Match preview – Gladiators vs Stallions, 2020, final

How teams stack up

On surface Galle Gladiators they don’t deserve to be in this final. They have only won a third of their matches in the tournament and their semi-final opponents suffered multiple injuries in Sunday’s match. Yet when you look at the offense that they suddenly managed to reunite towards the end of the tournament, you can’t even regret their place.

Dhananjaya Lakshan, who basically sways the ball in the right hander and throws a slower collection of balls, was perhaps the discovery of the tournament. Nuwan Thushara, who throws him round-arm like Lasith Malinga, was effective with the new ball and to death. Lakshan Sandakan has found a T20 strategy that seems to work for him: pushing the ball off often, while also throwing into the air faster than before. Mohammad Amir led the attack, enjoying the fluctuating conditions the tournament saw last week. As if by magic, Gladiators have three of the top five wicket-takers in the tournament, Sandakan has taken 11 wickets, while Lakshan and Amir have 10 each.

Yet despite this, Jaffna Stallions I feel their attack is still the best of the competition. In large part this is due to Wanindu Hasaranga, who was the tournament’s intermediate monster, taking 16 wickets in all and even more impressive, maintaining an economy rate of 5.27 on his 33 overs. To put that economy rate into perspective, no other bowler who has taken a wicket in the LPL can come close to matching it. The hitters know it’s his googly they need to watch out for, and yet they’ve succumbed en masse.

Here too there is variety. Usman Shinwari’s pace can be deployed almost anywhere during the inning. Duanne Olivier bowled much slower than he was capable of, but worked on his control over the course of the tournament. And as seen on Monday, Dhananjaya de Silva is a great support spinner, particularly when playing bowling with lefties (Danushka Gunathilaka from gladiators and Bhanuka Rajapaksa are both left-handed hitters), and Shoaib Malik’s darts can be effective. in the middle overs and even at death.

On the joke front, there’s less around here. Gunathilaka has been in searing contact at the top of the inning for Galle, but even though they managed to hit their modest goal on Sunday, that middle order still looks a bit fragile. The stallions, meanwhile, have had rides from Avishka Fernando and Thisara Perera over the course of the tournament, but there is no one in that lineup to say in compelling form.

Watch out for

Spinner Gunathilaka v Stallions

In the previous two games against Stallions, Gunathilaka has scored 56 out of 44 and 38 out of 30, and was sent off on both occasions by Hasaranga. In the final, however, he may have to face another spinner before reaching Hasaranga. The stallions fielded Dhananjaya de Silva’s offspin at the top of the inning on Sunday, with excellent results, and perhaps they will do it again to particularly hit Gunathilaka.

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