The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Premier League Tier A tournament 2019/20 resumed on the 10th of August after a hiatus of almost five months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The tournament which was postponed at the end of the group stage in March 2020, saw the top 8 teams progressing to the super 8s while the other six teams were left to battle it out in the Plate Championship.
The current table toppers of the Super 8s (CCC) and Plate Championship (Negombo CC) recorded the only two wins of the 7 matches that concluded during the week respectively, with some of the top national players turning out for their respective clubs with no national cricket duties.
Angelo Mathews made a grand return to domestic cricket with an unbeaten 173* which was the highest score of the round, but Colts CC had to be satisfied with a first-innings victory over Saracens SC. Santhush Gunathilake also hit a century for Colts, following on from a ton in his previous game before the break against Negombo CC.
Centuries from Upul Tharanga and Lahiru Udara secured first-innings points for NCC, before former Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal lit up the game with a 2nd innings century for the soldiers as the match ended in a tame draw at the SSC ground in Colombo. Thulina Dilshan also made an unbeaten century in the Army 2nd Innings, but it was left arm seamer Dilesh Gunaratne who ended with 7 wickets in the match for NCC who stole the limelight on a familiar batting paradise at the SSC.
CCC’s title defence was hardly threatened as Ragama CC succumbed to an innings and 125 runs defeat at the hands of the table toppers in their game that concluded in Katunayake. Kusal Mendis was the star with the bat for the winners top scoring with 139 before Malinda Pushpakumara went about his business to end with 8 wickets in the match. CCC are well ahead in the title race with NCC almost 18 points behind them in second place.
Kamindu Mendis’ all-round efforts was the highlight of the drawn game between BRC and Chilaw Marians that concluded at the CCC grounds. Mendis hit an unbeaten 150* to go along with four wickets with the ball in BRC’s 2nd innings. BRC managed to hang in for 80 overs to save the match, with Dilshan de Soysa playing out of his skin to remain unbeaten on 105*.
Colts CC vs Saracens SC
Colombo Colts Cricket Club – 408/6d (128.2) Anjelo Mathews 173*, Santhush Gunathilaka 100, Avishka Fernando 66, Sadeera Samarawickrama 41, Kasun Rajitha 3/85, Promod Maduwantha 2/72
Saracens Sports Club – 182 (81.2) Gamindu Kanishka 45, Saliya Saman 38, Navindu Vithanage 32, Milinda Siriwardana 27, Nisala Tharaka 3/34, Dilshan Madushanka 2/37, Prabath Jayasuriya 2/41 & F/O 106/3 (40) Navindu Vithanage 34*, Sithara Gimhan 27, Gamindu Kanishka 23, Akila Dananjaya 2/19
Army SC vs NCC
Army Cricket Club 269 – (84.1) Janith Silva 54, Asela Gunaratne 50, Himasha Liyanage 46, Mahesh Kumara 41, Dilesh Gunarathna 5/42, Chathuranga De Silva 3/90 & 255/3 (60) Dinesh Chandimal 129, Thulina Dilshan 116*, Dilesh Gunarathna 2/13
Nondescripts Cricket Club – 417/7d (88) Upul Tharanga 121, Lahiru Udara 105, Mahela Udawatte 77*, Chamika Karunarathna 30*, Angelo Perera 29, Sahan Arachchige 25, Seekkuge Prasanna 3/91
CCC vs Ragama CC
Colombo Cricket Club – 499/7d (117) Kusal Mendis 139, Minod Bhanuka 88, Wanindu Hasaranga 88, Ashan Priyanjan 58, Lahiru Madushanka 57*, Sonal Dinusha 29, Binura Fernando 4/72
