Six-hitting exploits seal stiff run-chase after spectacular show with the ball too
Colombo Kings 205 for 4 (Evans 53, Qais 50*) beat Dambulla Viikings 203 for 3 (Perera 74*, Dickwella 65) by six wickets
How the match performed out
Who wants Andre Russell when you may have Qais Ahmad?
Colombo Kings made an excellent begin to a chase of 204 of their near-dead rubber v Dambulla Viiking, with the in-form Laurie Evans plundering 53 off 24 to propel Kings to 72 for 1 off 6.5 overs. However when he was pressured to retire damage with what gave the impression to be an stomach pressure, Kings misplaced substantial momentum. They misplaced Lahiru Udara and Daniel Bell-Drummond in consecutive overs, and the run price slowed as new batsmen set about establishing themselves by the center overs. By the tip of the 11th, the required price had climbed to 11.44.
Ashan Priyanjan, although, saved Kings ticking by that center interval, choosing up frequent legside boundaries to maintain the asking price manageable. However with Russell having been rested for this recreation, and Angelo Mathews in woeful batting type this match, Kings nonetheless wanted somebody to supply the large last push.
Enter Qais at No.7 at first of the 14th over. He performed himself in, taking solely 5 runs off his first six deliveries, earlier than hitting two assured consecutive fours off Malinda Pushpakumara within the 16th over. Kings wanted 30 off the final 14 balls, so it seemed prefer it was happening to the wire, however Qais made it a cakewalk. He would go on hit 5 sixes off the seven balls that adopted, ensuring he by no means misplaced the strike.
It was devastating hitting. Lahiru Kumara was launched again into the sightscreen, and subsequent over, Anwar Ali was brutalised – a six over lengthy off, and two within the large long-on/cow nook area coming off his subsequent three deliveries. There was a yorker dot-ball in between, however the subsequent ball was back-of-a-length, and that disappeared a distance past the deep sq. leg fence to finish the match. Kings received with seven balls to spare. That six additionally took Qais to his first ever 50 in senior aggressive cricket. It had come off 22 balls.
Stars of the day
Qais had additionally been excellent with the ball, earlier, taking two wickets for 23 runs, as Viiking racked up what appeared like an imposing 203 for 3. Priyanjan, the batsman who saved Kings within the hunt till Qais’ ending fireworks, made 47 not out off 24. For Viiking, Niroshan Dickwella and Angelo Perera had each struck half-centuries, the latter enjoying the extra spectacular innings, making 74 off 41.
The place does this go away the groups?
This last recreation of the LPL league stage did not actually matter a lot. Viiking and Kings are each by. Kings, although, will now prime the desk and play Galle Gladiators who sneaked into the semi-final with simply two victories within the league stage. That semi-final is the primary one up, on Sunday. Viiking will play Jaffna Stallions within the second semi, on Monday.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf