Colombo Kings will take on Dambulla Viiking at Hambantota in the Lanka Premier League on Tuesday. Kings have won both their opening games. Viking has won the only match they have played so far at the time of writing.
Kings have posted a thrilling win over Kandy Tuskers via super over in the first match of LPL. In their second match against Galle Gladiators, a fired-up Andre Russell smacked 19-ball 65* to steer Kings to another win in a reduced five-over match.
Viking, on the other hand, posted a narrow win by 4 runs against Kandy Tuskers via the Duckworth Lewis method in their opening match.
Kings have an edge over Viiking as it boasts of a few quality overseas match-winners who can turn around the game single-handedly. And the biggest differentiator is Andre Russell who looked to have shrugged off his poor IPL form by cracking a brilliant 65* against Tuskers. They also have top-order batsman Laurie Evans of England, and bowler Qais Ahmed of Afghanistan to give a boost to their XI.
But Viiking lacks top resources in the overseas department, as few top foreign stars such as David Miller and Carlos Brathwaite have withdrawn from the tournament. But that gives the opportunity to other overseas players such as all-rounder Samit Patel and Irish all-rounder Paul Stirling to make their presence felt.
Match Toss Time: 15:00 Local (15:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 15:30 Local (15:30 IST)
Match Venue: Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota.
The rain has played spoilsport in few games, with the matches being reduced, and that robs some of the shine from the tournament. But luckily, there is no rain forecast for Tuesday. It is going to be cloudy at Hambantota on Tuesday, with the temperature hovering around 25 to 29 degrees Celsius.
Pitch is expected to be a batting paradise just like in previous games. A score of 200 could not be enough to defend after a score of 219 was leveled in the opening match of the tournament. Hence, winning the toss, and choosing the field would be the best option. The team that bowls slightly better could be the winner on these flat decks.
Colombo Kings look like the complete team in this tournament, with a good mix of local and overseas talent. The great news for them is that Russell has found his form, smashing 65* against Gladiators, after he had a forgettable season in IPL 2020 where he also struggled with injuries.
The presence of Russell alone could make a difference to the result. But local cricketers such as Dinesh Chandimal (80 against Tuskers) and Isuru Udana (12-ball 34* against Tuskers) have also fired. Hence, Kings look the favorite for the match.
Viking too began on a bright note, beating Tuskers by 4 runs via DL method in their rain-shortened opening match. But lack of quality overseas players may hurt their chances against a strong Kings. Their local talent must come to the party to make a match out of the clash against Kings.
Probable Playing Xl
Colombo Kings (CLK): LD Chandimal (keeper), AD Mathews (c), SMA Priyanjan, I Udana, Qais Ahmad, DJ Bell-Drummond, PVD Chameera, MA Aponso LJ Evans, ST de Silva AD Russell
Dambulla Viiking (DVK): N Dickwella (keeper), WU Tharanga, SR Patel, MD Shanaka (c), LD Madushanka, RTM Mendis, CBRLS Kumara, Anwar Ali, PM Pushpakumara, S Tyagi, Paul Stirling
CLK vs DVK Fantasy Team
Laurie Evans (CLK), Upul Tharanga (DVK), Niroshan Dickwella (DVK), Andre Russell (CLK), Angelo Mathews (CLK), Dasun Shanaka (DV), Samit Patel (DVK), Dinesh Chandimal (CLK), Isuru Udana (CLK), Qais Ahmed (CLK), Anwar Ali (DVK)
Captain picks: Andre Russell (CLK) and Dinesh Chandimal (CLK)
Vice-Captain picks: Dasun Shanaka (DVK) Isuru Udana (CLK)
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