The Galle Gladiators will lock horns with the Jaffna Kings in the Lanka Premier League final on December 23, 2021, at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota. Both sides look strong on paper and the final this promises to be a cracker of a contest.
The Galle Gladiators were the first to reach the final. They comprehensively defeated the Jaffna Kings in the first qualifier
Jaffna Kings skipper Thisara Perera won the toss and asked the Gladiators to bat first. Kusal Mendis led the charge with the bat at the top of the order as he helped his side post 188 on the board, losing five wickets in their 20 overs.
The bowlers then stepped up to knock over the Jaffna Kings on 124, winning the game by 64 runs. The Gladiators have been brilliant in the competition so far and will look to be at their best in the final.
Jaffna Kings, on the other hand, had to take the longer route to reach the final. After suffering a loss against the Galle Gladiators in the first qualifier, they faced the Dambulla Giants in the second qualifier, where they registered a convincing win.
After being asked to bat first, the Kings posted a massive 210 on the board, thanks to a brilliant century from Avishka Fernando. The bowlers then bowled brilliantly while defending the total as they picked up nine wickets to restrict the Giants to 187, winning the game by 23 runs.
The Kings will aim to exact revenge for their loss against the Gladiators and come out on top on Thursday. The Galle Gladiators vs Jaffna Kings, Final of the Lanka Premier League 2021 will be played at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota in Sri Lanka.
The two teams already met in Qualifier 1 where Galle Gladiators thumped Jaffna Kings by as many as 64 runs.
Galle Gladiators ended up at the 2nd spot in the Lanka Premier League 2021 points table with 4 wins and 3 losses from their 8 matches of the league. Kusal Mendis is the top run-scorer for Galle Gladiators with 288 runs at a strike rate of 150. He has struck 29 fours and 8 sixes. Bhanuka Rajapaksa has also made 165 runs at a strike rate of 141.
Samit Patel has been the best bowler for Galle Gladiators and has picked up 15 wickets while bowling at an average of 12 and an economy rate of 5.50. After Jaffna Kings lost to Galle Gladiators by a massive margin of 64 runs in Qualifier 1, they beat Dambulla Giants by 23 runs in Qualifier 2.
Jaffna Kings ended up at the top spot in the Lanka Premier League 2021 points table with 6 wins and 2 losses from their 8 matches of the league. The team has 12 points.
Avishka Fernando is the top run-scorer for Jaffna Kings with 249 runs at a strike rate of 152. He has struck 18 fours and 17 sixes. Tom Kohler-Cadmore has also made 239 runs at a strike rate of 136.
M Theekshana has been the best bowler for Jaffna Kings and has picked up 15 wickets while bowling at an average of 14 and an economy rate of 6.20.
GALLE GLADIATORS VS JAFFNA KINGS MATCH DETAILS:
Match: Galle Gladiators vs Jaffna Kings, Final, Lanka Premier League 2021
Date and Time: December 23rd, 2021, Thursday, 07:30 PM IST
Venue: Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
GALLE GLADIATORS VS JAFFNA KINGS PITCH REPORT
The pitch at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium is a belter of a track. The new ball comes nicely onto the bat and the batters enjoy batting on this surface. Expect the surface to stay true throughout the match and fans can expect the final to be a high-scoring one.
GALLE GLADIATORS VS JAFFNA KINGS WEATHER FORECAST
Temperatures in Hambantota are expected to range between 23 and 30 degrees Celsius. It will stay humid throughout the day.
GALLE GLADIATORS VS JAFFNA KINGS PROBABLE XIS
Contributions from Kusal Mendis (85) and Danushka Gunathilaka (55) helped them post 188 on the board against the Jaffna Kings in the first qualifier. Nuwan Thushara starred with the ball, picking up a fifer as they defended the total successfully to seal a berth in the final.
Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (c), Samit Patel, Sahan Arachchige, Isuru Udana, Anwar Ali, Pulina Tharanga, Mohammad Amir, Nuwan Thushara
A sensational century from Avishka Fernando (100 off 64 balls) and a quickfire fifty from Rahmanullah Gurbaz (70 off 40 balls) helped them post 210 on the board. Jayden Seals continued his rich form with the ball, picking up three wickets and he was well-supported by the other bowlers as they successfully defended the total.
Avishka Fernando, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Ashan Randika, Shoaib Malik, Thisara Perera (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chaturanga de Silva, Jayde Seales, Suranga Lakmal, Mahesh Theekshana
GALLE GLADIATORS VS JAFFNA KINGS MATCH PREDICTION
Both sides have been in good form in the competition so far and will look to come out all guns blazing for the final time on Thursday.
Galle Gladiators have a good balance to their side and are expected to lift the title on Thursday.
PROBABLE BEST BATTER OF THE MATCH
TOM KOHLER-CADMORE – JAFFNA KINGS
The uncapped England batter has been on a roll in this competition and has been instrumental to Jaffna Kings’ stellar run. In eight matches, the right-handed batter slammed 220 runs with his highest score being 92. With the Hambantota track being fresh, Cadmore can be backed to pack a punch.
SAMIT PATEL – GALLE GLADIATORS
Left-arm spinner Samit Patel is likely to top the bowling charts in this clash as he has made the ball talk in this competition so far. The veteran bowler is the highest wicket-taker of the competition so far with 15 scalps in eight games. Moreover, his economic rate is less than five.
Prediction: Galle Gladiators to win this encounter.