Lahiru Udara’s strong domestic form has put him in the frame for the Bangladesh Tests in October.(ThePapare)
If his 800 runs during the 2018/2019 domestic First-Class tournament didn’t catch anyone’s eye, the dynamic Lahiru Udara‘s four figure 2019/20 season surely did.
He ended up as the tournament’s top run scorer with 1039 runs averaging over 86, ahead of some of Sri Lanka’s top players including Dinesh Chandimal who was the only other player to cross the 1000 run mark.
Another remarkable fact about Udara is the pace at which he scored these runs throughout the season, finishing off with a strike rate of 86.72 giving indications that he might also be a good investment as an all-format player. Udara hit three centuries throughout the season to go along with his six half centuries, while he was unfortunate to be dismissed in the 90s on a number of occasions.
Speaking to The Island Udara said ‘Lockdown was tough. I did workout at home but it was not the real deal. Once training resumed, I worked very hard to get back to where I left off as we had four games remaining’
Udara schooled at the Ananda Central College, Elpitiya before he made the switch to St. John’s, Nugegoda, to pursue better cricketing opportunities. ‘When I was ending my school career, I joined the NCC U-23 team back in 2012 and never really looked back since’, said Udara.
Udara is also a wicket-keeper by trade but he has been playing as a specialist batsman for NCC during the recent past, as his team mate Niroshan Dickwella – the Sri Lanka Test wicket-keeper – stands behind the stumps.
His consistent performances during the past couple of years has now put him in the frame for a possible call up for the Bangladesh Tests in October, and he has done no harm to his reputation with his performances post-COVID-19, where his last five innings were (most recent first) 66, 111, 93, 90 & 105 in First-Class cricket.
‘My dream is to play for Sri Lanka. If I get the opportunity, I will give my best shot for my country’ said an excited Udara.
Ranindu, Nethmi crowned king and queen
National Chess Championship 2020
Sixteen year old Ranindu Liyanage of Ananda College, Colombo and Nethmi Fernando of Girls High School won the men’s and women’s titles respectively of the National Chess Championship at Hotel Taj Samudra on Monday.
Ranindu who was playing excellent chess from the start concluded with a total of 10 ½ points (out of possible thirteen). Young Ranindu’s only defeat was at the hands of C.C. Weerasinghe during the penultimate round. His results included three draws against L.M.S.T. de Silva, Lakshitha Randil and Gayantha Dissanayake. He was victorious against all others. Ranindu received a cash award of Rs. 100,000.00, a Trophy and a Gold medal.
Nethmi, meanwhile scored 10 points for her title. She had an excellent start in the first half of the event scoring 6 ½ points in seven games. She had a disappointing start to the second half, suffering back to back defeats at the hands of Sandeepani Tharushi and Newanji Hewawasam but came back fighting to score 3 ½ out of four in the last four rounds. Nethmi, who is also 16 received a cash award of Rs. 60,000.00 apart from the Gold medal and the Trophy.
The National Chess Championship 2020 started on September 11 was conducted by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka. Holger Seubert, the ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany was the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony which was also attended by Sandamali Aviruppola, Principal, Visakha Vidyalaya, Luxman Wijesuriya, the President CFSL and Deepthi Hewageegana, the Deputy President.
Minul Doluweera of Royal College, Colombo also had a memorable event where he scored 10 points out of a total of 13. The dual between Doluweera and Liyanage was crucial as it seperated the winner and the runners up. Doluweera had to satisfy with the Silver medal. He played an exciting game with International Master, Romesh Weerawardena in the final round where a position of famous mating net arrived after Minul’s 21st move.
Fourteen year old, Susal de Silva of Nalanda College won the Bronze medal in the Nationals. Theekshana Denuwan(16) of Ananda College performed well to be placed fourth, while International Master Romesh Weerawardane secured the fifth position.
