The appropriately named Jaffna Kings, the team of West Indies fast bowler Jayden Seales, continue to reign supreme after defeating the Galle Gladiators by 23 runs in Thursday’s final to claim their second Lankan Premier League title.

The Kings took first strike and got off to a good start thanks to openers Avishka Fernando and Rahmanullah Gurbaz.  Gurbaz was the first to go in the sixth over for 35 with the score at 56-1.

Englishman Tom Kohler-Cadmore then joined Fernando and the two put on a further 63 runs before Fernando was dismissed by Nuwan Thushara for a top score of 63 from 41 deliveries.

The score at Fernando’s dismissal was 119-2 off 12.4 overs when Shoaib Malik came to the crease to join Kohler-Cadmore.  The pair put on a further 62 runs before Malik was dismissed in the 19th over for 23 off 11 balls with the score at 181-3 off 18.2 overs.

Kings captain Thisara Perera strode to the crease to give them a big finish along with Kohler-Cadmore to post a daunting 201-3 off their 20 overs, with Kohler-Cadmore finishing not out on 57 from 41 balls and Perera finishing with 17 off 9 balls.

Thushara and Samit Patel were the best bowlers on the day for the Gladiators, bowling their four overs with figures of 1-32 and 1-33, respectively.

The reply from the Gladiators got off to a spectacular start with openers Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka racing to 63-0 at the start of the fifth over before Gunathilaka was dismissed by Wanindu Hasaranga for a blazing 54 off just 21 balls.

Things went from bad to worse for Galle as Australian batsman Ben Dunk was dismissed by Hasaranga off the very next ball for a duck, leaving them 63-2 from 4.3 overs.

Mohammed Hafeez then joined Mendis at the crease to attempt to stabilize the innings.  He didn’t last long as he was run out in the sixth over for 10 from six balls, leaving Galle now 84-3 from 6.2 overs.

Mendis was now joined at the wicket by captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa and the pair put on a further 29 runs before Rajapaksa was dismissed for 14 from 16 balls to leave them 113-4 from 10.4 overs.

Mendis was finally dismissed in the 14th over for 39 off 28 balls to leave the team 129-5 from 13.1 overs.

Dhananjaya Lakshan and Pulina Tharanga were then both dismissed in quick succession by Chatarunga de Silva to leave the score at 143-7 from 15.5 overs.

Samit Patel, who came to the crease at the fall of Rajapaksa’s wicket, made a solid 22 from 20 balls before he became the eighth wicket on the last ball of the 18th over.

The Gladiators ended their reply 178-9 off 20 overs to fall short by 23 runs.  Wanindu Hasaranga was the pick of the bowlers for the Kings with 2-30 from his four overs.

Seales took 1-36 from his three overs for the Kings.

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