Hambantota [Sri Lanka], December 7 (ANI): Defending champions Jaffna Kings began their Lanka Premier League (LPL) title defence with a comfortable 24-run win over the Galle Gladiators at Hambantota on Tuesday.
After being bowled out for 137, the Jaffna Kings restricted the Galle Gladiators to 113/9 in their 20 overs. For Jaffna Kings, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth (2/20) and Binura Fernando (3/22) were the picks of the bowlers.
Gladiators captain Kusal Mendis got his team off to a great start with an opening partnership of 58 runs in 7.3 overs with Nuwanidu Fernando (15). However, after Wellalage dismissed Nuwanidu Fernando, the Gladiators kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Kusal Mendis played a captain's knock of 51 runs from 43 balls, but he did not find support from the other end as the Gladiators eventually fell short of their target by 24 runs.
Earlier, Shoaib Malik and Dunith Wellalage set the platform for the Jaffna Kings. Malik played an innings of 30 runs from 27 balls, laced with 2 boundaries, while Wellalage scored 30 runs from 20 balls. He struck 4 boundaries during his time at the crease. Dhananjay de Silva played a quick-fire innings of 29 runs from 19 balls in the innings which included 3 boundaries and 2 sixes.
Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim, Nuwan Thushara, Nuwan Pradeep, Pulina Tharanga and Iftikhar Ahmed picked two wickets each. (ANI)