Rex Clementine at Galle Fort
The Sri Lankan cricket team is playing a brand of cricket that is alien to us and their reasoning is inexplicable. When you do not respect the basic principles of the great game, you are taught bitter lessons. Sri Lanka got a fair share of it yesterday here in Galle.
The extended run that Lahiru Thirimanne has got defies logic and the only explanation for him constantly featuring in the team is too obvious. After 37 Tests he averages 22 and at the age of 31, neither are we investing for future nor getting match winning contributions from him. The manner in which Thirimanne gets out puts a question mark on his temperament.
Kusal Mendis’ of course is a different scenario altogether. He has won more Test matches at the age of 25 than most other Sri Lankans have done. But surely, there’s a technical glitch in his game – lack of feet movement. When he was included in the squad, we were told that he will remain with the squad and coaches will work on his technical aspect rather than him being totally thrown out.
Oshada Fernando perhaps should have got the nod. Or maybe Fernando is not fully fit and strangely for one month now he has been in the team bubble but has not played a single match.
We do not intend to bash Mendis and Thirimanne and leave others off the hook. Not too often a bowler claims a five wicket haul and he is left out of the next game. Vishwa Fernando suffered that fate yesterday. Had Suranga Lakmal got the nod – on his seniority – that was understandable. But Asitha Fernando was preferred due to his better control and ability to reverse the ball. The Sri Lankans sadly don’t have enough runs to defend. They are losing the grip on this game too quickly.
It was a shambolic performance. One was dismissed playing a reverse sweep, another was caught at leg-slip, another slashed hard without much patience while two others drove straight to the point fielder while one man was dismissed backing up too far. It was a day that Sri Lanka would love to forget. But they have to be realistic and make sure that England don’t walk away with a big lead.
Successful Sri Lankan teams in Galle were good at playing the waiting game and cash in once the bowlers were losing control. But yesterday Sri Lanka were sloppy and lacked discipline.
England lost the openers cheaply. But Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root with a 110 run partnership took the game away from the hosts. The tourists now trail by just eight runs.
135 (Dinesh Chandimal 28, Angelo Mathews 27; Dom Bess 5-30, Stuart Broad 3-20) lead England 127/2 (Joe Root 66*, Jonny Bairstow 47*; Lasith Embuldeniya 2-55) by 8 runs.
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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.
Wenuka wins all Thomian final to clinch U16 boys’ singles title
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.
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
Top seeds Zihar, Wenuka book final berths
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.
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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