Ragama Cricket Club – 132 (41.2) Janith Liyanage 43*, Roshen Silva 27, Malinda Pushpakumara 4/35, Lahiru Madushanka 2/16, Wanindu Hasaranga 2/36 & F/O 242 (58.3) Janith Liyanage 50*, Roshen Silva 41, Ishan Jayaratne 35, Binura Fernando 29, Nishan Madushka 29, Saminda Fernando 23, Malinda Pushpakumara 4/55, Ashan Priyanjan 2/64, Wanindu Hasaranga 2/66
Chilaw Marians CC vs BRC
Chilaw Marians Cricket Club – 195 (47.2) Oshada Fernando 42, Pulina Tharanga 40, Kasun Vidura 38, Thikshila De Silva 35, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 3/26, Hashen Ramanayake 3/43, Duvindu Tillakaratne 3/54 & 385/8d (89.2) Kamindu Mendis 150*, Kasun Vidura 87, Thikshila De Silva 41, Shehan Jayasuriya 35, Oshada Fernando 30, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 3/40, Duvindu Tillakaratne 2/71
Burgher Recreation Club – 87 (34.2) Deshan Dias 24, Asitha Fernando 4/42, Nimesh Vimukthi 3/06, Thikshila De Silva 3/13 & 231/8 (80) Dilshan De Soysa 105*, Deshan Dias 28, Shanuka Dulaj 25, Hashen Ramanayake 20, Kamindu Mendis 4/43, Pulina Tharanga 2/32, Thikshila De Silva 2/23
Negombo CC came-from-behind to record a thrilling five wicket win over Lankan CC who secured a vital 32 run 1st innings lead earlier in the match. While young right arm off-spinner Lakshitha Rasanjana captured five wickets in the first innings for Negombo, it was veteran left arm tweaker Upul Indrasiri who did the damage in the second innings with a match winning five wicket haul. Lankan CC skipper Chanaka Ruwansiri made 124 in his teams’ 1st innings, but a 2nd innings collapse meant Lankan CC could not drive home the advantage. The win also put Negombo on top of the Plate Championship with Tamil Union not too far behind with two more rounds of cricket remaining.
Badureliya SC held on to a nervy draw, as they finished their 2nd innings on 120/9 in pursuit of 497 set by Moors SC, who managed to dominate most of the game. Fast bowler Kavishka Anjula was the star for Moors as he captured 11 wickets in the match at the Colts ground in Colombo.
SSC’s torrid season continued as they were beaten by Tamil Union CAC on first-innings at the NCC ground, in Colombo. Sri Lanka seamer Suranga Lakmal’s 1st innings four-wicket burst set the game up for Tamil Union, before Ranmith Jayasena top scored with 82 runs.
Lankan CC vs Negombo CC
Lankan Cricket Club – 270 (68.2) Chanaka Ruwansiri 124, Lahiru Dilshan 43, Dunith Wellalage 37, Lakshitha Rasanjana 5/85, Upul Indrasiri 3/79 & 111 (50.3) Risith Upamal 36, Chanaka Ruwansiri 30, Kasun Abeyrathne 20, Upul Indrasiri 5/34, Roshen Fernando 3/29
Negombo Cricket Club – 238 (69.2) Madawa Warnapura 64, Roscoe Thattil 63, Ashen Silva 53, Dunith Wellalage 3/66, Geeth Kumara 2/33, Chanaka Ruwansiri 2/45 & 147/5 (36.5) Roscoe Thattil 38* Madawa Warnapura 33*, Pasindu Lakshanka 29, Dilshan Munaweera 25, Dunith Wellalage 3/60
Moors SC vs Baduraliya SC
Moors Sports Club – 340 (100.2) Ayana Siriwardhana 83, Adeesha Thilanchana 53, Dinuka Dilshan 46, Kavishka Anjula 42, Ramesh Mendis 40, Nipun Karunanayake 27, Anuk Fernando 27, Lahiru Samarakoon 5/86, Dushan Hemantha 2/57, Buddika Sanjeewa 2/75 & 305/6d (69.1) Ramesh Mendis 61, Sachithra Serasinghe 60, Nipun Karunanayake 58, Mohammed Shamaaz 48, Pabasara Waduge 36, Adeesha Thilanchana 28*, Lahiru Samarakoon 2/33
Badureliya Cricket Club – 149 (45.5) Salinda Ushan 67, Dushan Hemantha 25, Dunith Jayatunga 22, Kavishka Anjula 5/39, Sachithra Serasinghe 3/12, Ramesh Mendis 2/37 & 120/9 (40) Dushan Hemantha 43, Salinda Ushan 23, Kavishka Anjula 6/35, Praveen Jayawickrama 3/43
