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Jhulan Goswami’s fairytale Lord’s farewell takes unexpected twist

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It was spine-tingling, tear-jerking stuff. Walking out at Lord’s to bat in her final appearance for India, the legend that is Jhulan Goswami was met by a guard of honour, formed by the entire England fielding team, the umpires and her batting partner, Deepti Sharma.Little did we know that Deepti would play a bigger role in Goswami’s swansong than we could ever have expected.

When Deepti, who had scored an unbeaten half-century to drag her side to a respectable total from 29 for 4, ran out Charlie Dean while backing up on the last ball of the match to seal victory for India and a 3-0 ODI series sweep, it guaranteed that Goswami’s farewell would be talked about for other reasons besides a sport’s goodbye to a champion.

As she walked through that initial guard of honour, Goswami modestly waved to them all in appreciation, enjoying the moment. That it ended with her falling first ball attempting to drive at a fuller delivery that jagged back in from the 17-year-old seamer Freya Kemp – who wasn’t born when Goswami made her international debut – didn’t matter so much in the context of her goodbye. Goswami’s batting wasn’t what people had come to see.

It could well have mattered in the context of an innings where she was one of five India players to depart without scoring, although they managed to reach 169 before being bowled out in the 46th over. And again when Dean dragged England to within 17 runs of their target with a brilliant 47 batting at No. 9.Goswami walked out to bowl through another guard of honour from her own team, which followed her almost all the way to the pitch.

Her first over was a maiden, then as Goswami knelt down to tie her laces at the end of her second, Harmanpreet Kaur, the India captain who made her debut when Goswami was in her shoes back in 2009, made a point of running by and patting her on the back. It was as though Harmanpreet wanted to cherish their proximity for as long as it lasted.

Hamanpreet had stood nearby as Goswami contested the toss and wrapped her former skipper in a tearful embrace during the team’s pre-match presentation to their beloved stalwart.

The only time Goswami was alone was as she patrolled the boundary at deep backward square leg. Even as she stood at the top of her mark, all eyes were on her. Those eyes turned into the arms of her team-mates and rapturous voices of the 15,187-strong crowd when Goswami had Alice Capsey simply caught by Harleen Deol at cover point.

That made it 39 for 3 for England after Renuka Singh had removed Emma Lamb and Tammy Beaumont, the latter having noted on the eve of her 100th ODI that she had provided a healthy share of Goswami’s record haul of 255 ODI wickets. In fact, Beaumont had fallen to Goswami eight times among her 20 dismissals in the format against India before this match, where it was Renuka who did the damage this time, bowling Beaumont with one that shaped in off a length to clatter into the top of off stump.

Renuka mirrored the feats of Kate Cross, who had threatened to ruin Goswami’s party as she found formidable movement off the seam bowling down the slope from the Pavilion End to claim 4 for 26. As it turned out, this became a storyline shared by Cross and Goswami with Renuka – playing her seventh ODI at the age of 26 – providing an epilogue which pointed to the next edition before that last moment opened a new chapter.

Having missed selection in England’s 2017 World Cup squad and sat in the stands as the hosts defeated India in a thriller – the last time Lord’s staged a women’s international – this day held huge significance for Cross, too.She had 3 for 3 in 3.2 overs at one point and accounted for India’s top four. It was reminiscent of Cross’ match-defining performance against the same opposition at Taunton in June last year. On that occasion, however, Cross sealed her five-for in a winning cause. This time, as England’s batting misfired, it looked like being India’s day.

Goswami took a low catch at slip to remove Sophie Ecclestone off Rajeshwari Gayakwad as England slid to 53 for 6 and, with the hosts flagging wildly at 111 for 8, Harmanpreet brought Goswami back into the attack for her eighth over, from which she conceded two runs.A maiden followed and then, with just five balls left to bowl in a stellar international career, she removed Cross playing across a full, straight one – Goswami’s 10,001st ODI delivery – and a child-like grin broke out across Goswami’s 39-year-old features as she was mobbed by her team-mates.

