Jaffna batsman Shoaib Malik (right), who scored 46 runs, connects in the Lankan Premier League (LPL) final Wednesday, Dec.16, 2020 against the Galle Gladiators in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jaffna Stallions MANDATORY CREDIT

Canadian co-owner sees Jaffna Stallions win inaugural Lankan Premier League final

Canadian co-owner sees Jaffna Stallions win inaugural Lankan Premier League final

HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka — The Jaffna Stallions, whose ownership group includes Calgary-born Rahul Sood, defeated the Galle Gladiators by 53 runs Wednesday to win the inaugural Lanka Premier League title.

Jaffna won the toss and elected to bat, putting up a score of 188 for six at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium. Shoaib Malik led the attack with 46 runs on 35 balls with three fours and one six. Captain Thisara Perera was 39 not out while opener Johnson Charles hammered six fours in a 15-ball 26-run outing.

Dhananjaya Lakshan was the best of the Galle bowlers with three wickets.

Gale finished its 20 overs at 135 for nine with 40 runs from captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa and 36 from Azam Khan. The Jaffna bowlers struck quickly with Galle openers Hazratullah Zazai bowled for zero and Danushka Gunathilaka run out for one.

“Just wow,” tweeted Sood.

A millionaire at 19 after creating Voodoo PC, the 47-year-old Sood is now co-founder and CEO of Unikrn (pronounced Unicorn), an esports betting platform that operates in 43 countries.

Sood and Sri Lankan native Anandan Arnold are majority owners of the Stallions. Arnold, a senior partner at BBK Partnership Chartered Accountants in the United Kingdom, serves as the Stallions chief executive officer.

The five-team, 23-match Twenty20 tournament, delayed by the pandemic, kicked off Nov. 26 with Jaffna and Galle joined by the Colombo Kings, Dambulla Viiking and Kandy Tuskers.

The Stallions defeated the Vikings by 37 runs in their semifinal.

Sood, who now makes his home in the Seattle area, said he bought into the Stallions after a friend connected to the group called him up.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press