Seven matches of the Super 8s and Plate Championship of the Sri Lanka Cricket(SLC) Premier League Tier A Tournament concluded earlier this week. This was the second set of games after the Tournament resumed after a long break on the 10th of August due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Milinda Siriwardana fought a lone battle for Saracens SC, as he made sure his team secured vital first innings points over the favorites to win the tournament, CCC. After Kasun Rajitha’s five wicket burst restricted CCC to 142 in their 1st innings, Siriwardana Made 89 before following it up with 151 in the second innings as the match ended in a draw. Lasith Abeyratne made an unbeaten century for CCC in their second essay, while Rajitha finished with 9 wickets in the match.
Ragama CC who suffered an innings defeat a few days back at the hands of CCC, bounced back to beat Colts by 103 runs at the CCC ground in Colombo. Young left arm spinner Shashika Dulshan was the star of the game for Ragama CC, as he captured six first innings wickets to set up the game for his team. Akila Dananjaya bowling with a remodeled action captured 8 wickets in the match.
Two whirlwind knocks from BRC’s Bhanuka Rajapaksa against the formidable NCC, was the highlight of the drawn game in Katunayake. Rajapaksa hit 115 off just 82 balls in the 1st innings as BRC managed to secure 1st innings points, before following it up with a match saving century in the 2nd innings. Duvindu Tillakaratne, the tournament’s highest wicket taker with 56 scalps, also starred with a match bag of 13 wickets.
Ashan Randika hit a scintillating 133 off 84 balls, but it wasn’t enough as the soldiers were beaten by Chilaw Marians by 45 runs at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo. Nimesh Vimuthi’s 4/23 in the Army SC’s second innings sparked a dramatic collapse, as he also captured the key scalp of Randika.
CCC vs Saracens SC
CCC 142 (40.4): Minod Bhanuka 92 (122), Kasun Rajitha 5/63, Saliya Saman 3/33 & 351/7d (81): Lasith Abeyratne 101* (170), Lahiru Madushanka 63 (81), Kasun Rajitha 4/84
Saracens SC 183 (49.3): Milinda Siriwardana 89 (88), Lahiru Gamage 5/29, Vishwa Fernando 3/37 & 283/6 (81): Milinda Siriwardena 151 (180), Pramod Maduwantha 54 (160), Vishwa Fernando 3/38
Ragama CC vs Colts CC
Ragama CC 258 (63): Saminda Fernando 73 (93), Nishan Madushka 57 (75), Akila Dhananjaya 4/24, Prabath Jayasuriya 3/76 & 220 (65.2): Roshen Silva 67 (111), Lahiru Thirimanne 63 (142), Prabath Jayasuriya 5/69, Akila Dhananjaya 4/44
Colts CC 163 (57.3): Santhush Gunathilaka 33 (80), Shashika Dulshan 6/45 & 212 (55.5): Sadeera Samarawickrama 69 (128), Avishka Fernando 44 (58), Kalhara Senaratne 3/28, Ishan Jayaratne 3/31, Amila Aponso 3/48
BRC vs NCC
BRC 316 (86.3): Bhanuka Rajapaksa 115 (82), Duvindu Tillakaratne 53 (108), Ashian Daniel 4/63, Lahiru Kumara 2/63 & 240 (58.5): Bhanuka Rajapaksa 110 (98), Lahiru Kumara 4/76, Dilesh Gunaratne 2/21, Chamika Karunaratne 2/37
NCC 275 (65.2): Chamika Karunaratne 93, Lahiru Udara 90, Duvindu Tillakaratne 6/63 & 227/9 Lahiru Udara 93(64), Duvindu Tillakaratne 7/55
Chilaw Marians CC vs SL Army SC
Chilaw Marians CC 269 (82.3): Shehan Jayasuriya 95 (147), Asela Gunaratne 3/37, Dushan Vimukthi 3/90 & 241 (63): Kasun Vidura 73* (106), Seekkuge Prasanne 6/101
SL Army SC 216 (70): Dinesh Chandimal 62 (99), Asela Gunaratne 43* (99), Asitha Fernando 4/71 & 249 (36.3): Ashan Randika 133 (84), Nimesh Vimukthi 4/23, Shehan Jayasuriya 4/66
Praveen Jayawickrama’s 11 wickets in the match helped Moors SC topple a star studded Tamil Union side at Moratuwa. Sri Lanka all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva played out of his skin capturing 12 wickets in the match to go along with an unbeaten 95* in the 1st innings, but it was not enough to push his team to the finish line.
