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Ashwin four-for helps India gain healthy lead



A valiant, unbeaten 73 from skipper Tim Paine was not enough for Australia to prevent conceding a lead for the first time in a day-night Test. India finished 53 ahead thanks to a collective bowling effort led by R Ashwin’s four-wicket haul.

Australia staged a fightback with Paine stitching together important stands with the lower order that saw Australia move from 111/7 at one stage to 191 all out. The skipper first started to counter attack with the help of Mitchell Starc (16) before taking on the lead role. Driving, sweeping and reverse-sweeping his way to a quick fifty, Paine provided the right reply to Australia’s predicament despite the inherent risk it carried. Australia benefited through dropped chances that were a consistent feature through the innings, but did not manage to nullify the advantage Ashwin had given India earlier.

Ashwin’s rhythm was set in his first over of the series when he had Steve Smith nicking to slip against a quicker, straighter one. After a mighty sprint in celebration, Ashwin settled down to produce a top-class spell. He had Travis Head beaten in flight to have him caught and bowled and then troubled debutant Cameron Green through his 24-ball stay before a Virat Kohli stunner at mid-wicket gave Ashwin his third of the innings.

While Marnus Labuschagne rode his luck, having been dropped twice, over the course of his 46, he found little support from the other end. The luck finally ran out in the final session when Umesh Yadav trapped him LBW with one keeping low. Yadav raised India’s hand again by getting Pat Cummins caught off a snorter in the same over before Paine managed to land a few counter punches.

Earlier India had managed to land some counter punches themselves after starting the day in timid fashion, being bowled out in just 25 balls.

Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah started with consistent lines outside off that enabled four maiden overs on the trot against Australia’s new-look opening pair of Joe Burns and Matthew Wade. Both batsmen countered the lines with disciplined leaving although India went a touch too wide and short at times.

With the opening stand looking steady, Australia looked set to take control of the opening session. However, Jasprit Bumrah in his second spell corrected his lines by attacking the stumps more often. It resulted in both openers being trapped LBW, with DRS decisions supporting the umpire’s call on both occasions.

These blows had helped offset Australia’s advantage in the first session where they picked up the last four Indian wickets for just 11 runs. R Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha were looked upon by their team to extend their stand and get India close to 300. However, Ashwin fell first nicking Pat Cummins’ delivery in the first over of the day without adding to his overnight score. Saha, off the first ball he faced in the day, chased a wide one from Mitchell Starc to nick behind as well, thus kick-starting the collapse. A wildly swinging Umesh and less than comfortable Shami provided no resistance in the first innings.

However, India ended the day in stark contrast with nightwatchman Jasprit Bumrah seeing out eleven balls and remaining unbeaten after Prithvi Shaw was bowled for the second time in the match to ensure that India’s advantage did not get dented any further.

Brief Scores:

India 244

(Virat Kohli 74, C Pujara 43, A Rahane 42; M Starc 4-53, Pat Cummins 3-48)and 9/1 (Pat Cummins 1-6)lead Australia 191 all out (Tim Paine 73*, Marnus Labuschagne 47; R Ashwin 4-55, Umesh Yadav 3-40) trail by 62 runs


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Sri Lanka Cricket appoints Olympic medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe to promote women’s cricket




Sri Lanka Cricket announced the appointment of Olympic Silver Medalist  Susanthika Jayasinghe as the ‘Consultant—Mentoring and Development of Women’s Cricket.”

Jayasinghe, one of the most decorated athletes produced by Sri Lanka and the only female athlete to win an Olympic medal for her country and the only Asian woman athlete to have won an Olympic medal in sprint events, will use her story of grit and determination to inspire the present and future generations of women cricketers in Sri Lanka.

Her appointment took effect on February 1, 2023.

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Sri Lanka leave out injured Hasini Perera for T20 World Cup



Sri Lanka will be without Hasini Perera during the T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka have left out experienced campaigner Hasini Perera from their 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup after she suffered an injury. Perera, who was named in the original squad, was forced out after injuring her finger during a practice session.

She has been replaced by Sathya Sandeepani, whose only appearance for the national side came in the 2020 T20 World Cup encounter against runners-up India. Apart from the forced change, the Asian side have also made a couple of changes to their squad from the one that reached the Asia Cup final last October.

Rashmi Silva and Madushika Methtananda, two players who didn’t get an opportunity in the Asia Cup, have been left out of the squad for the World Cup in favour of Vishmi Gunaratne and Ama Kanchana. 17-year-old Vishmi made her debut in both T20Is and ODIs last year for Sri Lanka and the experienced Ama Kanchana, who made her T20I debut almost 10 years ago, has been recalled for the first time since the Commonwealth Games.

Chamari Athapaththu will lead the 15-member squad once again. Sri Lanka are in Group A alongside New Zealand, Bangladesh, hosts South Africa and defending champions Australia. They begin their campaign on the opening night (February 10) against South Africa at Newlands.


Chamari Athapaththu (C), Oshadi Ranasinghe, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Anushka Sanjeewani, Kaushini Nuthyangana, Malsha Shehani, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandika Kumari, Achini Kulasuriya, Tharika Sewwandi, Vishmi Gunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Sathya Sandeepani.

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President’s Mahara and Sri Parakrama NS Kobeigane declared joint champions



The captains of the two schools Mihilsara Oshan (President’s College) and Adeesha Lakshan (Sri Parakrama NS) are seen with the trophy here.

Under 13 Division III Cricket Final

President’s College Mahara and Sri Parakrama National School Kobeigane were declared joint champions of the Under 13 Division III cricket tournament after the final between the two schools ended in a no-decision at Ananda Sastralaya ground Kotte yesterday. In reply to President’s 183 runs, Sri Parakrama National School were 133 for five wickets when rain prevented further play.

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