Galle Gladiators finally redeemed their form as Danushka Gunathilaka guided them to a 9-wicket win over Kandy Tuskers on Thursday. The opener blasted 94* studded with 12 boundaries and carted four sixes in his inning and helped his team win the 2nd match of the league.
Earlier, Gladiators’ skipper Bhanuka Rajapaksa took the best advantage of winning the toss and opted to put Tuskers to bat first. Mohammad Amir gave the Gladiators a spectacular start by bowling a maiden over.
Him building pressure on the Tuskers helped Thushara take down both openers to the cleaners during his first spell, and put Gladiators in command.
No batsman was able to withstand the wrath of the likes of Gladiators’s bowling lineup as they faltered at one end while Kusal Mendis stayed intact on his crease.
Mendis scored 68 runs and his innings comprised of six boundaries and also four sixes that helped Tuskers reach the total of 126/10 in 19.1 overs.
Mohammad Amir, N Thushara, Dhananjaya Lakshan and Sahan Arachchige chipped in with a couple of wickets each, as they overwhelmed the Tuskers to a low score in the first place. It was clearly visible that the bowlers had already laid the foundation for a convincing victory with batsmen left to signature the finishing touch.
Chasing a modest target of 127 runs, Gladiators’ opener Danushka Gunathilaka skewed the whole innings with his match-winning 94* runs, also missed his century by just six runs despite the vistory.
He took the perfect advantage of all the loose deliveries, also respecting good deliveries from the likes of Nuwan Pradeep and Dale Steyn.
Only Dilruwan Perera turned out to be the successful bowler by taking the only wicket that Tuskers succeeded in taking by cleaning Hazratullah Zazai in the 15th over.
Gladiators registered their second victory after chasing the total in 17 overs and moved to the fourth spot in the points table. They will now face Jaffna Stallions in the second finals match of the tournament on December 14.