Colombo, Dec 6 (IANS): Skipper Bhanuka Rajapaksa led by example clobbering a cameo 31-ball 56 in Galle Gladiator's triumphant 54-run flying start to the Sri Lanka Cricket Lanka Premier League 2021 second edition curtain raiser over Jaffna Kings under lights at the R Premadasa Stadium, here.
He struck 3 sixes and 6 boundaries in a total of 164 for 7 off 20 overs on which the Gladiators bowlers ran through the Jaffna Kings for 110 in 18.2 overs late on Sunday.
If the left-handed mauler of the ball was the trump card batter of the momentous tournament opener, Samit Patel with whom he set a ball rolling 40-run 5-wicket partnership, capped it with an all-round Player of the Match performance rounded by his 3 for 21 in decimating the Kings.
Upfront, Rajapaksa figured in a 4th wicket paring of 52 with Ben Dunk who made 17. The highest Jaffna Kings could offer was Wahab Riaz 27.