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|Thikshila de Silva||6||8||0||0||75.00|
|Thikshila de Silva||1.0||0||2||1||2.00|
The league stage in Lanka Premier League finally came to an end, but it was also accompanied by some exciting moments. Galle Gladiators sealed themselves a berth for the playoffs only on the second-last day of the group stage as they whistled past Kandy Tuskers in what was perhaps the most important game for both sides.
The Gladiators are now set to meet Colombo Kings in the first semi-final of Lanka Premier League 2020. While the Kings finished at the top of the table and there was plenty of difference between the performances of the two sides, the Gladiators will take inspiration from the fact that they defeated Kings comprehensively when the two teams met last in the league stage. The first LPL 2020 semifinal is to be played at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa, Hambantota, on 13th December 2020. As it is a knock-out contest, the stakes will be running high and a cracker of a contest is certainly on the cards.
The Kings have many match-winners in their lineup that it is hard to pin one down. That, in fact, has been the primary reason for their splendid performance in the tournament and consequently the top of the table finish. They finished with 12 points to their name, courtesy six wins in eight matches. Their net run-rate of 0.448 speaks volumes about how dominant they were in the group stage.
Almost everyone in the Kings' lineup has had at least a performance to cherish in the tournament so far. Laurie Evans smashed a brilliant hundred a couple of matches ago and followed it up with a fantastic knock against the Viikings. The same goes for the likes of Dinesh Chandimal, Andre Russell, and Qais Ahmed. Evans is currently the top-scorer for the Kings with 289 tournament runs to his name. Right behind him is Dinesh Chandimal, who has scored 232 runs so far.
With the ball as well, the Kings seem to be pretty well settled. They have Qais Ahmed and Andre Russell up their sleeve who both not only have the experience to perform in big matches but are also coming off a pretty good run in the past few matches. Russell has picked up eight wickets and Ahmed is the leading wicket-taker for the team with 11 wickets.
All in all, this Colombo Kings' lineup has experience and class oozing right through. They have all bases covered with explosive batsmen and a decent set of T20 bowlers. Getting past them would be a challenge and if they do not take things for granted and are careful enough, they shouldn't have a lot of trouble in the upcoming match.
Dinesh Chandimal, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Lahiru Udara, Angelo Mathews, Thikshila de Silva, Andre Russell, Ashan Priyanjan, Isuru Udana, Amila Aponso, Qais Ahmad, PVD Chameera.
Galle Gladiators were one of the worst teams when the first half of the tournament concluded, but thanks to some scintillating performances in the back-end of the group stage, they clawed their way into the playoffs. They eventually finished at the fourth spot, replacing Kandy Tuskers in the second-last group game.
While the Gladiators had a decent team on paper to begin with, their campaign was carried forward by primarily a few players. The most prominent of those was Danushka Gunathilaka, who has so far been the tournament's most consistent batsmen. He is also the leading run-scorer with 462 runs to his name and is ahead by the second-best batsmen by more than 150 runs. However, there hasn't been anyone except him who managed to step on the gas pedal when required.
With the ball, however, we have seen a lot better team-work from the Gladiators with Mohammad Amir, Lakshan Sandakan, and Akila Dananjaya leading the team with the ball. Amir was slow to start in the tournament, but now has ten wickets to his name. Sandakan has picked up eight wickets in the tournament so far.
The Gladiators finished fourth on the points table, but their on-paper team was certainly better than what that suggests. Having said that, the way their middle-order played in the league matches reflects their dependency of Gunathilaka. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that Gunathilaka single-handedly pulled the team to the playoffs. He would need to play yet another innings to beat the favorites and if their other batsmen join the party, it is certainly possible.
Danushka Gunathilaka, Ahsan Ali, Azam Khan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sahan Arachchige, Chanaka Ruwansiri, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Mohammad Amir, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Thushara.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the upcoming Lanka Premier League semifinal, which is to be played between Colombo Kings and Galle Gladiators. Don't forget to check back the latest updated team right after the toss.
Find more Dream11 predictions and other tips and tricks on our dedicated Dream11 guide.
The two teams finished at almost the opposite ends of the points table and that is reflected by the tournament statistics that the players of the two teams have. While almost everyone contributed to the Kings, it was more about Gunathilaka as far as the Gladiators are concerned. Given what we observed in the group stage and the combination of the two sides, the Kings have a better balanced and more complete lineup. On the other hand, the Gladiators are a little too over-reliant on their premier batsmen. However, the Kings were defeated by the Gladiators earlier in the tournament and that can happen again. But going by the team combinations and recent form of the two sides, the Kings are certainly the favorites here and more likely to advance to the finale.
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