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Jaffna Stallions lock horns against Dambulla Viiking for the second time in the Lanka Premier League (LPL 2020).

Jaffna had defeated Dambulla by 66 runs in that match. After winning four wins in a row, Jaffna suffered their first loss of the tournament against Colombo Kings. 

Dambulla defeated Kandy Tuskers by five wickets to win their third match out of four matches played so far.

Team News

Jaffna's batsmen had an off-day against Colombo. Johnson Charles who replaced Tom Moores got out for 7. Wanindu Hasaranga's vital knock of 41 propelled them to a competitive total of 148. Binura Fernando conceded 41 runs in his spell. Kyle Abbott is yet to hit form as he gave away 15 runs in one over. Jaffna can bring back the wicket-taking Duanne Olivier instead.

Dambulla restricted Kandy to 156 courtesy of great bowling from the local duo of Kasun Rajitha and Malinda Pushpakumara. Promoting Angelo Perera was a bold move, and he responded with a brilliant knock of 67 while skipper, Dasun Shanaka continued his good batting form with a crucial 33.

Pitch and Conditions 

The side batting second has won the last three matches in Hambantota indicating that the conditions are friendly for chasing. Totals of 160-170 can be chased comfortably. The bowlers can make regular inroads into the batting line-up with the swing offered for the pacers and the turn provided to the spinners.

Probable Playing XI

Jaffna Stallions: Avishka Fernando, Johnson Charles, Minod Bhanuka (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Shoaib Malik, Thisara Perera (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chaturanga de Silva, Binura Fernando, Kyle Abbott/ Duanne Olivier, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth 

Dambulla Viiking: Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Upul Tharanga, Angelo Perera. Samit Patel, Dasun Shanaka (c), Samiullah Shinwari, Anwar Ali, Ramesh Mendis, Malinda Pushpakumara, Sachindu Colombage, Kasun Rajitha

Key Battles

Shoaib Malik (JST) vs Samit Patel (DVK)

Shoaib Malik Samit Patel LPL
Shoaib Malik (JST) vs Samit Patel (DVK)

Malik was dismissed just for eight in the last game. The Pakistan veteran is a dependable batsman in the middle order for Jaffna. He has a great defense and his lofted drives are a treat to watch when he gets going. He is a proven finisher and is good at slogging out for a long time. 

Patel is one of the handy all-rounders in T20 cricket. He got dismissed for 10 runs in the last game. Being an attacking lower middle-order batsman, his style of play is suitable for the conditions in the sub-continent. His useful left-arm orthodox spin can get the better of Malik as Patel has a lot of variations up his sleeve.

Angelo Perera (DVL) vs Duanne Olivier (JST)

Angelo Perera vs Duanne Olivier LPL
Angelo Perera (DVL) vs Duanne Olivier (JST)

Perera would have been the right find for the crucial number three spot for Dambulla as he dazzled with a superb 67 in a successful chase for his side. He is a promising batting all-rounder who can be dangerous when he gets going. 

Olivier last played against Galle Gladiators conceding 23 runs in his two overs. He was replaced by compatriot, Kyle Abbott for the last game but Abbott failed to create any impact though he was given only one over.  His quick arm speed makes him a kind of ideal hit the deck bowler. He can pick wickets at regular intervals. Oliver has raw pace and also nibbles the ball around effectively.

Prediction 

Despite being the table toppers, Jaffna would be determined to get back to winning ways after a bad day in the office against Colombo. Dambulla would be more confident as they are coming to this match with a victory. A win by a big margin would boost their net run rate and take them closer to the top of the table.

Cricwizz predicts Dambulla Viiking to win the match