SSC continued to fall into deep waters as they were this time beaten by Lankan CC, who were well led by their in-form skipper Chanaka Ruwansiri. Following on from his century in the previous round against Negombo CC, Ruwansiri hit 165 overshadowing Dasun Shanaka’s century, as Lankan CC collected 1st innings points.
Table toppers in the Plate Championship after the previous round Negombo CC were pushed to 2nd place in the table, but not before they secured another comfortable 1st innings win over Baduraliya SC. Dilshan Munaweera was the star with the bat for Negombo top scoring with 91, while Upul Indrasiri captured 10 wickets in the match. Dushan Hemantha also hit a 2nd innings century for Baduraliya, as he made sure they avoided an outright loss.
Moors SC vs Tamil Union CAC
Moors SC 206 (71.2) Nipun Karunanayake 44 (100), Dinuka Dilshan 43 (108), Dhananjaya de Silva 7/59 & 171 (46.1)Pabasara Waduge 44 (43), Kavishka Anjula 43 (69), Ayana Siriwardena 42 (38), Dhanajaya de Silva 5/50
Tamil Union C&AC 178 (52) Dhananjaya de Silva 95* (104), Praveen Jayawickrama 5/53, Ramesh Mendis 3/39 & 155 (36.3) Suranga Lakmal 40 (20), Praveen Jayawickrama 6/91
SSC vs Lankan CC
SSC 332 (76.2) Dasun Shanaka 112 (144), Sammu Ashan 54 (86), Chanaka Ruwansiri 3/53, Keshan Wijerathne 3/93, Dunith Wellalage 3/97 & 226/4 (48) Sandun Weerakkody 67 (55), Nuwanindu Fernando 45 (71), Geeth Kumara 3/49
Lankan CC 375 Chanaka Ruwansiri 165(201), Geeth Kumara 60 (193), Kalana Perera 3/54, Jeffry Vandersay 5/117
Badureliya SC vs Negombo CC
Badureliya SC 267 (84.5) Dunith Jayathunga 57, Salinda Ushan 51, Damith Perera 43, Upul Indrasiri 5/65, Lakshitha Rasanjana 3/65 & 276 (69.1) Dushan Hemantha 115 (112), Dunith Jayathunga 48 (60), Upul Indrasiri 5/85, Lakshitha Rasanjana 5/97
Negombo CC 381 (105.2)
Dilshan Munaweera 91 (144), Madawa Warnapura 87 (141), Angelo Jayasinghe 66 (96), Roscoe Thattil 33(80), Dushan Hemantha 4/82, Buddika Sanjeewa 2/84
Spin bowling coach concedes Sri Lanka under bowled Dhananjaya
Rex Clementine in Galle
The question in everyone’s mind watching the second day’s play of the first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka was why off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva was not bowled enough as he was creating opportunities. The part-timer sent down just two overs on the day while the rest of the spinners took a hammering.
Dhananjaya had started off the day well claiming the wicket of Travis Head when he took a return catch but skipper Dimuth Karunaratne hardly bowled him thereafter even when Australian batsmen went on the rampage. Sri Lanka’s Bowling Coach Piyal Wijetunga conceded that Dhananjaya was under bowled.
“When Ramesh was bowling well, I thought we could have used Dhananjaya more. I thought we under bowled him. Had he bowled more, it could have been lot more different,” Wijetunga, a former Test cricketer told reporters.
Lasith Embuldeniya has been disappointing. While he has not been able to make breakthroughs, he also sent down too many loose deliveries which were duly punished. The left-arm spinner had struggled in the recent Test series in Bangladesh as well and the question was asked whether he would have been better off playing against Australia ‘A’ lead up to the Test series.
“Lasith has bowled well in training. The problem is when he goes out to the middle he struggles. It’s a matter of handling the pressure. The Bangladesh setback maybe is working on his head. When something of this nature happens, the player has to sort it out. A spinner more than a fast bowler or a batsman needs to be mentally strong. We need to address that issue,” Wijetunga stressed.
