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Dwivedi Samarth wins Dialog Sri Lanka Open 2023



Dwivedi Samarth from India won the Dialog Sri Lanka Open played after a lapse of six years. Dwivedi Samarth from India based with his family in Bangkok, Thailand since 1993, plays in the PGTI having turned Pro-Golfer eight years ago. Samarth is currently ranked 34th in the current PGTI rankings and during the off-season of the PGTI, plays in the Thailand Pro-tournaments.

Samarth said “After eight years of hard work, injuries, training and playing with passion and love for Golf finally brought victory in the Dialog Sri Lanka Open 2023. I have come close many times, I have shot 9 under 3 times but I was able to shoot 10 under and capture my first win in a Pro – Tournament for the first time and I believe it will be the first of many more in the future”.

Dwivedi Samarth led the field from round two where he climbed to the top of the leaderboard with a stunning 10 under par and maintained his lead to the end. Samarth’s achievement is creditable as he was paired-off with Chouhan Om Prakash the number one ranked and Jamal Hossain number five ranked currently, having won the final PGTI event played in the first half of the PGTI 2023 season. The final round was a tense battle of skill, temperament and ability closely followed by a substantial crowd and Live-Coverage provided by DTV and Samarth two strokes ahead of Jamal held on to the same lead at the end with a final round two under par to be 13 under par on 271. Chouhan Om Prakash fired a three under par to tie for second place with Jamal Hossain who was one stroke ahead of O P. Anura Rohana the seven-time champion of the Open also shot a three under par 68 to clinch fourth place ahead of Udayan Mane, Saptak Talvar, Rashid Khan, Mithun Perera and M. Dharma of India.

The elegant Prize Giving covered LIVE by Dialog and Papare was an opportunity for Michael Magala, President Sri Lanka Golf (SLG) to appreciate the title Sponsor Dialog Axiata PLC, the Travel Partner SriLankan Airlines who brought-in international golfers from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, the Hospitality Partner Courtyard By Marriott Colombo who hosted the international players, Transcend Drive the Transport Partner, OLU water the Hydration Partner, Capitol Twin Peaks the 4th Hole-in-One partner, MD Nectar the fruit-drinks partner, Hemas Hospitals the Medi-Care Partner, 9th Hole-in-One sponsor SriLankan Airlines, the Goodwill Sponsors Lanka IOC, GFLock, Devi Jewelers, Ideal Motors – Mahendra, Prima Ceylon, Pepsi, Fair First Insurance, English Tea Shop, Dynacom Engineering, Omegaline and well-wishers.

Navin Peiris, Group Chief Officer, Dialog Enterprise, Dialog Axiata PLC, speaking on the occasion said that Dialog supports many sports and is happy to have been the title sponsor of the Dialog Sri Lanka Open 2023 promoting Golf with Live-Coverage of the tournament. He also said that Dialog would be happy to continue sponsorship and coverage of Golf with the Dialog team also learning the intricacies of the game, going forward to increase more international participation. Rohith Silva Captain of the RCGC recognized the RCGC Professional Jehan De Saram for a splendid job preparing the Golf Course fit for a super Open Championship and thanked the SLG for the development of junior golf significantly facilitating 12 juniors to play in the Sri Lanka Open. Ranil Peiris the President Elect of Sri Lanka Golf thanked the out-going President Michael Magala for an amazing Dialog Sri Lanka Open 2023 and for setting a very high benchmark to follow. He further thanked all the sponsors for the partnership with Sri Lanka Golf and invited all to continue the feature Open Championship next year.

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Decision on sexual assault case against Danushka Gunathilaka next Thursday (28)




Danushka Gunathilaka is accused of "stealthing" a woman he met online (pic ABC Net)

The hearing of the sexual assault case against Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilake before the New South Wales District Court concluded today (21) and Judge Sarah Huggett will hand down her decision next Thursday (28).

(ABC net)

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Selectors make ‘U’ turn after requesting Shanaka to step down



Dasun Shanaka has been retained as Sri Lanka’s ODI captain.  

by Rex Clementine

The national selection panel that met yesterday made a complete ‘U’ turn having earlier requested captain Dasun Shanaka to step down in the lead up to next month’s ICC Cricket World Cup to be played in India. After Sri Lanka’s horrendous show in the Asia Cup final, where the team was bowled out for 50 runs, their lowest total at home, someone had to be scapegoated and Dasun Shanaka fitted the selectors’ bill.

The captain had been informed to step down so that a new captain could be appointed and accordingly Kusal Mendis was tipped to take over. Team management had endorsed Mendis highlighting him as the player who contributed most during team meetings. He was anyway deputy to Dasun in ODIs.

Although Dasun had expressed his willingness to step aside so that the selectors could make the change, the national selection panel decided to retain Dasun following a meeting yesterday.

While a section of the public had wanted the captain gone due to an extended run of poor form with the bat, some others had argued that axing the captain on the verge of an event like the World Cup wasn’t the most sensible move.

Had Dasun stepped down, he was in fear of not finding a place in the team as well as the selectors had wanted the new captain to make the call of having or not having the misfiring ex-captain in the team.

Despite the debacle in the final, Sri Lanka had done well to progress to the finals of the Asia Cup having beaten Afghanistan and Pakistan and Bangladesh twice. There were fears of the team not progressing beyond the first round after the bowling attack was completely depleted with injuries.

Although Dasun has been now retained as the captain, he will be under tremendous pressure to deliver following a string of low scores. Having said that, he was Sri Lanka’s best batter when the national cricket team toured India earlier this month.

Sri Lanka will leave for India next week and will be based in Guwahati where they will play two warm-up games against Asian rivals Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Sri Lanka’s first game of the World Cup is against South Africa on the 7th of October in Delhi.

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Arachchige to lead second-string Sri Lanka side at the Asian games



Sahan Arachchige has two ODI caps to his name

Sri Lanka have announced a young squad for the 2023 Asian Games – essentially a Sri Lanka A side – with Sahan Arachchige set to lead the 15-member squad.

Among those with international caps, Ashen Bandara tops the list with 11 white-ball games under his belt. Nuwanidu Fernando and Nuwan Thushara have played four games each, while Arachchige has played two ODIs.

A majority of the team have however appeared in the Lanka Premier League (LPL), so fans may not be completely unfamiliar with some of these names, but this will be a good opportunity to observe them over a more consistent period.

Most of the excitement will arguably surround the batters, with the likes of Lasith Croospulle, Shevon Daniel, Fernando and Arachchige having popped up on the radar during the most recent LPL season.

Croospulle was part of ESPNcricinfo’s LPL 2023 team of the tournament for his 232 runs at an average 33.14, while Daniel too had some exciting cameos opening the innings. At just 19, he also has a first-class double ton to his name.

Fernando meanwhile has the distinction of having played one of the most impactful innings in last year’s LPL, when he scored a 42-ball 63 on a surface all other batters had struggled on. This year as well he compiled an unbeaten 39-ball 56 against Dambulla Aura but wasn’t able to take his side over teh line. As for Arachchige, despite having a subdued LPL, he has impressed in recent games for the Sri Lanka A side, notably notching a pair of centuries against England Lions earlier this year.

In Bandara, Sri Lanka have one of the best fielders in the tournament, while his six ODIs for the national side have already brought about two fifties – his relative experience will hold them in good stead. Rounding out the batting will be wicketkeeper Lahiru Udara, lower-middle order batter Ahan Wickramasinghe and allrounders Lahiru Samarakoon, Nimesh Vimukthi, Ranitha Liyanarachchi, Sachitha Jayathilaka and Ravindu Fernando.

On the fast bowling front, a lot will depend on Thushara. Dubbed podi (little) Malinga due to his slingy action, Thushara has been consistently among the better performers in recent LPL seasons. He makes up for his lack of searing pace with good control and variety. Thushara will be supported by 26-year-old quick Isitha Wijesundara, and allrounders Samarakoon and Liyanarachchi.

In the spin department, Sri Lanka boasts a fair degree of variety. Legspinner Vijayakanth Viyaskanth will the lead the way, having broken into the starting XI of Jaffna Kings – and played a key role in their 2022 championship. Nimesh Vimukthi will share the burden with his slow left-arm orthodox, while Ravindu and Arachchige provide offbreak options. Jayathilaka meanwhile is capable of zippy leg breaks pushed quickly through the air.

Sri Lanka have a direct entry into the Asian Games quarter-finals and play their first game on October 4. All matches will be in the T20 format.

Full squad:

Lasith Croospulle, Shevon Daniel, Ashen Bandara, Sahan Arachchige (capt), Ahan Wickramasinghe, Lahiru Udara (wk), Ravindu Fernando, Ranitha Liyanarachchi, Nuwanidu Fernando, Sachitha Jayatilaka, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, Nimesh Vimukthi, Lahiru Samarakoon, Nuwan Thushara, Isitha Wijesundera


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