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Lucky Six end decades long trophy drought at Pothupitiya

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President’s Challenge Cup Volleyball

by Reemus Fernando

Lucky Six SC, Pothupitiya, one of the leading volleyball clubs of Kalutara District reached top national level, challenging the sport’s traditional powerhouses of the island at the recently held President’s Challenge Cup tournament.

The team captained by Nuwan Kumara stunned Nattandiya United in the final of the President’s Challenge Cup tournament which was held alongside the President’s Gold Cup Volleyball Championship at Maharagama.

It was the first time the team from Pothupitiya clinched the title of a top national competition in more than three decades. They beat a team consisting of former and current national players 3-1 in a thrilling final.

According to a team official, the last time Lucky Six SC had won a national level competition was in 1984 when they clinched the ‘D’ Division title.

“The team was revitalized recently and the club has managed to make up for the lack of infrastructure,” he said.

After conceding the second set to level scores Lucky Six came back strong in the third and fourth sets to beat Nattandiya United 25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 27-25 in the final.

Nattandiya United consist of several top national players including former national team setter Nilanka Sanjaya (captain).

Lucky Six beat Katana Ekabadda in straight sets (25-18, 25-21, 25-21) in the knockout stage to secure the final spot after doing well in the group stage. Anjana Sandeepa and Malaka Senaratne were among leading contributors for the team in the final. While Sandeepa won the Best Player of the final award, Malaka Senaratne received the Best Setter award.

Lucky Six earned the opportunity to play in this tournament after they ended up as Kalutara District runners up to Gamini SC, Bandaragama.

While the champion teams of each district competed in the President’s Gold Cup tournament the runners up of each district took part in the President’s Challenge Trophy.

“We don’t have a ground of our own. We play at the Pothupitiya MV ground. We also do not have top national players in our team. On this back drop we cherish this victory as a huge accomplishment,” said an official of the team.

Pothupitiya has been the stronghold of volleyball in the Kalutara District for a long time and Lucky Six has a history which runs back to 1950s. Lucky Six considers B.H. Jayasekara who represented the country in 1954 as its first player to reach international level. Sammy Jayawardena, D. Danapala, Rani Perera (70s), Wimalajeewa Mahindaratne (80s) and Lasantha Abeyratne are some of the players who went on to reach top national level.



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Sri Lanka Cricket appoints Olympic medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe to promote women’s cricket

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Sri Lanka Cricket announced the appointment of Olympic Silver Medalist  Susanthika Jayasinghe as the ‘Consultant—Mentoring and Development of Women’s Cricket.”

Jayasinghe, one of the most decorated athletes produced by Sri Lanka and the only female athlete to win an Olympic medal for her country and the only Asian woman athlete to have won an Olympic medal in sprint events, will use her story of grit and determination to inspire the present and future generations of women cricketers in Sri Lanka.

Her appointment took effect on February 1, 2023.

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Sri Lanka leave out injured Hasini Perera for T20 World Cup

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Sri Lanka will be without Hasini Perera during the T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka have left out experienced campaigner Hasini Perera from their 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup after she suffered an injury. Perera, who was named in the original squad, was forced out after injuring her finger during a practice session.

She has been replaced by Sathya Sandeepani, whose only appearance for the national side came in the 2020 T20 World Cup encounter against runners-up India. Apart from the forced change, the Asian side have also made a couple of changes to their squad from the one that reached the Asia Cup final last October.

Rashmi Silva and Madushika Methtananda, two players who didn’t get an opportunity in the Asia Cup, have been left out of the squad for the World Cup in favour of Vishmi Gunaratne and Ama Kanchana. 17-year-old Vishmi made her debut in both T20Is and ODIs last year for Sri Lanka and the experienced Ama Kanchana, who made her T20I debut almost 10 years ago, has been recalled for the first time since the Commonwealth Games.

Chamari Athapaththu will lead the 15-member squad once again. Sri Lanka are in Group A alongside New Zealand, Bangladesh, hosts South Africa and defending champions Australia. They begin their campaign on the opening night (February 10) against South Africa at Newlands.

Squad:

Chamari Athapaththu (C), Oshadi Ranasinghe, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Anushka Sanjeewani, Kaushini Nuthyangana, Malsha Shehani, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandika Kumari, Achini Kulasuriya, Tharika Sewwandi, Vishmi Gunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Sathya Sandeepani.

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President’s Mahara and Sri Parakrama NS Kobeigane declared joint champions

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The captains of the two schools Mihilsara Oshan (President’s College) and Adeesha Lakshan (Sri Parakrama NS) are seen with the trophy here.

Under 13 Division III Cricket Final

President’s College Mahara and Sri Parakrama National School Kobeigane were declared joint champions of the Under 13 Division III cricket tournament after the final between the two schools ended in a no-decision at Ananda Sastralaya ground Kotte yesterday. In reply to President’s 183 runs, Sri Parakrama National School were 133 for five wickets when rain prevented further play.

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