The spectacular performance by the Brilliant Shoaib Malik lead Jaffna Stallions to register a massive 53-run victory over Galle Gladiators in the Lanka Premier League final in Hambantota on Wednesday night.
Thisara Perera (Jaffna Stallions Captain) won the toss and elected to bat first at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium.
Openers Avishka Fernando (27 off 23) and Johnson Charles (26 off 15) laid the foundation with a 44-run opening stand, then former Pakistan Captain Shoaib Malik (46 off 35) took over as the Mohammad Amir-led bowling attack struggled to contain the Stallions.
The Jaffna Stallions Skipper remained unbeaten with his blistering 14-ball 39 which included five fours and two maximums.
Dhananjaya Lakshan’s three wickets were a bright spot. Those dismissals took him up to 13 wickets from seven bowling innings – second only to Hasaranga’s tally.
However, Gladiators were restricted to 135-9. Captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa put his 40 runs on the scoreboard from 17 balls with three fours.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Azam Khan who is the son of former Pakistani cricketer Moin Khan chipped in with his 17-ball 36 which included a boundary and four sixes but it was not enough for the losing side on the night.
For Jaffna Stallions, Malik and left-arm pacer Usman Khan Shinwari were the most successful bowlers as both bagged two wickets.
Shoaib Malik was declared as the Man of the Match. He has now won 13 t20 tournaments across the world playing different leagues. He is third on the list of winning most t20 tournament behind only to Pollard and Dwayne Bravo.