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Home or away; Sri Lanka remain useless  

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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.

 

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka

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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Avishka and Sadeera power Jaffna Kings to nine wicket win

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Half tons by Avishka Fernando and Sadeera Samarawickrema powered Jaffna Kings to a nine wicket win over Dambulla giants in the 3rd match of the LPL at MRICS Hambanthota on Wednesday (07)

Dambulla Giants 121/9 in 20 overs (Jordan Cox 43; Maheesh Theekshana 3/20, Vijayakanth Vijaskanth 3/24, James Fuller 2/16, Zaman Khan 1/28)

Jaffna Kings 122/1 in 15.4 overs (Avishka Fernando 51 , Sadeera Samarawickrema 62 not out; Noor Ahamed 1/28)

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All Island Schools Games Athletics Championships

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The All Island Schools Games Athletics Championships concluded at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Tuesday. Here are some action pictures from the morning session of the final day.

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Jaffna win low scoring thriller

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Dunith Wellalage scored 30 runs as Jaffna Kings beat Galle Gladiators in the curtain-raiser of the Lanka Premier League at Suriyawewa yesterday.

Defending champions Jaffna Kings got off to a superb start as they defended 137 runs to win the curtain-raiser of the third edition of Lanka Premier League tournament against Galle Gladiators at Suriywawewa yesterday. Jaffna Kings managed only 137 runs batting first but their bowling was too good as they bowled out Galle Gladiators for 113.

Seamer Binura Fernando who returned home from Australia halfway through the ICC Men’s T-20 World Cup with a hamstring injury picked up three wickets for 22 runs while leggie Vijayakanth Viyaskanth picked up two for 20.

Galle Gladiators got off to a good start with openers Kusal Mendis and Nuwanidu Fernando adding 58 runs for the first wicket in 45 balls. Mendis made the only half-century in the game posting a 43 ball 51 with five fours before being trapped leg before wicket by Maheesh Theekshana. His dismissal saw Galle Gladiators losing their way as they collapsed. At one stage they were 97 for four and needed 41 in 24 balls but lost their last six wickets for 16 runs to go down to the strongest team in the competition.

There was not much support for Mendis as the next best score was Imad Wasim’s 17. Mendis is leading the Galle Gladiators.

Shoaib Malik and Dunith Wellalage made 30 runs each for Jaffna while Dhananjaya de Silva posted 29 from 19 balls with three fours and two sixes.

Brief Scores:

Jaffna Kings

137 all out in 19.5 overs

(Dhananjaya de Silva 29, Dunith Wellalage 30, Shoaib Malik 30, Ifthikar Ahmed 2 for eight)

Galle Gladiators

113 all out in 20 overs (Kusal Mendis 51, Imad Wasim 17, Binura Fernando 3 for 22, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth 2 for 20)

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