Connect with us


IPL stars expected to join teams in Hambantota



Afghanistan team resumed training ahead of the three match ODI series against Sri Lanka at SSC this week. They will travel to Hambantota next week where their IPL signings are expected to join

by Rex Clementine  

Afghanistan cricket team that arrived in the island earlier this week has resumed practices in Colombo with SSC being their training base. Sri Lanka meanwhile have been training at both SSC and RPS. Both teams will travel to Hambantota next week ahead of the three match ODI series.

The first ODI will be played on the 2nd of June followed by the remaining games on June 4th and 7th.  Both teams’ IPL players are expected to join the rest in Hambantota ahead of the curtain-raiser of the series.

Afghanistan had a strong representation in the IPL – as good as Sri Lanka’s – with four of them featuring in the world’s leading franchise tournament – Rashid Khan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Noor Ahmad and Fazalhaq Farooqi.  Abdul Rahman, a 21-year-old uncapped medium paceman is the only newcomer in the Afghan squad.  Bowling is Afghanistan’s strongest aspect in the ODI format.

Despite their struggles in recent years, Sri Lanka start the series as favourites. The hosts are yet to name their squad, but fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera and top order batsman Kusal Janith Perera are expected to be named in the side.

Dimuth Karunaratne also returns to the side having been given the cold shoulder in the 50 over format for two years now. Sri Lanka’s problems of not being able to bat out the 50 overs has been a problem and Dimuth is seen as the solution for the problem.

Lead up to the last World Cup in England, Sri Lanka were facing the same problem and Dimuth was drafted into the side to address the issue and he went onto lead the team and did a decent job as the opener.

Former captain Angelo Mathews is also back in the 50 over format.  There will be a lot of excitement as fans will be hoping to see Matheesha Pathirana in action. Nicknamed ‘baby Malinga’, the 20-year-old has come up with some match winning performances for CSK. Pathirana has only featured in a T-20 for Sri Lanka – last year in UAE. He is expected to make his ODI debut.

Afghanistan toured Sri Lanka last year as well for a three-match series, a part of the ICC World Cup Super League. The series was played at Pallekele and ended in a 1-1 draw with one game being washed out by rain. Afghanistan qualified for this year’s World Cup directly by winning the first ODI.

Latest News

Dushmantha Chameera’s four wickets leads bowlers’ party as Sri Lanka wrap up series




Dushmantha Chameera finished with 4 for 63

Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara blasted out Afghanistan’s top order, the spinners took care of the lower order, and then Sri Lanka’s top three raced to the target of 117 in 16 overs. It wasn’t much of a workout ahead of the World Cup Qualifier, which starts on June 19; but having lost the first match of this series, the resounding nature of their victories to end the series will nevertheless give Sri Lanka some confidence.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 120 for 1 (Dimuth Karunaratne 56*, Pathum Nissanka 51; Gulbadin Naib 1-19) beat Afghanistan 116 (Ibrahim Zadran 22,Mohammed Nabi 23, Gulbadin Naib 20; Dushmantha Chameera 4-63, Wanidu Hasaranga 3-7) by nine wickets

Continue Reading


Novak Djokovic & Carlos Alcaraz to meet in French Open 2023 semi-finals




Carlos Alcaraz won his first Grand Slam title at the 2022 US Open (pic BBC)

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz will face Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals after crushing Stefanos Tsitsipas to set up the highly anticipated clash.

Spain’s Alcaraz, 20, won 6-2 6-1 7-6 (7-5) against the Greek fifth seed.

Serbia’s Djokovic survived a quarter-final scare from Karen Khachanov to keep his bid for a record 23rd men’s Grand Slam singles title alive.  Djokovic, 36, was in danger of falling two sets behind against the Russian but prevailed 4-6 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-4.

The third seed could become the first man to win all four majors at least three times. But if he is going to do that he must come through his toughest test yet when he meets US Open champion Alcaraz in the last four on Friday.

(BBC Sports)

Continue Reading


Sri Lanka confident World Cup qualifiers will go well



Angelo Mathews bats during training at Suriyawewa ahead of the third ODI against Afghanistan.

Rex Clementine
at Suriyawewa

Having failed to qualify automatically for the World Cup later this year, Sri Lanka will be flying shortly to Zimbabwe to secure one of the two remaining slots for the sport’s showpiece event. But before that they have got to finish off the ODI series against Afghanistan and the former champions will be hoping that they will be able to clinch the series prior to flying off to Harare.

After losing the first ODI by six wickets, Sri Lanka bounced back to square the series with a 132-run win on Sunday. That was a match where they basically produced the perfect game and ticked all the boxes.

The top order gave a solid start before the middle order capitalized on it and the lower middle order finished things off in style scoring 109 runs from the last ten overs. Sri Lanka piled up 323 for six and Afghanistan were never in the hunt as they were shot out for 191.

“The last game was a perfect exhibition of our plans. Everything was executed well. Since we had wickets in hand we could take risks. We could double the score and that was the plan. That’s what we want to do,” Sri Lanka’s Batting Coach Naveed Nawaz told journalists.

Prior to this series, we had a free period and we worked a lot on players’ fitness at the High-Performance Center. During this series we brought in a dietician and planned our food patterns. There is also a psychologist around. This is all done in a bid to establish whatever we have lost in the last few years,” Nawaz added.

While Sri Lanka are fretting over World Cup qualifications, there’s no such trouble for Afghanistan. Their captain Hashmatullah Shahidi told journalists that they will be one of the dark horses during the World Cup.

“Our ratings are improving day by day and match by match. We believe that we can do something special in this World Cup. We will be one of the best teams in the World Cup. We are the dark horses. The Asian conditions will suit our spin bowlers and we are excited,” Hashmatullah Shahidi said.

For today’s series decider leg-spinner Rashid Khan is expected to make a comeback having missed the first two ODIs due to a back injury.

“He is obviously our star performer. We didn’t want to take any risks with him as we have the Asia Cup and the World Cup. We will assess his situation during training and make a call whether he is ready to feature in the final game. It will mean a lot to us to come here to Sri Lanka and beat them in their own backyard,” the Afghan captain said.

Continue Reading