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Former New Zealand all-rounder John R Reid passes away at 92

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John Richard Reid, former New Zealand great and their oldest surviving Test player, has died at the age of 92 in Auckland.

Reid was an exceptional all-rounder, who not only displayed aggression in the batting and bowling aspects of the game, but also impressed with his incredible skills in the field.

He was thought of as a strong rugby player in his youth, but a severe bout of rheumatic fever forced him out of the sport in his teens.

However, the setback did not stop Reid from achieving immense success in a different sport – he scored 3428 runs in 58 Test matches with an average of 33.28, hitting 22 half-centuries and six centuries in a career that spanned over 16 years. His maiden Test century, a knock of 135, came against South Africa in Cape Town in 1954.

He scored two fifties in his debut series, against England, and was the only surviving member of the famous 49ers – the team that brought New Zealand cricket to the world stage when they toured England in 1949.

He was a genuine fast bowler at the beginning of his career, but had to sacrifice pace in the latter stages of his career, switching to off-cutters and spin in order to negate potential injuries. He finished with 85 Test scalps to his name, including four five-wicket hauls and best bowling figures of 6/60.

The right-handed batsman was the first captain ever to score 500 runs and pick up 10 wickets in a series with his tally of 546 runs and 11 dismissals in South Africa in 1962. The visitors also drew the series 2-2, which was an incredible achievement for New Zealand cricket at the time. He also held the record for most international runs by a New Zealand cricketer in a calendar year (871 in 1965), before it was broken by Brendon McCullum in 2014.

Reid was the first cricketer to lead New Zealand to a Test victory, when they beat the Windies by 190 runs in Auckland in 1956. He was also the captain when New Zealand defeated South Africa in 1962 to claim their first overseas Test win.

“I was the captain who won the first three Tests for New Zealand. All records are meant to be broken, but that one you can’t break. But when we won our first Test, I had a glass of champagne for the first time. It was special, first win in 27 years,” said Reid in a conversation with Cricket Monthly back in 2009.

“I used to tell some terrible lies – how we are going to win this one and win that one, knowing very well that we wouldn’t. I loved the game. I loved the sportsmanship.”

When the legendary cricketer hung up his boots in 1965, he held the record for the highest number of caps, runs, outfield catches, as well as wickets for New Zealand. He continued to be influential in international cricket even after his retirement. Reid was appointed as a national selector, and then travelled to South Africa for a couple of coaching stints. He also officiated in 50 Tests and 98 one-day internationals as an International Cricket Council match referee.

Reid was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, but fought against it to recover completely after undergoing surgery, and in August 2015, became the oldest surviving Test cricketer from New Zealand after Trevor Barber passed away. 

In 1962, Reid was bestowed with the tag of an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to the sport. He was also made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours of 2014.3

Reid was a prolific first-class cricketer, who played 246 first-class games, scoring 16128 runs at 41.35, while taking 466 wickets at 22.60.

“John R Reid was New Zealand cricket’s Colin Meads,” said New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White. “He was, and will remain, a household name in this country, having helped pave the way for everything that has come in his wake.

“Our thoughts and respect are with his family at this time: wife Norli; children Alison, Richard and Ann, and his grand-children, Oliver, Megan, Christina and Angus.

“NZC will acknowledge and mark John’s wonderful life and career at an appropriate time.” (ICC)



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Gurukula shock Bens, Koththigoda shines for Richmond

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Under 17 Division I Cricket Pre-quarter-finals

by Reemus Fernando

Playing on a matting wicket Gurukula shocked St. Benedict’s with a ten wicket win, S. Thomas’ ended Moratu Vidyalaya’s impressive run, while Richmond, St. Peter’s, St. Joseph’s and St. Sebastian’s had it easy against their rivals in the Under 17 Division I cricket tournament pre-quarter-finals played on Tuesday.

Gurukula delivered the knockout punch when Daham Vimukthi and Tharusha Kodikara grabbed three wickets each to bundle St. Benedict’s out for 71 runs. Gurukula openers Thathsara Eshan and Poorna Kalhara then kept their wickets intact to reach the target in just over ten overs.

