Rex Clementine in Dubai
Sri Lanka suffered their first defeat in the ICC T-20 World Cup losing to Australia by seven wickets in a Super 12 encounter at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Having set Australia a target of 155, Sri Lanka conceded too many runs in the Power Play, 63 for no loss, and to add insult to injury, Kusal Perera dropped a regulation catch off the dangerous David Warner when he was on 18. Dushmantha Chameera was the unlucky bowler.
Australia were hardly troubled by the Sri Lankan attack and despite Wanindu Hasaranga picking up two wickets, they won with three overs to spare.
Warner top scored with 65 runs off 42 balls with ten boundaries. Skipper Aaron Finch finished on 37 off 23 balls with five fours and two sixes as the openers shared 70 runs in only 41 balls.
Steven Smith ensured Australia got home without any dramas finishing on 28 off 26 balls.
It was Sri Lanka’s first defeat in the competition having won three games in the qualifying round and the Super 12 fixture against Bangladesh.
Earlier, Sri Lanka fought back well after a hostile spell from left-arm quick Mitchell Starc reduced them to 94 for five to finish on 154 for six .
The former champions were brilliant during the Power Play managing 53 runs during the six over period with rookie Charith Asalanka outscoring his more experienced colleague Kusal Perera.
Asalanka played some elegant strokes taking the attack onto the opposition to put Sri Lanka in control and at one stage they looked set to post in excess of 170.
Australia then bounced back with four wickets for 16 runs to wrestle back the initiative.
Adam Zampa and Mitchell Starc accounted for the four wickets to fall leaving the Sri Lankan innings in disarray. Zampa found the breakthrough when Asalanka tried to clear the deep fine leg boundary but was caught by Steven Smith. He made 35 off 27 deliveries with four fours and a six.
Starc then nailed an in-swinging yorker to dismiss Kusal Perera, the key for Sri Lanka to post a formidable total. Perera’s 35 came off 25 balls and contained four fours and a six.
Avishka Fernando managed only four while Wanindu Hasaranga’s promotion ahead of Dasun Shanaka did not work as he was caught behind off Starc.
At 94 for five, Australia were in control. But Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Shanka steadied the ship adding 40 runs for the sixth wicket.
Rajapaksa delivered yet again finishing unbeaten on 33 off 26 balls with four fours and a six.
Rajapaksa had brought up Sri Lanka’s hundred with a boundary off Hazlewood and remained till the end to ensure his team crossed the 150 mark.
Quarter-finals from today
Under 19 Division III Tier ‘B’ Cricket
The quarter-finals of the Under 19 Inter Schools Division III Tier ‘B’ cricket tournament conducted by Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association will commence with the Maris Stella College, Thimbirigaskatuwa meeting Wickramabahu National School, Gampola at Wickramashila National School ground Giriulla today.
Quarter-finals line up
Maris Stella, Thimbirigaskatuwa V Wickramabahu NS, Gampola at Giriulla
Ananda NS, Puttalam V Sri Sumangala, Kelaniya at Giriulla
Hindu College, Matale V St. Michael’s College, Batticalloa at Polonnaruwa
D.S. Senanayake, Ampara V Pannala NS at Polonnaruwa
Neyara to meet Anjalike in the women’s singles final
Neyara Weerawansa beat top seed Savini Jayasuriya in the semi-final to book a final berth in the women’s singles final against Anjalika Kurera in the 106th Colombo Championships at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Monday.
The semi-final, which recommenced on Monday after being interrupted by wet weather on the previous day, the British School Colombo player scored 6-1, 5-7, 10-7 to oust last year finalist Jayasuriya.
She will now encounter Anjalika Kurera in the final.
Aahil Kaleel Under 12 champion
Meanwhile, S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia player Aahil Kaleel beat Methika Wickramasinghe to win the Under 12 boys singles title on Sunday. He scored 1-4, 4-2, 10-7 in the final after edging out Pasindu Rukunnayake (quarter-final) and Chaminda Abeysinghe (semis).
Hayleys crowned winners of MCA premier league
Hayleys Group Recreation Club (HGRC) led by Avishka Fernando were crowned as the “League” winners of the 28th Singer-MCA Premier League which came to conclusion with a glittering awards presentation held at the MCA Legends New Wing on Thursday.
Though the tournament had a pre-mature ending, Hayleys by virtue of being unbeaten led the table of points at the point when the tournament was stopped. The MCA Tournament Committee with the consent of the rest of the three teams, decided to award the league title to Hayleys.
Hayleys, playing only their third season in the MCA Premier League, won the T20 title under Avishka Fernando in the previous season.
On their way to the title Hayleys beat HNB (by five wickets), CDB Finance (by 96 runs), John Keells (by two wickets) and HNB in their return game (by two wickets).
Avishka Fernando captained the title winning Hayleys team.
Hayleys squad included Avishka Fernando (Captain), Prabath Jayasuriya (VC), Dilruwan Perera, Kithruwan Vithanage, Chathuranga de Silva, Ron Chandraguptha, Lahiru Samarakoon, Nimesha Gunasinghe, Pasindu Thirimadura, Kavishka Anjula, Santhush Gunatillake, Kalana Perera, Vishad Randika, Navindu Fernando, Mohamed Shamaaz, Lahiru Tirimanne, Binura Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya, Thashik Perera, Kabil Kapilraj, Lakshina Rodrigo and Sahan Nanayakkara. They were coached by Nishantha Weerasinghe with Vimukthi Deshapriya as the assistant coach. Pramoth Fernando was the manager.
Awards were given away by the Chief Guest, CEO, Singer Group Companies, Mahesh Wijewardene, Marketing Director, Singer SL, PLC, Shamil Perera and MCA Officials, President, Nalin Wickremesinghe, Senior Vice President and Chairman Tournament Committee, Mahesh de Alwis and Vice President Sirosha Gunatillake.
It was a memorable moment for Hayleys Group Chairman and CEO, Mohan Pandithage, Group Head HR, Dharshi Thalpahewa and the HGRC Officials – Jeramy Anandappa (President), Mohan Fernando (VP) and Ruchina Jayatillaka (Co Ordinator), who were present at the event.
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