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Dambulla Viiking takes on Colombo Kings for the second time in the Lanka Premier League 2020 (LPL 2020).

This match will be the last group-stage clash in the tournament before the semifinals. Dambulla defeated Colombo by 28 runs in their first encounter. Dambulla won by four wickets against Galle Gladiators in their previous game. 

Colombo won by six runs against Jaffna Stallions in their last match.

Team News

Paul Stirling is woefully out of form for Dambulla though the management has given him enough chances at the top of the order. They can try out Lahiru Madushanka instead. Samit Patel has not hit so many runs in the recent matches. Dambulla can give more overs to Sudeep Tyagi. 

Laurie Evans is in fine form for Colombo. Angelo Mathews and Andre Russell are contributing to the side with some quickfire knocks. Ashan Priyanjan and Qais Ahmed deserve a lot of praise for restricting the run flow. Though Russell is picking wickets at regular intervals, he is leaking too many runs.

Pitch and Conditions 

The chasing team has won four out of the last five matches. Most of the teams have a deep batting line-up and that has proved to be a big advantage for them. Bowlers can reap the rewards if they bowl a consistent line and length and set up wicket-taking fields. No rain is expected during the match and the dew factor will play a major role in deciding the outcome. 

Probable Playing XI

Dambulla Viiking: Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Paul Stirling/ Lahiru Madushanka,  Angelo Perera, Dasun Shanaka (c), Samit Patel,  Samiullah Shinwari, Ramesh Mendis, Dilshan Madushanka, Kasun Rajitha, Sudeep Tyagi. 

Colombo Kings: Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Laurie Evans, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Angelo Mathews (c), Andre Russell, Ashan Priyanjan, Thikshila de Silva, Isuru Udana, Qais Ahmad, Tharindu Kaushal, Dushmantha Chameera

Key Battles

Dasun Shanaka (DVK) vs Angelo Mathews (CLK)

Dasun Shanaka Angelo Mathews LPL
Shanaka is in rich batting form while Mathews has the experience to outwit him. 

The skipper was dismissed just for 9 runs in the last game. He is a vital cog in the middle order. Shanaka is a hard-hitting batsman who can change the match within the span of a few balls. 

Mathews scored 15 runs in the previous match and conceded 17 runs in his two overs. His handy medium pace can unsettle Shanaka if Colombo uses him more in the middle overs. He is tactically very smart and maintains a cool head even under pressure. He can squeeze his opponents with his nippy cutters. 

Ramesh Mendis (DVK) vs Andre Russell (CLK)

Andre Russell Ramesh Mendis LPL
Mendis is a wicket-taking bowler while Russell can pin him down with his ferocious striking ability. 

Russell scored 21 runs in the last game. Though is well-known for his blistering cameos, the West Indian is struggling for consistency. He is a power-hitter and a proven match-winner with an astronomical strike rate. 

Mendis took two wickets and gave away 28 runs in his four-over quota in the last match. The offie is hard to get away as he has a lot of variations up his sleeve that can trouble the free-flowing Russell. He can control the run flow effectively. 

Prediction 

Table-toppers, Dambulla have already qualified for the play-offs with five victories. Colombo too has booked their spot in the final four with five wins. Dambulla would look to stay on the top of the table and maintain their place while Colombo would rely on a few players to end the group stage with a victory.

Cricwizz predicts Dambulla Viiking to win the match