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Acid test as Devapathiraja meet Mahinda

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Under-19 Division I Tier ‘B’ Final

by Reemus Fernando

One of the positives the premier Under-19 cricket tournament witnessed during the Covid 19 curtailed season is the opportunity the teams got to play in two Tiers in each Division. The Under-19 Division I tournament will witness its second final today (2) when Mahinda College, Galle meet Devapathiraja College, Rathgama in the Division I Tier ‘B’ title fight at the NCC ground. The Tier ‘A’ final between Royal and St. Joseph’s was scheduled for Saturday (1).

Devapathiraja who were promoted to Division I only a couple of years ago did remarkably well during this improvised tournament consisting of 18 teams. When some big time cricket playing schools, namely Dharmaraja, Thurstan, St. Sylvester’s and St. Thomas’, Matara failed to go beyond the league stage, Devapathiraja concluded the league stage as runners up in Group ‘Z’ and knocked out Isipatana and Dharmasoka to reach the final.

However, for the team captained by Sudeera Weeraratne it will be an acid test today as they encounter a team inclusive of some formidable players in the junior arena. Weeraratne will also not be short of formidable players and will bank on Pawan Sandesh and Jeewaka Shasheen for batting consistency. The duo have scored over 300 runs each and have maintained averages of 55 and 61 runs respectively. Slow bowlers Weeraratne, Sasanka Nirmal and Irushka Thimira are the players to watch in the bowling department.

Mahinda are the favourites with Sri Lanka Under-19 player Navod Paranavithana bringing in loads of experience to the final. Skipper Paranavithana will strengthen the batting line up with Kaushitha Kodithuwakku, Danuja Induwara, Rashmika Madusanka and Sandew Induwara. Paranavithana also excelled in the bowling department for Mahinda during this tournament. Kavindu Lakshan, Subanu Rajapaksha and Kushan Madusha are the bowlers who have done well during the tournament.

Mahinda concluded the league stage as runners up to St. Peter’s in Group ‘X’. Their only defeat in that phase was at the hands of St. Peter’s. They reached the final beating St. Joseph Vaz’s College, Wennappuwa and Ananda College in the quarter-final and the semi-final respectively.

Teams:

Mahinda (from):

Navod Paranavithana (Captain), Rashmika Madushanka, Kawsitha Kodithuwakku, Sandew Induwara, Dhanuja Induwara, Shakya Sampath, Kavidu Lakshan, Osindu Kavindya, Dinura Kalupahana, Subanu Rajapaksha , Kushan Madusha, Kosala Udayanga, Sithira Helitha, Hiruna Gallage, Danindu Chamikara, Chethiya Gunasekara, Shehan Hasaranga, Ranmina Hettiarachchi, Mahisha Chandupa, Nikil Jayaweera.

Officials:

Danushka Denagama (Coach), Avishka Dilshan (Asst. Coach), Nishantha Kumara (MiC)

Devapathiraja (from):

Sudeera Weeraratne (Captain), Irushka Thimira, Dinitha Prabanka, Pawan Sandesh, Jeewaka Shasheen, Sasanka Nirmal, Tharindu Rukshan, Matheesha Saranga, Darshaka Sandeepa, Sandaru Theekshana, Chaminda Sandaruwan, Pathum Shaminda, Pradeep Rangana, Hiran Chamikara, Chanuka Sulakshana, Simash Dilunja.

Officials:

Ranjan Lasantha de Silva (Coach), Ranjith Kumbalathara (MiC)



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Dharmasena reaches singles final

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Ranjan Dharmasena(Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

Ranjan Dharmasena booked a berth in the singles final against Korea’s Sung Bong Han as he beat Sagg-Ho OH 6-1, 6-2 in his semi-final in the Sri Lanka Open International Wheelchair Tennis Tournament at Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Tuesday.

Sung Bong Han of Korea prevented an all-hosts final as he beat Gamini Dissanayake 6-1, 6-2 in the other semi-final.

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New champions add spice to tennis singles events

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The First Capital SSC Open Men’s and Women’s Singles championships were won by Sharmal Dissanayake and Sajida Razick respectively (Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

By A Special Sports Correspondent

Tennis star Sharmal Dissanayake (26) made a comeback to the racquet game in Sri Lanka when he won the Men’s Singles event at the First Capital SSC Open Championships worked off in Colombo recently.

The annual SSC Open tournament gave a great start to the tennis scene in the island for the New Year. It was also a new start for champion player Dissanayake after being away from playing on Sri Lankan courts at local tournaments for a while. He overcame stiff resistance from Chaturya Nilaweera in the finals, which went for four sets. Dissanayake won 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and 7-6 in the pulsating final which was scheduled to go for five sets if required. This is the first time five-set tennis was introduced at a local tournament in the island.

