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Maushada excels as Ananda win

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Under-19 Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

Maushada Fernando held Ananda batting together with an unbeaten half century to record a two wicket victory over Maris Stella as they shared the top two positions of the points table with Isipatana in Group ‘Y’ of Tier ‘B’ in the Under-19 Division I tournament on Wednesday.

Chasing a target of 149 runs to win Fernando stroked an unbeaten 53 runs inclusive of four boundaries to reach the target with three overs to spare.

In the other Tier ‘B’ match played yesterday, St. Peter’s beat Moratu Vidyalaya according to the Parabola Method to top Group ‘X’. It was their second win of the group. St. Peter’s and Mahinda have recorded back to back wins in the group.

In the Tier ‘A’ match played at Katugastota, Banuka Manohara with an unbeaten 46 runs and paceman Amshi de Silva with a three wicket haul excelled for Richmond to overcome St. Anthony’s according to the Parabola Method. With the victory Richmond topped group ‘Z’ in Tier ‘A’.

 

Results

Ananda beat Maris Stella by two wickets at Katuneriya

Maris Stella

148 for 9 in 50 overs (Amantha Perera 53n.o.; Tehaan Perera 3/31)

Ananda

152 for 8 in 46.3 overs (Nushal Dharmarathna 20, Kanishka Ranthilakage 22, Maushada Fernando 59n.o.; Priyashan Silva 3/20)

St. Peter’s beat Moratu Vidyalaya at Moratuwa

St. Peter’s

149 all out 43.4 overs (Shenal Boteju 47, Wanuja Kumara 21; Niraj Kavishka 2/34, Mahith Methdinu 2/26, Vishwa Didulana 3/20)

Moratu MV

112 for 8 in 43 overs (Vishwa Didulana 26, Sukitha Dewhilina 28, Santhuka Amod 22; Wanuja Kumara 2/26, Niman Umesh 2/27, Jesuran Benjamin 2/14)

Richmond beat St. Anthony’s at Katugastota

St. Anthony’s

111 all out in 38.1 overs (Yasiru Gamarachchi 36, Anjala Bandara 28n.o.; Amshi de Silva 3/32, Kalpa Nethsara 2/26, Hansamana de Silva 2/16)

Richmond

93 for 2 in 23.1 overs (Chamath Wickramasinghe 25, Bhanuka Manohara 46n.o.)

 

 



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KJP urges to play fearless cricket

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by Rex Clementine

Sri Lanka’s newly appointed ODI captain Kusal Janith Perera has urged his team to play without fear of losing in the lead up to his first assignment. The national cricket team will be heavily involved in limited overs cricket during the next two months traveling to Bangladesh for three ODIs on Sunday and then playing three ODIs and three T-20s in the UK. In July, they will be hosting India for three ODIs and possibly five T-20 Internationals.

KJP was named as captain with an eye for the 2023 World Cup as six seniors were axed following a string of poor performances in limited overs cricket.

“We have to play fearless cricket. Can’t be playing to protect your place in the side. When you do that you don’t give 100 percent. What I am telling the team is to give your best and that will work in crunch situations,” KJP told journalists yesterday.

“What I want is to create a winning culture. Fear of losing is not going to help us and we need to adopt a brand of cricket where we play fearless cricket. Personally, I have been successful batting fearlessly and I want the team to follow the same method. We won’t be hundred percent successful, but the important thing is that we need to be positive,” KJP explained.

KJP has struggled with fitness and injuries in recent years particularly hurting his hamstring too often. However, the reasoning behind the think tank of Sri Lankan cricket is clear as they want the team to adopt a bold approach without playing it safe.

One of the best knocks in Test match cricket in the history of Sri Lankan cricket was produced by KJP in Durban two years ago when he threw caution to wind batting with last man Vishwa Fernando and pulled off a stunning win against South Africa. His unbeaten 153 set the tone for the rest of the series as Sri Lanka became the first Asian country to win a Test series in South Africa.

However, he has not been able to hold onto his place in the Test side but the move has been criticized by some of the finest brains in the sport. His elevation to the captaincy seems to have come with their blessings.

KJP’s appointment is a bold move and it’s an indication that Sri Lanka need to cast away their traditional way of playing limited overs cricket.

Fielding has been one area that has been sloppy and has received little attention but with a new captain and a crop of young players in the side, this is an area that should improve vastly.

Exciting times are ahead for Sri Lankan cricket and it remains to be seen whether KJP with his attacking style is able to bring the team back to winning ways.

KJP is expected to keep wickets as well. It is the first time Sri Lanka have appointed a wicketkeeping captain since Kumar Sangakkara quit in 2011.

