The red carpets out, fireworks set up. Yes, We have reached the end of yet another global T20 event, and this time it is the Lanka Premier League 2020 (LPL 2020). Despite several challenges, the withdrawal of key players to unavailability of venues, the LPL saw had to face a lot of obstacles but the authorities have done an amazing job to get the tournament going.
The Grand Finale of the LPL 2020 is set to take place between the Galle Gladiators and Jaffna Stallions at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Hambantota on Wednesday. The Stallions make their way to the finale by defeating Dambulla Viikings by 37 runs in the semi-finals 2. The Galle Gladiators came out in the semi-final 1 against the favorites Colombo Kings.
The teams have faced each other twice this season and the results on both occasions have been in favor of Thisara Perera and Co. The first encounter saw Jaffna Stallions win by 8 wickets. The second was once again a one-sided affair which was won by 5 wickets.
On sheets, Stallions look like the favorites to lift the prestigious LPL Trophy. But, Gladiators who made sneaked their way into the play-offs now look a very spirited side and managed to eliminate the hot favorites Colombo Kings out of the tournament. Can they surprise the Stallions as well?
Match Toss Time: 18:30 Local (18:30 IST)
Match Start Time: 19:00 Local (19:00 IST)
Match Venue: Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
The conditions are well in favor of the sport once again as clear skies are expected throughout the day. The temperature is slight on the higher side, expected to hover in the 29-25 degree range. The humidity at the peak is anticipated to touch the 74 percent mark, which does suggest that the dew factor could play a huge factor in this all-important encounter.
It has been all about the batsmen and the final is no exception. The pitch has been heavily in favor of the batsmen but the bowlers have found something, especially the spinners have been able to generate spin on occasions. The team winning the toss should be looking to bat first and post a total on the board.
The dew factor is certain to come into play but the pressure of the finals is likely to take a toll on the chasing team as we saw in the semi-final 2.
Gladiators have done a tremendous job in absence of their skipper Shahid Afridi. The stand-in captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa has been doing a wonderful job in leading the side and he is now one match away from getting into the history books of Sri Lanka Cricket. The management would be happy to feature the same Xl that played against the Colombo Kings in SF1.
Jaffna Stallions looked like they were lost halfway in their first innings but recovered well to post a competitive score on the board in the semi-final against Dambulla Viiking. The bowlers did an incredible job to contain in the in-form Viiking Batsmen and Thisara Perara and the management will have no hesitation in going forward with the same Playing Xl.
Probable Playing Xl
Galle Gladiators (GGD): Danushka Gunathilaka, Ahsan Ali, Azam Khan (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (c), Sahan Arachchige, Chanaka Ruwansiri, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Mohammad Amir, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Thushara
Jaffna Stallions (JST): Johnson Charles (wk), Avishka Fernando, Charith Asalanka, Shoaib Malik, Chaturanga de Silva, Thisara Perera (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal, Usman Shinwari, Duanne Olivier
GGD vs JST Fantasy Team
Johnson Charles, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Danushka Gunathilaka, Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Lakshan Sandakan, Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari
Captain Picks: Wanindu Hasaranga (JST), Johnson (JST)
Vice-Captain Picks: Danushka Gunathilaka (GGD), Dhananjaya Lakshan (GGD)
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