Dissanayake has played at peak condition in past tournaments. Fitness was not a cause for Dissanayake at this tournament, but he can reach top playing condition as the months roll away this season. The talk doing the rounds in the tennis circles is that Dissanayake wants to raise his game and fitness and make himself available for the country at overseas assignments too. Meanwhile, Nilaweera, an up-and-coming player with much promise, had to sweat his way into the final with a tough semi-final fixture against Kiran Vairawanathan. It was good to see seasoned players like Guyanga Weerasekare contesting the SSC Open Men’s event. The men’s open tennis event overall in the country has just got the needed boost with the competition that’s raised by so many talented players entering and wanting a share of the pie.

Dissanayake won the Arjun Fernando Challenge Trophy for his efforts at the tournament which was witnessed by an appreciative crowd.

Schoolgirl Sajida Razick made a giant kill in the women’s open singles by beating seasoned player Neyara Weerawansa (6-3, 6-4). Despite taking the first set with her power play Razick saw the experienced Weerawansa breathing down her back in a well-contested second set. Both players made their share of unforced errors, but that didn’t take the punch away from the game Razick looked so confident throughout the game and brilliantly negotiated Weerawansa’s spirited late rally during the second set before winning her first major title in senior tennis. Razick overcame Vishmi Serasinghe in the semis while Weerawansa got the better of Dinara de Silva. Razick won the Sriya Munasinghe Challenge Trophy for her efforts.

Razick has raised her game tremendously and plays some powerful shots and also uses the full court. It would have been interesting to see how she would have fared against Anjalika Kurera had the latter taken part in this tournament. Incidentally, Kurera was not available for the SSC Open this season because she was busy preparing for a vital examination.

The tournament not only attracted its title sponsor in First Capital, but also saw Perera & Sons and Dimo coming in as co-sponsors. It’s one of the most looked forward-to events in the local tennis events calendar; having recorded its start in the 1980s. The SSC Open also serves as a category 1 ranking tournament.

The tournament was organized by the SSC Tennis Home Committee and held under the auspices of the Sri Lanka Tennis Association.

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Amameth scores back-to-back centuries

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Anjala Bandara (left) and Kavindu Amameth

Under 19 Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

Kavindu Amameth scored back-to-back centuries and put on a partnership over 200 runs for the second time in the match as Mahanama College earned major honours against De Mazenod in the Under 19 Traditional cricket encounter which ended in a draw at Kandana on Tuesday.

Amameth followed up his first innings score with an identical knock. In the first essay, he conceded 173 balls for his knock. But in his second he consumed only 101 balls as he cracked 11 fours and seven sixes to boost the score. He also put on a first-wicket stand of 209 runs with Anjala Bandara as Mahanama posted 323 for three wickets at close on a pitch where the home team could muster only 150.

It is also the first time this season that a batsman scored back-to-back centuries in a match.

At Ananda Mawatha, Mahinda College restricted the home team to 159 runs as Dhanuja Induwara picked up five wickets for the visitors to dominate day one of the traditional encounter.

Results

Mahanama take major honours

Scores:

Mahanama

363 all out in 92.1 overs (Kavindu Amameth 126, Inuka Karannagoda 75, Rashmika Perera 52, Chamika Heenatigala 24, Eshan Withanage 24; Kavindu Kaushalya 4/97, Thushan Udayanga 3/64, Sithum Fernando 3/71) and 323 for 3 in 54 overs (Kavindu Amameth 126, Anjala Bandara 84, Koojana Perera 55, Inuka Karannagoda 52n.o.; Thushan Udayanga 2/56)

De Mazenod

2 for 1 overnight 150 all out in 49.0 overs (Neshan Dias 65, Shevan Menusha 25, Uvindu Perera 20, Thareen Perera 20; Chamika Heenatigala 4/12, Inuka Karannagoda 2/26, Rashmika Perera 2/29)

Mahinda dominate day one at Ananda Mawatha

Scores:

Ananda

159 all out in 53.1 overs (Viduna Wijebandara 27, Iruth Gimshan 25, Ayesh Shahimal 42; Dhanuja Induwara 5/33, Tharusha Dilshan 2/37, Arosha Udayandga 2/18)

Mahinda

142 for 5 in 44 overs (Hareen Achintha 36, Hiruna Gallage 38n.o., Tharusha Dilshan 21n.o.; Ashinsa Deshan Nainayaka 4/40)

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