Angelo Perera pilots Dambulla to victory | Daily News

Angelo Perera pilots Dambulla to victory

Dambulla Viiking batsman Angelo Perera plays a shot against the Kandy Tuskers at Hambantota on Thursday. - AFP
Dambulla Viiking batsman Angelo Perera plays a shot against the Kandy Tuskers at Hambantota on Thursday. - AFP

Angelo Perera’s struck form with a blazing 67 as Dambulla Viiking outplayed Kandy Tuskers by five wickets, securing a third-match-win in the Lanka Premier League tournament on Thursday at Hambantota.

Chasing a target of 157 for victory in 19.2 overs, Angelo and skipper Dasun Shanaka held the innings together to keep Dambulla in the chase as they reached the total of 156-6 off 20 overs set by Kandy.

The right-handed batsman came into his own, hitting 5 fours and three sixes in his 49-ball knock to help Viiking rise to second place in the five-team table with three wins from four games.

Skipper Dasun Shanaka, who joined his teammate after three wickets had gone down, hit 33 off 23 balls with one six and three fours.

Niroshan Dickwella was dismissed in the third ball of the first over of the chase, Upul Tharanga in the sixth over, and the experienced Samit Patel also fell cheaply in nine overs.

Angelo Perera and skipper Dasun Shanaka had a 79-run fourth-wicket stand in 48 balls to lay the foundation for their victory. Dambulla Viiking reached the target with four balls to spare.

Having lost Rahmanullah Gurbaz for 15, no. 3 batsman Kusal Mendis, scored 55 off 45 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes, while skipper Kusal Perera scored 41 off 34 balls with five boundaries to help the Kandy Tuskers score 86 runs in the first 10 overs.

However, the Dambulla Viiking bowlers were able to contain the Tuskers with Ramesh Mendis’ dismissal of Kusal Perera. The Tuskers batsmen faced a crisis as the Dambulla bowlers, led by Kasun Rajitha, bowled with precision and they took all the catches safely.

The Dambulla Viiking bowlers bowled so well that Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, and Brendon Taylor all conceded just 31 runs from the 10th over to the 15th over. Among the Viiking bowlers, Malinda Pushpakumara, who started the 17th over, took the wickets of Brendon Taylor and Sikku Prasanna in two consecutive overs to put the pressure on the Kandy Tuskers.

Fast bowlers Kasun Rajitha, spinners Ramesh Mendis and Samith Patel, who did not get a chance to play in the first two matches, managed to keep the run rate below six runs.

Kasun Rajitha took 2 wickets for 16 runs while Ramesh Mendis took one wicket for 21 runs in 4 overs. In addition to Rajitha, left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara took two wickets for 28 runs in four overs.

Kusal Mendis, who had been batting well till then as he went to recover from the pressure and increased his scoring rate, was caught by skipper Dasun Shanaka off a delivery by Samit Patel.

Angelo Perera won the ‘Man of the Match’ award.

“The team wanted me to stick around because it was not an easy wicket to bat on,” said Angelo.

“Dasun is a very positive person. We couldn’t take it single by single. We had a game plan to attack a few bowlers and it came off. The ball was sticking and turning a bit so it was a matter of making sure you were watching the ball properly. After being in for 15-20 balls, you have to capitalise on it. We made a few changes that came off really well,” he added.

The next match for Dambulla is scheduled for Saturday, against Galle Gladiators.

Chief scores:

Kandy Tuskers: 156/6 in 20 overs (Kusal Mendis 55, Kusal Perera 41, Kasun Rajitha 2/16, Malinda Pushpakumara 2/28)

Dambulla Viiking - 157 in 19.2 overs (Angelo Perera 67, Dasun Shanaka 33, Upul Tharanga 19)