After losing her first three games of the event Sandeepani Tharushi of Devi Balika came back strongly to score 9 ½ points with Ashvini Pavalachandran of Wicherly International School. Sandeepani got the Silver Medal on the better tie breaker and Ashvini the bronze. Tharushi Niklesha of Visakha Vidyalaya and Women International Master Sachini Ranasinghe were placed fourth and fifth respectively.
The Chess Federation presented a cash award of Rs. 250,000.00 to the Sri Lankan Chess Hero, Master Harshana Thilakarathne of Maliyadeva College who reach the 2400 FIDE Ranking and received the International Master Title from FIDE, the World Chess Federation. He reached this ranking 36 years after FIDE Master Harsha Aturupane reached that level in 1986. Since the CFSL had invited all National Champions of Sri Lanka, former stars such as Aturupane and Harinlal Aturupane and Suneetha Wijesuriya were present at the Awards.
SLC has a new ‘Formal Clothing Sponsor’
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) signed a three-year agreement with Namal Balachandra Private Limited, thus choosing the firm as the ‘Official Formal Clothing Sponsor’ of National Teams. The agreement was signed and exchanged between Sri Lanka Cricket and Namal Balachandra Private Limited at the SLC headquarters with Mohan de Silva, Honorary Secretary of the SLC and Namal Balachandra, Chairman and Managing Director of the Namal Balachandra Private Limited signing on behalf of the respective entities.
Under the agreement, Namal Balachandra Private Limited, a renowned apparel and costume designer in Sri Lanka will provide formal clothing to the National Men’s and Women’s Teams.
“We are very happy to have Namal Balachandra Private Limited as our formal clothing sponsor, which comes at a critical time, not only for the game of cricket, but for the entire world, owing to the ongoing health crisis,’’ said de Silva, Honorary Secretary of SLC.
“Therefore, we value this sponsorship immensely, as it shows the commitment of the corporate world to keep Sri Lanka Cricket continue its forward journey,’’ de Silva further said.
Under the agreement, Namal Balachandra will be entitled to use the exclusive title of “Official Formal Clothing Sponsor of Sri Lanka National Cricket Teams,” on all its stationary, promotional material and advertisements during the term. “We are proud to be a part of Sri Lanka Cricket and its forward journey, as we know this tie up will definitely contribute towards enriching the value of our brand,’’ said Balachandra, Chairman and Managing Director of Namal Balachandra Private Limited.
Perera & Sons steps into Esports with mobile tournaments
Perera & Sons, Sri Lanka’s foremost Quick Service Restaurant facility provider, has announced their first foray into Mobile Esports with two events for mobile gamers. The “P&S PUBG Mobile Series” will feature PUBG Mobile as its stand-alone event with Rs. 100,000 in prize money going out to the top eight placements of the event. In addition, the “P&S Mobile Contenders” event will feature Free Fire (squad based battle-royale) and Call of Duty Mobile (Multiplayer) with a prize pool of Rs. 50,000 split between the two events.
Perera & Sons has partnered with Gamer.LK to take their brand to today’s youth and young adults who are engaged heavily in Esports. Esports is considered the fastest growing sport in the country. Estimates put Sri Lanka’s gaming population at three million, with thousands actively taking part in competitive Esports events throughout the year.
“We are very excited to join with Gamer.LK as we believe Esports will be the future of all sports! It has the ability to encompass and engage enthusiasts, especially female gamers, from all walks of life. With the advent of Covid19 and the many lockdowns the world still faces, Esports has been able to engage people from their very own homes, without the need for physical on-site presence, when even stepping out of the home may not be allowed due to health and safety precautions. We are committed to establishing a solid Sri Lankan Olympic Team for Esports if the IOC accepts Esports as a fully-fledged sport for the Paris Olympics in 2024, and we plan to lobby our highly active NOC to make a case on behalf of Esports to be included as an Olympic sport,” Gihan Perera, the Managing Director of the company stated.
Perera & Sons, founded in 1902, celebrated their 118th year providing meals for Sri Lankans across the island. P&S has modernized their offerings recently with their webstore for online purchasing, partnering with food delivery networks such as Pickme & Uber Eats and catering to a younger consumer with their product offerings.
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