Ashen Bandara has been named in the Sri Lankan squad for the first time.(The Papare)
by Rex Clementine
Over the years, there’s been a few concerns about Sri Lanka’s poor fielding standards. Dropped catches have cost the national cricket team dearly with costliest of them being at the Champions Trophy in 2017 in Wales when Thisara Perera put down Sarfraz Ahmed. At the post match media briefing, the Pakistan captain rubbed salt into wounds saying, ‘I will remember it for the rest of my life and he will remember it for the rest of his life.’ Pakistan went onto win the title beating arch-rivals India in the final at The Oval. Mickey Arthur was Pakistan’s coach.
Arthur desperately searches for fielding excellence and he was able to raise Pakistan’s standards. He seems like pushing for excellence in fielding with Sri Lanka too and several young players who are good fielders are being drafted into the side and the most exciting of them all is Ashen Bandara.
Galle has produced many fine cricket talents in recent years with Richmond College producing most of these standout players. Bandara, however, is from St. Aloysius.
In 2017, during the Galle Test against India, a few players were injured and soon word was sent to the closest school to the ground to send a few players just in case of emergency. So St. Aloysius sent down a few of their First XI cricketers and Ashen was one of them.
In fact, Ashen had to come onto the field for a session. He was electric – diving around and sprinting like a cheetah to cut off boundaries. He caught the imagination of Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who predicted a bright future for the young kid.
That Ashen would go onto make headlines in international cricket was first predicted by Upul Chandana, the fielding coach of Sri Lanka Under-19.
“We are really pleased that both Ashen Bandara and Pathum Nissanka are joining us on tour for the first time. They are both dynamic and versatile in the field which is a credit to Manoj Abeywickrama and the staff at High Performance Center,” Shane McDermott, Fielding Coach of the Sri Lankan team told The Island.
“Ashen is very exciting young talent. He hits the ball well and he is very athletic. He has a good technique and he is electrifying in the field,” Head Coach Mickey Arthur said.
SLT-MOBITEL Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2021 Concludes Successfully
SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2021’ Motorbike and Car racing championship powered by the ultra-high speed fibre broadband and fastest mobile internet services provider in Sri Lanka SLT-MOBITEL concluded successfully amid much fanfare, on the 27th and 28th February, 2021 at the Eliyakanda racing circuit in Browns Hill Matara.
SLT-MOBITEL joined hands with the Southern Motor Sports Club (SMSC) for the 25th edition of the ‘SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb’.
The exciting racing spectacle comprised of 16 motor cycle events and 17 motor car events, on an uphill course covering a distance of 540 metres, The Bike races were conducted on 27th February and the Car races took place the next day, on 28th February, 2021.
Jaden Gunawardena took pole as the faster rider among 103 racers, marking a new race record of 33.63 seconds. Moreover, Ashan Silva made history at the car race as the first person in the event’s 25 year history to complete the race in 31.26 seconds. The race was made extra special as Ashan had in his first run beat Dilan Seneviratna’s record of 31.783 seconds.
The SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb is a national championship event which functions under the purview of the Sri Lanka Automobile Sports (SLAS), the governing body for motor sports in Sri Lanka.
Wenuka wins all Thomian final to clinch U16 boys’ singles title
SSC Open Ranking Tennis
by Reemus Fernando
Wenuka Kithnula clinched the Under-16 boys’ singles title with a win over top seed Zaidh Zihar at the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Wednesday.
In an all Thomian final Kithnula scored 7-5, 6-4 against Zihar, who had to be content with the runner up title for the second consecutive time within weeks.
For Kithnula, it was the first title in this age category after being eliminated in the quarter-finals of two consecutive tournaments this year. He has however tasted title victory in lower age category events at the SSC Open Raking Tournaments before.
Both Zaidh Zihar and Wenuka Kithnula have been performing consistently since tennis resumed following a long hiatus due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The S. Thomas’ College players were also among the top contenders when they were competing in the Under-14 age category often sharing the champion and runner up titles between them.
At the Tennis Nationals 2020 which was played in January this year, Kithnula was eliminated by eventual champion Kiran Viravanathan in the quarter-finals of the Under-16 tournament. Zihar reached the semi-finals in that tournament.
At the last month’s Colombo Championships, Kithnula was knocked out in the quarter-finals, while Zihar reached the final where he was beaten by Viravanathan.
