Our "Prediction Wizard" will calculate, based on the current available betting odds, the implicit winning percentages for the possible outcomes in a match. This will be updated as soon as we fetch the odds from the betting sites and keep updating until the match is finished.
The Colombo Stars will be looking for their first win of the season as they face the Dambulla Giants for their second match in the latest edition of the Lanka Premier League.
Both the teams had last faced each other in the semifinals of the previous season, which turned out to be a closely fought encounter. Given the on-paper strengths and weaknesses of both teams, we can surely expect another thrilling encounter on Thursday.
The Dambulla Giants too were off to a losing start, as they were defeated in their opening match by the defending champions, the Jaffna Kings.
Batting first, the Giants posted 121 runs on the scoreboard, largely due to a 63-run opening stand between the openers, Jordan Cox and Shevon Daniel. The middle order wasn’t able to capitalize on the good start, and batsmen including Sikandar Raza, Dasun Shanaka, and Chaturanga de Silva failed to reach double-digits. The bowling too was quite lackluster.
Noor Ahmad was the only bowler to get a wicket, that of Avishka Fernando, while none of the bowlers managed to contain the rampant opening pair of the Kings, and ultimately lost the game by 9 wickets. Overall, the Giants seem lacking in match-winning players, as some of their best-performing players from the last season, including Phil Salt, Najibullah Zadran, and Imran Tahir are missing this time around.
Jordan Cox, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Shevon Daniel, Sikandar Raza, Dasun Shanaka, Lahiru Madushanka, Chathuranga Silva, Thomas Abell, Tharindu Ratnayake, Lahiru Kumara, Noor Ahmad.
The Stars began their latest campaign on a rather disappointing note, as they were thrashed by the Kandy Warriors in their opening match.After winning the toss, the Stars opted to bowl first and were blown away by a superb opening pair of the Warriors.
Chasing a massive target of 200 runs, the team was never really in contention to win, as the batsmen surrendered meekly. In the end, the Stars fell short by a massive margin of 109 runs, and are currently last on the points table.
Nevertheless, these are early days in the tournament and we can surely expect them to come around from that humiliating loss. The team has managed to retain some of its top performers from the previous season. Angelo Mathews is once again leading the squad. He scored at an impressive average of close to 48 in the last season.
Supporting him will be Dinesh Chandimal, who was the top-scorer for the Stars in the previous season. The management has also brought in reinforcements for the middle order in the form of Ravi Bopara, Benny Howell, and Keemo Paul.
While Dushmantha Chameera is missing from the squad, the Stars still have their best bowlers from the last season, including Naveen ul-Haq, Jeffrey Vandersay, and Seekkuge Prasanna.
Niroshan Dickwella, Ravi Bopara, Dinesh Chandimal, Navod Paranavithana, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Karim Janat, Dominic Drakes, Suranga Lakmal, Jeffrey Vandersay, Naveen ul Haq.
We reckon that the captain winning the toss would prefer to bat first here.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
As seen in the last few matches, the pitch at Hambantota is a good batting track, and we should see a high-scoring encounter. However, as the match progresses, the spinners will be able to extract some turn from the rough patches. Teams batting first will be looking to score more than 140 to give their bowlers a fighting chance.
The weather is expected to be windy and humid, and there will be some stray clouds. The temperature is expected to remain between 25-30 degrees.
We are backing the Colombo Stars to win this one. They have managed to retain most of their players from the last season, and have also brought in quite a few reinforcements. On the other hand, the Giants squad looks in a disarray and lacks cohesion.
Bet on a Colombo Stars win.
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