In the match played at Karandeniya, Richmond’s Yuri Koththigoda and Pubudu Mihiranga picked up four wickets each to restrict De Mazenod’s to 99 runs and record 99 runs victory. Koththigoda produced remarkable bowling figures (10-6-7-4) giving away just seven runs in his ten overs which included six maidnes.

At Bambalapitiya, the right-arm left-arm spin combination of skipper Lashmika Perera (5/29) and Sasindu Silva helped St. Peter’s restrict Wesley to 119 runs before Nethan Devid scored an unbeaten half century to seal a comfortable seven wickets victory.

Moratu Vidyalaya’s impressive run in the tournament came to an end when S. Thomas’ registered a hard fought victory at Moratuwa. After restricting them to 234 runs Dineth Goonawardena and Kavindu Dias scored unbeaten half centuries to secure a six wicket victory.

Match results

Gurukula shock St. Benedict’s

at Kandana

Scores

St. Benedicts

71 all out in 28.2 overs (Nilakshana Nawam 16; Daham Vimukthi 3/18, Tharusha Kodikara 3/20, Thathsara Eshan 2/05)

Gurukula

74 for no loss in 10.2 overs (Thathsara Eshan 39n.o., Poorna Kalhara 28n.o.)

St. Sebastian’s in eight wickets win over St. Anne’s at Moratuwa

Scores:

St. Anne’s

102 all out in 35.1 overs (Buddima Nanadasiri 33, Nimantha Jayasundara 20, Navod Fernando 3/27, Jenen De Silva 2/15, Akash Dissanayake 2/26, Rayan Dissanayaka 2/11)

St. Sebastian’s

104 for 2 in 20.2 overs (Adesh Almeida 58, Rayan Dissanayaka 39, .o.; Jashmin Jayasundara 2/23)

S. Thomas’ beat Moratu Vidyalaya

at Moratuwa

Moratu MV

234 for 8 in 50 overs (Isuru Fernando 74, Hasindu Senanayaka 35, Deneth Sithumina 24, Ilukshan Silva 23, Rajindu Thilakaratna 2/46, Vihanga Rodrigo 2/47, Kavindu Dias 2/50)

S. Thomas’

236 for 4 in 48.1 overs (Sadev Soysa 48, Dineth Goonawardena 71n.o., Rajindu Thilakaratne 41, Kavindu Dias 55n.o.)

St. Joseph’s record seven wickets win

at Darley Road

Scores:

Mahanama

124 all out in 40.3 overs (Eshan Vithanage 53, Osanda Muthugama 17; Dunick Perera 2/15, Maanasa Madubashana 2/26, Yenula Dewthusa 3/09)

St. Joseph’s

125 for 3 in 22.4 overs (Abhishek Jayaweera 20, Sahan Dabare 43, Kenath Liyanage 33n.o.; Chamika Heenatigala 2/28)

Richmond beat De Mazenod by 99 runs at Karandeniya

Scores:

Richmond

198 all out in 49.1 overs (Pubudu Mihiranga 34, Thamindu Pradeeptha 31, Charuka Gunasekara 25, Lehan Subasinghe 24, Tinura Abeysekara 22, Malitha Perera 20; Savinu Chanthula 3/47, Nipuna Theekshana 2/05, Kavindu Kaushalya 2/20, Neshan Dias 2/27)

De Mazenod

99 all out in 27.1 overs (Kenul Dhananjaya 23, Neshan Dias 20; Yuri Koththigoda 4/07, Pubudu Mihiranga 4/26)

St. Peter’s beat Wesley

at Bambalapitiya

Scores:

Wesley

119 all out in 36.4 overs (Ravindu Sigera 32, Manuth Samarakoon 23, Lashmika Perera 5/29, Sasindu Silva 4/14)

St. Peter’s

123 for 3 in 30.5 overs (Oween Salgado 37, Nethan Devid 50n.o., Lashmika Perera 18n.o.; Jathon Wieman 2/32)

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Navy SC crowned champions of the Invitational Women’s T20 tourney

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Navy Sports Club with their trophies.

The Navy Sports Club (Navy SC) won the title of the Sri Lanka Cricket conducted Invitational Women’s T20 League tournament on Monday.

