Lanka Premier League Final Tips: Galle could stun them all

Shoaib Malik
Shoaib is part of a strong Stallions contingent

Ed Hawkins previews the showpiece from Hambantota on Wednesday and says a surprise could be in store

"All three of Galle's successes have come in the chase so we're looking for Amir to put his hand up for a squeeze and bring his team-mates with him"

Trade Galle 2.305/4 to 1.705/7

Galle Gladiators v Jaffna Stallions
Wednesday 16 December 13.30
TV: live on Sky Sports


Galle Gladiators are in the final of the Lanka Premier League. They have won only three matches out of nine. If you didn't know the structure of the competition was a farce, you do now.

Galle managed to shock group winners Colombo Kings in the semi-final, with losing skipper Angelo Mathews immediately calling for IPL-style play-offs. Shame he hadn't piped up before his words could be dismissed as sour grapes.

At the death the semi looked like going to form. Galle were 116 for seven in the 17th chasing 151 but lusty hitting from Dhananjaya Lakshan got them home. Mohammad Amir, the Pakistan pacer, has found his rhythm after an expensive start.

Possible XI Gunathilaka, Ali, Rajapaksa, Azam, Ruwansiri, G Jayasuriya, Siriwardana, Lakshan, Amir, Sandakan, A Fernando

Strong Stallions

The Stallions were our pre-tournament selection purely based on price. At 5/1 before a ball was bowled they certainly seemed no worse than the favourites, Kandy Tuskers, who didn't even qualify.

Success in the semi was a fillip because they had lost their way towards the end of the group stage. Dambulla Vikings were beaten by 37 runs thanks to Johnson Charles's 76 and Wanindu Hasaranga three for 15.

They have excellent overseas option with Charles, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari and Duanne Olivier creating a gulf between the teams.

Possible XI Charles, Fernando, Bhanuka, Shoaib Mailik, Perera, Hasaranga, Asalanka, Shinwari, Lakmal, Olivier, Viyaskanth

Pitch report

Here are the first-innings scores (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second, most recent first) at Hambantota in this tournament: 165-1/150-2/203-2/126-2/173-1/168-2/150-2/171-2/105-2/207-1/148-2/156-2/170-2/185-1/175-1/196-1/218-1/96-1(5overs)/195-1/175-2/219-t. Extremes are the way to play for low risk, low loss. Under 130s and 140s and over 190s and 200s.

Trade Galle

The Stallions are clear favourites at 1.684/6. That is not the sort of price we want to play at. So we are left to wonder about a trade on Galle at 2.3211/8.

We will only do so, however, if they bat second. All three of their successes have come in the chase so we're looking for Amir to put his hand up for a squeeze and bring his team-mates with him.

On a tacky surface, which has seen a lot of cricket, the wear and tear could reduce the gulf and we might be able to go green with them at around the 1.705/7 mark.

Tops value

Amir is 3/1 for top Galle bowler. We have him at around 4/1 on career form so save the pennies. The price that Sportsbook offer that holds most appeal is the 7/4 that no fifty is scored in first-innings. Taking pace off is the way to go and if you take that price hope Galle bat first as Stallions have an army of canny bowlers who can turn the screw.

Trade Galle 2.305/4 to 1.705/7

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