England captain Joe Root posted an unbeaten 168 in the opening Test match against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium yesterday. (Pic by Thusith Wijedoru/ SLC)
Rex Clementine in Galle Fort
England made Sri Lanka pay a heavy price for their reckless batting by posting a commanding 320 in their first innings at stumps on a rain curtailed second day, the tourists already have a lead of 185 with six wickets in hand. Sri Lanka need lot of catching up to do and it is going to be real hard work for them to save the game.
The home team batsmen were casual in their approach as most of them were in T-20 mood and England captain Joe Root gave them a good example of how to consolidate and put pressure back on the bowlers.
Root very cleverly rotated the strike and used the sweep shot to good effect forcing the bowlers to alter their lengths. He survived a couple of close reviews and went onto dominate the bowling.
A couple of England batsmen have left an indelible mark while playing spin bowling in Sri Lanka and names such as Kevin Pietersesn (2012) and Graham Thorpe (2001) come to mind. Root will join that elite club given the ease with which he played the three spinners.
The Yorkshireman playing his 98th Test reached his 18th hundred and the third against Sri Lanka with a single off Dilruwan Perera to short fine leg. His 168 not out is now the highest score by an Englishman in Sri Lanka with the previous best being Pietersen’s 151 at P. Sara Oval.
Root faced 254 balls for his 168 not out and hit 12 fours. The hallmark of his knock was the patience he showed applying himself to settle in. As the day progressed there were loose balls now and there and the batsman was quick to pounce on them.
Daniel Lawrence on debut was dropped three times and eventually his luck ran out on 73 when Kusal Mendis took the catch at forward short leg.
Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya finished with three wickets but Wanindu Hasaranga from whom much was expected was a disappointment. The leg-spinner gave away too many bad balls. Playing at his home ground, the former Richmond College player was expected to have an impact but Hasaranga was the least effective bowler.
There will be an early start today with play getting underway at 9:45 am. A total of 98 overs are scheduled to be bowled but there’s also prediction for rain after lunch.
Sri Lanka 135
(Dinesh Chandimal 28, Angelo Mathews 27; Dom Bess 5-30, Stuart Broad 3-20) trail England 320/4 (Joe Root 168*, Dan Lawrence 73; Lasith Embuldeniya 3-131) by 185 runs.
Saajida Razick clinches Under-16 girls’ title
SSC Open Ranking Tennis
Bishops College player Saajida Razick out played Dinara de Silva to clinch the Under-16 girls’ singles title of the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Thursday.
The number two ranked Under-16 player beat the St. Bridget’s Convent player 6-2, 6-1 to claim her first title of the year in her age category.
Razick was out played by Hasali Gajaba at last month’s Colombo Championships and was eliminated in the quarter-finals at the Tennis Nationals 2020 (U16) which was played in January.
Though the finalists are from two schools they represent the same tennis school, namely the Dineshkanthan Tennis School.
In the Under-12 boys’ singles Elizabeth Moir School’s Saha Kapilasena won the title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Jayin de Saram in the final.
Meanwhile, Dulkini Ranasinghe and Arushi Thomas overcame stiff resistance to advance to the Under-14 girls’ singles final. Ranasinghe beat Jayami Thambugalage 4-6, 7-5, 10-7, while the other semi-final too was decided in three sets. Arushi Thomas beat Onali de Silva 6-7, 7-5, 10-6.
Under-16 girls singles final
Saajida Razick beat Dinara de Silva 6-2, 6-1
Under-12 boys singles final
Saha Kapilasena beat Jayin de Saram 6-3, 6-4
Under-14 girls singles semi-finals
Dulkini Ranasinghe beat Jayami Thambugalage 4-6, 7-5, 10-7
Arushi Thomas beat Onali de Silva 6-7, 7-5, 10-6 (RF)
Ahan, Sadeesh in record-breaking stand as Royal recommence cricket
by Reemus Fernando
Captain Ahan Wickramasinghe scored an unbeaten double century and put on a record breaking partnership with Sadeesha Rajapaksha as Royal recommenced First XI cricket in style against Trinity at Reid Avenue on Thursday.
Royal reached 403 for two wickets at stumps as Wickramasinghe and Rajapaksha put on an unbroken third wicket stand of 362 runs.
According to Royal statistician M.L. Fernando ‘it is the highest stand by a Royal College pair against any opposition in more than their 140 year old history.
They broke the record held by Sumithra Waranakulasuriya and Ajith Dewasurendra.
“In 1981 Sumithra Waranakulasuriya and Ajith Dewasurendra put on 304 runs for the third wicket. Ajith walked in when the score was 10 for two and their stand helped the school win by an innings and 62 runs,” Fernando told The Island. Incidentally, the previous record too had been established against Trinity.
According to Fernando the partnership is also a new ground record at Reid Avenue, a venue which had witnessed the rise of a number of Sri Lanka national players.
The 19-year-old Wickramasinghe who was part of the Sri Lanka Under-19 team that featured in the last Youth World Cup faced 223 balls and stroked 17 fours and two sixes in his knock.
Rajapaksha’s knock which came in 259 balls contained ten fours.
The match started on Thursday was Royal’s first official cricket encounter since the 141st Battle of the Blues played last March. Though the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association is set to start a limited overs tournament instead of the customary league tourney of innings format, schools which respect their historic traditional encounters have resumed their First XI cricket matches.
The Royal-Trinity cricket series, which according to Royal statistician had been played uninterrupted, had commenced in 1893.
Royal 403 for 2 in 98 overs
(Ahan Wickramasinghe 210n.o., Ashen Gamage 22, Sadeesha Rajapaksha 152n.o.,)
SLT-MOBITEL Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2021 Concludes Successfully
SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2021’ Motorbike and Car racing championship powered by the ultra-high speed fibre broadband and fastest mobile internet services provider in Sri Lanka SLT-MOBITEL concluded successfully amid much fanfare, on the 27th and 28th February, 2021 at the Eliyakanda racing circuit in Browns Hill Matara.
SLT-MOBITEL joined hands with the Southern Motor Sports Club (SMSC) for the 25th edition of the ‘SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb’.
The exciting racing spectacle comprised of 16 motor cycle events and 17 motor car events, on an uphill course covering a distance of 540 metres, The Bike races were conducted on 27th February and the Car races took place the next day, on 28th February, 2021.
Jaden Gunawardena took pole as the faster rider among 103 racers, marking a new race record of 33.63 seconds. Moreover, Ashan Silva made history at the car race as the first person in the event’s 25 year history to complete the race in 31.26 seconds. The race was made extra special as Ashan had in his first run beat Dilan Seneviratna’s record of 31.783 seconds.
The SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb is a national championship event which functions under the purview of the Sri Lanka Automobile Sports (SLAS), the governing body for motor sports in Sri Lanka.
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