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BRC dominate NCC as Bhanuka hits twin centuries

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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.

Super 8s

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.

Brief scores:

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

Plate Championship

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

 



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Devapathiraja stun Isipatana, Mahinda oust St. Joseph Vaz’s

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Under-19 Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

Devapathiraja secured their first ever semi-final place in an Under-19 Division I tournament with a six wicket victory over Isipatana and Mahinda cruised to the semis with a crushing 131 runs victory over St. Joseph Vaz’s in the Tier ‘B’ quarter-finals played on Thursday.

An unbroken 94 run stand for the fifth wicket between Jeewaka Shasheen (56n.o.) and Sudeera Weerarathna (31n.o.) helped Devapathiraja turn tables on Isipatana as they recovered from 58 for four wickets at one stage to seal their semi-final place with six wickets to spare.

Mahinda posted 252 runs in 43 overs thanks to a quick fire half century by Dhanuja Induwara, who hammered 73 runs (in 32 balls) inclusive of six sixes and six fours. St. Joseph Vaz’s were shout out for 121 runs as Kushan Madusha , Navod Paranavithana, Subanu Rajapaksha and Kavidu Lakshan shared bowling honours.

Mahinda will now meet Ananda in the semi-final, while Devapathiraja take on Dharmasoka.

Results

Division I Tier ‘B’

Mahinda beat St. Joseph Vaz’s by 131 runs at Moratuwa

Mahinda

252 for 8 in 43 overs (Navod Paranavithana 62, Subanu Rajapaksha 62, Dhanuja Induwara 73; Kaushan Wijerartne 2/28)

St. Joseph Vaz’s

121 all out in 38.2 overs (Chamath Fernando 18; Kushan Madusha 2/25, Navod Paranavithana 2/23, Subanu Rajapaksha 2/11, Kavidu Lakshan 2/08)

Devapathiraja beat Isipatana by six wickets at DSS ground

Isipatana

151 all out in 39.5 overs (Tharusha Nethsara 31, Naveen Kanishka 23, Themiya Gunaratne 18; Sasanka Nirmal 2/21, Sudeera Weeraratne 2/24, Irushka Thimira 3/28)

Devapathiraja

152 for 4 in 43.2 overs (Irushka Thimira 32, Jeewaka Shasheen 56n.o., Sudeera Weerarathna 31n.o., Thevindu Dickwella 4/28)

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Daunting task ahead after Bangladesh pile up runs

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Rex Clementine at Pallekele

Twenty years ago, Test matches against Bangladesh were a cakewalk for Sri Lanka. There was a game at SSC where Marvan Atapattu scored  a double hundred and retired followed by Mahela Jayawardene who retired on 150. Sanath Jayasuriya was least bothered smashing 89 off 59 balls with 11 fours and four sixes. The entire Bangladesh team managed one run more than Jayasuriya in their first innings. Now the roles are reversed. Bangladesh seem to be giving the Sri Lankans a taste of their own medicine. Has Bangladesh cricket really improved or has Sri Lankan cricket become so bad?

You can not say that Bangladesh cricket is on a high. They lost a recent Test series to West Indies at home and last year lost to Afghanistan. Some 90 percent of their wins in Test cricket have been against Zimbabwe. So why is Sri Lanka playing catch up in this game is an interesting question. The answers will be known by stumps on day three when Sri Lanka get a chance to bat.

It was a remarkable effort by the tourists who are without their main match winner Shakib Al Hasan and their lead bowler Mustafizur Rahman, both of them are at IPL.

Bangladesh finished day two on 474 for four after resuming on 302 for two with Mominul Haque and Najmul Shanto posting big hundreds. The pair shared a record 242 run stand, a new record for Bangladesh in Test match cricket. It’s also a joint record at Pallekele for the third wicket with Younis Khan and Shan Masood posting 242 runs six years ago.

Sri Lanka’s  bowling lacked venom as no wickets fell in the morning session. Lahiru Kumara provided the breakthrough when he took a return catch to dismiss Shanto. The left-hander who posted his maiden Test hundred on Wednesday finished on 163 having batted for seven minutes short of nine hours. He faced 378 deliveries and hit 17 fours and a six. Niroshan Dickwella’s dropped catch early on in his innings proved to be costly.