SSC vs Tamil Union CAC
Sinhalese Sports Club – 254 (77.5) Sachithra Senanayake 81, Akash Senaratne 37, Sandun Weerakkody 35, Dasun Shanaka 35, Charith Asalanka 24, Dhammika Prasad 21, Suranga Lakmal 4/36, Isuru Udana 2/43, Pramod Madushan 2/53 & 271/5 (63) Charith Asalanka 94, Sandun Weerakkody 68, Sammu Ashan 37, Dasun Shanaka 30, Krishan Sanjula 20*, Maduka Liyanapathiranage 2/51
Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club – 349 (98)Ranmith Jayasena 82, Tharanga Paranavitana 71, Dhananjaya De Silva 53, Dhakshitha Fernando 49, Yohan Mendis 31, Maduka Liyanapathiranage 25, Jeffrey Vandersay 4/91, Sachithra Senanayake 3/63, Dhammika Prasad 2/37
Arthur bemoans poor batting after second Test goes ‘horribly wrong’
Angelo Mathews was bowled attempting to sweep Dom Bess (SLC)
Sri Lanka “let it slip in one disastrous session”, says coach, after second Galle defeat
Sri Lanka threw it away. Their hyper-aggressive approach to the second innings wasn’t part of the plan. And their 126 all out ruined three days of good work.
These were Mickey Arthur’s takeaways after the dispiriting 2-0 loss against England. Sri Lanka had established a 37-run first-innings lead on the fourth morning, with England due to bat in the fourth innings. And yet, their batsmen crumbled to 66 for 6 before lunch – five of those players dismissed playing attacking shots. That phase of play essentially handed England the match, even if they eventually had to chase 164 for victory, thanks to a late 40 from No. 10 Lasith Embuldeniya.
“We fought and fought and fought for three days and got ourselves in a really good position, and in two hours we proceeded to throw it away,” Arthur said. “It was poor batting. It’s something I’m going to sit and talk with the players about now. When we lead the game, we’ve got to be able to put our foot on the neck of the opposition and we didn’t do that. That today just wasn’t good enough. We’ve got to learn to be ruthless.”
Such was Sri Lanka’s commitment to wanton aggression in this innings, that there were questions whether the team had agreed that all-out attack was their best way forward in this Test. Arthur said, however, that the plan had actually been to progress more gradually, and to bat time, as they had in the second innings of the first Test, when Sri Lanka made 359 in 136.5 overs.
“That was nowhere near our gameplan. Our gameplan this morning was to absorb pressure, grind away, and grind out a couple of sessions to make sure that we got ourselves into a very good position to push for the win tomorrow. That was our strategy. We had a long chat about that this morning. We used the blueprint of our second innings in the first Test match as something that we wanted to base our innings on. Somewhere it’s gone horribly wrong. That’s something I’m going to dig up and find tonight.”
The first Test was lost due to a similar collapse, in the first innings of the match that time. Sri Lanka were skittled for 135, again playing with extreme aggression.
“This isn’t the first time that it’s happened, and it’s something I need to look into with the team,” Arthur said. “We let it slip in one disastrous session. Much like in the first Test when we let slip in the first innings again. We can’t afford as a team to have those poor sessions. We’ve got to get our good and our bad closer together. The game was there for us to take and we didn’t take it. Extremely disappointed with that.”
Among the only bright spots for Sri Lanka for this series was the bowling of Embuldeniya, who took 10 for 210 in this Test, and also produced his best first-class score with the bat. Embuldeniya had not been selected for the Tests against South Africa several weeks earlier, but through the course of this series has presented a case for being considered Sri Lanka’s premier Test spinner.
“I was very excited for Lasith Embuldeniya,” Arthur said. “He works so hard at his game. When you get those rewards, in his ninth or tenth Test match, it’s unbelievable. I always tell him he’s got the gift of the fingers – he’s able to spin the ball. I think he’s got a wonderful future. He really is a very impressive young man and spin bowler. I’m very excited to be working with him in future, because I think he’s going to be very special.” (ESPN)
SSC to name indoor nets after Michael De Zoysa
Singhalese Sports Club today will name their indoor nets after club stalwart Michael De Zoysa.
Michael, who passed away recently, had been with SLC for almost half a century and had served the club in various capacities.
He was Manager of the Sri Lankan cricket team when they won ICC World T 20 in 2014.
Chess Champs Academy emerge champions
Online Women’s Rapid Team Chess Cup 2021
Chess Champs Academy team led by Thilini Koswatte won the maiden Online Women’s Rapid Teams Chess Cup conducted by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka (CFSL). At the grand finals, which was held in double rounds, each player received black and white moves. Chess Champs scored three match points against their rivals who could score only one match point in first round.
In the first round the Women Grand Master from Kazakhstan, Gulmira Dauletota and Tharushi Sandeepani scored points for Passed Pawns while Women International Master from India Isha Sharma and Saumy Zainab scored points for Chess Champs Academy. But, in the second round Thilini played a key role out playing strong Kazakhstani WGM Gulmira at a critical juncture when their WIM Isha Sharma had suffered a lost from Sri Lankan Women International Master Sachini Ranasinghe. Dinushki Premanath and Saumy Zainab, both former national champions excelled scoring full points for their team. Chess Champs beat Passed Pawns 3-1 in the second round to win the championship.
According to CFSL a total of 275 players belonging to 55 teams participated in the tournament and teams were categorized into three Divisions according to their player ratings.
The Division ‘C’ consisting of the lowest ranked 27 teams played pm January 14. The top three teams of that division then advanced to the ‘B’ Division to compete against the 23 teams in that division on January 16.
The top three teams of ‘B’ Division advanced to play a round robin event with top five ranked teams in the ‘A’ Division on January 17.
The top four teams of the ‘A’ Division, paired according to double knock out method competed in the final stage.
Passed Pawns CC (Champions of ‘A’ Division) beat Fischer Chess Club ‘A’ (4th in ‘A’ Division) 3-1
Chess Champ Academy (1st Runner up of ‘A’ Division) beat Fischer Chess Club ‘B’ 3-1.
Results of the Finals
Chess Champ Academy tied Passed Pawns 2-2
Chess Champ Academy beat Passed Pawns 3-1
Chess Champ Academy: Thilini Koswatte (Captain), Dinushki Premanath, WIM Isha Sharma, Saumy Zainab and Prasansa Premanath.
Passed Pawns CC: WIM Sachini Ranasinghe (Captain), WGM Gulmira Deltoteva, Dasuni Mendis, Pasindi Yathra Wijesuriya and Sandeepani M Tharushi.
Result of the Finals
Thilini Koswatte lost to WGM Gulmira Dauletova
WIM Isha Sharma beat WIM Sachini Ranasinghe
WFM Dinushki Premanath lost to Tharushi Sandeepani
WFM Zainab Saumy beat WFM Dasuni Hansika Mendis
WGM Gulmira Dauletova lost to Thilini Koswatte
WIM Sachini Ranasinghe beat WIM Isha Sharma
Tharushi Sandeepani lost to WFM Dinushki Premanath
WFM Dasuni Hansika Mendis lost to WFM Zainab Saumy
The games were played under strict anti-cheating rules and regulations according to FIDE standards on chess.com platform.
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