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Shenon shines as Petes continue unbeaten run



Under 19 Limited Overs Tournament

by Reemus Fernando

Shenon Rodrigo excelled with a five wicket haul as St. Peter’s continued their unbeaten run in the Under 19 Division I Tier ‘B’ Limited Overs tournament on Tuesday.

St. Peter’s, St. Joseph Vaz’s and Moratu Vidyalaya registered victories in the Tier ‘B’ tournament yesterday, while Maliyadeva pulled off a stunning nine runs win over D.S. Senanayake in the Tier ‘A’ match played in Colombo.

In the Tier ‘A’ match, DSS were comfortably placed at 118 for three wickets at one stage in pursuit of a target of 175 runs. Gaviru Senhas gave them a robust start scoring the first 22 of his 75 runs in boundaries in the first over. But quick wickets by Themiya Bandara and Charuka Herath helped Maliyadeva rattle the last seven wickets for 47 runs.

At Bambalapitiya, Shenon Rodrigo picked up five wickets to restrict Dharmasoka to 179 runs. In their essay, the Petes third wicket pair of Rusanda Gamage and Nimuthu Gunawardana put on an unbroken 101 runs stand to seal the victory with many overs to spare.

While a top knock of 92 runs by Isuru Nidarshana was the highlight for Moratu Vidyalaya in their match against Dharmapala, an unbeaten 30 runs by Janith Shehan stood in good stead for St. Joseph Vaz’s as it helped them beat Ananda.


Tier ‘A’

Maliyadeva beat DSS by nine runs in Colombo



174 all out in 48.3 overs (Pasindu Menaka 75, Gayana Weerasinghe 33; Senura Silva 3/19, Akidha Weerasuriya 3/20)


165 all out in 33.2 overs (Gaviru Senhas 74, Dilash Kumaranayake 22; Keshan Karunarathna 2/18, Charuka Herath 4/37, Themiya Bandara 3/22)

Tier ‘B’

Moratu Vidyalaya beat Dharmapala by 134 runs at Pannipitiya


Moratu MV

229 for 6 in 47 overs (Thushan Nimantha 20, Isuru Nidarshana 92, Sukitha Dewthilina 60, Malith Randika 33; Kavindu Chanuka 2/22, Chithum Chirathma 3/39)


95 all out in 33.3 overs (Nulan Seneviratna 18; Malith Fernando 3/18, Isuru Nidarshana 2/17)

St. Joseph Vaz’s beat Ananda by three wickets at Kadirana



160 for 8 in 50 overs (Iruth Gimshan 31, Sachin Jayasinghe 23, Pulindu Kiriella 34; Tharindu Eshan 3/23, Menusha Perera 3/17)

St. Joseph Vaz’s

161 for 7 in 47.3 overs (Menusha Perera 24, Hansa Mihiranga 30,Janith Shehan 30n.o.; Pulindu Kiriella 2/23, Isuru Ayesh 2/24)

St. Peter’s beat Dharmasoka by eight wickets at Bambalapitiya



179 for 9 in 50 overs (Senitha Halambage 63; Shenon Rodrigo 5/25, Lashmika Perera 2/20)

St. Peter’s

183 for 2 in 36.4 overs (Oween Salgado 48, Rusanda Gamage 63n.o., Nimuthu Gunawardana 61n.o.)

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Nine year old Mazel Alegado has Olympic dream in sight




Mazel Alegado, aged nine, qualified for the women's park final at the 2023 Asian Games (pic BBC)

At nine years old, skateboarder Mazel Alegado has the world at her feet.

The youngest member of the Philippines team at the Asian Games – and thought to be the youngest competitor at the entire event – finished seventh in the women’s park final in Hangzhou, China.

Now the United States resident has her eyes set on reaching the Olympic Games. 

“I’m really proud that I got here. My dream is to be a pro skater. I would love to go to the Olympics,” she told Japan Today. “I was so excited you know, because I was able to skate Asian Games. It was so fun,” she added.

She was inspired to take up the sport after watching her brother. “We were at my cousin’s house and I saw my brother skateboarding and I was like, ‘Can I try? Can I try?’ I got on the board and just loved it,” she said.

Alegado’s best score in the final came in her first run, when she posted 52.85.

Japanese skateboarder Hinano Kusaki, 15, claimed gold while China bagged silver and bronze with, respectively, 20-year-old Li Yujuan and Mao Jiasi, 15, finishing on the podium.

Skateboarding has attracted some of sport’s youngest athletes. Britain’s Sky Brown turned 13 shortly before claiming bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics while silver medallist Kokona Hiraki was 12.


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Gymnastics Ireland ‘deeply sorry’ to Black girl ignored at medal ceremony




US seven-time Olympic medallist Simone Biles said the video 'broke my heart' (pic Aljazeera)

Ireland’s gymnastics federation has apologised for the allegedly racist treatment of a young Black gymnast who was skipped by an official handing out medals to a row of girls last year.

