Kandy Tuskers take on Colombo Kings for the second time this year in the Lanka Premier League.
The two teams had been part of a thrilling Super over in the inaugural LPL match and Colombo emerged victorious.
Kandy was crushed by 54 runs by Jaffna Stallions in their last match. Their outcome against Dambulla Viiking is yet to be known at the time of writing this article.
Colombo too lost their last match to Dambulla by 28 runs.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz has not been providing explosive starts for Kandy. Brendan Taylor has been impressive so far but needs more support from the rest of the batsmen to post a big total. The addition of the experienced Munaf Patel has provided more balance and stability to their bowling attack. Dale Steyn is yet to play a game for the side.
Colombo needs their two marquee all-rounders Angelo Mathews and Andre Russell to fire with the bat. Only Isuru Udana and Russell are picking up wickets regularly while Qais Ahmed and Dhammika Prasad need to step up.
Pitch and Conditions
Both the teams failed to chase their respective targets in their last game. Hence, it is better to bat first if they win the toss. Both the teams have a couple of slow-bowlers in their line up who can get some turn from the pitch as the match moves on.
Probable Playing XI
Kandy Tuskers: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Kusal Perera (c & wk), Kusal Mendis, Brendan Taylor, Asela Gunaratne, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dilruwan Perera, Kamindu Mendis, Nuwan Pradeep, Naveen-ul-Haq, Munaf Patel.
Colombo Kings: Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Laurie Evans, Thikshila De Silva, Angelo Mathews (c), Andre Russell, Ashan Priyanjan, Isuru Udana, Qais Ahmad, Dushmantha Chameera, Dhammika Prasad, Jeffrey Vandersay.
Brendan Taylor vs Dushmantha Chameera
Taylor got dismissed for 13 runs against Dambulla and scored 46 albeit in a losing chase against Jaffna. He is a mature player who can convert good starts into big knocks. He is a welcome addition to Kandy's batting line-up and the entire middle-over revolves around his immense experience.
Chameera bagged two wickets conceding 27 runs against Dambulla. He has a simplified action and can bowl at high speeds. He can rush batsmen off the surface. Despite his towering heights, he can be skiddy at times.
Laurie Evans vs Munaf Patel
Evans scored an impressive 59 against Dambulla and he was the only one who soldiered on when the others got out for cheap scores. He is a flamboyant batsman blessed with clean hitting abilities. Munaf can exploit Evans's weakness against the short ball.
Munaf can rack up quick pace when he is at his best. His uncanny ability to get natural reverse swing is his biggest strength as it has helped him bowl well at the death. The Indian's main weapon is the leg cutter which moves away and squares up the batsmen. He mostly attacks the stumps by sticking to the basics without much experimentation.
Colombo has won two out of their three matches so far and is currently placed second in the points table behind Jaffna. Kandy have lost some close matches with just one win out of four matches. Both teams will be itching to get back to winning ways after suffering tough defeats in their last matches.
Cricwizz predicts Kandy Tuskers to win the match.