Bowlers, Young help New Zealand seal series
New Zealand’s seamers triggered a second successive Sri Lanka collapse, sending the visitors sprawling in the first few overs, before they eventually sputtered to 157 all out. Then, despite an early wobble of their own, New Zealand strode confidently to the target, inside 33 overs, to wrap up the series 2-0.
Will Young held the chase together from No. 3, making an unruffled 86 not out. Though wickets fell at the other end, he remained steady, until Henry Nicholls joined him, and the pair put on 100 for the fifth wicket – Nicholls making an unbeaten 44.
This is Sri Lanka’s fifth consecutive loss (in completed matches), and their seventh loss in eight games, and as such, it confirms that they have not qualified for this year’s World Cup directly. They will instead have to play the qualifying series in Zimbabwe in the middle of the year to earn their place. New Zealand, meanwhile, have cemented their position atop the ODI Super League table, with 175 points.
It had been Matt Henry who set the tone for the match, however, setting off the collapse by nicking two of Sri Lanka’s top three off, before returning figures of 3 for 14 from his 10 overs. Henry Shipley and Daryl Mitchell also took three wickets apiece, as Sri Lanka’s batters struggled again to negotiate the bounce New Zealand’s seamers were generating.
But then, the likes of Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva also fell against the bowling of allrounder Mitchell, both attempting legside strokes, while failing to account for the extra bounce in the surface. Asalanka was caught at deep midwicket, and de Silva’s leading edge settled in the hands of mid off. At their demise, Sri Lanka were 70 for 5 in the 19th over.
Pathum Nissanka played Sri Lanka’s only innings of substance, twice overturning “out” decisions in the powerplay, before progressing to 57 off 64 balls. Nissanka put away a couple of bad balls early on, but was largely quiet through the powerplay, as Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at the other end. He did pull Shipley for six in the 10th over, but this was largely as a means of relieving pressure, after the previous six overs had failed to yield a boundary and cost three wickets.
Soon after he got to his fifth career half-century off 58 balls, but then was out next over in Sri Lanka’s most wasteful dismissal. Having set off for a quick single towards cover, Nissanka changed his mind and attempted to send non-striker Shanaka back to his crease. Shanaka kept coming, however, and Nissanka had no hope of making his ground, having paused.
Although Sri Lanka’s lower middle order resisted briefly through Shanaka, who made 31, and Chamika Karunaratne, who hit 24, they could put together sufficiently substantial innings. Sri Lanka were all out inside 42 overs.
Having come to the crease in the second over, Young was largely watchful through the powerplay, hitting only three genuinely poor deliveries to the boundary, as he moved to 20 off 36 while the fielding restrictions were in operation. He seemed settled through the early middle overs, even as Tom Latham fell, leaving New Zealand 59 for 4, and Sri Lanka with a small window of opportunity.
Young and Nicholls eventually settled into a rhythm of collecting risk-free runs into the outfield, although there were nervous moments at the start of their partnership. One pull shot from Young, off the bowling of Kumara, landed only a little way short of the deep fielder; Nicholls was given out lbw on 1, but reviewed successfully.
Eventually, batting got easier, and New Zealand were loping to their target, both batters finding boundaries around the ground. Young got to his half-century – the third time he’s crossed this milestone, with the other two trips to 50 having brought centuries – off the 71st delivery he faced, easing Lahiru Kumara to the straight boundary. The pair brought up their century stand with the last hit of the game.
From Sri Lanka’s bowlers, Lahiru Kumara had been the most intense, taking the wicket of Chad Bowes with his first delivery, then dismissing Tom Blundell in that same over, both batters nicking to the wicketkeeper. When Kasun Rajitha also had Mitchell edging in the seventh over, they had New Zealand at 21 for 3.
But thanks to Young, the hosts saw through that tough period.
157 all out in 41.3 overs (Pathum Nissanka 57; Matt Henry 3-14, Daryl Mitchell 3-32, Henry Shipley 3-32) lost to New Zealand 159/4 in 32.5 overs (Will Young 86*, Henry Nicholls 44*; Lahiru Kumara 2-39) by 6 wickets.
First sprinter to run 100m in under 10 seconds dies
US sprinter Jim Hines, the first man to run the 100m in under 10 seconds, has died at the age of 76.
He broke the record in 1968 when he recorded a hand-timed 9.9 seconds at the US Championships. Hines then broke his own record shortly after while winning gold at the 1968 Olympics, where an electronic timer in Mexico City recorded him at 9.95. His record held for nearly 15 years until Calvin Smith ran a time of 9.93 in 1983.
That is the longest length of time an athlete has held the record for the men’s 100m since the International Amateur Athletic Foundation began keeping track – 110 years ago.
His death was announced in a statement by World Athletics. The organisation said it is “deeply saddened” by the news. Both the Olympics and USA Track and Field shared tributes to Hines on Twitter. “The sport has lost a legend,” USA Track and Field said.
Hines was born in the state of Arkansas in 1946 but was raised in Oakland, California.
He had an early love of sport, namely baseball, but showed a real talent for sprinting as a teenager. He attended Texas Southern University where he ran for the Tigers track team before competing in national championships and the Olympics.
