LPL 2021 Final: Jaffna Kings crowned as the Champions by defeating Galle Gladiators by 23 runs


LPL 2021: Jaffna Kings crowned as the Champions by defeating Galle Gladiators by 23 runs

LPL 2021 Final: Jaffna Kings won the title of LPL 2021 after defeating Galle Gladiators by 23 runs in a thrilling final at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota on Thursday.

Avishka Fernando who smashed 63 runs off 41 balls & Wanindu Hasaranga who created a big hurdle in Galle Gladiators’ run chase by scalping two wickets for 30 runs in his four-overs were the star performers for Champions Jaffna Kings.

Chasing a mammoth 202, Danushka Gunathilaka gave the Gladiators a good start as he smashed seven fours & three sixes to register 54 runs in 21 balls at a strike rate of 257.14. Kings pacers were smashed for boundaries & maximums & looking at their plight Jaffna kings Captain Thisara Perera handed the ball to his trusted spinner Hasaranga who removed Gunathilaka & also got the prized wicket of Ben Dunk who got dismissed for a duck in the same over. The dismissal of Mohammad Hafeez for 10 runs in the 7th over by Chaturanga De Silva strengthened Jaffa Kings feet on the road of victory.

With required run rate climbing Galle Gladiators Captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa attempted a sweep-off shot off Maheesh Thekshana’s delivery in the 11th over but he mistimed the shot & was caught by Hasaranga at the deep wicket for 14 runs. Kusul Mendis who was the only ray of hope for the Gladiators was run out by Perera for 39 runs after a mix-up blunder in the middle. After Mendis’s dismissal Gladiators lost wickets in quick succession & ended up scoring 178/9 falling short of 23 runs.

Earlier the match unfolded with Jaffna Kings winning the toss & opting to bat first. Their decision proved to be correct with Avishka Fernando & Rahmanullah Gurbaz giving their team a stunning start. The duo stitched 56 runs stand in 5.2 overs before Gurbaz was dismissed by Gladiators spinner Samit Patel. However, Gurbaz’s dismissal didn’t affect Fernando on the other end who went ahead to complete his half-century. But soon Nuwan Thushara dismissed him for 63 runs off a slower delivery. Avishka Fernando tried to hit the ball over deep mid-wicket but couldn’t beat the pace & handed an easy catch to Danushka Gunathilaka.

Shoaib Malik (23 runs off 11 balls) & Perera (17 runs off 9 balls) helped the Kings to add some crucial runs on their scoreboard during the death overs. Kohler Cadmore remained unbeaten on 57 runs off 41 balls helping the Kings to post a mammoth target of 202 for Gladiators to chase.

Danushka Gunathilaka’s blistering 54 runs knock was not sufficient for Galle Gladiators to chase the target & thus Jaffna Kings registered a glorious title win by 23 runs.

LPL 2021 Final: The Player of the Season Award

The Player of the Season Trophy was awarded to Avishka Fernando who was also named as the ‘Man of the match in the final for his stunning innings of 63 runs in 41 balls. Overall in the tournament, he scored 249 runs in nine matches at an average of 31.12 at a strike rate of 152.76.

The emerging player of the season award was handed to Janith Liyanage while the strongest Player of the Season title was awarded to the Captain of the LPL 2021 Champions team, Thisara Perera.

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