The LPL 2023 is just a few days away with the two finalists of the last edition, Jaffna Kings and Colombo Strikers starting the tournament on July 30 in Colombo. Colombo and Pallekele will be the two venues for the 4th edition of the Lanka Premier League.
LPL 2023 tickets are available now. Hurry Up to get your ticket. You can buy tickets on official website www.srilankacricket.lk/
Today, we will preview the first game of LPL 2023, between Jaffna Kings vs Colombo Strikers. We will tell you the pitch report, squads, strengths and weaknesses of teams, and the expected playing XI of both teams, etc. So let’s start.
Jaffna Kings – The most successful team in LPL history
Jaffna Kings is the most successful team in LPL history. In fact, all three seasons have been won by Jaffna Kings.
Inaugural season winners
Jaffna won the inaugural season in 2020. They won the first 4 games in the round-robin. Although they lost 3 in the next 4 games (one game ended with no result), they managed to reach the playoffs.
Jaffna Kings (earlier known as Jaffna Stallions) won the first semifinal against Dambulla Vikings. And then went on to win the final against Galle Gladiators by 53 runs.
Jaffna won the next two titles as well
Jaffna Kings again won LPL in 2021. And again they beat Galle Gladiators by 23 runs in the final.
Last year in 2022, they won the Lanka Premier League title for the 3rd consecutive time. This time, they beat Colombo Strikers (earlier known as Colombo Stars) in a close final by 2 wickets.
They will look to continue their dominance in LPL 2023. And they will start the campaign against Colombo Strikers this year.
Colombo Strikers performances in LPL history
Colombo finished at the top of the points table in 2020 with 6 wins in 8 games. But they lost the semifinal against Galle Gladiators.
Dambulla was too good for Colombo in 2021
Colombo Strikers managed to reach the playoffs after finishing at No. 3 in the points table. They won 4 and lost 4 games. But they lost an eliminator against Dambulla Aura by 6 wickets.
Somehow managed to play the final
With only 3 wins out of 8 games, they finished at No. 3 in the points table. Colombo Strikers won an eliminator against Galle Gladiators by 7 wickets. They also won Qualifier 2 against Kandy Falcons by 6 wickets. But they lost the close encounter against Jaffna Kings in the final.
Now, Colombo will look to take revenge for the last year’s final against Jaffna Kings.
Squads of both the teams in LPL 2023:-
Colombo Strikers Squads
|Babar Azam||Matheesha Pathirana|
|Naseem Shah||Chamika Karunaratne|
|Pathum Nissanka||Ahan Wickramasinghe|
|Dhananjaya Lakshan||Niroshan Dickwella|
|Wahab Riaz||Lakshan Sandakan|
|Nipun Dhananjaya||Movin Subasingha|
|Lahiru Udara||Jeffrey Vandersay|
|Eshan Malinga||Shashika Dulshan|
|Nuwanidu Fernando||Iftikhar Ahmed|
|Lorcan Tucker||Kavishka Anjula|
|Ramesh Mendis||Mohammad Nawaz|
|Yashodha Lanka||Angelo Perera|
Jaffna Kings Squads
|David Miller||Maheesh Theekshana|
|Rahmanullah Gurbaz||Thisara Perera|
|Charith Asalanka||Dunith Wellalage|
|Shoaib Malik||Pathum Kumara|
|Vijayakanth Viyaskanth||Theesan Vithushan|
|Asanka Manoj||Nishan Madushka|
|Asitha Fernando||Hardus Viljoen|
|Nuwan Thushara||Dilshan Madushanka|
|Zaman Khan||Ashan Randika|
|Ratnarajah Thenurathan||Chris Lynn|
Expected playing XI:-
Colombo Strikers Expected Playing XI
Babar Azam, Pathum Nissanka, N Dickwella (c) and (wk), Iftikar Ahmed, Angelo Perera, Chamika Karunaratne, Ramesh Mendis, Wahab Riaz, Naseem Shah, M Pathirana, Lakshan Sandakan
Jaffna Kings Expected Playing XI
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), A Randika, S Malik, David Miller, Asela Gunaratne, Thisara Perera (c), C Asalanka, Asitha Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana, Hardus Viljoen, Dunith Wellalage
The pitch in Colombo is generally a good batting wicket. Spinners will play a crucial role in the first game as there will be some slowness off the wicket. Otherwise, we might see a good high-scoring encounter in the first game of LPL 2023.
Strengths of both teams:-
Colombo has a very good bowling attack with some variety in the bowling. They have the wicket-takers like M Pathirana and Naseem Shah. The former is very lethal in the death overs and the latter can do the job with the new ball. They have some quality spinners to bowl in the middle overs as well.
Jaffna’s batting looks solid with some hard hitters in the middle order like David Miller, Asela Gunaratne, C Asalanka, and captain T Perera. They have a very stable top order in R Gurbaz, and Shoaib Malik as well.
They are lacking a hard hitter in the team who can get the momentum back in the last few overs. Colombo will look into this during LPL 2023.
Although they have pacers like H Viljoen and A Fernando, but they don’t have the kind of bowler who can restrict runs in the last few overs. They will rely on these two and a few all-rounders to do this job.
Players to watch out for
David Miller (JK)
From Jaffna Kings, Miller will be the key as he has the ability to win games on his own.
Maheesh Pathirana (CS)
Pathirana will be important for Colombo as he has the ability to nail those Yorkers well in the last few years.
Who will win the first LPL 2023 encounter? Comment your predictions below. Thank you for reading. Keep following us for latest updates.