Galle Gladiators face off Kandy Tuskers for the second time in the Lanka Premier League (LPL 2020).
Kandy had defeated Galle by 25 runs in their first clash. Kandy defeated Jaffna Stallions by six wickets in their last match.
Galle lost to table toppers, Dambulla Viiking by four wickets in their last game.
Galle and Kandy occupy the last two spots in the points table with six and five losses respectively.
Chadwick Walton's form has been a big concern for Galle and he was forced to retire hurt in the last match. Milinda Siriwardana may replace him.
Though Brendan Taylor of Kandy has not been consistent enough, they will be pleased with the form of Asela Gunaratne and Irfan Pathan who led them to a victory against Jaffna.
Dale Steyn also appeared for them in the last match and took two wickets. Nuwan Pradeep needs to control the run flow effectively as he has been too expensive.
Pitch and Conditions
The chasing team has won four of the last five matches in Hambantota. Hence, sides are confident in their batting line-up to chase down big scores. Unless bowlers can take wickets at the start using the limited swing on offer, they will be unable to restrict the onslaught. Teams are getting more wickets by putting their opponent to bat. The dew factor will play a huge role in this match.
Probable Playing XI
Galle Gladiators (GGD): Danushka Gunathilaka, Ahsan Ali, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (c), Azam Khan (wk),Chadwick Walton/Milinda Siriwardana, Shehan Jayasuriya, Sahan Arachchige, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Mohammad Amir, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Thushara
Kandy Tuskers (KDT): Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Kusal Perera (c & wk), Kusal Mendis, Brendan Taylor, Asela Gunaratne, Irfan Pathan, Dilruwan Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Dale Steyn
Bhanuka Rajapaksa GDT) vs Vishwa Fernando (KDT)
Rajapaksa scored 31 off 18 balls in the last game. The skipper, who was promoted to the top of the middle order made full use of the batting-friendly conditions. His gameplay is suited for limited-overs cricket as the southpaw has a range of shots.
Fernando scalped two wickets conceding 29 runs in the previous match. He has a whippy action along with a raw pace that helps him to bowl an accurate line. Despite opening the bowling with the new ball, he possesses a calm head on his shoulders.
Kusal Mendis (KDT) vs Lakshan Sandakan (GGD)
Mendis was dismissed just for two runs in the last game. He is an aggressive right-hander with a pleasing range of strokes. Since he is a classy batsman, he needs to hit a substantial knock. Playing at the crucial number three spot, Mendis has failed to score in the last two matches and requires a big knock to boost his confidence.
Sandakan picked up one wicket giving away 34 runs in the previous game against Dambulla. He can turn the ball either way and batsmen find it difficult to go after him due to his awkward action. Being a chinaman bowler, he can exploit even some turn available on the surface.
Galle has had a sub-par season with six defeats. Kandy has failed to stand strong in the big moments losing five matches, some of them which went to the wire. A win for Kandy would keep their hopes for the playoffs alive while another loss for Galle could see them crash out of the tournament.
Cricwizz predicts Galle Gladiators to win the match