In addition to winning the 100m at the Mexico Olympics, he was also part of the US 4x100m relay team which won a gold.
He ended his sprinting career shortly after the Olympics and joined the NFL. He spent three years in the league, playing for the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Silverwood promises to address dot ball issue
Leading up to the World Cup Qualifiers starting in less than two weeks’ time in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka’s Head Coach Chris Silverwood promised to address the team’s dot-ball woes.
In the first ODI against Afghanistan which the hosts lost by six wickets here on Friday, there were 158 dot balls with the batters struggling to rotate the strike. That is a huge amount coming up to more than 25 overs. Although the number was cut down to 128 in the second game, Sri Lanka would like to do better than that.
“The dot ball issue is something that we are addressing. A lot of people are talking about it I know. We need to rotate the strike better and put the pressure back on the bowlers. The boundary percentage went up in the last game. Getting a balance between the two will help us to score above 300,” Silverwood told journalists.
Silverwood, the former England Head Coach, also welcomed the return of seniors Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne back into the side bringing more stability to the batting unit. Mathews was left out for game two, but that appears to be part of the team’s strategy to give everyone in the squad a go.
“Angelo was brought into the squad to boost the batting lineup and bring confidence into the side. He has experience of playing big matches. The fact is we must prepare the whole squad to cover ourselves to face any situation.
“Dimuth is making a comeback into the ODI side and he played superbly. He had a good Test series against Ireland. His tempo is very good. He gave us something to build on. The openers added 80 plus for the first wicket. Every partnership after that was scored at less than run a ball. It shows what we can do when we have a good start,” noted Silverwood.
Dhananjaya de Silva came up with a match-winning effort in the second game bowling his off-spin so well picking up three wickets that included the prize scalp of Ibrahim Zadran and earlier his less than run a ball 29 had helped Sri Lanka to a match-winning total of 323 for six.
“Dhananjaya is at six and has to adapt to situations whether it be setting a target or chasing one. The first game he played a superb inning. Today we saw him capitalizing after we had a great start. He kept the momentum going. Obviously scored quickly which is exactly what we need to get over 300. We want to keep pushing the barriers. When it comes to his bowling, he has been threatening to do it for a while.”
Tharushi dazzles with two golds
Asian Junior Athletics Championship
by Reemus Fernando
Ratnayake Central, Walala runner Tharushi Karunaratne won back to back gold medals as Sri Lanka reaped a haul of three medals on day two of the Asian Junior Athletics Championships in South Korea on Monday.
Karunaratne won the gold medal in the women’s 800 metres before running the vital anchor leg for her team to clinch gold ahead of strong Indian and hosts’ teams in the 4×400 metres mixed relay.
Gold medals Sri Lanka won yesterday were its eighth and ninth since the commencement of the biennial championship in 1986.
Competing in her pet event, Karunaratne was hardly challenged as she led from the first 100 metres to finish in a time of 2:05.64 seconds. Karunaratne, had set an Asian (junior) leading time just outside the current national record to earn her ticket to the event in South Korea. “I am really proud of her achievement. I was not expecting her to run close to her personal best as she had given her best in the 400 metres,” Susantha Fernando her coach told The Island after she clinched her first gold. She won the silver medal of the 400 metres on Sunday.
In the mixed relay she started in the third position but when the Indian counterpart who had won the gold in the 400 metres individual event tumbled at the start she grabbed the opportunity to fight for the first place and there was no turning back for her from there on. Jayeshi Uththara who won the 400 metres bronze, Shehan Dilranga and Vinod Ariyawansa were the others to form the mixed relay team.
She finished in a new Sri Lanka record time of 3:25.41 seconds. She was also a member of the team that had set the previous national record at the World Junior Championships. While the country’s senior athletes are yet to run the mixed relay at an international event, the junior athletes’ performances had been considered as National Records.
Kahawatta Central triple jumper Malith Yasiru was the other medallist of the day. Yasiru cleared 15.82 metres, seven centimeters shy of his personal best, to win the bronze ahead of India’s Sukhpreet Singh. Japan’s Miyao Manato who was the only athlete to clear the 16 metres mark (16.08m) and China’s Ma Yinglong (15.98m) won the gold and silver medals respectively.
With the two gold medals won yesterday the country has nine gold medals against her name at these championships now. Sri Lanka’s first gold medals of these championships were won by Damayathi Dharsha (100m) and Susanthika Jayasinghe (200m) in Jakarta Indonesia in 1994. The country had to wait till 2012 when it hosted the event in Colombo to witness the next gold. Dulaj Madusanka and Shivanthi Kumari Ratnayake won golds in the men’s and women’s 400 metres at the Sugathadasa Stadium while also anchoring the 4×400 metres relay teams to bronze and silver.
At the last edition in Gifu, Japan the country won three golds with Aruna Dharshana winning the men’s 400 metres with a championship record time of 45.79 seconds. Dharshana also ran a vital leg to win the 4×400 metres gold. The other gold came in the women’s 3000 metres steeplechase when Parami Wasanthi clocked a National Junior Record time of 10:21.54 seconds to win.
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