For Mominul it was his 11th Test hundred and the first overseas. He was dismissed when he edged part-timer Dhananjaya de Silva to Lahiru Thirimanne at first slip.

The scoreboard doesn’t look good for Sri Lankans but their bowlers did a decent job to stop the run flow on day two having sent down too many loose balls on day one. Suranga Lakmal in particular was impressive bowling some tight spells. He was unlucky and needed more backing from others.

Play was called off early due to bad light and 25 overs were not bowled. The game will resume today 15 minutes early.

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May the educated continue to run cricket!

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by Rex Clementine

While the Test series  involving Sri Lanka and Bangladesh is on at Pallekele in a bio-secure bubble, the media has been allowed to cover the series in what is called the  ‘outer bubble’. The press can file their stories from the press box and carry on with their day today activities. The only thing that we can not do is to come face to face with players and support staff.

Sri Lanka Cricket is at the moment run by a respected doctor – Professor Arjuna de Silva. Apart from being a brilliant physician, he is proving to be an outstanding administrator as well. Glad he does not wish to avoid the press like the plague in these testing times.

The press discussed a similar method during the England series, but it fell on deaf ears of those who were running the sport at that time. Leave alone giving us a fair hearing, it took SLC more than a week to respond to our collective mail.

Then there were lies all around.  SLC first said that it was impossible to accommodate the press as the England and Wales Cricket Board had objected to our presence. We referred the matter to the ECB, who denied it outright saying that they had no issues with press covering the series. Then there were more lies, even misguiding the Minister of Sports.

The same SLC Executive Committee a few weeks either side of the England series had requested the media to cover their press briefings and they were well attended. But cricket matches for some mysterious reasons were out of bounds for us. Obviously, SLC hierarchy were getting advice from the wrong people.

South Africa, Australia, England, Pakistan and even India where COVID cases are at a staggering high had allowed the media to attend cricket matches but SLC was an exception. Did they have an axe to grind with the press for constantly highlighting daylight robbery at Maitland Place?

There was a storm of protest at the treatment meted out to the media. Former players, administrators and fans expressed their disappointment at what was happening but SLC bosses were thick skinned. Its President boasted that he was going to get more than 100 votes at the AGM. He was all too powerful. But the law of the land proved to be more powerful than him as the entire Executive Committee was dismissed on technical grounds. The CEO continues, although his time is hanging by a thread.

Further woes followed at the COPE hearing as the Parliamentary watchdog found large scale corruption and no accountability. The Secretary to the Sports Ministry was informed to initiate legal proceedings against officials who were responsible for corrupt deals that included money that broadcasting partners owed the board being transferred into offshore accounts.

It remains to be seen what action the Sports Ministry intends to take with the game suffering several blows both on and off the field in the last five years. The slide started during the Yahapalana regime and not much has been done to address the woes under the present government. The Sports Minister backdating a letter legalizing the term of the Executive Committee was the last straw. The move was opposed and the Minister was forced to dismiss the Executive Committee and bring in fresh faces amidst much criticism.

The same Ex Co did not bother to take disciplinary action against misbehaving players. This coupled with poor on field performances saw cricket’s ardent fans turning away from the game. While the national cricket team was involved in a series in the Caribbean, the retired players were featuring in a Legends tournament in India. Strangely, the fans preferred to watch the former players in action than their national team. This was extremely disturbing news.

Soon after the administration was changed, a clear message has been sent that misconduct will be sternly dealt with. An opening batsman who had got into constant trouble was hauled up for an inquiry on Tuesday and has been warned to behave or pack his bags. This is the way forward. When there is discipline, results will follow automatically.

The elected officials who were in power before that had double standards. For example, captain Dimuth Karunaratne who was involved in a late night accident was fined Rs. one million. This was despite him buying a brand new three wheeler to the other party involved in the accident. Kusal Mendis who was involved in a hit and run was treated with kids’ gloves. The board closed the case claiming it was a personal matter. That a poor man on his way to work was killed wasn’t a serious enough issue for them. That was not on.

Thankfully, the attitude of the administration has changed now. The powers that be need to ensure that the educated run cricket. Let the corrupt rot in jail.

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