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Karunaratne joins Sri Lanka’s 10-man 5000 Test-run club



Dimuth Karunaratne crossed the 5000 run milestone on Thursday (29)

Dimuth Karunaratne has become the 10th Sri Lanka batsman to score 5000 runs in Test cricket and the fourth fastest to do so in terms of matches played. Take a look at the exclusive group he has joined.

Dimuth Karunaratne

5000* runs at 37.88

5000th run in his 72nd Test and 138th innings

The newest member in Sri Lanka’s 5000 Test-run club, Karunaratne crossed the milestone in Sri Lanka’s first innings of the second match against Bangladesh.

Having only celebrated his 33rd birthday in March, Karunaratne is Sri Lanka’s 10th highest run-scorer in the format and still has time to climb that ladder.

The left-hander looks good value to do just that considering he scored a double-century in the first Test against Bangladesh. He has 11 centuries to date and is enjoying one of the finest calendar years of his career.

Arjuna Ranatunga

5105 runs at 35.69

5000th run in his 92nd Test and 153rd innings

One of the nation’s most iconic players, an 18-year-old Ranatunga made his debut in Sri Lanka’s first-ever Test in 1982. He notched Sri Lanka’s first Test half-century in that match. More than 18 years later he raised his 5000th run for the country in Test cricket in his penultimate match for Sri Lanka.

Among the greatest contributors to Sri Lankan cricket ever, Ranatunga famously captained the team to a stunning ICC Cricket World Cup victory in 1996.

Thilan Samaraweera

5462 runs at 48.76

5000th run in 71st Test and 114th innings

Solid as a rock, Samaraweera was the glue in a Sri Lankan batting order boasting some of the most stylish players in the game, while still having plenty of glorious strokes in his own arsenal. A century-maker on debut against India, Samaraweera went on to hit 14 hundreds in the format, with a high score of 231.

The right-hander raced to 5000 Test runs in fewer matches than any Sri Lankan bar Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.

Tillakaratne Dilshan

5492 runs at 40.98

5000th runs in his 81st Test and 132nd innings

A middle-order batter when he was first picked in the team, Dilshan looked the part early in his career, scoring an impressive 163 in just his second match. But it was not until he was promoted to the top of the order that Dilshan’s career really took off. He averaged 44.29 across his 53 innings opening the batting and allowed Sri Lanka to put opposition attacks under pressure from ball one. All that and he was an exceptional fielder and more than handy bowler too.

Marvan Atapattu

5502 runs at 39.02

5000th run in his 80th Test and 138th innings

One half of Sri Lanka’s most fruitful opening pair, Atapattu was the ice to Sanath Jayasuriya’s fire, wearing opposition attacks down from one end while his partner flayed them from the other. The old-school opener was one of cricket’s great converters, turning 16 of his 33 50+ scores into hundreds, and six of those 16 centuries into doubles.

Angelo Mathews

6219* runs at 45.39

5000th run in his 75th Test and 133rd innings

Up until Karunaratne’s entry, Mathews was the most recent Sri Lankan to join the 5000 Test run club, getting there in mid-2018. As reliable a servant to the game as any who has ever represented the island nation, Mathews started his career as the complete all-rounder in 2008. While a run of injuries has stymied his bowling over the past few years, he remains a lock in Sri Lanka’s XI.

Already the fifth-highest run-scorer in Sri Lanka’s Test history with an average that currently sits fourth among them, he already stands as one of the nation’s finest ever performers.

Aravinda de Silva

6361 runs at 42.97

5000th run in his 74th Test and 128th innings

The hero of Sri Lanka’s glorious victory in the 1996 World Cup final, de Silva was one of the gems of the country’s Test batting order for nearly two decades. With a technique that could stand up to the sternest of examinations, he scored 20 centuries and 22 fifties across his 93 Tests.

The dashing star was the first Sri Lankan to ever score 5000 runs.

Sanath Jayasuriya

6973 runs at 40.07

5000th run in his 79th Test and 133rd innings

Before there was Steve Smith there was Sanath Jayasuriya – a player picked as a bowling all-rounder who would go on to become a batting great. One of the stars of the ‘96 World Cup, Jayasuriya took his Test cricket to the next level in the years that followed as Sri Lanka established themselves as a force to be reckoned with across formats.

His incredible 340 off 578 against India in 1997 was Sri Lanka’s first Test triple-century and it remains the second-highest score by a Sri Lankan batsman.

Mahela Jayawardene

11,814 runs at 49.84

5000th run in his 70th Test and 114th innings

A modern giant of the game, Jayawardene is Test cricket’s ninth-highest run-scorer and joint sixth-greatest century-maker, well and truly justifying the clamour that surrounded him when he debuted as a 19-year-old.

A remarkable player of spin and more than adept against pace, Jayawardene scored runs all around the wicket and his combination with Kumar Sangakkara stands among the most reliable cricket has seen. Fittingly, the pair boasts the record for the biggest stand in Test history, putting on 624 runs against South Africa in Colombo.

That same innings saw Jayawardene score 374 runs – the fourth-highest score in Test history.

Kumar Sangakkara

12,400 runs at 57.40

5000th run in his 64th Test and 106th innings.

A member of the ICC’s Test Team of the Decade, Sangakkara stands among cricket’s finest ever players with a case to be considered the best batsman of his generation.

Across 134 Tests he scored 12,400 runs at 57.40, finishing his career as the format’s sixth greatest run-scorer with comfortably the best average of anyone who scored more than 10,000 runs. Those statistics are all the more remarkable when you consider he had to keep wickets in 48 Tests. He scored 9283 runs at 66.78 in Tests where he was not the designated keeper.

