Colombo, August 1, 2023: The Colombo Strikers bagged their first win against B-Love Kandy in their second encounter of the Lanka Premier League 2023 in a stunning manner on Monday at the R. Premadasa Stadium. Having scored 157-6 in the first innings, the Strikers restricted Kandy to a meagre score of 130-8 thanks to the stunning bowling performances of Naseem Shah and Matheesha Pathirana, who bagged five wickets between them while giving away only 43 runs in eight overs.

While with the bat, it was Pakistan Captain Babar Azam who proved to be the star as he held the Strikers’ innings together, scoring 59 off 52 balls on a difficult batting track.

Speaking about his team’s performance, Babar Azam said, “When we started the inning, the pitch was behaving a bit two-paced. I then realized that it would be better to build a partnership. I thought that the pitch would also start supporting the spinners after 10 overs, and after 15 overs we would try to charge the opponents.”

He also lauded the bowlers for getting the job done and said, “The wicket was acting a bit tricky, so the objective was to bat as deep as possible and to our advantage, everyone chipped in. Though, I truly believe that the credit should go to the bowlers who stood out.”

“For me, the standout performance was from Naseem Shah. His first spell set the tone of the whole innings and helped us gain the advantage,” added Babar.

The all-out pace and tight spells from both spinners proved really difficult to deal with for the team from Kandy. The star pacer from Pakistan, Naseem Shah, seemed really happy with the first win and said, “It was our first win of the tournament, and certainly it gives us the momentum we need for the rest of the tournament. We hope to continue with this from here on.”

Coach Simon Helmot was all praises for the team and said, “We were a little disappointed in the first match for not getting the victory we thought we deserved. Today, it was certainly a gutsy batting performance. It was difficult to score freely on the pitch and Babar just showed his class and maturity in batting to go on so deep and give us a competitive total of 157. I thought the fielding and bowling were particularly sublime, the energy on the field and the captain’s decision-making was all point. I believe this is something which is resonant with the Colombo Strikers Brand. Every time we go onto the field, we fight hard, we field hard and bowl with precision and I thought we did that tonight.”

Captain Niroshan Dickwella reverberated the same feeling and said, “We should all learn from the best. It was not easy to bat on the wicket but the way Babar stayed on the pitch till the end gave us a competitive score. I would also want to praise everyone it was a top-notch performance.”

The Colombo Strikers team owner, Sagar Khanna, seemed elated after his team’s stellar show and said, “With our first win under the belt, I am confident that the team will leave no stone unturned to make it a memorable debut tournament for us.”

Colombo Strikers will be playing their next match against Dambulla Aura on August 5, 2023, from 3:00 PM IST onward.


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