Kandy Falcons – Jaffna Kings game should be a close tussle

Wanindu Hasaranga - Kandy Falcons skipper
Wanindu Hasaranga – Kandy Falcons skipper

Kandy Falcons will meet Jaffna Kings in their qualifier game 1 of the LPL today commencing at 3pm followed by Eliminator game between Colombo Stars and Galle Gladiators which will commence at 7.30pm.

Kandy Falcons led by all rounder Wanindu Hasarangaare on top of the points table having 14 points and their only loss was against Galle Gladiators at Pallekele but they fought back strongly to continue their winning form to come forward. Skipper Hasaranga,all rounder Chamika Karunaratne, Kamindu Mednis, Pathum Nissanka and Ashen Bandara are in good form while foreign players Andre Fletcher the only centurion of this tournament and highest wicket taker Carlos Brathwaite two Caribbean players have strengthened the Kandy side.

Piyal Wijetunga the head coach of Kandy Falcons said the team is very positive minded and they are always keen to win the game. The openers Nissnaka and Fletcher are in good form while skipper Hasaranga gives good leadership. The team performances are very good and I am sure they can continue their winning form while our supporting staff especially mentor Sanath Jayasuriya give good support to the team said Piyal who is also the National spin coach.

Thilina Kandamby the head coach of the Jaffna Kings always busy with the players and his aim is to clinch the title for the third consecutive time. Our players are working hard and their commitment is very high said head coach Kandamby. We are in second position of the points table but our players are not thinking about that. We are the two time champions but that never puts any pressure for us . We gave a chance to most of the players and rotate their places and we recognized their abilities very well.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz the Afghan opener who always plays good attacking innings with inform batter Avishka Fernando have shown their ability while experienced Shoaib Malik , skipper Thisara Perera with youngsters Dunith Wellalage , Suminda Lakshan, Vijayakanth Vayaskanth, Praveen Jayawickrama all are spinners and we have more options from the spinners . The wicket keeper batter Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, all rounder James Fuller, Pacemen Binura Fernando and Dilshan Madushanka are having good match exposure and hope they will make a contribution for the teams success said head coach Kandamby. Mario Villavarayan the Assistant coach and fast bowling coach is also the trainer of the side, Jehan Mubarak (batting coach), Sachith Pathirana(spin coach) are doing good work while Jaffna the defending champions are ready to take on the challenge.

Meanwhile Galle Gladiators led by Kusal Mendis and Colombo Stars led by Angelo Matthews will battle in the eliminator game and winners of this game will meet the loser of the qualifying 1 game. Both Galle and Colombo teams have more experienced players while skipper Matthews and Dinesh Chandimal are leading from the front. Matthews who was rested for the last game will play this game while their side has two experienced foreign players Ravi Bopara and Mohannad Nabi which is a big boost for them.

Galle Gladiators who lost to Dambulla Aura in their last game qualified with a better run rate Azam Khan the wicket keeper who is a hard hitter has not lived upto expectations while young Nuwanindu Fernando and all rounder Imad Wasim are in good form.

The loser of qualifier 1 game will meet winner of the eliminator game (tomorrow) at 7.30pm while the grand final between qualifier 2 and winner of qualifier 1 will be played on December 23 from 7.30pm onwards.




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