Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter

BRENDAN Taylor struck an unbeaten 51 runs to power his team in the Lanka Premier League, Kandy Tuskers to victory by 25 runs over Galle Gladiators in Hambantota on Monday, with the effort enough for the Zimbabwean batsman to walk away with the man of the match accolade.

It was the first win for Tuskers in the five-team LPL having lost their opening two fixtures against Colombo Kings and Dambulla Viiking. Tuskers are third on the log behind the Kings andJaffna Stallions.

Coming in to bat at number four, Taylor struck seven fours and one six to finish 51 not out off 35 deliveries while Sri Lankan batsman Kusal Mendis was second best with 49 runs as Tuskers finished on 196 for five in 20 overs.

The Gladiators were restricted to 171/7 in 20 overs that total largely due to the efforts of their opening batsmen Danushka Gunathilak who struck 82 off 53 balls. Gunathilak, who put away 13 fours and one six was however the only Gladiators batsman to go past the 20-run mark, with the second best score being 17 from Shehan Jayasuriya down the batting order.

Next up for Taylor and his teammates is a clash with the table topping Stallions on Tuesday before they meet the Viiking on Thursday.