In the final of the tournament held at the Thurstan Ground, Colombo, the Navy SC edged out the Air Force SC by eight runs to clinch the title.

Batting first, the Navy SC scored 121 runs for the loss of six wickets in their quota of 20 overs. For the Navy Umesha Thimeshani top scored with a knock of 30 runs. In reply, the Air Force SC only managed to score 113 runs for the loss of seven wickets in 20 overs. In the bowling department, Madhuri Samuddhika and Sathya Sandeepani took two for 21 and two for 23 respectively for the Navy.

Meanwhile, Madhuri Samuddhika and Sathya Sandeepani of the Navy Sports Club won awards for Women’s Player of the Final and Women’s Player of the Tournament respectively. In addition, Hansima Karunarathne, the skipper of Navy SC, was adjudged the Best Bowler of the tournament.

Sri Lanka Navy Sports Club were also the winners of the women’s division one 50 over cricket tournament organized by SLC.

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Isipatana find winning rhythm to take ‘league’ rugby crown

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Members of the unbeaten Isipatana College rugby team celebrate winning the Division 1 Segment A school rugby tournament by beating Royal College in the decider last Sunday.

By a Special Sports Correspondent

School rugby this season produced joy, realised expectations and tears for teams as Isipatana College brought the curtains down on the league rugby tournament with a memorable win against Royal College in the decider played on August 14 (Sunday).

Isipatana College, very different from the sides of yesteryear, displayed all the qualities of modern rugby which is spiced with speed, power, and brute size. Skipper and number eight Dahan Nithina showed that rugby is a game for the big boys and rallied his team during the season to finish on top after seven grueling weeks of rugby. The Green Shirts also had small made players, but this Isipatana side-when compared with the other Division 1 sides- was never wanting for size. In positions where players were lacking in size the lads from Havelock Town made up for it with guts, courage and intelligence.

Overall, Isipatana was the side to watch and perhaps was drawn onto a group where competition was the stiffest. Vidyartha and Science in the league stage of the tournament produced some anxious moments for them, but the side came through with collective efforts. Till the final Isipatana’s best performance came when they beat Viyartha up in Kandy.

Another reason why this side slowly became the side to watch was that they improved with each game. Much credit must go to the coaches Saliya Kumara (Head coach), Dhanushka Botheju (Forwards Coach) and Heshan Gomex (Trainer) for the inputs made to the side.

It always looked professional when the Green Shirts were running the ball and there was a knack in almost all these players to create openings for tries. Some of the players who were outstanding in running with the ball and creating scoring opportunities for the team were Rinesh Silva, Wewala Pandith, Skipper Daham Nithina, Sonal Sansoni, Praveen Stephan, Venura Sangeeth, Sooriya Dodangoda, Dinsara De Costa and Naveen Kanishka.

School rugby is played with many support services and Isipatana College too has that support. When a team walks into a stadium with a large contingent it underscores that things are in order. Isipatana like most of the other teams showed their rugby at school is both well nurtured and nourished.

Efforts made to compile this article would not be complete if the mention is not made of Isipatana’s past glories even in capsule form. The Green Shirts first won the schools’ league crown under Chandana Deepthi when the tournament officially commenced in 1985. They had many glorious seasons there onwards and took home the league and also the knock-out titles on many occasions. The last time the lads from Havelock Town won the league crown was in 2016.

Royal too played well and spent all their ‘petrol’ on the field despite knowing that the all-important Brady Shield vs Trinity is to take place in a few days. It’s creditable that all teams hung on till the end and completed their matches in the league given that this is the first year after the pandemic that a school rugby season was played in full.

The other two teams which made it to the Super League Round are Wesley and St. Joseph’s College.

For the record Zahira and D.S Senanayake College playing in the Division 1 Segment B Tournament finished unbeaten and earned a promotion to play in the Segment A Tournament next season.

Mention must be made of Lalith Athulathmudali MV which came on top in Division 2 Group A after clearing their final hurdle against President’s College Maharagama on Sunday. Lalith Athulathmudali MV coached by Ajith Fernando won the match 13-10.

The Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association which did well to organize the tournament also received some brickbats from critics for failing to control unruly spectators during matches; on several occasions this season.

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