Hambantota: Shoaib Malik’s power-packed performance led Jaffna Stallions to title victory against Galle Gladiators in the first edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL).
While batting first, Stallions were off to a quick start with openers Avishka Fernando and Johnson Charles scoring 44 runs together within five overs. Fernando scored 27 while Charles struck 26 runs before falling to Dhananjay Lakshan.
Malik joined the crease alongside Dhananjaya De Silva when Stallions were 70-3 and put 69 runs for the fourth wicket along with his partner. Malik smashed unbeaten 46 off 35 balls with the help of three boundaries and a six while De Silva made 32 off 20 balls comprised of two boundaries and as many sixes.
Thisara, in the end, fire powered and smashed 39 runs off just 14 balls with five boundaries and two sixes.
Lakshan bagged three wickets while Sahan Arachchige and Lakshan Sandakan took a wicket each for Gladiators.
In reply, Gladiators lost their three wickets for just seven runs. Bahnuka Rajapaksa made 40 runs off 17 balls with the help of three boundaries and four sixes while Azam Khan hammered 36 runs with the help of a boundary and four sixes but the runs weren’t enough to take their team to victory triumph.
Malik performed with the ball as well as he and Usman Shinwari bagged two wickets each while Suranga Lakmal, De Silva, Wahindu Hasaranga, and Duanne Olivier shared a wicket apiece.
For his match-winning performance, Malik was named man-of-the-final while Wahindu Hasranga bagged the man-of-the-tournament award.