Legends Cricket Trophy: Dubai Giants register biggest win of tournament, beat Kandy Samp Army

Pallekele, March 16 (IANS) Dubai Giants continued their impressive form in the ongoing Legends Cricket Trophy (LCT) as they defeated Kandy Samp Army by 56 runs at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy on Friday. Earlier, in the first match on Friday, Punjab Royals hammered Colombo Lions by 8 wickets.

Kandy Samp Army won the toss and invited Dubai Giants to bat first. Despite losing opener Richard Levi for six runs, Dubai Giants found support in the form of Shaun Marsh who led the batting attack by example. The former Australian cricketer took the opposition bowling attack to the cleaners by hitting 53 off 27 balls including eight fours and two sixes at a healthy strike rate of 196.33. Saurabh Tiwary also expressed himself in the best possible way as he scored 47 off 20 balls.

The left-hander constructed his innings with the help of seven fours and two sixes whereas captain Thisara Perera played his part by scoring a quickfire 28 off 11 balls including three boundaries and two sixes.

In the end, Dubai Giants registered a humongous total of 190/7 in 90 balls, which is the highest-ever total achieved by a team so far in LCT 2024. Kandy Samp Army’s bowlers were sloppy as they failed to contain runs on the match day. Tino Best accounted for three dismissals, giving away 40 runs whereas Chris Mpofu took two wickets, conceding 38 runs.

On the other end of the spectrum, Kandy Samp Army got off to a scintillating start to the game as the likes of Kevin O’Brien and Aaron Finch added a quickfire 67-run opening partnership before Finch departed for 20. Kevin O’Brien was the pick of the batters as he scored 52 off 24 balls, his innings laced with 2 fours and 6 sixes.

Samp Army didn’t recover from the main batter’s dismissal as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals before losing the game. The Dubai Giants won the game by 56 runs as Kandy Samp Army ended up with 134/8. With this win, Dubai Giants move on top of the LCT 2024 points table with 8 points, which will give them a great deal of confidence in the build-up to the final.

In the first match of the day, it was yet another disastrous day at the office for the Colombo Lions as they remain winless in the LCT 2024. Despite having marquee players like Chris Gayle, Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor in their armoury, they lacked the tenacity to churn out a result in their favour so far in the competition.

Colombo Lions suffered their fourth-straight defeat of the season, with their most recent loss coming against Punjab Royals. Punjab Royals comfortably aced the run-chase and won the game by eight wickets to pick up their third win of this season to sit fourth on the table with six points at a Net Run Rate of -0.354.

On the contrary, the Colombo Lions hit rock-bottom in the points table with a woeful Net Run Rate of -2.679. Their hopes of qualifying for the LCT 2024 final are all but over. Batting first, the Colombo Lions mustered 127/8 in 90 balls.

Ben Dunk who has been an in-form batter for the Lions top-scored with 39 off 21 balls, laced with 6 fours and 2 sixes. Robbie Frylinck provided a great deal of support down the order with his 30 off 21 (3 fours, 1 six). Javon Searles was the wrecker-in-chief for Punjab Royals as he picked up four wickets, giving away just 28 runs in 24 balls whereas captain Tillakaratne Dilshan accounted for two dismissals.

In response, Punjab Royals chased down the target without any hiccups in 74 balls. Dilshan Munaweera was the pick of the batters as he top-scored with 47 off 26 balls including seven fours and a six whereas captain Tillakaratne Dilshan accumulated 43 off 29 balls including 4 fours and 2 sixes.

Brief scores:

Colombo Lions 127/8 in 90 balls (Ben Dunk 39; Milinda Siriwardana 1-16) lost to Punjab Royals 133/2 in 74 balls (Dilshan Munaweera 47l Javon Searles 4-28) by eight wickets.

Dubai Giants 190/7 in 90 balls (Shaun Marsh 53; Sachith Pathirana 4-21) beat Kandy Samp Army 134/8 in 90 balls (Kevin O’Brien 52; Tino Best 3-40) by 56 runs.



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