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Danal, Ryan, Shevon dazzle in traditional matches



Under-19 Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

A five wicket haul by left-arm paceman Danal Hemananda, centuries by Ryan Fernando and Shevon Daniel for their respective schools were the highlights of the traditional Inter School Under-19 matches played on Friday.

In a rather rare feat for a paceman these days Hemananda bagged seven wickets including a five wicket haul in the first innings as St. Peter’s forced Trinity to follow on in their match at Bambalapitiya. In reply to Petes’ 277 for nine wickets declared, the visitors were dismissed for 169 runs. Trinity managed to avoid defeat thanks to back to back half centuries by Umair Raizan and a vital knock of 53 runs by Abhishek Anandakumara.

At Mount Lavinia, Ryan Fernando stroked 127 runs inclusive of 13 fours and two sixes for S. Thomas’ to dominate the match against Ananda.

Shevon Daniel scored an unbeaten 134 runs and put on a second wicket stand of 186 runs with Sheran Fonseka to help St. Joseph’s reach 223 for two wickets at stumps on day one against Wesley at Campbell Park.

At Moratuwa, St. Sebastian’s scored at snail’s pace to post 166 runs before being bowled out against Richmond.

Meanwhile, St. Sylvester’s, Kandy and St. Aloysius’, Galle registered victories in the Division I Limited Overs tournament Tier ‘B’ matches.

Traditional 2-Day Matches

Ananda V S. Thomas’ at Mount Lavinia


217 all out in 74.2 overs (Anuda Jayaweera 45, Hansaja Jayasinghe 47; Yasiru Rodrigo 5/ 63) and 90 for 1 in 31.2 overs (Nushal Dharmaratne 60 n.o., Anuda Jayaweera 28)

S. Thomas

’ 25 for 1 overnight in 236 for 8 decl. in 74.1 overs (Ryan Fernando 127, Mahith Perera 33, Yasiru Rodrigo 23; Nethma Samaraweera 3/64, Saviru Bandara 2/52)

St. Peter’s V Trinity at Bambalapitiya

St. Peter’s

277 for 9 decl. in 72.5 overs (Nipunaka Fonseka 76, Shenal Botheju 51, Wanuja Kumara 45, Shanuka Galagoda 26, Niman Umesh 24, Manula Kularathne 5/60, Abhishek Anandakumara 3/81)


85 for 2 overnight 169 all out in 50 overs (Umair Raizan 56, Thewin Amarasingha 28, Pawan Pathiraja 21; Danal Hemananda 5/62, Wanuja Kumara 3/34) and 188 for 8 in 63.1 overs (Umair Raizan 56, Abhishek Anandakumara 53; Wanuja Kumara 3/51, Danal Hemananda 2/14, Jesuran Benjamin 2/34)

St. Joseph’s V Wesley at Campbell Park

St. Joseph’s

223 for 2 in 58 overs (Shevon Daniel 134n.o., Sheran Fonseka 73;

St. Sebastian’s V Richmond

at Moratuwa

St. Sebastian’s

166 all out in 82 overs (Bihanga Mendis 31, Sukitha Prasanna 17, Sandesh Fernando 42; Amshi de Silva 2/49, Tharinda Nirmal 3/34, Nalaka Jayawardana 2/36)


8for no loss in 4 overs

Limited Overs Matches Tier ‘B’

St. Aloysius’ beat Moratu MV by

six wicket at Galle

Moratu MV

91 all out in 30.1 overs (Niraj Kavishka 13, Chamindu Ravishan 13; Mihiranga Nimsara 2/19, Sandun Madushanka 4/14)

St. Aloysius’

93 for 4 in 18.5 overs (Omal Sadith 36n.o., Ravindu Kanchana 16n.o.; Dilan Tharaka 2/12, Sukitha Dewthilina 2/17)

St. Sylvester’s beat Lumbini

by 70 runs at Colts

St. Sylvester’s

194 for 9 in 50 overs (Sadeepa Halangoda 82, Shashika Gihan 21, Kavishka Dilshan 35; Thiranjaya Rasanjana 5/41)


i 105 all out in 28.1 overs (Vikum Kalhara 24, Yasiru Yugath 24; Charith Samuditha 3/14, Maleesha Silva 2/17, Akila Nimsara 3/16,)

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KJP urges to play fearless cricket



by Rex Clementine

Sri Lanka’s newly appointed ODI captain Kusal Janith Perera has urged his team to play without fear of losing in the lead up to his first assignment. The national cricket team will be heavily involved in limited overs cricket during the next two months traveling to Bangladesh for three ODIs on Sunday and then playing three ODIs and three T-20s in the UK. In July, they will be hosting India for three ODIs and possibly five T-20 Internationals.

KJP was named as captain with an eye for the 2023 World Cup as six seniors were axed following a string of poor performances in limited overs cricket.

“We have to play fearless cricket. Can’t be playing to protect your place in the side. When you do that you don’t give 100 percent. What I am telling the team is to give your best and that will work in crunch situations,” KJP told journalists yesterday.

“What I want is to create a winning culture. Fear of losing is not going to help us and we need to adopt a brand of cricket where we play fearless cricket. Personally, I have been successful batting fearlessly and I want the team to follow the same method. We won’t be hundred percent successful, but the important thing is that we need to be positive,” KJP explained.

KJP has struggled with fitness and injuries in recent years particularly hurting his hamstring too often. However, the reasoning behind the think tank of Sri Lankan cricket is clear as they want the team to adopt a bold approach without playing it safe.

One of the best knocks in Test match cricket in the history of Sri Lankan cricket was produced by KJP in Durban two years ago when he threw caution to wind batting with last man Vishwa Fernando and pulled off a stunning win against South Africa. His unbeaten 153 set the tone for the rest of the series as Sri Lanka became the first Asian country to win a Test series in South Africa.

