by Reemus Fernando
Ahan Wickramasinghe and Kawshitha Kodithuwakku cracked blistering knocks as Royal, Mahinda, St. Thomas’, Matara, St. Anthony’s, Wattala and St. Peter’s registered victories in the Under-19 Division I Limited Overs tournament Tier ‘A’ and ‘B’ matches on Saturday.
Ahan Wickramasinghe scored unbeaten 92 runs to set the stage for Royal to record six runs victory over Gurukula in 31-overs a side encounter at Reid Avenue.
Wickramasinghe put on unbroken 110 runs stand for the fourth wicket with Kavindu Pathirathne as Royal amassed 210 runs in their allotted 31 overs.
In reply, Gurukula had their skipper Kemira Nayanatharu and Sajitha Chamod scoring quick fire knocks to take the match to the wire.
Wickramasinghe, who top scored with 92 runs for Royal is the leading scorer of the Tier ‘A’ tournament as he has accumulated over 200 runs in two matches.
Kodithuwakku’s 97 runs, inclusive of nine fours and five sixes, laid the foundation for Mahinda to reach a target of 231 runs with five overs to spare.
While half centuries by Hirantha Jayasinghe and Harindu Jayasekara helped St. Thomas’ Matara beat St. Anne’s by six wickets, Nipunaka Fonseka and Vinuda Liyanage scored half centuries in St. Peter’s 125 runs win over Dharmaraja.
Meanwhile, in traditional encounters St. Sebastian’s and St. Joseph’s earned first innings honours.
Royal win by six runs at Reid Avenue
210 for 3 in 31 overs (Uvindu Weerasekara 19, Ahan Wickramasinghe 92n.o., Kavindu Pathirathne 53n.o., Sadisha Rajapaksha 22)
204 for 8 in 31 overs (Neluka Heshan 28, Rashmika Mevan 33, Sithija Chamod 47, Kemira Nayanatharu 50; Sonal Amarasekara 2/42, Gishan Balasooriya 3/33)
St. Thomas’ beat St. Anne’s by six wickets at Kurunegala
155 all out in 47.1 overs (Risitha Perera 66, Thrimalsha Silva 21; Sachira Rashmika 4/16)
156 for 4 in 45.2 overs (Hirantha Jayasinghe 60n.o., Harindu Jayasekara 58)
Mahinda beat Thurstan by three wickets at Galle
230 all out in 50 overs (Dananja Silva 37, Bawantha Jayasinghe 71, Punthila Kumara 21, Lakmal Perera 19; Subanu Rajapaksha 3/34, Navod Paranavithana 3/36, Kushan Madusha 2/40)
231 for 7 in 44.5 overs (Kawshitha Kodithuwakku 97, Dhanuja Induwara 21, Sandew Induwara 27, Navod Paranavithana 19, Rashmika Madushanka 19; Upul Hettiarachchi 5/35)
St. Peter’s beat Dharmaraja by 125 runs at Bambalapitiya
265 for 7 in 50 overs (Shanuka Galagoda 24, Shanshay Gunathilaka 39, Nipunaka Fonseka 63, Lahiru Chethaka 35, Vinuda Liyanage 64n.o.; Sadeepa Rathnayaka 2/81, Upendra Warnakulasuriya 2/41)
140 for 8 in 50 overs (Pulindu Perera 61; Chamelker de Silva 3/15)
St. Anthony’s beat Devapathiraja by five wickets at Galle
207 all out in 49.1 overs ss(Jeewaka Shasheen 73, Sasanka Nirmal 23, Matheesha Saranga 19; Gihan Sathmika 2/14, Shan Aniketh 2/31)
211 for 5 in 38.2 overs (Gihan Sathmika 50, Romesh Suranga 44, Avishka Tharindu 43n.o., Sadun Rexmotiar 29, Kaveesha Dulanjana 19; Chaminda Sandaruwan 4/42)
St. Joseph’s V Wesley at Campbell Park
223 for 2 overnight 319 for 4 decl. in 80.3 overs (Shevon Daniel 164, Sheran Fonseka 73, Yesith Rupasinghe 55; Thenuka Perera 2/50) and 45 for 1 in 15.1 overs (Dinal Anuradha 26)
156 all out in 66.5 overs (Sahil Dias 39, Anudith Wickramasinghe 23; Dunith Wellalage 6/56, Lahiru Amarasekara 2/46)
St. Sebastian’s V Richmond at Moratuwa
166 all out in 82 overs (Bihanga Mendis 31, Sukitha Prasanna 17, Sandesh Fernando 42; Amshi de Silva 2/49, Tharinda Nirmal 3/34, Nalaka Jayawardana 2/36) and 152 for 5 in 36.5 overs (Yashan Avishka 36, Sukitha Prasanna 62, Chakila Perera 20n.o.; Amshi de Silva 2/15, Kavindu Nirmana 2/16)
8for no loss overnight 97 all out in 36.1overs (Bhanuka Manohara 24, Chehan Subasingha 23; Crishan Fernando 3/15, Kalana Sandeepa 3/21) and 71 for 1 in 28 overs (Bhanuka Manohara 29n.o., Thamindu Pradeeptha 26 n.o.)
Dimuth, Mathews, Lakmal and others get pay cuts
Several Sri Lankan cricketers have refused to sign central contracts after significant pay cuts.
Dickwella and DDS secure US$ 100,000 contracts
by Rex Clementine
Former captains Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal and Dinesh Chandimal along with current Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and a few regulars will not sign contracts offered by Sri Lanka Cricket after they were forced to undergo significant pay cuts, The Island learns.
