The eagerly awaited Lanka Premier League 2023 is gearing up for its fourth edition, slated to take place between July 30 and August 20. The tournament will showcase five teams competing fiercely across three international venues. Jaffna Kings, the reigning champions would face off against the Colombo Strikers at R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.
The Jaffna franchise made its debut in the Lanka Premier League's inaugural edition in 2020 as Jaffna Stallions. However, prior to LPL 2021, the team underwent a name change and became known as Jaffna Kings under new ownership. Thisara Perera is all set to lead his side once again, with his eyes firmly fixed on achieving an unprecedented fourth consecutive title for the Kings. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the talented Afghanistan keeper-batter, will play a pivotal role as the leading batsman in their top-order. He has earned He is among the tournament's top 5 batsmen, amassing an impressive tally of more than 600 runs, with a strike rate of 153.David Miller, a dominant force in T20 cricket, is an asset every team wants to have in their squad as capable of winning the matches single handedly. The defending champions have also secured the valuable services of Nuwan Thushara, the second-highest wicket-taker in LPL history, who had previously been an integral part of Galle. Zaman Khan and Hardus Viljoen would be really handly in the pace department for the side. Shoaib Malik experience would certainly come into play in both spin department and batting.
Colombo Strikers dominated the league stage in the inaugural LPL but couldn't advance to the finals after being defeated by Galle in the semi-finals. Captain Babar Azam will have a crucial role to play at the top of the order along with the likes of Pathum Nissanka and Niroshan Dickwella. Iftikhar Ahmed will be pivotal for the team’s middle-order. He’s an experienced T20 cricketer . In the bowling department, Matheesha Pathirana's performance will be closely watched this season, as he played a pivotal role in securing the 2023 IPL title for the Chennai Super Kings. Nicknamed 'Baby Malinga,' Naseem shah and pathirana would be really intresting to see playing together as both are young prospects.
The average score batting first at the R.Premadasa Stadium in domestic T20s is 147. The highest total posted at the venue is 207-6 by Jaffna Kings against Colombo in 2021. Totals above 170 have been achieved eight times here in 29 domestic T20 matches.
15 out of the 29 T20 domestic matches played at the R.Premadasa Stadium have been won by the team chasing. Chasing seems to be the norm these days days in T20s and it won’t be surprising if the toss-winning team decides to field first.
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