Two teams yet to win a single match in this tournament will face off as Kandy Tuskers take on Galle Gladiators to move up the points table.
Kandy suffered a narrow four-run loss to Dambulla Viiking in their last encounter. Had Kusal Mendis been more aggressive and Kamindu Mendis not taken time to settle down, Kandy would have been on the victorious side.
Galle lost by 34 runs to Colombo Kings in a rain-curtailed clash. Their bowlers had a bad day in the office as Mohammad Amir conceded 46 runs in two overs and Asitha Fernando leaked 26 runs in 1 over as Andre Russell and Laurie Evans took them to the cleaners with some big hitting.
With Kandy's Kamindu Mendis struggling, the team can rope in batting all-rounder Ishan Jayaratne or wicket-keeper batsman, Nishan Madushka instead.
Galle can bring back Akila Dananjaya and leave out Mohamed Shiraz. Left-arm chinaman bowler, Lakshan Sandakan is also available on the bench.
Pitch and Conditions
There will be an old pitch available as there is a match scheduled before this clash. Chasing would be tough as dew would play a big role. The ball will come on nice to the bat and the big-hitters would like to utilize it to their full advantage.
Probable Playing XI
Kandy Tuskers: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Kusal Perera (c & wk), Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Seekuge Prasanna, Ishan Jayaratne/ Nishan Madushka, Nuwan Pradeep, Dilruwan Perera, Naveen-Ul Haq, Priyamal Perera, Kavishka Anjula.
Galle Gladiators: Danushka Gunathilaka, Hazrathullah Zazai, Azam Khan (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Milinda Siriwardana, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Shahid Afridi (c), Shehan Jayasuriya, Mohammad Amir, Akila Dananjaya/ Lakshan Sandakan, Asitha Fernando.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz vs Mohammad Amir
The Afghan teen hit 30 runs off 18 balls in the last match. He is a fearless cricketer who gets most of his runs in the powerplay through boundaries.
Amir had an off-game in the last match as Russell took him apart. He must get back his mojo by not giving much space to Gurbaz who loves to hit loose deliveries out of the park. The Pakistani can use his repertoire of slower balls to outwit Gurbaz.
Shahid Afridi vs Naveen-ul-Haq
Afridi could not take his team past the finishing line as he managed to hit 12 runs off 6 balls. Though he has officially retired from international cricket, he still has the big-hitting ability intact in him. His eccentric batting makes him a huge crowd-puller though he can be reckless at times.
Naveen-ul-Haq scalped two wickets and conceded 43 runs in his four-over spell. The right-armer from Afghanistan has the talent to get the required breakthroughs in the middle overs with his intelligent variations and raw pace. Afridi must watch out for his wicked outswinger.
With both teams aiming to get their first points on the table, this match could go down to the wire. Kandy have a better batting lineup while Galle has good bowlers who can step up on the occasion.
Cricwizz predicts Kandy Tuskers to win the match.