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Navy takes hold of smuggled dried sea cucumber and contraband in Kalpitiya seas

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A search operation conducted by the Sri Lanka Navy off Sinnaarichchalai, Kalpitiya on Thursday night, led to the apprehension of 02 suspects with about 193kg of dried sea cucumber and several other contraband items which were being smuggled.

Among the recovered items were; about 193kg of dried sea cucumber, 33600 shampoo packets (6ml each), 198 balm vials (50g each), 1 A/C plant and 1 Voltage Stabilizer (230 V). The suspects, contraband items and the dinghy were taken into naval custody and were handed over to the Customs Preventive Office in Katunayake for onward legal action.



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Shorna Akter stars with ball and bat to give Bangladesh Asian Games bronze

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Shorna Akter put in a solid all-round performance
Shorna Akter first ran through Pakistan’s lower-middle order and then did the needful with the bat when Bangladesh’s lower-middle order could easily have unraveled similarly to take her team to the podium at the Asian Games in Hangzhou.

It was a low-scoring bronze-medal playoff, with a total of 129 runs scored for the fall of 14 wickets across 38.2 overs. That might not have done much to get those unfamiliar with the game in the Chinese city excited, but Bangladesh will take it, not necessarily because of the colour of the medal, but the result itself: when the same two teams contested the final of the 2014 edition in Incheon (the last time cricket was a part of the Asian Games), Pakistan had won by four runs (DLS method).

Here, Bangladesh opted to field after winning the toss, and it was 6 for 2 inside two overs and 18 for 4 in the ninth, the wickets shared between Marufa Akter, Nahida Akter, Sanjida Akter and Rabeya Khan. Sadaf Shamas was the only one getting into double-digits in that phase.

There was a bit of a fightback after that courtesy Natalia Pervaiz (11), captain Nida Dar (14) and Aliva Riaz (17), but Shorna struck twice in the 15th over, sending back Dar and Umm-e-Hani, and then took out Riaz in the final over on her way to returns of 3 for 16. All Pakistan had on the board was 64.

That shouldn’t have been too many for Bangladesh, and they started well with Shamima Sultana and Shathi Rani putting up 27 for the first wicket. But they were dismissed in quick succession to leave the scoreboard reading 30 for 2, and with Nashra Sandhu striking regularly, Bangladesh were 43 for 4 by the 11th over.

A few more runs, and the story could have been different for Pakistan, but Bangladesh just needed to do it in singles from there on, which Shorna did well, her 14 not out coming off 33 balls without a four or a six, the win coming with ten balls left.

Brief scores:
Bangladesh 65 for 5 in 18.2 overs (Shorna Akter  14*, Nashra Sandhu 3-10) beat Pakistan 64 for 9 in 20 overs (Aliya Riaz 17, Shorna Akter 3-16, Sajinda Akter Meghla 2-11) by five wickets

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Osiris-Rex: Nasa confirms return of asteroid Bennu samples

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The lab team disassembled the capsule, removing its heat-shield and back cover but leaving the sample secure inside an inner canister (pic BBC)

Dusty samples from the “most dangerous known rock in the Solar System” have been brought to Earth.

The American space agency Nasa landed the materials in a capsule that came down in the West Desert of Utah state. The samples had been scooped up from the surface of asteroid Bennu in 2020 by the Osiris-Rex spacecraft.

Nasa wants to learn more about the mountainous object, not least because it has an outside chance of hitting our planet in the next 300 years. But more than this, the samples are likely to provide fresh insights into the formation of the Solar System 4.6 billion years ago and possibly even how life got started on our world.

There was jubilation when the Osiris-Rex team caught sight of their capsule on long-range cameras.

Touchdown on desert land belonging to the Department of Defense was confirmed at 10:52 local time (14:52 GMT), three minutes ahead of schedule.

The car-tyre-sized container had come screaming into the atmosphere over the western US at more than 12km/s (27,000mph). A heatshield and parachutes slowed its descent and dropped it gently, perfectly on to restricted ground.

“This little capsule understood the assignment,” said Tim Priser, the chief engineer at aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin. “It touched down like a feather.”

Cleanliness was the watchword out in the desert. When the recovery teams caught up with the capsule on the ground, their objective was to bring it back to a temporary clean room at the nearby Dugway army base as quickly as possible.

If, as researchers think, the sample contains carbon compounds that may have been involved in the creation of life then mixing the rocky material with present-day Earth chemistry has to be avoided.

“The cleanliness and preventing contamination of the spacecraft has been a really stringent requirement on the mission,” said Mike Morrow, the Osiris-Rex deputy project manager. “The best way that we can protect the sample is just to get it from the field into the clean lab that we’ve set up here in a hangar as quickly as possible and get it under a pure nitrogen gas purge. And then it’s safe.”

This was achieved just before 13:00 local time, a mere four hours after touchdown. The lab team disassembled the capsule, removing its heat-shield and back cover but leaving the sample secure inside an inner canister.

(BBC)

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Bowlers fire Sri Lanka to gold-medal contest against India

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File photo: Udeshika Prabodhani picked up three wickets against Pakistan

Sri Lanka outplayed Pakistan on a slow and sticky surface in Hangzhou to advance to the final of the Asian Games. Chasing a small target of 76, Sri Lanka took the game till 17 overs to set up the gold-medal contest with India – who beat Bangladesh in a low-scoring, one-sided contest earlier in the day – on Monday.

Opting to field first in the second semi-final, Sri Lanka’s bowlers were all over Pakistan’s batters from the beginning. They were restricted to 75 for 9 in 20 overs with right-arm medium pacer Udeshika Prabodhani starring with three wickets and young offspinner Kavisha Dilhari picking up two wickets. Inoshi Priyadharshani, Achini Kulasuriya and Inoka Ranaweera took a wicket apiece to blunt Pakistan. That only three batters crossed double digits showed how Nida Dar’s side struggled to score.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka got off to a decent start with Chamari Athapaththu using sweep shots to negate the spinners’ turn. After scoring two boundaries, she mistimed a slog sweep to hole out on 14 off 19 balls. Opener Anushka Sanjeewani also fell inside the powerplay for a 13-ball 15 but Harshitha Samarawickrama at one-drop stitched a 35-run stand in 51 deliveries with Nilakshi de Silva for the third wicket to ensure Sri Lanka didn’t lose wickets in a flurry. Samarawickrama, despite consuming 41 balls, played a crucial knock of 23 while de Silva’s unbeaten 18 saw Sri Lanka chasing down the target with 21 balls to spare and six wickets in hand.

Sadia Iqbal, Daina Baig and Umm-e-Hani were among the wickets for Pakistan, but it wasn’t enough to stop Sri Lanka from advancing to the final. They will face Bangladesh for a third-place play-off on Monday.

Brief scores:
Sri Lanka 77 for 4 in 16.3 overs (Samarawickrama 23) beat Pakistan 75 for 9 in 20 overs (Shawal Zulfiqar 16, Udshika Prabodhani 3-21, Inoshi Priyadarshani 1-13, Achini Kulasuriya 1-07, Inoka Ranaweera 1-11, Kavisha Dilhari 2-15) by six wickets

 

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