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‘Felt like I was playing against Stuart Broad in England’ – Angelo Mathews

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“The wicket was not offering anything for the fast bowlers but he was still moving the ball.”

11 of Stuart Broad’s 17 overs in the second innings in Galle were maidens. Angelo Mathews, who faced 37 Broad deliveries in that innings, managed only one scoring shot against him. At times, Mathews said, it felt like he was facing Broad in England.

On a pitch that has historically been unkind to quicks, Broad was not only phenomenally accurate, he also attacked the stumps more than he might at home, bowled leg-cutters that almost spat off the dusty Galle surface, and changed up his pace. He’d also taken three wickets for 20 in the first innings, sparking the collapse that essentially won England the match.

Mathews went on to make 71 in the second innings, but thanks in part to Broad’s miserly bowling, Mathews’ strike rate was down at 32.

“We all know what kind of a bowler Broad is – he’s taken over 500 Test wickets and he’s one of the best fast bowlers going around,” Mathews said. “On any kind of surface, the wicket was not offering anything for the fast bowlers, but he was moving the ball. One spell I felt like I was playing in England against him because he was moving the ball. That’s very difficult for a fast bowler to do in these conditions in Galle.”

England spinners were not far behind on the accuracy front, according to Mathews. Dom Bess and Jack Leach bowled 74.5 overs between them in the second innings, going at less than three an over between them. Leach claimed a five-wicket haul, and Bess took three wickets. They took 14 of the 20 Sri Lanka wickets to fall in the match.

“Even the spinners didn’t give anything away,” Mathews said. “They didn’t give loose deliveries at all. Even though the wicket was turning, and they were trying to take wickets. It was pure Test cricket where they held on to a line and length and we actually made a lot of mistakes by trying to go for too many shots too early off good balls, where we couldn’t score off.”

Despite the England attack’s accuracy, and although many Sri Lanka batsmen got out playing attacking shots, Mathews does not think a more conservative batting approach represents Sri Lanka’s best hope of levelling the series in the second Test. Generally, the thinking at Galle has been to score your runs briskly, before the inevitable unplayable delivery comes your way.

“The way I play is different to Dinesh Chandimal or Kusal Perera or Niroshan Dickwella,” Mathews said. “We’ve got to find our scoring options rather than try to copy some other batsman. Joe Root played a magnificent innings and we can learn a lot from the way he batted, but sometimes the shots he played, we can’t play. We need to be able to understand what we can and what we can’t do on these wickets against their bowlers.

“It’s not about being conservative. You always have to look to score runs. But you need to understand how you can score runs off these bowlers and in these conditions.”

(ESPNCricinfo)



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SLT-MOBITEL Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2021 Concludes Successfully

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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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Wenuka wins all Thomian final to clinch U16 boys’ singles title

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SSC Open Ranking Tennis

by Reemus Fernando

Wenuka Kithnula clinched the Under-16 boys’ singles title with a win over top seed Zaidh Zihar at the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Wednesday.

In an all Thomian final Kithnula scored 7-5, 6-4 against Zihar, who had to be content with the runner up title for the second consecutive time within weeks.

For Kithnula, it was the first title in this age category after being eliminated in the quarter-finals of two consecutive tournaments this year. He has however tasted title victory in lower age category events at the SSC Open Raking Tournaments before.

Both Zaidh Zihar and Wenuka Kithnula have been performing consistently since tennis resumed following a long hiatus due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

The S. Thomas’ College players were also among the top contenders when they were competing in the Under-14 age category often sharing the champion and runner up titles between them.

At the Tennis Nationals 2020 which was played in January this year, Kithnula was eliminated by eventual champion Kiran Viravanathan in the quarter-finals of the Under-16 tournament. Zihar reached the semi-finals in that tournament.

At the last month’s Colombo Championships, Kithnula was knocked out in the quarter-finals, while Zihar reached the final where he was beaten by Viravanathan.

Meanwhile, in the Under-16 girls’ singles, Dinara de Silva and Saajida Razick from Dineshkanthan Tennis School are set to meet in the final as they won their semi finals.

In the Under-14 girls’ singles Arushi Thomas, Onali de Silva, Jayami Thambugalage and Dulkini Ranasinghe advanced to the semi finals.

Results

Under-16 boys’ singles final

Wenuka Kithnula beat Zaidh Zihar 7-5, 6-4

Under-16 girls’ singles semi-finals

Dinara de Silva beat Anithra Dharmaratne 6-2, 6-4

Saajida Razick beat Dinethya Dharmaratne 6-2, 6-3

Under-14 girls’ singles quarter-final

Arushi Thomas beat Melasha Randini 7-5, 6-4,

Onali de Silva beat Inuki Jayaweera 1-6, 6-2, 13-11

Jayami Thambugalage beat Brinda Fernando 6-3, 6-1,

Dulkini Ranasinghe beat Akeesha Silva 3-6, 6-4, 10-8

 

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Top seeds Zihar, Wenuka book final berths

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SSC Open Ranking Tennis

Top seeds Zaidh Zihar and Wenuka Kithnula advanced to the final of the Under-16 boys’ singles as they won their respective semi-final matches at the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Tuesday.

Zihar, the top seed, beat Hasal Ahangama 6-4, 6-5 to book his second consecutive Under-16 boys’ singles final berth. Zihar was the runner up to Kiran Viravanathan at the last month’s Colombo Championships.

The second seed Kithnula ousted Ransath Peiris 6-2, 6-2 to advance to his first final after being eliminated in the quarter-finals at both the Colombo Championships and the Nationals (U16) in January.

In the Under-12 boys’ singles Saha Kapilasena edged out his bother Tyee 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 to book a place in the final. Kapilasena will now meet Jayin de Saram who won his semi final against Aahil Kaleel (7-6, 2-6, 10-5).

In the Under-16 girls’ singles, third seed Dinethya Dharmaratne secured a semi-final place against number two seed Saajida Razick when she overcame a set defeat to beat Nelini Jayasuriya 3-6, 6-2, 10-8. Razick advanced to the semis with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Nesangi Hemakumara.

In the other semi-final Anitra Dharmaratne is set to meet Dinara de Silva who beat Ruvi Lewkebandara 0-6, 6-1, 10-7. Anitra Dharmaratne secured her spot when she ousted top seed Dewmini Warnasuriya 6-2, 1-6, 12-10.

Results

Under-16 boys’ singles semis

Zaidh Zihar beat Hasal Ahangama 6-4, 6-5

Wenuka Kithnula beat Ransath Peiris 6-2, 6-2

Under-16 girls’ singles quarter-finals

Dinethya Dharmaratne beat Nelini Jayasuriya 3-6, 6-2, 10-8

Saajida Razick beat Nesangi Hemakumara 6-2, 6-2

Dinara de Silva beat Ruvi Lewkebandara 0-6, 6-1, 10-7

Anitra Dharmaratne beat Dewmini Warnasuriya 6-2, 1-6, 12-10

Under-12 boys’ singles semi-finals

Saha Kapilasena beat Tyee Kapilasena 3-6, 6-2, 10-6

Jayin de Saram beat Aahil Kaleel 7-6, 2-6, 10-5

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