The biggest gainers in the new contracts that will be announced shortly will be wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva, who will each earn US$ 100,000. In fact, they are the only two players in the top category.
Mathews will lose as much as US$ 50,000 after his retainer was cut from US$ 130,000 to US$ 80,000. He will turn 34 next month and with the selectors indicating that they intend to move on with a younger crop of players for limited over games, there will be little motivation for him to accept the contract especially with Sri Lanka set to play just two more Tests for this year.
Dimuth Karunarante, who has made rapid strides in Test match cricket this year, will also receive a pay cut of US$ 30,000. Following his stunning hundred at the Wanderers in January and after finishing the Bangladesh series with 427 runs in three innings, Karunaratne, would have at least expected to stay on par with his previous contract of US$ 100,000, but his pay has been brought down to 70,000.
Suranga Lakmal will also get a pay cut of US$ 45,000 having been demoted to the second category from the first tier where he earned US$ 100,000 the previous year.
Everything about the contracts are not gloomy though with someone like Pathum Nissanka, who made a stunning debut in the Caribbean two months ago receiving a retainer worth US$ 55,000.
Kasun Rajitha would consider himself that he has won a lottery with him finishing with US$ 50,000. The quick from Matara, who recently shifted clubs, represented Sri Lanka in just two games last year across all three formats but he ends up with a lucrative pay package. Dinesh Chandimal is in a lower category than Rajitha earning just 45,000 US$.
Danushka Gunatilleke probably gets the unkindest cut of all having been lowered to the last category where he will earn a mere US$ 30,000. The left-hander has emerged as the most consistent batsman in white ball cricket in recent times having had a good tour of West Indies.
Yupun clocks year’s third fastest time in Asia
Breaks national 100 metres record
Italy based sprinter Yupun Abeykoon improved his Sri Lanka National record in the 100 metres with Asia’s third fastest time of the season at the 10th edition of the Memorial Giulio Ottolia at the Fontanassa Sports Centre in Savona, Italy on Thursday.
Abeykoon clocked 10.15 seconds to break the national record in what turned out to be his first competition of the year at the northwestern Italian city.
Abeykoon bettered his previous record by 0.01 seconds. His previous record of 10.16 seconds was established in September last year.
Competing in Thursday’s final he was placed second behind Italian sprinter Lorenzo Patta who clocked 10.13 seconds to win in the absence of European indoor 60m champion Marcell Jacobs who stole the show early with a new Italian national record in the heats.
Jacobs clocked 9.95 seconds to break the Italian record in the heats but pulled out due to a calf cramp. Abeykoon too clocked a wind assisted faster time in the heats.
Abeykoon’s performance is just 0.10 seconds shy of the direct Olympic entry standard but it is the third fastest time by an Asian sprinter this year.
China’s Bingtian Su with a feat of 9.98 seconds (in April ) has the fastest 100 metres time in Asia this year. While Japanese sprinter Ryota Yamagata’s 10.14 seconds (also in April) is the second fastest time, Yupun’s time of 10.15 seconds is ranked third above Zhenye Xie (China 10.16 secs) and Tosin Ogunode (Qatar 10.21 secs).
Abeykoon’s feat is the second Sri Lanka record registered within days after US based high jumper Ushan Thivanka broke the national record in his event. While European and US training and competitions have helped the duo produce their best, lack of quality competitions due to the Covid 19 pandemic have held back the progress of a number of top local athletes who are on the edge of Olympic qualifying standards.
KJP urges to play fearless cricket
by Rex Clementine
Sri Lanka’s newly appointed ODI captain Kusal Janith Perera has urged his team to play without fear of losing in the lead up to his first assignment. The national cricket team will be heavily involved in limited overs cricket during the next two months traveling to Bangladesh for three ODIs on Sunday and then playing three ODIs and three T-20s in the UK. In July, they will be hosting India for three ODIs and possibly five T-20 Internationals.
KJP was named as captain with an eye for the 2023 World Cup as six seniors were axed following a string of poor performances in limited overs cricket.
“We have to play fearless cricket. Can’t be playing to protect your place in the side. When you do that you don’t give 100 percent. What I am telling the team is to give your best and that will work in crunch situations,” KJP told journalists yesterday.
“What I want is to create a winning culture. Fear of losing is not going to help us and we need to adopt a brand of cricket where we play fearless cricket. Personally, I have been successful batting fearlessly and I want the team to follow the same method. We won’t be hundred percent successful, but the important thing is that we need to be positive,” KJP explained.
KJP has struggled with fitness and injuries in recent years particularly hurting his hamstring too often. However, the reasoning behind the think tank of Sri Lankan cricket is clear as they want the team to adopt a bold approach without playing it safe.
One of the best knocks in Test match cricket in the history of Sri Lankan cricket was produced by KJP in Durban two years ago when he threw caution to wind batting with last man Vishwa Fernando and pulled off a stunning win against South Africa. His unbeaten 153 set the tone for the rest of the series as Sri Lanka became the first Asian country to win a Test series in South Africa.
However, he has not been able to hold onto his place in the Test side but the move has been criticized by some of the finest brains in the sport. His elevation to the captaincy seems to have come with their blessings.
KJP’s appointment is a bold move and it’s an indication that Sri Lanka need to cast away their traditional way of playing limited overs cricket.
Fielding has been one area that has been sloppy and has received little attention but with a new captain and a crop of young players in the side, this is an area that should improve vastly.
Exciting times are ahead for Sri Lankan cricket and it remains to be seen whether KJP with his attacking style is able to bring the team back to winning ways.
KJP is expected to keep wickets as well. It is the first time Sri Lanka have appointed a wicketkeeping captain since Kumar Sangakkara quit in 2011.
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