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Dec 5: Dambulla Viiking vs Galle Gladiators, Hambantota

Pro Tip: Galle Gladiators are yet to post their first win of the tournament and with their skipper Shahid Afridi also not available, things are looking bleak for them. So, pick more players from Dambulla Viiking team.

Our XI: Azam Khan, Danushka Gunathilaka, Upul Tharanga, Angelo Perera, Ahsan Ali, Chadwick Walton, Samit Patel, Dasun Shanaka, Akila Dananjaya, Ramesh Mendis, Malinda Pushpakumara

Substitutes: Samiullah Shinwari, Kasun Rajitha, Shehan Jayasuriya, Asitha Fernando

Player availability: Afridi is the only unavailable player in this game.

We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Captain: Danushka Gunathilaka

One of the easiest choices for this game. The Gladiators opener is the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 206 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 145.07. His scores in the tournament are 38, 30*, 82 and 56. He is extremely good against pacers, scoring 156 runs in 97 balls and getting out only once.

Vice-captain: Angelo Perera

Perera came into the tournament after a century in a first-class game but didn’t get any opportunity in the first two matches. Once he got the opportunity, he grabbed it with both hands by scoring 21 off 16 and 67 off 49. His T20 average of 24.14 and strike rate of 117.45 don’t reflect his true potential.

Hot Picks

Dasun Shanaka: The Viiking skipper has scored 197 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 171.30, which makes him the second-leading run-maker of the tournament. He has been a master in the middle overs (7-15) scoring 142 runs in 89 balls, which ranks him the best in LPL 2020 so far.

Malinda Pushpakumara: From not getting to bowl in the second game to getting four wickets in the next couple, Pushpakumara brought his experience into play. Among the wealth of left-arm spinners in the tournament, he is the joint-most prolific bowler with five wickets in total.

Samit Patel: The experienced allrounder has scored 140 runs and picked up five wickets in four games in the LPL so far. He is among the top ten run-scorers as well as the top ten wicket-takers, which makes him one of the contenders for MVP of the season. He is enjoying a phenomenal year in the sub-continent after being one of the top performers in the Pakistan Super League too.

Differential Picks

Ramesh Mendis: The uncapped allrounder has been impressive with the ball so far with two wickets at an economy of 5.77 in three games. He is also handy with the bat which was evident from his 42-ball 70 in the last game of Sri Lanka’s domestic T20 tournament. He also picked up eight wickets in six games in that tournament.

Azam Khan: Khan is our preferred wicketkeeping option for this game. He has played important cameos so far with knocks of 20, 10*, 13 and 25, which showed his big-hitting abilities. In 25 T20s so far, Khan’s strike rate is 149.54 with 30 sixes.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Samiullah Shinwari looked good with the bat in the last game even though he bats lower down the order. He can be a replacement for Mendis.

  • You can also consider bringing in Asitha Fernando for Akila Dananjaya.



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Ishant Sharma gets stitches on bowling hand, but ‘expected to recover in time’ for England Tests

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The fast bowler hurt himself while trying to stop a Ross Taylor drive on the last day of the WTC final

Ishant Sharma required multiple stitches on his bowling hand after sustaining an injury on the last day of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, but the pacer is expected to be fit in time for India’s five-match Test series against England that starts on August 4.

Sharma tried to stop a drive from Ross Taylor in what turned out to be the penultimate over of the final. He left the field with his hand bleeding, having bowled only two balls in his seventh over, with Jasprit Bumrah completing it.

“Ishant has had multiple stitches on his middle and fourth finger in his right hand. However, it is not very serious,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by PTI. “The stitches will be off in around ten days and with six weeks left for the first Test against England, he is expected to recover in time.”



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Eng vs SL 2021 – Jos Buttler ruled out of Sri Lanka white-ball series with calf injury

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Dawid Malan added to ODI squad after MRI scans reveal small calf tear

Jos Buttler has been ruled out of the rest of England’s white-ball series with Sri Lanka. Buttler sustained a calf tear in Wednesday’s first T20I and will now return home to commence his rehabilitation.

Buttler, England’s vice-captain and wicketkeeper, scored an unbeaten 68 opening the batting in the first T20I. According to the ECB, he “felt tightness and discomfort” at the end of the game and was sent for an MRI scan on Thursday morning, which revealed a small tear. He sat out the second T20I, which England won by five wickets.

England had already suggested they may use the Sri Lanka T20Is to experiment, with Jonny Bairstow moving up to open in Buttler’s absence – although he made a three-ball duck as England initially struggled in their chase of 112. Liam Livingstone, whose unbeaten 29 helped secure victory, regularly opens in T20 cricket and could also deputise.



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ENG vs SL 2nd T20I – Mickey Arthur on England and Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka’s head coach said he wants the batsmen to be more proactive against a world-class England attack

Mickey Arthur has urged his Sri Lanka side to stay patient after they slipped to a second defeat in as many nights in Cardiff, leaving them on a run of 11 defeats in their last 12 completed T20Is dating back to October 2019.
Opting to bat first in both games after winning the toss, Sri Lanka posted scores of 129 and 111, and while they came much closer to defending their total on Thursday night than in Wednesday’s eight-wicket pasting, they always looked a long way short of a par score, failing to hit a boundary in the powerplay for the first time in their T20I history. Arthur, Sri Lanka’s head coach, stressed at the start of the tour that he wanted to add a level of consistency to selection following a turbulent period of chopping and changing, and that it would be important to “nail down the guys’ roles” in this series.
Dasun Shanaka, with scores of 50 and 8 from No. 7, is their leading run-scorer in the series, with Danushka Gunathilaka and Avishka Fernando – backed as opening options for the long term – both struggling to make an impact at the top of the order. Their lack of attacking intent with the bat came under scrutiny on Thursday, but while Arthur suggested that they could be “more proactive” in future, he said that there had been limited opportunities to score against a “world-class” England side on a slow, two-paced pitch being used for the second night in a row.



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