GALLE : Defending champions Jaffna Kings began their title defence with a comfortable win over the Galle Gladiators in the Lanka Premier League 2022 here on Tuesday.
After being bowled out for 137, the Jaffna Kings restricted the Galle Gladiators to 113/9 in their 20 overs.
For Jaffna Kings, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth (2/20) and Binura Fernando (3/22) were the picks of the bowlers.
The Gladiators' captain Kusal Mendis got his team off to a great start with an opening partnership of 58 runs in 7.3 overs with Nuwanidu Fernando. However, after Wellalage dismissed Nuwanidu Fernando, the Gladiators kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Kusal Mendis played a captain's knock of 51 runs from 43 balls, but he didn't find support from the other end as the Gladiators eventually fell short of their target by 24 runs.
Earlier, Shoaib Malik and Dunith Wellalage set the platform for the Jaffna Kings. Malik played an innings of 30 runs from 27 balls, laced with two boundaries, while Wellalage scored 30 runs from 20 balls. He struck four boundaries during his time at the crease.
Dhananjay de Silva played a quick-fire inning of 29 runs from 19 balls in the innings which included three boundaries and two sixes. For Gladiators, Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim, Nuwan Thushara, Nuwan Pradeep, Pulina Tharanga and Iftikhar Ahmed picked two wickets each.
Jaffna Kings 137 all out in 19.5 overs (Dhananjaya de Silva 29, Shoaib Malik 30, Dunith Wellalage 30; Wahab Riaz 2-23, Imad Wasim 2-22, Nuwan Pradeep 2-23, Iftikhar Ahmed 2-8) beat Galle Gladiators 113 all out in 20 overs (Kusal Mendis 51; Binura Fernando 3-22, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth 2-20) by 24 runs