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Table-toppers, Jaffna Stallions lock horns against Kandy Tuskers for the second time in the Lanka Premier League.

Jaffna had defeated Kandy by 54 runs in their first LPL clash. Jaffna is coming into this match with a loss against Colombo Kings.

 Kandy was also defeated by Colombo by 7 wickets in their last match. 

Team News 

Jaffna failed to put enough runs on the board against Colombo. Binura Fernando needs to take wickets at the start of the innings. The out of form Kyle Abbott can be replaced with the wicket-taking Duanne Olivier.

Kandy managed to score only 105 runs against Colombo. Only Rahmanullah Gurbaz was impressive with a knock of 34. The return of Irfan Pathan was a big positive for Kandy but he failed to create any impact getting dismissed for 18 runs off 27 balls. 

Pitch and Conditions 

The team batting second has won four of the last five matches at Hambantota. Hence, if the batsmen settle in, they can chase down even big totals with ease. The bowlers can make the breakthroughs regularly if they bowl a tight line and length without giving much room for the batsman to indulge in free stroke-play.

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, Duanne Olivier/ Kyle Abbott, Binura Fernando, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth

Kandy Tuskers: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Kusal Perera (c & wk), Kusal Mendis, Brendan Taylor, Asela Gunaratne, Irfan Pathan, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuledeniya, Vishwa Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Munaf Patel.

Key Battles

Kusal Perera vs Wanindu Hasaranga

Kusal Perera vs Wanindu Hasaranga  LPL
Kusal Perera vs Wanindu Hasaranga

Perera was dismissed just for 4 runs in the last game. He needs to play a big knock to get his side off to a flying start. He is a fearless and aggressive player who loves playing the new ball. His signature shots are the square cuts and the pick-up hits. 

Hasaranga played a good knock of 41 off 23 balls in the last match. He is an attacking middle-order batsman and also a useful leg spinner. He can stand tall amidst crisis situations. Being an opening bowler, he bagged two wickets conceding 23 runs in the last game. Perera must watch out for his clever variations.

Avishka Fernando vs Nuwan Pradeep

Avishka Fernando vs Nuwan Pradeep  LPL
Avishka Fernando vs Nuwan Pradeep

Fernando scored 26 runs in the previous match. He got out just when he was trying to accelerate the innings. He can give strong starts for his side continuing his exploits from youth cricket (under-19).

Pradeep conceded 10 runs and picked up a wicket in a losing cause against Colombo. He is a tearaway quick bowler possessing a slingy action. His main weapon is the outswinger which he can generate with good pace. He can nip the ball around even if there is little swing on offer.

Prediction

Jaffna is sitting prettily at the top of the points table with four wins out of five matches. Kandy badly needs a win to keep their campaign alive having lost five games out of six. Revenge will be on Kandy's mind after the drubbing they received the last time they played Jaffna.

Cricwizz predicts Kandy Tuskers to win the match.