The 1st match of the Lanka Premier League will be played between Colombo Kings and Kandy Tuskers at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa, Hambantota

Pitch Condition/Report:

Mahinda Rajpaksa, International Cricket Stadium,

Hambantota

Total matches 7
Matches won batting first 5
Matches won bowling first 2
Average 1st Inns scores 130
Average 2nd Inns scores 103
Highest total recorded 182/4 (20 Ov) by SL vs ZIM
Lowest total recorded 95/10 (17.4 Ov) by PAK vs SL
Highest score chased 164/4 (18.1 Ov) by SL vs RSA
Lowest score defended 78/4 (7 Ov) by RSA vs SL

It will be the first game in Hambantota. So, we are expecting a fresh and hard wicket for the first game of the tournament. However, the pitch at Hambantota is known for low scoring matches and an extra bit of help for the spinners.

In the seven T20I matches played on this ground, teams batting first have scored more than 150 only twice. Besides, Pakistan lost all their wickets for just 95 runs in a T20I against Sri Lanka at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium during the 2011-12 cricket season.

Colombo Kings Team Preview:

CLK Key Players

Angelo Matthews – Undoubtedly, Angelo Matthews is one of Sri Lanka’s greatest cricketer. Being the skipper of Colombo Kings, he’ll be eager to do well for his team. With his all round abilities, he’s a player to watch out for. He is set to bowl in this tournament.

Andre Russell – Andre Russell had a miserable IPL but he’s a batsmen that can decimate an opposition on his day. He’s another player to look up to. Most probably he will not bowl in the initial matches.

Isuru Udana – Isuru Udana faired decently for Royal Challenges Bangalore in the recently concluded IPL. Colombo Kings will be hopeful of a similar performance from their ace bowler.

Colombo Kings predicted XI: 

Navod Paranavithana, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Laurie Evans, Angelo Mathews (c), Andre Russell, Ashan Priyanjan, Isuru Udana, Dushmantha Chameera, Qais Ahmed, Jeffrey Vandersay/Amila Aponso,

Angelo Matthews :  (C) (RHB,RMF)
T20 : 75 M, 1119 R + 38 W
LAST 5 M : 23+26/1, 10+16/0, 31+38/0, 46, 12

Dinesh Chandimal :  (WK,RHB)
T20 : 54 M, 800 R, 18.6 A
T20 : 51, 51, 8, 21, 20

Andre Russell : (RHB,RAF)
T20 : 49 M, 540 R + 26 W
LAST 5 M : 25, 9+29/0, 12+15/0, 16+51/0, 5

Karem Khan Sadiq : (RHB, RAO)
T20 : 36 M, 538 R + 14 W
LAST 5 : 14+43/0, 3+28/0, 13+28/0, 33+38/0, 4+15/5

Laurie Evans (RHB)
T20 : 1 M, 12 R, 12 A
T20(D): 156 M, 142 I, 3624 R, 34 A
LAST 5 M : 43, 12, 7, 73, 81

Isuru Udana : (LMF)
T20 : 29 M, 24 W, 31.9 A
LAST 5 M : 24/0, 20/1, 6/0, 43/0, 14/0

Dushmanth Chameera : (RAF)…Known for his pace.
T20 : 19 M, 16 W, 35.8 A
LAST 5 M : 41/1, 21/1, 27/1, 33/0, 44/1

Daniel Bell-Drummond : (RHB, RAM)…was one of the top run scores of T20 Blast.
T20 (D) : 98 M, 2845 R, 31.6 A
LAST 5 M : 3, 37, 25, 89, 12

Kalana Parera : (LMF)
T20 (D) : 4 M, 3 W, 18 A
LAST 5 M : 30/1, 8/0, 7/1, 10/1

Qais Ahmed : (RH&LS)
T20 (D) : 55 M, 258 R  + 59 W
LAST 5 M : 14+13/1, 23+34/1, 21/0, 19+45/1, 15/0

Dhammika Prasad : (RMF)
T20 (D)  : 18 M, 18 W , 20.7 A
LAST 5 M : 13/0, 24/1, 19/0, 25/0, 29/2

Amila Aponso : (LAO)
T20 : 3 M, 4 W, 19.7 A
LAST 5 M : 36/1, 20/0, 19/2, 20/3 , 16/1

J Vandersay(Leg Spin):
T20Is: 10 M, 10 I, 6 W
Took 17 wickets in the last 4 domestic test matches.

