played, it got us moving forward. I got some momentum in the end. Thankfully, we lost the toss as we were deciding to bowl first. There was some turn and moisture for us in the second innings and we made the most of us. 
Samit Patel wins the Player of the Match Award. 
When two teams who squared off against each other in the finals go head-to-head in the curtain raiser of the 2021 edition of LPL, the audience and viewers back home expect a cracker of the game. However, it turned out to be a lopsided contest at the end as Galle Gladiators won the game by 54 runs, bowling Jaffna Kings all out at 110. 

165 in a batting-friendly pitch shouldn't have been much. But, none of the Jaffna Kings batsmen found their groove. Tailender Wahab Riaz ending up as the highest run-scorer at 27 runs tells you everything. 

There was a lot of turn on offer at the second innings and Galle Gladiators captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa made the most of it. Mohammad Hafeez departed the openers Upul Tharanga and Rahmanullah Gurbaz and bowled sixteen dot balls to end with the majestic figures of 4-0-11-2. 

All-rounder Samit Patel, who had scored a quickfire 42 runs off 31 balls with the bat, dismissed the middle order of Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Avishka Fernando, and Shammu Ashan to concede only 21 runs in his spell. 

Nuwan Thushara, Noor Ahmed, and Lahiru Madushanka took a wicket each while Pulina Tharanga sent back Wahab Riaz and Suranga Lakmal to the pavilion who offered some resistance to the Gladiators. 

In the end, Jaffna Kings got bundled out in 18.4 overs as Galle Gladiators got their revenge after losing the LPL 2020 finals. 
A simple catch at mid on as Galle Gladiators win the match by 54 runs in the curtain-raiser of the LPL 2021. 
18.4 Numan Tushara to Maheesh Theekshana, WICKET! CAUGHT! ALL OVER! Slow good length ball on middle and leg, Theekshana hits the ball straight into the hands of the man at mid-on.

Maheesh Theekshana c Bhanuka Rajapaksa b Numan Thushara 2 (4b 0x4 0x6)
18.3 Numan Tushara to Maheesh Theekshana, 2 runs, good length ball on off stump, Theekshana swings his bat, the ball takes a thick outside edge and goes down to third-man, Theekshanatakes two runs. 
18.2 Numan Tushara to Maheesh Theekshana, no run, back of the length ball on off stump, Theekshana looks to cut but fails to connect
18.1 Numan Tushara to Maheesh Theekshana, no run, short ball on middle and leg, Theekshana moves to the leg side and pushes the ball to cover. 
108 /9 score
cricket bat icon Suranga Lakmal
10 (10)
cricket bat icon Jayden Seales *
0 (1)
cricket ball icon Pulina Tharanga
2 /13
17.6 Pulina Tharanga to Jayden Seales, no run, good length ball on off stump, Seales goes back and blocks the ball. 
Pulina Tharanga finds himself with the HAT-TRICK BALL! Can he make it three in three? A slip and leg slip in place. 
17.5 Pulina Tharanga to Suranga Lakmal, WICKET! CLEAN BOWLED! Good length ball on off stump, Lakmal dances down the track for a wild shot, misses the ball completely and the ball hits the leg stump.

Suranga Lakmal b Pulina Tharanga 10 (10b 0x4 0x6)
There is the commentator's curse as Riaz departs in the next ball. A good catch from Noor Ahmed in the deep midwicket. 
17.4 Pulina Tharanga to Wahab Riaz, WICKET! CAUGHT! Slow good length ball on middle and leg, Riaz goes for a big hit over deep mid-wicket once more but this time holes an easy catch straight to the man at deep mid-wicket boundary.

Wahab Riaz c Noor Ahmed b Pulina Tharanga 27 (20b 2x4 2x6) 
Wahab Riaz where were you before? That is the biggest six of the innings. Surely, he should be promoted up the order from the next match. 
17.3 Pulina Tharanga to Wahab Riaz, SIX! Full ball on off stump, Riaz plays a powerful slog and the ball flies over deep mid-wicket fence for a maximum!!!
17.2 Pulina Tharanga to Wahab Riaz, DROPPED! Good length ball on middle and leg, Riaz mistimes his slog, the ball goes high in the air, Dunk from behind the wickets run in and puts a dive to take the catch but cannot hold onto the ball, Riaz takes two runs. 
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