LPL 2021 – Galle Gladiators Wins: Keeping various controversies, issues related to the franchises & players aside – Lanka Premier League season 2 (LPL 2021) has finally started. In the opening match, Galle Gladiators gained sweet revenge for their defeat in the final of last edition when they beat defending champions Jaffna Kings by 54 runs in the curtain-raiser of the 2021 LPL at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Sunday night.
Galle Gladiators 164-7 (20) (Bhanuka Rajapaksa 56, Samit Patel 42, Jayden Seales 3/23, Wanindu Hasaranga 2/30)
Jaffna Kings 110 (18.4) (Wahab Riaz 27, Mohammad Hafeez 2/11, Samit Patel 3/21, Pulina Tharanga 2/13)
Congratulations to Galle Gladiators on winning the first game of LPL 2021. Where did it go wrong for last years LPL champs?#LPL2021#එක්වජයගමු #ஒன்றாகவென்றிடுவோம் #EkwaJayagamu #Cricket #WinTogether #SriLanka #Season2 #T20cricket #LankaPremierLeague #TheFutureisHere pic.twitter.com/FSNhnaxy3h
— LPL – Lanka Premier League (@LPLT20) December 5, 2021
Patel was named Man of the Match.
LPL 2021 season 2 has five teams Jaffna Kings, Galle Gladiators, Kandy Warriors, Dambulla Giants, and Colombo Stars in the fray and all were present during the opening ceremony. The event was officially declared open by Sri Lanka’s Paralympic Gold medalist Dinesh Priyantha Herath.
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Lanka Premier League: LPL 2021 – Al
The run-up to the LPL Season 2 hasn’t been smooth. During the media launch the league got into huge controversy as the organizers were accused of cheating by one of the franchise. Teluga Warriors which bought the commercial rights of the Dambulla Viikings at last year’s inaugural LPL, claim they were ripped off by the League’s central stakeholder Innovative Production Group (IPG) after they poured in 900,000 US dollars to kick-start the showpiece event last year and were not paid their eight per cent profit dues amounting to 450,000 US dollars while at the same time bundled out for not paying a further 150,000 US dollars to IPG.
On previous occasions league has also been in controversy because of the way player draft was conducted before the start of the season.
LPL 2021: Galle Gladiators starts with a bang, beat defending champions Jaffna Kings by 54 runs
Galle Gladiators Wins – Spinners Shine: Jaffna’s strong batting was strangled by left-arm spinners Samith Patel (3/21) and Noor Ahmed (1/25), the off-breaks of Mohammad Hafeez (2/11) and the leg-spin of Pulina Tharanga (2/13) as they crumbled to 110 in reply to Galle’s total of 164-7.
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Jaffna were never able to build up any productive partnerships as they lost wickets regularly with the pressure on the asking rate building up all the time.
Galle’s innings was constructed on two useful contributions from skipper Bhanuka Rajapaksa and seasoned campaigner Samit Patel. Rajapaksa continuing his good form from the T10 in Abu Dhabi scored the first 50 of the LPL2 tournament with a free-flowing 56 off 31 balls inclusive of 3 sixes and 6 fours.
Patel took over the role of aggressor from Rajapaksa and thumped 42 off 31 balls (6 fours) before falling to a brilliant diving catch in the deep by Wanindu Hasaranga off Jayden Seales who also had the wicket of Isuru Udana also caught by Hasaranga. Seales finished with three wickets conceding only four runs in the final over. Hasaranga, the leading T20I bowler took two wickets for 30 which included his 100th T20 wicket when he dismissed Ben Dunk for 17.
The match marked the return of two Sri Lankan batsmen Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis to competitive cricket after their domestic ban was lifted by Sri Lanka Cricket but are currently serving a one-year ban from international cricket for violating health protocols during the tour of England early this year.
Gunathilaka crashed the first ball he faced since his return to the boundary for four, but didn’t last long skying the fourth ball to Jaffna skipper Thisara Perera who took a fine catch running backwards to dismiss him for eight. Mendis made 16 off 12 balls before top-edging a catch to the wicket-keeper off Seales.
Sony Sports is broadcasting the league live in India & live streaming of the league is available on SONYLIV