Asian Junior Chess Championship commences
The Asian Junior Chess Championships commenced with a participation of over 50 players at the Citrus Hotel Waskaduwa on Friday. The overseas players were from India, Iran, Maldives, Kazakhstan and United Arab Emirates.
The event commenced with a simple opening ceremony under the patronage of Luxman Wijesuriya, the president of the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka while Casto Abundo, the Executive Director of the Asian Chess Federation addressed the gathering virtually. Pointing out the importance of the event he said that it was the only other event by the Asian Chess Federation held as over the board except the Asian Senior Chess Championships 2021 which is now in progress in Syria and specially thanked the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka for coming forward to organizing the event at such a difficult time. He also thanked all the participating federations.
India has fielded a strong team, five players in open, including four strong International Masters, namely Mitrabha Guha (2509), Srihari Raghunandan (2448), GB Harshavardan(2384) and Vardaan Nagpal (2384). Iran has fielded four players with Golami Mehdi (2425). Sri Lanka is led by FIDE Master Ranindu Dilshan Liyanage(2300) of Ananda College with FIDE Master Susal De Silva(2131, Nalanda College) and FIDE Master Sasith Nipun Piyumantha (2214, Dharmasoka College) joining him in the fray.
In the girls event India has fielded two Women International Masters, Shri Savitha (2281) and K. Priyanka (2218) while Iran is in the number three slot with Women FIDE master Mahdian Anousha (2212). Sri Lanka’s challenge is led by the two Women Candidate Masters Niklesha Tharushi( 1711, Visakha Vidyalaya) and Sanudula Dahamdi (1653, Musaeus College).
The Asian Junior Chess Championships 2021 which is conducted by the Asian Chess Federation is organized by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka. It will conclude on December 23.
The International Chess Federation is offering a Grandmaster norm and an International Master title for the Gold medalists.
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Earlier, the Lions restricted World Giants to 147 for 4 despite Jacques Kallis’ unbeaten 78 off 54 balls with five boundaries and three sixes. Kallis also had a 92 runs partnership in 11.1 overs for the fourth wicket with Ross Taylor, who hit 32 off 33 balls with three boundaries but that was not enough for the World Giants.
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Australia 269 all out (Mitchell Marsh 47; Hardik Pandya 3-44, Kuldeep Yadav 3-56) beat India 248 all out (Virat Kohli 54, Hardik Pandya 40; Adam Zampa 4-45) by 21 runs
St. Sebastian’s Katuneriya, Holy Cross earn Division I promotion
UNDER 19 CRICKET
By Reemus Fernando
St. Sebastian’s College, Katuneriya with a sensational last-ball victory and Holy Cross College, Kalutara with a marathon first innings performance earned their much-awaited Division I promotion as they outdid their opponents in the Under 19 Division II Tier ‘A’ semi-finals worked off at Surrey Village Ground, Maggona and Kirimandala Mawatha, Colombo respectively.
At Surrey Village, Sri Sumangala dominated the first innings and a better part of the second but St. Sebastian’s fought back through their seventh wicket pair to record three wickets victory. Chasing a target of 172 runs to win, the boys from Katuneriya were troubled by spinner Mevindu Kumarasiri who took six wickets. But after being 135 for seven wickets at one stage, the seventh wicket pair of Gayan Harshana (26n.o.) and Vihanga Theekshana fought back scoring less than run-a-ball knocks to secure their passage to Division I.
Sri Sumangala, considered the most consistent team in the Division II tournament were without their key player Vishwa Lahiru who is with Sri Lanka Under 19 team in UAE.
At Kirimandala Mawatha grounds, Holy Cross earned first innings points against Sri Devananda as their tail-enders stretched their first innings almost to the end of the second day, batting for 141 overs. In reply to Sri Devananda’s 138 runs, Holy Cross posted 251 runs.
Holy Cross College, a former Division I school were the champions of the last Division II Tier ‘A’ Limited Overs tournament. They beat Sri Sumangala in the semi-final on their way to that title. Now they will be facing St. Sebastian’s in the Two-Day tournament final. The result of that match will have no bearing on their promotion to the top Division of the Under 19 tournament as the finalists are guaranteed the Division I promotion according to tournament rules. The top teams in the Division II Tier ‘A’ tournament were waiting for nearly three years to get their promotion as promotions and demotions were not done during the last two years due to the pandemic.
Hansaja Brian who also took four wickets, played a crucial role in anchoring the batting lineup with a marathon innings (58 runs in 231 balls) for Holy Cross to overtake their opponents in the first innings. He was ably supported by Nadeera Deshan as they added a vital sixth wicket stand of 60 runs. Later skipper Sasindu Kaushan put on a last wicket stand of 76 runs with Amash Fernando, who contributed with an unbeaten 15 runs in as many as 135 balls. Kaushan scored 78 runs facing 205 balls as the last wicket pair frustrated the boys from Ambalangoda for 48 overs.
The tenth wicket pair denied an opportunity for the boys from Ambalangoda to make a comeback in the second innings as they extended their innings almost to the close of play on the final day.
St. Sebastian’s beat Sri Sumangala by three wickets at Surrey Village
185 all out in 64.3 overs (Kishan Eranga 62, Sachira Demian 43; Chathumal Nimesh 4/45, Tharuka Manaram 5/30) and 135 all out in 48.5 overs (Kavindu Gayathra 25, Vidusha Peiris 21, Imalka Fernando 59; Chathumal Nimesh 5/59, Malindu Daham 2/29, Tharuka Manaram 3/39)
149 all out in 50.1 overs (Thisara Madushan 43, Ashen Dinuka 38; Mevindu Kumarasiri 3/41, Imalka Fernando 3/13) and 174 for 7 in 39 overs (Hasith Kavinda 27, Nimesh Madusanka 26, Chathumal Nimesh 35, Gayan Harshana 26n.o., Vihanga Theekshana 15n.o.; Mevindu Kumarasiri 6/66)
Holy Cross in first innings win over Sri Devananda at Kirimandala Mawatha
138 all out in 60.4 overs (Sithum Vihanga 36, Kaveesha Kalpana 31; Pasindu Wimansa 3/38, Hansaja Brayan 4/20, Rashan Kethaka 2/17)
251 all out in 141.5 overs (Gayantha Nadeesha 40, Hansaja Brian 58, Nadeera Deshan 31, Sasindu Kaushan 78, Amash Fernando 15n.o.; Kaveesha Kalpana 5/50, Ravindu Jeewanka 2/50)
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