Jaffna Stallions 185 for 8 (Perera 68, de Silva 61) beat Kandy Tuskers 131 (Shinwari 3-17) by 54 runs
How the match played out
Jaffna Stallions lost early wickets. Jaffna Stallions rallied through the middle and late overs, thanks largley to Thisara Perera. Then Jaffna Stallions' bowlers locked the opposition out. The script for this match was largely the same as for the Stallions' victory on Monday over Dambulla Viiking. With Colombo Kings having lost earlier in the day, Stallions are now the team to beat in the LPL - the only side that are yet to lose a game after three outings. They've not been pushed in any of their matches either. This win over Kandy Tuskers was by a whopping 54 runs.
Thanks to a good Powerplay spell from Munaf Patel, and some decent early overs from Dilruwan Perera and Asela Gunaratne, Tuskers had Stallions pinned early. Their total at the end of the fielding restrictions was 26 for 2 - the lowest in the tournament so far. They would go on to lose Tom Moores in the eighth over, and Shoaib Malik in the tenth, but at no point did they seem flustered. Dhananjaya de Silva kept the frequent fall of wickets from turning into a full-blown collapse by batting cautiously, making only 15 from his first 20 deliveries before gradually raising the tempo to finish on 61 off 38.
Tuskers slumped to 131 all out in the 18th over in response, with Brendan Taylor (46 off 32) and Gunaratne (31 off 24) the only batsmen to make a serious run at the target.
Stars of the day
Perera was the the driving force behind the Stallions' recovery once again, blasting 68 off 28 balls - an innings that included five sixes and as many fours, helping propel his team to 185 for 8 on a pitch that not many batsmen prospered on. As is often the case for Perera, the confidence from his batting flowed into his bowling, and he picked up 2 for 9 in 2.1 overs. He had also hit 95 not out in Monday's match against Viiking.
Wanindu Hasaranga was excellent as usual with the ball, taking 2 for 17 from his four overs, his googly wreaking havoc yet again. Usman Shinwari was also outstanding with the ball, however, dismissing both the Tuskers' dangerous openers - Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Kusal Perera - inside the Powerplay, on his way to figures of 3 for 17 off three overs.
For the Tuskers, Gunaratne was perhaps their best bowler, taking 2 for 20, though his full quota wasn't used. Kusal Perera's captaincy continues to be puzzling.
De Silva and Perera came together with the score on 49 for 4 in the tenth over, and propelled the Stallions towards their commanding score with perhaps the partnership of the tournament so far. They made 118 runs off 47 balls in each other's company, and on this pitch, that's a monumental momentum shift.
The big miss
Not a major miss, because it came towards the end of his innings, but Perera was dropped on 50 off the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep in the 17th over - Naveen-ul-Haq spilling the chance at deep midwicket. Perera would go on to hit two more sixes and a four before getting out.