Sangakkara raced to 5000 runs in just 64 Tests and 106 innings – comfortably the fastest of any Sri Lankan.




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Dharmasena reaches singles final



Ranjan Dharmasena(Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

Ranjan Dharmasena booked a berth in the singles final against Korea’s Sung Bong Han as he beat Sagg-Ho OH 6-1, 6-2 in his semi-final in the Sri Lanka Open International Wheelchair Tennis Tournament at Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Tuesday.

Sung Bong Han of Korea prevented an all-hosts final as he beat Gamini Dissanayake 6-1, 6-2 in the other semi-final.

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New champions add spice to tennis singles events



The First Capital SSC Open Men’s and Women’s Singles championships were won by Sharmal Dissanayake and Sajida Razick respectively (Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

By A Special Sports Correspondent

Tennis star Sharmal Dissanayake (26) made a comeback to the racquet game in Sri Lanka when he won the Men’s Singles event at the First Capital SSC Open Championships worked off in Colombo recently.

The annual SSC Open tournament gave a great start to the tennis scene in the island for the New Year. It was also a new start for champion player Dissanayake after being away from playing on Sri Lankan courts at local tournaments for a while. He overcame stiff resistance from Chaturya Nilaweera in the finals, which went for four sets. Dissanayake won 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and 7-6 in the pulsating final which was scheduled to go for five sets if required. This is the first time five-set tennis was introduced at a local tournament in the island.

Dissanayake has played at peak condition in past tournaments. Fitness was not a cause for Dissanayake at this tournament, but he can reach top playing condition as the months roll away this season. The talk doing the rounds in the tennis circles is that Dissanayake wants to raise his game and fitness and make himself available for the country at overseas assignments too. Meanwhile, Nilaweera, an up-and-coming player with much promise, had to sweat his way into the final with a tough semi-final fixture against Kiran Vairawanathan. It was good to see seasoned players like Guyanga Weerasekare contesting the SSC Open Men’s event. The men’s open tennis event overall in the country has just got the needed boost with the competition that’s raised by so many talented players entering and wanting a share of the pie.

Dissanayake won the Arjun Fernando Challenge Trophy for his efforts at the tournament which was witnessed by an appreciative crowd.

Schoolgirl Sajida Razick made a giant kill in the women’s open singles by beating seasoned player Neyara Weerawansa (6-3, 6-4). Despite taking the first set with her power play Razick saw the experienced Weerawansa breathing down her back in a well-contested second set. Both players made their share of unforced errors, but that didn’t take the punch away from the game Razick looked so confident throughout the game and brilliantly negotiated Weerawansa’s spirited late rally during the second set before winning her first major title in senior tennis. Razick overcame Vishmi Serasinghe in the semis while Weerawansa got the better of Dinara de Silva. Razick won the Sriya Munasinghe Challenge Trophy for her efforts.

Razick has raised her game tremendously and plays some powerful shots and also uses the full court. It would have been interesting to see how she would have fared against Anjalika Kurera had the latter taken part in this tournament. Incidentally, Kurera was not available for the SSC Open this season because she was busy preparing for a vital examination.

The tournament not only attracted its title sponsor in First Capital, but also saw Perera & Sons and Dimo coming in as co-sponsors. It’s one of the most looked forward-to events in the local tennis events calendar; having recorded its start in the 1980s. The SSC Open also serves as a category 1 ranking tournament.

The tournament was organized by the SSC Tennis Home Committee and held under the auspices of the Sri Lanka Tennis Association.

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Amameth scores back-to-back centuries



Anjala Bandara (left) and Kavindu Amameth

Under 19 Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

Kavindu Amameth scored back-to-back centuries and put on a partnership over 200 runs for the second time in the match as Mahanama College earned major honours against De Mazenod in the Under 19 Traditional cricket encounter which ended in a draw at Kandana on Tuesday.

Amameth followed up his first innings score with an identical knock. In the first essay, he conceded 173 balls for his knock. But in his second he consumed only 101 balls as he cracked 11 fours and seven sixes to boost the score. He also put on a first-wicket stand of 209 runs with Anjala Bandara as Mahanama posted 323 for three wickets at close on a pitch where the home team could muster only 150.

It is also the first time this season that a batsman scored back-to-back centuries in a match.

At Ananda Mawatha, Mahinda College restricted the home team to 159 runs as Dhanuja Induwara picked up five wickets for the visitors to dominate day one of the traditional encounter.


Mahanama take major honours



363 all out in 92.1 overs (Kavindu Amameth 126, Inuka Karannagoda 75, Rashmika Perera 52, Chamika Heenatigala 24, Eshan Withanage 24; Kavindu Kaushalya 4/97, Thushan Udayanga 3/64, Sithum Fernando 3/71) and 323 for 3 in 54 overs (Kavindu Amameth 126, Anjala Bandara 84, Koojana Perera 55, Inuka Karannagoda 52n.o.; Thushan Udayanga 2/56)

De Mazenod

2 for 1 overnight 150 all out in 49.0 overs (Neshan Dias 65, Shevan Menusha 25, Uvindu Perera 20, Thareen Perera 20; Chamika Heenatigala 4/12, Inuka Karannagoda 2/26, Rashmika Perera 2/29)

Mahinda dominate day one at Ananda Mawatha



159 all out in 53.1 overs (Viduna Wijebandara 27, Iruth Gimshan 25, Ayesh Shahimal 42; Dhanuja Induwara 5/33, Tharusha Dilshan 2/37, Arosha Udayandga 2/18)


142 for 5 in 44 overs (Hareen Achintha 36, Hiruna Gallage 38n.o., Tharusha Dilshan 21n.o.; Ashinsa Deshan Nainayaka 4/40)

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