Surrounded again at the end of the over, completed with four dot balls, it was over – almost. On the very next ball, from Deepti, Goswami got her hands to an edge at slip off Dean, but what would have been the last wicket to fall and a fairytale finish slipped through her fingers.At that point England still needed 52 runs from 13.5 overs with just one wicket in hand and it felt very much as though India – even with Goswami bowled out – had it in them to win.

Then Dean and Freya Davies dug in for 35 runs and the match got tense. So it was with a degree of disbelief that it would come to be remembered largely for the way in which it ended. Dean’s dismissal was within the rules of the game but it meant that it ended amid a cacophony of boos as well as cheers.

A devastated Dean threw her bat to the ground, tears streaming down her face before composing herself and heading to the Indian huddle to shake their hands. Moments later, Goswami was being chaired to the edge of the field to embark on a lap of honour carrying the Indian flag and flanked by her team-mates in a moment of sweet celebration that couldn’t completely mask a slightly bitter undertone.

(cricinfo)



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Nethmika and Sachintha brighten day one

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All Island Schools Games Athletics Championships

by Reemus Fernando

Jumper Nethmika Madushani Herath of Nannapurava MV, Bibila and thrower Thareen Sachintha of St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya produced outstanding feats as they reached their personal best performances on day one of the All Island Schools Games Athletics Championships at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Friday.The Asian Youth Athletics Championship participant Herath missed the meet record of the Under 18 girls’ triple jump by just five centimetres but she managed to reach her personal best with an outstanding 11.96 metres performance.

The national junior record holder of the long jump event will be competing in two other events during this meet. She came to the meet with an added feather on her cap after obtaining top grades for her O/L exam (8As, 1B).Thurstan College sprinter who obtained nine ‘A’s at the recently held exam also made his presence felt qualifying from the Under 18 boys’ 400 metres.

St. Peter’s thrower Thareen Sachintha hurled the javelin to a distance of 60.02 metres to win the Under 18 boys’ event. With his notable feat Sachintha has helped his school keep the first place of this event in their possession since 2019.The day one witnessed two new meet records being established with Ovini Chandrasekara of Bishop’s College and Uvindu Sudaraka of Rahula College, Matara creating new marks in the Under 20 girls’ and boys’ shot put events.

Chandrasekara was the only athlete to break the 12 metres barrier as she cleared 12.72 metres to win. Asvitha Sundaresan of OKI International, Kelaniya was placed second with a feat of 10.62 metres, while St. Bridget’s Convent athlete Kavya Jayasooriya cleared 10.19 metres.

Sudharaka’s new meet record mark was 15.43 metres. Boys from Jaffna made a clean sweep in the Under 20 boys’ pole vault. S. Kobisan of Hindu College, Jaffna won with a feat of 4.10 metres. J. Kasmithan of Mahajana College (3.90m) and I. Abinayan of Arunodaya College (3.70m) were placed second and third respectively.

Oshini wins third consecutive title

Promising jumper Oshini Kodikara of St. Lawrence’s Convent, Wellawatta won her third consecutive age group title of the year when she cleared 5.50 metres to win the Under 16 girls’ long jump event. She was the winner of both the Junior National Championship and the Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics Championships which were held early this year.

Pavani Uthpala of Manampitiya Sinhala MV, Dimbulagala (Under 16 girls’ discus throw 28.41m) and S. Thirubashitha of S. Thomas’ Preparatory School, Colombo (Under 14 boys’ high jump 1.74 metres) were the winners of the other events. Sandil Hettiarachchi of Colombo International also cleared 1.74 metres in the Under 14 boys’ high jump.

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Lithium, Ganuka Under 14 boys’ doubles champions

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National Tennis Championships 2022 

Lithium Jayabandu of Ananda College, Colombo and Ganuka Fernando of St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya clinched the Under-14 boys’ doubles title at the National Tennis Championships concluded at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts in Colombo on Wednesday.

Jayabandu and Fernando rallied around magnificently and went on to beat the combination of Mayanka Perera of S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia and Rehan Gunawardhane of Carey College 3-6, 6-3, 10-4 in a thrilling final encounter.

