Galle Gladiators, after a slow start, have surprised the spectators by advancing to the final of inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL) after beating tournament favorites Colombo Kings by two wickets in the first semi final on Sunday.
Starting the tournament with a rather disappointing streak of five successive losses, Gladiators surprised everyone when they beat the table-toppers in Hambantota
Batting first, after losing the toss, Colombo put up an average total of 150 runs with a terrific innings by Daniel-Bell Drummond. The batsman with 70 to his name scored almost half of the team’s total alone.
For the bowling side, Lakshan Sandakhan took three wickets and was the highest wicket-taker for his team. Nuwan Thushara and Dhananjaya Lakshan bagged two wickets each.
While Gladiators ended up winning the match, their chase was not that smooth. The team faced mini collapse as they were 98/6 at one stage but the batsmen held their nerves and led the team to a penultimate-ball victory.
It was a team effort by the winning side with all batsmen making contributions. Captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa led the team from front by becoming the top scorer for his side hitting 33 off 17, whereas, Dhananjaya gave a good all-round performance by also scoring an unbeaten 31 off 23 balls.
For Colombo, Ashan Priyanjan was the highest wicket-taker with two wickets.
Gladiators will play the final on December 16 in the same venue against the winners of the second semi-final between Dambulla Viiking and Jaffna Stallions on Monday.