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HNB win third consecutive Mercantile Hockey title

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Championship winning Hatton National Bank team.(Pic by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

Hatton National Bank clinched third consecutive Mercantile Knockout Tournament ‘A’ Division Hockey title after a thrilling final contest at the Reid Avenue on Saturday.

They beat Sampath Bank 11-10 in an extended penalty shootout after a closely contested regulation time ended in a four all draw. Damith Madusanka Bandara (2), Upul Danushka Fernando (1) and Nuwan Mahara scored goals for HNB while Diluka Weerasooriya (2), Buwaneka Parahitiyawa (1) and Chinthaka Dilshan scored goals for Sampath.

Scores were leveled 4-4 even in the penalty shootout and the organizers were forced to extend the tie breaker further. HNB edged out the first time ‘A’ Division finalists 3-2 in the second penalty shootout. It was their 18 title of this tournament which is 68 years old now.

Commercial Bank were the second runners up.

In the ‘B’ Division final HSBC edged out Hayleys 3-2 to win the title. Seylan Bank were the second runners up.



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Asalanka to take over from Hasaranga as Sri Lanka skipper

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Charith Asalanka will lead Sri Lanka in the first two T-20 Internationals in Bangladesh.

by Rex Clementine

Star all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga’s two-match suspension means his schoolmate Charith Asalanka will take over as Sri Lanka’s captain during the national cricket team’s tour of Bangladesh starting next week.

Accordingly, Asalanka will lead the country in the first two T-20 Internationals as Hasaranga remains suspended. Asalanka is the understudy for Hasaranga in T-20 cricket and Kusal Mendis in ODI cricket and many believe it is only a matter of time before the 26-year-old leads Sri Lanka across all formats.

From the far off Elpitiya, Asalanka ended up at Richmond College, Galle after passing the Grade Five Scholarship. More than education it was cricket that Asalanka excelled in at Richmond and soon was spotted by the national selectors.

Asalanka captained Sri Lanka Under-19 to the UK in 2016 where the team won the unofficial Test series and blanked England Under-19 3-0 in the ODIs. He also went on to captain the nation at the ICC Youth World Cup. Former great Roy Dias, who functioned as the Head Coach of the Under-19 side had earmarked Asalanka for great things moving forward.

Having made his international debut three years ago, Asalanka has come up with some match-winning performances over the years. His feats batting under pressure has been a hallmark. More importantly in a day and age where many young players have been cautioned, fined or sanctioned for indiscipline, Asalanka has moved around with his head held high.

Asalanka’s elevation to captaincy comes after ICC Match Referee Chris Broad suspended the Sri Lankan captain for bringing the game into disrepute during the third T-20 International at Dambulla where Hasaranga argued with the umpire. He was charged by the umpires and the Match Referee found him guilty handing a 50 percent fine of the match fee apart from the suspension.

Hasaranga faulted with umpire Lyndon Hannibal for not calling a no ball for a high full toss in the last over of the Sri Lankan innings. The ball to Kamindu Mendis was not just waist high but chest high and should have been called a no ball and a free hit given. Sri Lanka went on to lose a close encounter by three runs. A win would have seen them clean sweeping the Afghans in all three formats.

Sri Lanka will play three T-20 Internationals and three ODIs against Bangladesh followed by two Test matches. Their next assignment is the T-20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the United States.

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SLT-MOBITEL Champions 94th Battle of the Maroons as Platinum Sponsor

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From Left – Rohana Ellawala, Deputy Chief Marketing Officer – SLT, Charaka Perera – General Manager Marketing – Mobitel, Prabhath Dahanayake – Chief Marketing Officer – SLT-MOBITEL, President Old Anandians’ Sport Club, Major General Kamal Gunaratne, Ananda College Principal – D.M. Lal Dissanayake, Nalanda College Principal – Iran Champika Silva, former Sri Lanka captain – Mahela Jayawardena

Reaffirming its commitment to elevating sports through the fusion of technology, SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT Solutions Provider, proudly announced its support as the Platinum Sponsor for the highly anticipated 94th Battle of the Maroons, a historic cricketing encounter and among the most prestigious cricketing events in Sri Lanka’s sporting calendar.

SLT-MOBITEL’s partnership with the 94th Battle of the Maroons underpins the company’s steadfast dedication to fostering sports and youth development across Sri Lanka. By partnering with this prestigious event, SLT-MOBITEL not only champions the spirit of cricket but also reaffirms its pivotal role in nurturing the nation’s emerging sporting talents.

Empowering the next generation of cricket enthusiasts, SLT-MOBITEL takes center stage by providing a dynamic platform for young cricketers to showcase their talents and unwavering passion for the game. This initiative stands as a crucial contribution towards fostering the sustained growth and development of national cricket in Sri Lanka. Through this commitment, SLT-MOBITEL not only connects with the pulse of the sport but also propels the aspirations of budding cricketers, paving the way for a brighter future in the realm of Sri Lankan cricket.

In a grand spectacle at the prestigious Kingsbury Hotel, SLT-MOBITEL proudly unveiled its sponsorship of the historic 94th Battle of the Maroons. The synergy between SLT-MOBITEL and Battle of the Maroons officials came to life as they ceremoniously exchanged the Memorandum of Understanding, marking the beginning of an extraordinary partnership.

The Battle of the Maroons holds a rich history as a cherished and highly anticipated event, symbolizing the brotherhood between Ananda and Nalanda. Since its inception in 1924, the annual cricketing encounter has not only strengthened relations between the two institutions but has also played an important role in nurturing cricketing talent and producing exceptional national cricketers.

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Thewmika, Tharushka shine as Battle of Brothers ends in draw

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Sri Lanka Under 19 cap Vihas Thewmika with a good double of six wickets and 77 runs for Thurstan and Tharushka Ashel with a century for Isipatana excelled for their teams as the Battle of Brothers Big Match ended in a draw at the SSC ground on Sunday.

In reply to Isipatana’s 250 runs, Thurstan posted 253 for eight wickets declared as Thewmika and Harith Shalaka put on a fifth wicket stand of 113 runs. While Thewmika scored nine fours and a six in his 77 runs, Shalaka made 42.

For Isipatana Sithuka Gunawardene was the pick of the bowlers as he took four wickets.

In their second essay, Ruchith Rodrigo compensated for his first innings quick dismissal by scoring an entertaining 82 runs inclusive of seven fours and five sixes.

(RF)

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