LPL, Match 20: Galle Gladiators Qualifies for the Playoffs Despite Losing to Dambulla Aura by 4 Wickets
It was the 20th match of Lanka Premier League that was characterised by Galle Gladiators vs Dambulla Aura, played on R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. The match was low scoring as Galle Gladiators batted first and struggled throughout their innings. Galle had trouble getting to 100, and now they must defend 130. At first, the bowlers had some assistance, and Dambulla took advantage of it. Forde completed the top order on the powerplay, which allowed the spinners to apply the middle squeeze. The bowlers for Galle now have something to defend as Nuwanidu Fernando put up a lone fight and scored an unbeaten 63. After 20 overs, Galle put only 129-8. Dambulla needed to win the game to make into the playoffs and had to chase down the target well before 20 overs to improve their NRR and bring it over Galle.
In the run chase, Shevon and Jordan Cox came on crease while N Thushara opened the bowling attack for Galle. In the very first over, Shevon was dismissed, giving a huge dent to the Dambulla’s hope of winning the game. Soon Thushara dismissed Croospulle and restrained the run rate of Dambulla and put extra pressure on them. Although they were aware of the formula, they made no attempt to use it in the powerplay as they limped to 42/2. Forde and Cox chose to play their strokes only after the field had been evenly distributed. After the powerplay, the pair scored 47 runs in three overs, but there was still much work to be done because Dambulla required 40 runs off of 13 balls but were unable to chase it down. They did succeed in winning the game, but their strategy and tactics were dubious, particularly Raza’s failure to go up the order in this circumstance and the crucial role played by his final over, which went for 25 runs.
Dambulla Aura chased down the target in 14.2 overs and won the game by 4 wickets but it’s Galle Gladiators that qualifies for the playoffs.
Kusal Mendis, the Winning Captain Said: “It was a very good match. We lost 2-3 wickets but Fernando did well to get us to 130 then the bowlers did their job. The bowlers have been doing well in the last three games. We have played against Colombo and won one game against them, hopefully we can do it again.”
Well, now we have four teams in the playoffs, and the games will start on Wednesday.
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