Meanwhile, in the Under-16 girls’ singles, Dinara de Silva and Saajida Razick from Dineshkanthan Tennis School are set to meet in the final as they won their semi finals.
In the Under-14 girls’ singles Arushi Thomas, Onali de Silva, Jayami Thambugalage and Dulkini Ranasinghe advanced to the semi finals.
Under-16 boys’ singles final
Wenuka Kithnula beat Zaidh Zihar 7-5, 6-4
Under-16 girls’ singles semi-finals
Dinara de Silva beat Anithra Dharmaratne 6-2, 6-4
Saajida Razick beat Dinethya Dharmaratne 6-2, 6-3
Under-14 girls’ singles quarter-final
Arushi Thomas beat Melasha Randini 7-5, 6-4,
Onali de Silva beat Inuki Jayaweera 1-6, 6-2, 13-11
Jayami Thambugalage beat Brinda Fernando 6-3, 6-1,
Dulkini Ranasinghe beat Akeesha Silva 3-6, 6-4, 10-8
Top seeds Zihar, Wenuka book final berths
SSC Open Ranking Tennis
Top seeds Zaidh Zihar and Wenuka Kithnula advanced to the final of the Under-16 boys’ singles as they won their respective semi-final matches at the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Tuesday.
Zihar, the top seed, beat Hasal Ahangama 6-4, 6-5 to book his second consecutive Under-16 boys’ singles final berth. Zihar was the runner up to Kiran Viravanathan at the last month’s Colombo Championships.
The second seed Kithnula ousted Ransath Peiris 6-2, 6-2 to advance to his first final after being eliminated in the quarter-finals at both the Colombo Championships and the Nationals (U16) in January.
In the Under-12 boys’ singles Saha Kapilasena edged out his bother Tyee 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 to book a place in the final. Kapilasena will now meet Jayin de Saram who won his semi final against Aahil Kaleel (7-6, 2-6, 10-5).
In the Under-16 girls’ singles, third seed Dinethya Dharmaratne secured a semi-final place against number two seed Saajida Razick when she overcame a set defeat to beat Nelini Jayasuriya 3-6, 6-2, 10-8. Razick advanced to the semis with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Nesangi Hemakumara.
In the other semi-final Anitra Dharmaratne is set to meet Dinara de Silva who beat Ruvi Lewkebandara 0-6, 6-1, 10-7. Anitra Dharmaratne secured her spot when she ousted top seed Dewmini Warnasuriya 6-2, 1-6, 12-10.
Under-16 boys’ singles semis
Zaidh Zihar beat Hasal Ahangama 6-4, 6-5
Wenuka Kithnula beat Ransath Peiris 6-2, 6-2
Under-16 girls’ singles quarter-finals
Dinethya Dharmaratne beat Nelini Jayasuriya 3-6, 6-2, 10-8
Saajida Razick beat Nesangi Hemakumara 6-2, 6-2
Dinara de Silva beat Ruvi Lewkebandara 0-6, 6-1, 10-7
Anitra Dharmaratne beat Dewmini Warnasuriya 6-2, 1-6, 12-10
Under-12 boys’ singles semi-finals
Saha Kapilasena beat Tyee Kapilasena 3-6, 6-2, 10-6
Jayin de Saram beat Aahil Kaleel 7-6, 2-6, 10-5
Massive revenue loss: Eyebrows raised over delay in responding to House query
JVP expresses solidarity with Black Sunday campaign
Iranaitivu islanders protest against burying of coronavirus victims there
7-billion-rupee diamond heist; Madush splls the beans before being shot
The Burghers of Ceylon/Sri Lanka- Reminiscences and Anecdotes
Unfit, unprofessional, fat Sri Lankans
Politics4 days ago
A German Analyst’s View on the Eelam War in Sri Lanka
news6 days ago
Lanka declares China as its closest friend
Features4 days ago
The Welgama Matriarch
Features4 days ago
Dr. L. H. Sumanadasa: Pioneering aviator, aeronautical engineer and educationist
Sports3 days ago
SLC snubs Tissera and Tennekoon
Sports5 days ago
More crisis as SLC forced to name new captain
Features4 days ago
news2 days ago
Walk from Dondra to Pt. Pedro for national unity