Colombo Kings v Galle Gladiators
Monday 7 December 10.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Kings on course
Colombo Kings are through to the semi-finals, securing their spot after thrashing Kandy Tuskers by seven wickets. They bowled out the Tuskers for just 105, the lowest score of the tournament. Qais Ahmed, the spinner, took two for eight. They look a well-balanced and settled XI now and the slower nature of the surfaces may reward that more sensible top three.
Possible XI Chandimal, Evans, Bell-Drummond, Mathews, Priyanjan, Russell, S de Silva, Udana, Qais, Chameera, Kaushal,
GG for the knacker's yard
Galle Gladiators have lost all five. Dambulla Vikings were the latest to inflict defeat and take apart a bowling unit which is not fit for purpose. They smashed 207 for four. The last three times they have bowled first they have gone at 9.5 an over or more. Mohammad Amir, their gun bowler, is their most economical of those who have bowled more than ten overs. But his rate is 9.2. They have also lost the services of Shahid Afridi for the tournament due to personal reasons.
Possible XI Gunathilaka, Ali, Rajapaksa, Azam, Walton, G Jayasuriya, Siriwardana, Lakshan, Amir, Sandakan, A Fernando
Scores so far (most recent first, 1-2 denote match won by side batting first) at Hambantota read: 105-2/207-1/148-2/156-2/170-2/185-1/175-1/196-1/218-1/96-1(5overs)/195-1/175-2/219-t. We had scores at either end of the spectrum in match day eight but there still seems to be a trend for run rates coming down due to the same pitches being used. The strategy of taking extremes on the innings runs seems smart, laying 130, 140 or more for low risk and then backing high at big numbers with low stakes. With Galle in action bowling first, though, the market may well be expecting a run glut.
Colombo Kings are 1.705/7 with Galle 2.305/4. There's not much joy for us here. Big runs for Colombo up front are probably not going to move the market enough to make a trade worthwhile. And we're also unsure of how much Colombo will be up for it with the contest being a dead rubber. Sportsbook go 7/4 that both teams score 180., which has some appeal given that wayward GG bowling.
Amir is rated at 3/1 for top Galle bowler by Sportsbook. Dinesh Chandimal, winner last time out, is 13/5 for top Kings runscorer. They go 10/11 he scores under 26.5.
Dambulla Vikings v Jaffna Stallions
Monday 7 December 14.30
TV: live on Sky Sports
Three straight wins for the Vikings has seen them qualify for the last four. They edged out Galle on Sunday by nine runs. Finally, the promoted Dasun Shanaka up the order to No 3. Shanaka is on an extraordinary run of form and this time contributed 37 from 21. Anwar Ali's three wickets made the difference in a chase they struggled to control.
Possible XI Tharanga, Dickwella, Shanaka, Patel, Samiullah, K Perera, R Mendis, Anwar, Pushpakumara, Tyaki, Rajitha
Jaffna are top of the table on run rate but they lost their last outing as their batting crumbled. It had been threatening to blow up for a while and against Kings there was to be no rescue act. The balance is good, though, particularly in the middle order with Thisara Perera and Shoaib Malik combining. Duanne Olivier and Usman Shinwari, a key pace combination, missed that Colombo match and hopefully they will come back in.
Possible XI A Fernando, Johnson, Bhanuka, Shoaib, D de Silva, Perera, P De Silva, PC de Silva, Shinwari, Olivier, B Fernando
Stallions a trade
Vikings are 1.834/5 with Jaffna 2.03. If the market matures correctly we should get 2.1011/10 about the Stallions. We think this is a choice affair at least. So our strategy is clear: get with Stallions at close to even money and then look to trade with runs on the board. We could well see Stallions coming into around the 1.608/13 mark.