Galle Gladiators thrashed defending Champions Jaffna Kings by 54 runs in the opener of the 2021 Lanka Premier League at the R Premadasa Stadium.
After being sent into bat, Galle went onto post a respectable 164/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
Skipper Bhanuka Rajapaksa top scored with 56 while Samit Patel hit 42 off 31 deliveries.
The pair managed to rescue the Gladiators with a quick-fire partnership after being reduced to 93/4. For the Kings, Jayden Seales had 3/23 while Wanindu Hasaranga finished with figures of 2/30.
Chasing 165 runs to kick-start the campaign on a winning note, Defending Champions Jaffna could not handle the pressure or the Gladiators’ bowling attack and lost wickets at regular interval.
They were eventually bundled out for 110 in 18.4 overs with only Wahab Riaz making 27.
Samit Patel who was adjudged the man-of-the-match picked up 3/21 for Galle while Mohammad Hafeez and Pulina Tharanga chipped in with two wickets apiece.
The tournament got underway after a colourful opening ceremony last evening with a limited number of spectators in attendance.
Meanwhile, the second game of the LPL 2021 will see Dambulla Giants taking on Kandy Warriors at 3pm today while Game 3 will see Colombo Stars battling it out with Galle Gladiators at 7.30pm at the same venue.