Kandy Tuskers Team Preview :

KDT Key Players

Kushal Perera – Arguably their main batsman, Kusal Perera is a big threat to any opposition. He would want to start the tournament on a high.

Kusal Mendis – Another Sri Lankan gem that can be brutal on his day. He too would want to get going straight away.

Brendan Taylor – Brendan Taylor had a decent series with the bat against Pakistan and will be looking to continue his good runs in the Lanka Premier League as well.

Kandy Tuskers Predicted Playing 11 :

Kusal Mendis, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Brendan Taylor, Kusal Perera, Asela Gunaratne, Kamindu Mendis, Seekuge Prasanna, Dilruwan Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dale Steyn, Sohail Tanvir

Players Stats:

Kusal Perera (C&WK)  (LHB)
T20 : 46 M, 1293 R, 28.1 A
LAST 5 M : 15, 66, 7, 34, 57

Kusal Mendis : (RHB) bt
T20 : 26 M, 484 R, 18.6 A
LAST 5 M : 11, 0, 13, 1, 0

Rahman Ullah Gurbaz : (RHB)
T20 : 10 M, 332 R , 33.2 A
LAST 5 M : 2, 20, 40, 8, 99

Asela Guneratne : (RHB, RAM)
T20 : 12 M, 225 R + 5 W
LAST 5 M : 31, 0, 12, 17, 40

Brendan Taylor : (RHB)
T20 : 42 M, 834 R, 22.5 A
LAST M : 8, 3, 20, 59, 1

Irfan Pathan : (LHB,LMF)
T20 : 24 M, 172 + 28 W
LAST 5 M : 10+32/2, 2+24/0, 26+38/1, 12+34/0, 23/1 (4)

Dale Steyn : (RAF)
T20 : 47 M , 64 W, 18.3 A
LAST 5 M : 43/0, 57/0, 33/1, 14/0, 15/0

Dilruwan Perera : (RHB, RAO)
T20 : 3 M, 3 W, 24 A
LAST 5 M : 18+23/2, 0+25/0, 13+14/0, 4+17/1, 31+16/0

Priyamal Perera : (RHB)
T20 (D) : 31 M, 472 R, 18.8 A
LAST 5 M : 4, 8, 17, 1, 2

Vishwa Fernando : (LMF )
T20 (D) : 10 M, 9 W, 23.3 A
LAST 5 M : 14/0, 5/1, 16/0, 12/0, 24/2   (3)

Lasith Embuldaniya : (LAO)
T20 : 2 M , 2 W, 9.5 A
LAST 5 : 10/1, 9/1

Sohail Tanvir:
T20I: 57 M, 43 W..Took 6 wickets in the last 5 matches.

Naveen Ul Haq:
T20Is: 5 M, 10 W..Known for his variations + was in very good form in the CPL.

Seekuge Prasanna(Hard Hitter, Leg Spin):
T20(D): 148 M, 115 W + 1649 R, 17.5 A

Kamindu Mendis: (RAO + LAO)
T20(D): 21 M, 17 I, 389 R, 28 A + 7 W

COL vs KAN Top picks

Dinesh Chandimal has a pretty good season with the bat in the recent Army Commanders League. He was the highest run-scorer of the tournament at an average of 48.

Kusal Mendis scored at an average of 91.5 in the recent Army Commanders League at a SR of 167.89.

Brendan Taylor recently played a t20I series against Pakistan and scored a half-century there. He has been in superb touch and expected to perform in this tournament as well.

Andre Russell has a SR of almost 150 this year in T20s. He had a SR of 189  during the death overs in the recent Indian T20 League in UAE.