LPL | Jaffna Kings rack up third successive win with convincing 30-run outbashing of Dambulla Sixers

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Jaffna Kings put the game out of hosts Dambulla Sixers' reach early by tallying a mammoth total of 218/5 batting first on the back of Pathum Nissanka's 53-ball 88. With the win, Jaffna shot back to the top of the table while the Sixers continue to seek a maiden triumph three games into the season.

Brief score: JK 218/5 (20) [Nissanka 88(53), Avishka 57(30); Mustafizur 2/39(4)] defeat DAS 188/8 (20) [Hendricks 80(50), Chapman 30(17); Asitha 2/25(4)] by 30 runs

Jaffna Kings began decently after being asked to bat first with Kusal Mendis playing aggressor with a 12-ball cameo of 18 before falling victim to Mustafizur Rahman's deceptive short delivery in the fourth over. Pathum Nissanka, going at significantly less than run-a-ball until the stage, took the opportunity to assume the attacking role himself and propelled his team to 52 alongwith Rilee Roussow by the end of the powerplay. Even though a couple of tight overs thereafter resulted in the latter's wicket, Nissanka kept the momentum going to get the score up to 89/2 after 11 overs. However, with spin now operating from both ends, both he and Avishka Fernando sensationally switched gears to smash 53 runs off the next four overs, setting themselves up for the Power Blast. Even though the two-over phase culminated in Nuwan Thushara getting rid of Nissanka, the stage remained ripe with the death overs to come. Rapid cameos from Charith Asalanka (6-ball 13) and Azmatullah Omarzai (6-ball unbeaten 19), coupled with Avishka's brutal 32-run takedown of Thushara in the penultimate over, took Jaffna to a gargantuan 218/5 at the end of 20.

In response, Reeza Hendricks teed off immediately with three boundaries of the opening. Kusal Perera kept up the spirit with a seven-ball cameo for 16 runs from the other end and even Asitha Fernando threatened to put the brakes on by scalping him and Danushka Gunathilaka in successive overs, a sixth-over onslaught by Nuwanidu Fernando ensured the score read a daunting 67/2 by the end of the powerplay. However, once Tabraiz Shamsi ended his brief stay, a couple of quiet overs followed, escalating the asking rate to nearly 12 by the halfway mark of the innings. Chapman tried to take matters into his own hands with a flurry of boundaries but could not stay long enough to make a real dent in the chase. To make matters worse, none of the batters that followed could get their power game going, and Azmatullah's sharp catch off his own bowling to dispatch Reeza in the 18th over practically sealed proceedings as Jaffna cruised to a 30-run win.

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