Jaffna Stallions face Colombo Kings for the second time in another enthralling encounter in the Lanka Premier League.
Jaffna lost to Colombo by six wickets earlier. Jaffna is coming into this match with two consecutive losses against Colombo and Kandy Tuskers and a washout game against Dambulla Viiking.
Colombo is arriving with a defeat against Galle Gladiators. Jaffna is placed at the top of the points table and Colombo is placed at the third spot.
Only Shoaib Malik showed some resistance with his fighting knock of 59 taking Jaffna to a respectable total of 150. The team introduced newcomer, Charith Asalanka at the number three spot instead of Tom Moores but Asalanka was dismissed for 18 runs.
Wanindu Hasaranga scalped two wickets conceding 23 runs. But, Usman Shinwari and Suranga Lakmal could not deliver any inroads.
Colombo had an off day with the ball in their last game. Isuru Udana, Andre Russell, and Dhammika Prasad gave away too many runs.
Pitch and Conditions
The chasing team has won three out of the last four matches. Hence, sides are finding it tough to defend even big totals. Since this match will start in the afternoon, dew will not play a role. Both sides have wicket-taking bowlers who can exploit the limited movement on offer.
Probable Playing XI
Jaffna Stallions (JST): Avishka Fernando, Johnson Charles, Charith Asalanka, Minod Bhanuka (wk), Shoaib Malik, Thisara Perera (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Duanne Olivier, Suranga Lakmal, Usman Shinwari, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth
Colombo Kings (CLK): Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Laurie Evans, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Angelo Mathews (c), Andre Russell, Thikshila de Silva, Ashan Priyanjan, Isuru Udana, Qais Ahmad, Tharindu Kaushal, Dhammikka Prasad/ Dushmantha Chameera
Minod Bhanuka vs Isuru Udana
Bhanuka scored at a slow pace in the last game hitting 21 runs off 22 balls. He is a vital player in the middle order though Jaffna has been shuffling his spot in the batting line-up too frequently. The southpaw can play the rescue act if wickets fall early for his side.
Udana went wicketless in the last match conceding 32 runs in his four-over quota. The left-armer can trouble Bhanuka with his nippy slower cutters. He needs to sort out his inconsistency by using more variations in his deliveries.
Daniel Bell-Drummond vs Usman Shinwari
Drummond scored a crucial 44 in the previous game. The right-hander has a knack for scoring runs briskly. He needs to improve his strike rate by going for the big hits more frequently.
Shinwari did not pick a single wicket in the last match giving away 35 runs. The left-armer, who considers the legendary, Wasim Akram as his cricketing hero, has a potent outswinger that can unsettle Drummond. He is a proven match-winner and can restrict the run flow at the top.
Though Jaffna is placed comfortably at the top of the points table, they will be itching to get back to winning ways after suffering two losses in a row. Their rivals are fast catching up to unseat their position. Colombo will aim for nothing but victory after losing against Galle in the previous game. A win for Colombo will see them jump to the second spot in the points table.
Cricwizz predicts Jaffna Stallions to win the match.