Footage posted on social media last week of an event in Dublin in 2022 showed the official appearing to snub the girl, the only Black gymnast in the lineup, who looked bewildered.

“We would like to unreservedly apologise to the gymnast and her family for the upset that has been caused by the incident,”  Gymnastics Ireland (GI) said in a statement posted on its website on Monday.

“What happened on the day should not have happened and for that we are deeply sorry,” said the statement.  “We would like to make it absolutely clear that [GI] condemns any form of racism whatsoever,” it added.

The video posted on Friday soon went viral and drew widespread condemnation of the girl’s treatment, including from star United States gymnast Simone Biles, who said she sent the girl a private video message of support.

“It broke my heart to see the video. There is no room for racism in any sport or at all,” Biles, a seven-time Olympic medalist, said Saturday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Biles’s US teammate Jordan Chiles described the incident as “beyond hurtful on so many levels”.

In an earlier statement, GI defended the official who it said had made an “honest error” but acknowledged it received a complaint from the parents of the girl alleging racist behaviour in March 2022.

GI said an independent mediation had led to a “resolution agreed by both parties in August 2023”, that the official had written an apology and that the girl had received her medal after the ceremony.

However, the Irish Independent on Sunday anonymously quoted the girl’s mother as saying GI had failed to publicly apologise and that she would take the issue to the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation in Switzerland.


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How home teams are thriving in ICC Men’s Cricket World Cups



MS Dhoni hit the winning six in the final against Sri Lanka.

Pressure or advantage? The conundrum that faces the hosts of each ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

If the last three editions are anything to go by, it is an advantage to be playing at home.

But, up until the 2011 edition, only one team had ever won as hosts, and that was Sri Lanka in 1996 when they co-hosted with India and Pakistan.

Even then, they only played two games at home, winning the final in Lahore.

Since 2011, a home team has triumphed every time with India setting the trend which Australia and, most recently, England followed.

Each team had unique challenges to face en route to the trophy, but what worked for the home teams?


India’s legends lead them home

Legends were made, celebrated, and inspired at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2011.

The final on 2 April was the most memorable day for the great Sachin Tendulkar as he was finally part of a World Cup-winning squad.

He made only 18 runs in the showpiece, but he had stewarded India there with a Player-of-the-Match- performance in the semi-final against Pakistan.

Yuvraj Singh had also done his job, winning Player of the Tournament after piling up 362 runs and 15 wickets, doing so without knowing he was suffering from cancer.

Each player was facing a personal Everest as well as the collective one of attempting to win a World Cup under what felt like insurmountable pressure.

To prepare, they spoke with Mike Horn, an adventurer who became the first person to solo circumnavigate the Equator, who put into perspective the challenge ahead of them.

The first challenge they faced was opening the tournament against Bangladesh, Virender Sehwag began with a boundary and that is how the tournament ended – MS Dhoni hit the winning six in the final against Sri Lanka.

The captain had moved himself above usual No.5 Singh, the change paying off as he then compiled 91 runs from 79 balls to see India to a second title and send the nation into ecstasy.

Doing so, the pressure was released and the curse of the hosts winning on home soil was broken.


Australia surge to fifth trophy

The most successful team in the competition’s history, Australia were never going to be able to fly under the radar, and their performances in 2015 certainly caught the eye.

The World Cup started on a positive note when they beat their old rivals England by 111 runs at the MCG.

But spirits were dampened by a washout against Bangladesh before New Zealand took a low-scoring thriller at Eden Park, winning by just one wicket.

And hell hath no fury like an Aussie team beaten.

Michael Clarke’s men responded by putting on the highest score at a World Cup, crashing 417 against Afghanistan in a 275-run win.

Comfortable defeats of Sri Lanka and Scotland followed before Australia brushed aside Pakistan and India in the knockouts.

The latter became the sixth team to be bowled out by Australia in the tournament as they were reduced to 233 runs, 96 short of their target.

The same fate befell New Zealand in the final in Melbourne as they were all out for 183 which Australia chased down with 101 balls to spare.

The experience of previous wins outweighed the pressure of home expectations, not something England could say four years later.


Four years in the making

England had never won the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup before and had been burned by a disastrous campaign in 2015.

But from the ashes grew new life, as captain Eoin Morgan led a rebuild with one aim, to win the World Cup on home soil.

There was time for beauty amid the ruthlessness, Ben Stokes’ stunning catch in the opener against South Africa firing up the tournament.

Morgan broke records as he blasted the most sixes in an innings against Afghanistan before Australia were blown away in the semi-finals.

The final at Lord’s was not about beauty or ruthlessness but as England attempted to do what had previously been impossible for them, they simply just needed to be in the contest.

The game ebbed and flowed as any good one-day match should before reaching a crescendo with a Super Over.

It almost had to be like this, the team who had set out to revolutionize the game, winning the World Cup in a way it had never been won before.

Now the tournament returns to the place where the trend started, and with India acting as solo hosts for the first time, all eyes will truly be on them.

But as 2011 showed, that is how they like it.

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