The Lanka Premier League despite not being among the top T20 leagues in the world saw a start that is one of a kind. Colombo Kings had a brilliant start to the tournament and their efforts were rewarded by some luck too.
Not only did the game go until the super over but it went thereafter both the teams scored a total of 219, something we don't see quite often. Despite Colombo Kings' strong start, Galle Gladiators are flowing with confidence too as they have several starts to take them through the line.
The team suffered a huge blow when big guns like Shahid Afridi, veteran Lesotho Malinga and Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed were ruled out.
Afridi will be back after two games due to missing his flight and thus, vice-captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa is set to lead the side, trying to make a huge impact that leads to his selection for Sri Lanka's T20 World Cup squad next year.
Hazratullah Zazai is yet another star who is known for his explosive hitting. His partnership with Danushka Gunathilaka in the initial stages of the innings is expected to work well.
Local talent Shehan Jayasuriya is also a fabulous all-rounder who needs grooming and can fire at crucial times.
Colombo Kings could've won their previous game without a drama if Isuru Udana had continued. However, fate had another way to reward the Colombo players who then clinched the game in the super over.
Udana failed with the bat in the super over but his dominant bowler got his team the points they needed.
Match Toss Time: 19:30 Local (19:30 IST)
Match Start Time: 20:00 Local (20:00 IST)
Match Venue: Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota.
Since slight showers are anticipated much before the game begins, it seems the beginning overs may see a strong run over the players' heads.
The temperature is expected to be around the 30-degree mark while everyone can expect a high percentage of humidity, close to 74%.
The pitch is as flat as we can imagine and just like the previous game, a last-ball thriller can be anticipated. Batsmen will run riot on the surface while bowlers will have to be careful and execute a plan that turns out effective.
Dew may be a factor and it will be interesting to see which side the game goes once the dew kicks in. A target over 200 will also not guarantee the teams a win if they keep bowling in the slot.
Colombo Kings would not make any changes to their winning combination. However, some internal shuffling may happen. The team has enough superstars and a possibility of a shuffle in the batting order can be anticipated.
For Galle Gladiators, Afridi's return would be vital, and as things stand it is quite unlikely that he will feature. In his absence, the openers will have to put up a big score to shield and provide some kind of cushion for the bowlers.
Probable Playing XI
Colombo Kings (CK): Laurie Evans, Dinesh Chandimal (WK), Ashan Priyanjan, Thikshila de Silva, Angelo Mathews ©, Andre Russell, Isuru Udana, Qais Ahmed, Dushmantha Chameera, Manpreet Gony, Amila Aponso.
Galle Gladiators (GG): Danushka Gunathilaka, Chadwick Walton, Azam Khan (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Shahid Afridi (c), Akila Dananjaya, Milinda Siriwardana, Shehan Jayasuriya, Mohamed Shiraz, Mohammad Amir, Asitha Fernando
CK VS GG Fantasy XI
Dinesh Chandimal, Chadwick Walton, Bhanushka Rajapaksa, Laurie Evans, Hazratullah Zazai, Angello Mathews, Andre Russell, Qais Ahmed, Isuru Udana, Mohammad Amir.
Captain Picks: Andre Russell (Colombo Kings), Shahid Afridi (Galle Gladiators)
Vice-Captain Picks: Hazratullah Zazai (Galle Gladiators), Dinesh Chandimal (Colombo Kings)
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