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Bertie Ekanayake – The versatile Sports Personality of the Royal Ceylon Air Force

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Flight Sergeant Bertie Ekanayake (Clk GD) is considered as one of the finest sportsmen ever to be produced by the Royal Ceylon Air Force (RCyAF). Ekanayake was an old boy of Zahira College Colombo. He represented Ceylon in Boxing from 1958 to 1964 and represented Defence Services in rugger, boxing, basketball and soccer. He represented the RCyAF in rugger, boxing, basketball, soccer, athletics, cricket and hockey.

Bertie Ekanayake was a key member of the RCyAF Boxing team which won the prestigious Xavier Roche Memorial Challenge Shield presented by the ABA Ceylon to the Most Successful Boxing Club of the year in 1961.

He represented Ceylon in Boxing from 1958 to 1964. He was the Fly Weight Champion of Sri Lanka in 1958, 1959 and 1960, Feather Weight Champion of Sri Lanka in 1961 and 1963, Feather Weight Champion of Pakistan in 1963, Defence Services Champion in 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962 and 1964. He was the undisputed RCyAF Champion from 1958 to 1963 and the only winner at the Ceylon Vs Pakistan contest held in Ceylon in 1961 (Pakistan won 6 – 1). Ekanayake toured with the National Boxing Team to India, Thailand and Pakistan and captained the National Boxing team at the First Asian Boxing Championship in Bangkok in 1963. He was selected to represent the country at the Rome Olympics in 1960, however an injury prevented him from attending.

In rugby, he excelled as a fine full back and represented the Air Force from 1959 to 1973. He represented Defence Services from 1959 to 1962, 1965 and 1968. He was a key member of the RCyAF team which became runners up of Clifford Cup championship in 1965. He was selected for Ceylon Trials in 1961 and 1965 and represented Colombo Clubs vs. Presidents XV. Bertie Ekanayake functioned as the Assistant Manager of the Ceylon Rugger team in 1972. In basketball, he represented Combined Services team at the All-India tournament in 1962.

Flight Sergeant Ekanayake was the first winner of the prestigious ‘Varatharasa Trophy’ in 1962, which recognizes the Best Sportsman of the year in the RCyAF. He won the award again in 1963.

 

by Air Cdre Padman De Costa

(Former Secretary Air Force Sports Council and Defence Service Sports Board)

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National Athletics Championship disciplines prioritized for Olympic hopefuls

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by Reemus Fernando

Sri Lanka Athletics published on Wednesday the list of eligible athletes for the first stage of the 99th National Athletics Championship which will be held on May 22 and 23. The track and field governing body has prioritized nine disciplines for the first stage with the hope of giving Olympic hopefuls a final chance to achieve qualifying standards as the cutoff date for entries nears.

On Wednesday Sri Lanka Athletics picked five women’s events, namely the 3,000 metres steeplechase, 800 metres, 400 metres, 100 metres and javelin and four men’s disciplines, the 100 metres, 400 metres, long jump and javelin for the first leg. They are the disciplines where some of the country’s leading athletes have the chance to reach qualifying standards for the Tokyo Olympics.

The time is running out for Sri Lanka Athletics to identify athletes who have reached qualifying standards for the quadrennial event.

On Sunday Sri Lanka Athletics Executive Committee decided to conduct the 99th National Championship during four weekends starting from May 22 and 23 to minimize the number of athletes per day per venue due to the spread of the Covid 19 pandemic. Sri Lanka Athletics announced only the eligible list of athletes for the first stage (May 22, 23) yesterday and did not comment on the fate of the other three stages.

Women’s steeplechaser Nilani Ratnayake and men’s high jumper Ushan Thivanka are currently on the threshold of earning entry standards for the Olympics. The US based Thivanka cleared 2.30 metres to establish a new Sri Lanka record in the men’s high jump on Saturday in Texas. While he is fast improving his world ranking (48) a performance of 2.33 metres would make him eligible as a direct qualified athlete. He will be competing in meets in the USA.

Ratnayake has to clock 9:30.00 seconds if she is to earn direct qualification, though she is currently ranked within the required range to be eligible to earn a berth through world rankings.

Rio Olympic participant Sumeda Ranasinghe and former national record holder Waruna Dayaratne are in the list to try their chances in the men’s javelin. Ranasinghe too has high hopes as he has remained among the top ranked athletes in the world.

Dilshi Kumarasinghe who created a new national record in the women’s 800 metres at the last Athletics trial will vie for honours against former champion Nimali Liyanarachchi and Gayanthika Abeyratne and schools athlete Shanika Lakshani. Only seven athletes are eligible to compete in this event.

Men’s and women’s 100 metres and men’s 400 are the only track events where semi finals and finals are likely to be held. Janaka Prasad Wimalasiri in the men’s long jump and Olympian Nadeeka Lakmali and Dilhani Lekamge in the women’s javelin are the top contenders in their respective events.

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