By Srian Obeyesekere
True to the, ‘Fast and furious’ catch word of cricket’s T20 short version it was as Dambulla Vikings skipper Dasun Shanaka got into the action pounding 73 off just37 balls in defeating Kandy Tuskers by 4 runs in a result that was finally decided on the D/L equation in a rain interrupted day-match of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) on Saturday at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Sooriyawewa, Hambantota. The 29-year old Shanaka lived true to his captain reputation smashing 8 boundaries and 4 sixes in a total of 195 for 4 off 20 overs after being put into bat.. He shared in a rollicking 127-run third wicket partnership with Samit Patel who was equal to the task thrashing 58 off 38 containing 5 boundaries and 2 sixes. But with rain setting in, Kandy Tuskers, who had to get 89 from 9.4 overs, fell short by 4 runs ending on 84 for 3.
RAMPANT SHANAKA-SAMIT PATEL
Significantly, the third match of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) organised historic LPL once
again unleashed the fireworks as on the previous two days as Dasun Shanaka and Samit Patel gave viewers of the live telecast the type of instant action that this form of the game envisages. Upfront, Niroshan Dickwella struck 25 off 18 with 2 boundaries and a six in hoisting a rapid 53-run alliance off 6.2 overs for the first wicket with Oshada Fernando who thumped a six in his 10 off 8 deliveries. The momentum was continued by next man in Upul Tharanga who struck 18 off 18 with 2 boundaries setting the stage for Patel and Shanaka to transform proceedings to bigger things in an exhibition of power hitting. When Shanaka departed the total was 191 for 3 and with Patel falling two balls later with the score 193 as the Dambulla Vikings closed on an imposing 195 for 4 on a reun rate of 9.75.
Kandy Tuskers, set to get 89 off 9.4 overs, lost their trump card skipper Kusal Janith Perera for 4 to Anwar Ali in the fourth ball of the second over with the total 14. But Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Kusal Mendis rallied the side adding 36 off 21 deliveries to raise hopes of victory. Following Gurbaz’ dismissal, Kamindu Mendis joined his namesake Kusal adding 24 in the remaining 21 deliveries. Kusal Mendis was unbeaten on 34 off 26 hitting 3 sixes and 2 boundaries, but his partner’s inability to make the most of the 10 deliveries he faced contributing just 6 before holing out to Tharanga off Madushanka proved costly with next man in Asela Gunaratne too failing to produce the desired big shots in the three balls he faced making just 3 with Kandy Tuskers finally making 84 for 3.
For Dambulla Vikings skipper Dasun Shanaka it was the perfect scripting earning the Player of the Match award and his side pocketing 2 points from their opening match
DAMBULLA VIKINGS 195/4 (20 Overs) RR: 9.75
(M.D. Shanaka 73, S.R. Patel 58, N. Dickwella 25, W.U. Tharanga 18, B.O.P. Fernando retd. hurt10, D.A.S. Gunaratne 2/20, Naveen-ul-Haq 2/40).
Fall of wickets: 1-53 (Niroshan Dickwella, 6.2 ov), 2-64 (Upul Tharanga, 8.5 ov), 3-191 (Dasun Shanaka, 19.3 ov), 4-193 (Samit Patel, 19.5 ov).
Did not bat: C.B.R.L.S. Kumara Anwar Ali, P.M. Pushpakumara, S. Tyagi.
KANDY TUSKERS 84/3 RR: 8.68; Set 89 to win off 9.4 overs under the D/L.
(B.K.G. Mendis n.o. 34, R. Gurbaz 30, L.D. Madushanka 1/4, Anwar Ali 1/13, P.M. Pushpakumara 1/10)
Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Kusal Perera, 1.4 ov), 2-50 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz, 5.1 ov), 3-74 (Kamindu Mendis, 8.4 ov).
Did not bat: N. Pradeep, S. Prasanna, Naveen-ul-Haq, M.D.K. Perera, P.A.R.P. Perera, K. Anju.