LPL | Kusal Perera's ballistic maiden T20 ton goes in vain as Jaffna pull stunning heist over Dambulla

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Jaffna Kings and Dambulla Kings served up a high-scoring thriller in Pallekele on Wednesday but the former eventually emerged victorious in a chase that went down to the last ball. Kusal Perera's 102* boosted Dambulla to 191/2 but a stunning onslaught by Avishka Fernando for his 80 proved decisive.

Brief score: JK 197/6 (20) [Avishka 80(34), Asalanka 50(36); Mustafizur 2/30(4)] beat DS 191/2 (20) [Perera 102*(52), Nuwanidu 40(35); de Silva 2/25(4)] by four wickets

Asked to bat first on a fresh Pallekele deck, Dambulla Sixers got off to a quiet start which culminated in the early scalp of Danushka Gunathilaka after Dhananjaya de Silva zipped one into the stumps to begin the fourth over. Kusal Perera combined with Nuwanidu Fernando thereafter to stabilize the score at 42/1 by the end of the powerplay before the duo picked up the pace. A flurry of boundaries propelled the team to 87/1 at the halfway stage, with both Perera and Nuwanidu flying on  41 off 28 and 31 off 22 respectively. However, the latter got bogged down when the former brought out his power game to clear the roes four times across the next three overs and ultimately fell victim to de Silva with six overs to go and the score reading 127/2. Nevertheless, breaking the 109-run stand did little to spur the Kings on as the two Power Blast overs allowed Mark Chapman to join Perera in teeing off. The Sri Lankan opener brought up his maiden T20 ton in the penultimate over off 50 balls and it took a brilliant Asitha Fernando final over to cap the score at 191/2, with Chapman ending unbeaten on 33 off 23 deliveries. 

Jaffna Kings came out of the gates flying in response, racking up 16 runs off the third over, but Mustafizur Rahman and Nuwan Thushara struck in consecutive overs to dispatch Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka respectively and bring momentum back Dambulla's way. Mohammed Nabi added a third to cap off the powerplay to leave the score reeling at 37/3 albeit with the experienced duo of Avishka Fernando and Charith Asalanka at the crease. The former injected some momentum with 18 runs off Akila Dananjaya in the ninth over and Asalanka joined in the party with consecutive boundaries off Mustafizur soon after. Avishka kept the party going with 37 runs across the 13th and 14th over, prompting Asalanka to launch four back-to-back maximums in the 15th over. The equation had boiled down to less than run-a-ball with four overs to go but three wickets in as many overs, including of both set batters, meant the game hung in the balance until the last delivery where Fabian Allen sealed matters with a six.

On fire

Did it well

Milestone

Fastest in LPL

Take a bow

Well played

Record breaker

First century

Silencer

Copy cats

Really expensive

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