by Reemus Fernando
Sports Kavi, a unique book of Sinhala poems on sports personalities by Nishman Ranasinghe will be launched at the Sports Ministry’s Duncan White auditorium on September 27.
The book by Ranasinghe features over 50 poems. The author has been a sports journalist for more than 20 years.
The book is dedicated to former national track and field coach and Director of Sports Yogananda Wijesundara, who passed away last year.
“I am dedicating the book to Wijesundara because my career was influenced by him so much and he valued sports literature very much. He also insisted on the need to promote literature for a strong sports culture,” said Ranasinghe in an interview with The Island.
Ranasinghe’s book of poems features a cross section of personalities in the field of sports including Olympic medallist Susanthika Jayasinghe, world cup winning cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga, cricket cheer leader Percy Abeysekara, Olympic shuttler Niluka Karunaratne, baseball official Sujeewa Wijenayake, current national sprinter Shelinda Jansen, racing driver Dilantha Malagamuwa, sports writer Ranjan Paranavithana and sports mentor Bhathiya Arthanayake.
The book which has been sanctioned by the Ministry of Education for school libraries is the third written by Ranasinghe.
His first book, ‘Ran Kandula’ featured the story of Commonwealth Games boxer Manju Wanniarachchi who was stripped of the gold medal he won at the 2010 edition after failing a drug test.
Ranasinghe who has also authored a youth novel was a sports columnist at Ravaya and Lakbima newspapers before becoming the Sports Editor of Siyatha.
Ranasinghe has also been involved in Stage Drama for over 25 years. Incidentally, one of the dramas he directed was also related to sports (Netball). He has also been providing voluntary services for inmates of Welikada Prison to fine tune their talents in the field of drama.
His next piece of art will be ‘Musti Wannama’, a stage drama which he will be co-directing with Sudam S. Pahalagama.
Lyricist Nilar N. Cassim, Athula Mahawalage and Sandun Priyankara Vithanage are scheduled to speak at the launch.
Isipathana prevail over Wesley in close game
By a Special Sports Correspondent
Isipathana College produced magic in the dying minutes in their Division 1 Segment 1A Group B match against Wesley at the Sugathadasa Stadium to produce a 10-0 win yesterday.
Wesley had only themselves to blame for giving away four yellow cards; two of which went to Shaveen Jayawardene. The score at half time was nil all.
The winners produced a penalty and a conversion while the try came through Wewara Pandith.In the other match played yesterday Trinity beat St. Anthony’s College 25-18 and remain unbeaten after the second week of matches.
Renuka, Deepti give India 1-0 lead
India beat Sri Lanka in the opening ODI of the three-match series in Pallekele, but not before a scare. Sri Lanka offspinner Oshadi Ranasinghe took two early wickets, left-arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera took 4 for 39 through the middle overs, and for a brief period, it seemed that Sri Lanka would successfully defend 171.
However, their below-par total meant India’s struggling batting line-up could creep up and register a four-wicket win, bringing relief to a unit that would have wanted to chase it down with ease at the halfway mark.
But, arguably, it was Renuka Singh’s early strike that made the biggest difference in Sri Lanka’s chances of searching for the win after choosing to bat. She got the big wicket of Sri Lanka’s star batter and captain Chamari Athapaththu in the third over of the morning, and later closed her day out with two late wickets of Nilakshi de Silva and Ranasinghe with two slower balls.
Sharma and Renuka Singh picked up three-wicket hauls to bowl out Sri Lanka for 171. Deepti feasted through the middle overs of the first innings, making full use of the big turn on offer, dismissing Hansima Karunaratne for a duck and Hasini Perera for 37. Deepti took the final Sri Lankan wicket too, leaving the hosts with ten deliveries unused.
176 for 6 (Harmanpreet Kaur 44, Shafali Verma 35, Harleen Deol 34, Inoka Ranaweera 4-39) beat Sri Lanka Women 171 (Nilakshi de Silva 43, Hasini Perera 37, Deepti Sharma 3-25, Renuka Singh 3-29) by four wickets.
Spin bowling coach concedes Sri Lanka under bowled Dhananjaya
Rex Clementine in Galle
The question in everyone’s mind watching the second day’s play of the first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka was why off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva was not bowled enough as he was creating opportunities. The part-timer sent down just two overs on the day while the rest of the spinners took a hammering.
Dhananjaya had started off the day well claiming the wicket of Travis Head when he took a return catch but skipper Dimuth Karunaratne hardly bowled him thereafter even when Australian batsmen went on the rampage. Sri Lanka’s Bowling Coach Piyal Wijetunga conceded that Dhananjaya was under bowled.
“When Ramesh was bowling well, I thought we could have used Dhananjaya more. I thought we under bowled him. Had he bowled more, it could have been lot more different,” Wijetunga, a former Test cricketer told reporters.
Lasith Embuldeniya has been disappointing. While he has not been able to make breakthroughs, he also sent down too many loose deliveries which were duly punished. The left-arm spinner had struggled in the recent Test series in Bangladesh as well and the question was asked whether he would have been better off playing against Australia ‘A’ lead up to the Test series.
“Lasith has bowled well in training. The problem is when he goes out to the middle he struggles. It’s a matter of handling the pressure. The Bangladesh setback maybe is working on his head. When something of this nature happens, the player has to sort it out. A spinner more than a fast bowler or a batsman needs to be mentally strong. We need to address that issue,” Wijetunga stressed.
Sri Lanka’s spinners haven’t been able to send down even a single maiden over in the innings and Wijetunga said that it was due to the fact that the opposition batsmen were looking to attack. But in reality, every over the spinner offered loose balls and they were put away.
“I accept the fact that we didn’t bowl single maiden over in this innings. On spinning tracks batters try to be aggressive. This is not an excuse. We could have bowled a few maiden overs. According to my opinion the reason is the batsmen trying to be aggressive. They were looking to sweep and reverse sweep. Their batsmen handled spin better than our batters.”
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