Meanwhile, Gehansa Methnadi of Musaeus College and Githmi Fernando of Ave Maria Convent, Negombo won the Under-14 girls doubles title when they defeated Venuli Jayasinghe of Maliyadeva Girls’ College, Kurunegala and Sandithi Usgodaarachchi of Musaeus College 6-3, 6-1 in straight sets. The boys’ and girl’s Under-14 doubles of the National Tennis Championships were delayed as most of the junior players were on national duty competing at the ITF Junior Tournaments.

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The Indian CEO Forum Partners with the Colombo Rowing Club for the Madras-Colombo Regatta

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The Indian CEO Forum (ICF) In association with LANKA IOC (LIOC) and POWER TECH Cement partnered with the Colombo Rowing Club for The Madras-Colombo Regatta’ which is considered to be the oldest regatta in the world between two cities of different countries. As per the tradition, The High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka H.E Gopal Baglay was the chief guest at this year’s edition held at the Colombo Rowing Club on Saturday the 26th November 2022.

This year it was the 81st edition of the event and was supported by the Indian CEO forum in Sri Lanka. Speaking at the event, the High Commissioner said that India will continue to row together with Sri Lanka in the race against common challenges and it is but natural for the people of India and the people of Sri Lanka to work together and build bonds. The Indian CEO forum stepping in to assist and partner with the Colombo Rowing club for this event is a clear example of how the neighbors encourage and support each other.

“The Indian CEO Forum along with two other member companies — Lanka IOC and Power Tech Cement — have come forward to sponsor this exclusive event and make it a success. This is a great boost for rowing in Sri Lanka, especially at a time the country is trying its level best to regain glory in all aspects,” said the President of the Rowing Club, Dimuth Gunawardena. “I am extremely thankful to Mr T S Prakash and Mr Kishore Reddy along with Mr Nagaraj who made this happen” Gunawardena added.

T S Prakash, the president of the ICF said “we are really happy that we are associated with this event and member companies are extremely happy that such a partnership was established”.

Kishore Reddy who is the vice president and Chairman membership of the ICF as well as the President of the Sri Lanka India Society said “The Madras Colombo Regatta has immense potential to be a permanent feature of the sporting calendar considering the history of the event and the traditions associated with it. We will work together with the Colombo Rowing Club to take this to the next level”.

“We are glad to be the sponsors of the event and were not really aware of an event with such history before Mr. Kishore Reddy mentioned it” said Manoj Gupta, Managing Director of Lanka IOC. “we look forward to supporting the Colombo Rowing club for the next event as well” he added.

Gaurav Mehta, the Managing Director of DHT cement and Power Tech Cement who were co-sponsors of the event mentioned ” we are happy that the newest brand of cement in Sri Lanka (Power Tech) has partnered with the oldest Regatta in the island. The event exceeded my expectation and we are proud that we are part of this and contributed to the success of the event”.

Sagala Ratnayake who was the guest of honour and also a past Oarsman who had rowed many times at the venue said that he was happy to see the partnership between the ICF and the Rowing Club.

The first-ever Madras-Colombo Rowing Regatta was held way back in 1898 and is considered the oldest sporting encounter held between India and Sri Lanka.This time, the rivalry resumed after a break of three years due to the pandemic.

Traditionally, the Madras Boat Club and the Colombo Rowing Club host the Regatta alternatively and this year it was the Colombo Rowing Club’s turn to host the Indian team. ” we are extremely thankful to the Colombo Rowing Club for hosting us and for their great hospitality” said the President of the Madras Boat Club Mr Subramanium. ” We will also try our best to match this hospitality, if not exceed when we host this event next year” he added.

The main event of the Regatta is the Men’s boat race which is considered to be the second oldest boat race in the world, second only to the famous Oxford-Cambridge boat race. The events were for men and women over a distance of 1000 metres. The winners of the Men’s event were Colombo and were awarded the prestigious Deepam Trophy while the Adyar Trophy was awarded to the Madras team who were the Women’s champions. The overall champions of the 81st Madras Colombo Regatta was Colombo Rowing Club.

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