However, he has not been able to hold onto his place in the Test side but the move has been criticized by some of the finest brains in the sport. His elevation to the captaincy seems to have come with their blessings.

KJP’s appointment is a bold move and it’s an indication that Sri Lanka need to cast away their traditional way of playing limited overs cricket.

Fielding has been one area that has been sloppy and has received little attention but with a new captain and a crop of young players in the side, this is an area that should improve vastly.

Exciting times are ahead for Sri Lankan cricket and it remains to be seen whether KJP with his attacking style is able to bring the team back to winning ways.

KJP is expected to keep wickets as well. It is the first time Sri Lanka have appointed a wicketkeeping captain since Kumar Sangakkara quit in 2011.

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Bertie Ekanayake – The versatile Sports Personality of the Royal Ceylon Air Force



Flight Sergeant Bertie Ekanayake (Clk GD) is considered as one of the finest sportsmen ever to be produced by the Royal Ceylon Air Force (RCyAF). Ekanayake was an old boy of Zahira College Colombo. He represented Ceylon in Boxing from 1958 to 1964 and represented Defence Services in rugger, boxing, basketball and soccer. He represented the RCyAF in rugger, boxing, basketball, soccer, athletics, cricket and hockey.

Bertie Ekanayake was a key member of the RCyAF Boxing team which won the prestigious Xavier Roche Memorial Challenge Shield presented by the ABA Ceylon to the Most Successful Boxing Club of the year in 1961.

He represented Ceylon in Boxing from 1958 to 1964. He was the Fly Weight Champion of Sri Lanka in 1958, 1959 and 1960, Feather Weight Champion of Sri Lanka in 1961 and 1963, Feather Weight Champion of Pakistan in 1963, Defence Services Champion in 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962 and 1964. He was the undisputed RCyAF Champion from 1958 to 1963 and the only winner at the Ceylon Vs Pakistan contest held in Ceylon in 1961 (Pakistan won 6 – 1). Ekanayake toured with the National Boxing Team to India, Thailand and Pakistan and captained the National Boxing team at the First Asian Boxing Championship in Bangkok in 1963. He was selected to represent the country at the Rome Olympics in 1960, however an injury prevented him from attending.

In rugby, he excelled as a fine full back and represented the Air Force from 1959 to 1973. He represented Defence Services from 1959 to 1962, 1965 and 1968. He was a key member of the RCyAF team which became runners up of Clifford Cup championship in 1965. He was selected for Ceylon Trials in 1961 and 1965 and represented Colombo Clubs vs. Presidents XV. Bertie Ekanayake functioned as the Assistant Manager of the Ceylon Rugger team in 1972. In basketball, he represented Combined Services team at the All-India tournament in 1962.

Flight Sergeant Ekanayake was the first winner of the prestigious ‘Varatharasa Trophy’ in 1962, which recognizes the Best Sportsman of the year in the RCyAF. He won the award again in 1963.


by Air Cdre Padman De Costa

(Former Secretary Air Force Sports Council and Defence Service Sports Board)

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National Athletics Championship disciplines prioritized for Olympic hopefuls



by Reemus Fernando

Sri Lanka Athletics published on Wednesday the list of eligible athletes for the first stage of the 99th National Athletics Championship which will be held on May 22 and 23. The track and field governing body has prioritized nine disciplines for the first stage with the hope of giving Olympic hopefuls a final chance to achieve qualifying standards as the cutoff date for entries nears.

On Wednesday Sri Lanka Athletics picked five women’s events, namely the 3,000 metres steeplechase, 800 metres, 400 metres, 100 metres and javelin and four men’s disciplines, the 100 metres, 400 metres, long jump and javelin for the first leg. They are the disciplines where some of the country’s leading athletes have the chance to reach qualifying standards for the Tokyo Olympics.

The time is running out for Sri Lanka Athletics to identify athletes who have reached qualifying standards for the quadrennial event.

On Sunday Sri Lanka Athletics Executive Committee decided to conduct the 99th National Championship during four weekends starting from May 22 and 23 to minimize the number of athletes per day per venue due to the spread of the Covid 19 pandemic. Sri Lanka Athletics announced only the eligible list of athletes for the first stage (May 22, 23) yesterday and did not comment on the fate of the other three stages.

Women’s steeplechaser Nilani Ratnayake and men’s high jumper Ushan Thivanka are currently on the threshold of earning entry standards for the Olympics. The US based Thivanka cleared 2.30 metres to establish a new Sri Lanka record in the men’s high jump on Saturday in Texas. While he is fast improving his world ranking (48) a performance of 2.33 metres would make him eligible as a direct qualified athlete. He will be competing in meets in the USA.

Ratnayake has to clock 9:30.00 seconds if she is to earn direct qualification, though she is currently ranked within the required range to be eligible to earn a berth through world rankings.

Rio Olympic participant Sumeda Ranasinghe and former national record holder Waruna Dayaratne are in the list to try their chances in the men’s javelin. Ranasinghe too has high hopes as he has remained among the top ranked athletes in the world.

Dilshi Kumarasinghe who created a new national record in the women’s 800 metres at the last Athletics trial will vie for honours against former champion Nimali Liyanarachchi and Gayanthika Abeyratne and schools athlete Shanika Lakshani. Only seven athletes are eligible to compete in this event.

Men’s and women’s 100 metres and men’s 400 are the only track events where semi finals and finals are likely to be held. Janaka Prasad Wimalasiri in the men’s long jump and Olympian Nadeeka Lakmali and Dilhani Lekamge in the women’s javelin are the top contenders in their respective events.

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