Kandy Tuskers, well and truly, were in the driver’s seat against the Colombo Kings. However, some late flurry of boundaries from Qais Ahmad and Isuru Udana robbed them off a victory. The game in Hambantota went into the Super Over where they failed to score 17 runs.
To add insult to injury, their overseas all-rounder Irfan Pathan also developed a hamstring strain midway through his spell. After scoring 219 runs, it’s the bowling unit that needs to step up. Their second match is against the Dambulla Viiking, led by Dasun Shanaka, in the first of Saturday’s doubleheader.
A better bowling performance could see them make a comeback. The Viiking, on the other hand, have quite a few renowned international names and they won’t be easy to dislodge by any stretch of the imagination.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch in Hambantota turned out to be a batsman’s paradise in the first game. Run-making wasn’t a tough task by any means. Moreover, the dew factor also came into play. However, dew won’t be there when the first game will be played under natural light.
Hence, the spinners might come into play. There are no chances of rain and the temperature will be around the 25 degrees Celsius mark.
Playing Combinations for KAN vs DAM
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Kusal Perera (C and WK), Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Seekkuge Prasanna, Ishan Jayaratne/Irfan Pathan, Nuwan Pradeep, Naveen-ul-Haq, Kamindu Mendis, Lasith Embuldeniya, Kaveeshka Anjula
Bench- Brendan Taylor, Vishwa Fernando, Ishan Jayaratne, Dilruwan Perera, Nishan Madushanka, Priyamal Perera, Dale Steyn, Lahiru Samarakoon, Chamika Edirisinghe, Munaf Patel, Kevin Koththigoda, Irfan Pathan/Ishan Jayaratne
Upul Tharanga, Paul Stirling, Oshada Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Angelo Perera/Lahiru Madushanka, Dasun Shanaka (C), Samit Patel, Anwar Ali, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha, Aftab Alam
Bench- Angelo Perera/Lahiru Madushanka, Ramesh Mendis, Kavindu Nadeeshan, Samiullah Shinwari, Malinda Pushpakumara, Pulina Tharanga, Ashen Bandara, Dilshan Madushanka, Sachindu Colombage, Sudeep Tyagi
Probable Top Performers for KAN vs DAM
Rahmanullah Gurbaz– Kandy Tuskers
Though Kusal Perera scored 87 the other night, it was Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who set the tone for the innings early on. The youngster hammered his way to 53 runs off 22 balls with the help of six fours and four sixes.
The right-hander played at a strike-rate of 240.91 and made sure that the Tuskers made optimum utilisation of the powerplay. He also hit a four and a six off Udana in the Super Over.
Paul Stirling– Dambulla Viiking
Paul Stirling has a truckload of T20 experience under his belt. In 228 matches, he has 5,746 runs at a strike-rate of 142.75. It goes without saying that the 30-year-old will be a key member for the Viiking at the top of the batting order.
He recently played for the Northants in the T20 Blast in England where he got a score of an unbeaten 80 and also chipped in with some handy overs with the ball.
Average first innings score: 151 (7 T20I matches)
Record of chasing teams: Won- 2 | Lost- 4 |Tie- 1
Match timings – 03:30 PM local time, 03:30 PM IST
TV – Sony SIX
Live Streaming – Sony LIV
The prediction is for Kandy Tuskers to win the match.
Disclaimer: This prediction is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While making your prediction, consider the points mentioned, and make your own decision.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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