Sri Lanka’s spinners haven’t been able to send down even a single maiden over in the innings and Wijetunga said that it was due to the fact that the opposition batsmen were looking to attack. But in reality, every over the spinner offered loose balls and they were put away.
“I accept the fact that we didn’t bowl single maiden over in this innings. On spinning tracks batters try to be aggressive. This is not an excuse. We could have bowled a few maiden overs. According to my opinion the reason is the batsmen trying to be aggressive. They were looking to sweep and reverse sweep. Their batsmen handled spin better than our batters.”
Science in search of first win this season
By a Special Sports Correspondent
S. Thomas’ College will be looking for a better performance this week when they confront St. Joseph’s College in their Division 1 Segment A Group 1 A match scheduled for Saturday (June 2) which could be rated as one of the key matches to be worked off in the second week of the inter-school league rugby tournament.
The match scheduled to take place at Havelock Park will be played for the Lady Jayatilake Shield. The Thomians went down fighting last week to Trinity. Much is expected from the lads from Mount Lavina tomorrow if they are to get the better of Trinity; a team which proved last week that they are one of the sides to watch this season.
Trinity meanwhile lock horns with St. Anthony’s Katugastota at Nittawela today (Friday). Royal take on Kingswood which is the other game scheduled today.
In a key game in the Division 1 Segment A Group 1 B this week Science take on Dharmaraja. In this fixture Science is set to record its first win for the season. Last week the lads from Mount Lavinia went down fighting to Isipathana 18-9 and earned much respect for the spirited performance.
Vidyartha host St. Peter’s on Sunday at Nittawela. At the time of writing the venue for the Wesley vs Isipathana match was not released to the media by the tournament organizers.
Sri Lanka lose plot as Australia lead goes past 100
Rex Clementine in Galle
Spin had done the job against Australia in the limited overs series and with the opposition vulnerable against the turning ball, the quartet of spinners that Sri Lanka had picked were expected to put the brakes on the batsmen in the first Test in Galle. But the hosts were poor as they bowled too short and sent down too many loose balls to hand the initiative of the Test match to Australia, who finished day two on 313 for eight with a healthy lead of 101.
Sri Lanka were unable to tie down the attacking batsmen as none of the spinners managed a maiden over. Left-arm orthodox spinner Lasith Embuldeniya was expensive conceding 73 runs in his 15 overs giving away almost five runs an over while leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay went for more than six runs an over with his ten overs costing 68 runs.
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne’s bowling changes were also poor. Off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva had provided an early breakthrough when he took a return catch to dismiss Travis Head but soon after that he was taken off the attack on a rain curtailed day. Shockingly, Dhananjaya bowled just two overs on day two and the most economical and experienced bowler in the team has sent down only five overs in the innings.
Ramesh Mendis finished with four wickets and looked the most threatening among the bowlers, particularly against the left-handers. Jeffrey Vandersay claimed two including the big wicket of Usman Khawaja, world’s highest run getter this year, but lacked discipline.
Only 44 overs were bowled in the day of the scheduled 90 due to rain and a wet outfield. Sri Lanka had reduced Australia to 157 for five and were looking to knock the lower order cheaply, but there was little pressure from the spinners despite the pitch offering assistance.
Alex Carey and Cameroon Green added 84 runs for the sixth wicket with the wicketkeeper smashing 45 off 47 deliveries with six fours. There were questions asked at the start whether Australia would have been better off with the spinning all-rounder Glenn Maxwell instead of seaming all-rounder Green. But the Perth based big man justified his selection top scoring with 77 runs.
Green, considered a long term investment by Australia with a solid First Class record, could play a role of someone like Michael Bevan, who was an expert batting with the tail in limited over games.
Green and Mitchell Starc were dismissed in the space of three deliveries and with the total on 278 for eight, Sri Lanka looked to knock off Australia before they reached 300. But skipper Pat Cummins with a few mighty blows took the score beyond 300 and the lead past 100. He remained unbeaten on 26 in 16 deliveries with one four and three sixes. All three sixes came off Vandersay including two in an over.
Play will get underway early today at 9:45 am to catch up for lost time on day two.
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