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Sithuka rattles Ananda as Isipatana continue unbeaten run

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by Reemus Fernando

Left-arm spinner Sithuka Gunawardana picked up five wickets as Isipatana rattled Ananda for 66 runs before cruising to a ten wicket victory in their final group match of the Under-19 Division I Tier ‘B’ tournament at BRC on Wednesday.

The massive win reconfirmed Isipatana as the unbeaten champions of their group in the Division I Tier ‘B’ competition.

St. Peter’s pulled off a decisive win against Mahinda to conclude the league stage as unbeaten champions in their group, also in Tier ‘B’. Despite a defeat, Mahinda as the runner up of that group have qualified for the knockout stage.

St. Anthony’s, Wattala emerged as the champions in Group ‘Z’ of Tier ‘B’ as they recorded a win against St. Sylvester’s.

In Tier ‘A’, Royal finished their group matches unbeaten as Ahan Wickramasinghe with a half century and Resandu Thilakarathne with a run a ball 42 helped them top 300 runs against D.S. Senanayake. Abishek Liyanarachchi’s century was in vain for DSS as they finished the group stage with just a solitary win in five outings.

While Royal are the champions in Group ‘X’, Trinity who beat Gurukula yesterday are the runners up.

De Mazenod earned their only win of the tournament when they handed Wesley a shocking 29 runs defeat.

Meanwhile in a traditional match Ryan Fernando scored a century for S. Thomas’ Mount Lavinia to post 262 for eight wickets against St. Anthony’s, Katugastota. The match is played at Sooriyawewa. The Thomians are playing the match there to prepare for the Big Match. The Battle of the Blues will be played at the venue in May.

 

Results

Tier ‘A’

Royal beat DSS at Reid Avenue

Royal

319 for 7 in 50 overs (Sineth Jayawardena 49, Ahan Wickramasinghe 70, Uvindu Weerasekara 22, Sadisha Rajapaksha 33, Resandu Thilakarathne 42n.o., Kavindu Pathirathna 30, Extras 42; Amitha Dabare 2/60, Imesh Adeesha 3/62)

DSS

255 all out in 48.4 overs (Abishek Liyanarachchi 107, Maneendra Jayathilaka 68, Kenula Gunaratne 26; Dan Poddiwela 4/37, Uvindu Weerasekara 2/24)

 

Trinity beat Gurukula at Asgiriya

Trinity

243 all out in 49.2 overs (Umair Raizan 71, Pawan Pathiraja 22, Ranuda Somaratne 52, Abhishek Anandakumara 24, Vibhawith Ehelepola 27; Kemira Nayanatharu 2/32, Thushara Wanigasinghe 3/35, Vihanga Iranjana 2/53)

Gurukula

184 all out in 40 overs (Kemira Nayanatharu 38, Sithija Chamod 82; Shenuka Ilukkumbura 3/33, Umair Raizan 2/31)

 

De Mazenod beat Wesley at Kandana

De Mazenod

261 for 9 in 50 overs (Lester Jayaweera 100, Salindu Pathirana 44, Senash Fernando 28, Thareen Sanketh 24n.o.; Denuwana Mendis 3/47, Thenuka Perera 2/29, Anudith Wickramasinghe 2/59)

Wesley

232 all out in 45.5 overs (Sahil Dias 32, Semila Liyanage 38, Denuwana Mendis 33, Rakitha Fernando 39; Senash Fernando 2/45, Thareen Sanketh 2/29)

 

Thurstan win according to Parabola Method at Galle

(Parabola target 224 in 43 overs)

Thurstan

237 for 6 in 49.5 overs (Dananja Silva 100, Ruvinda Dilshan 34, Bawantha Jayasinghe 64; Mihiranga Nimsara 2/36, Sandun Madushanka 2/35)

St. Aloysius’

146 for 5 in 43 overs (Bashana de Silva 52, Omal Sadith 33, Dineth Nimsara 36; Ranga Rasanka 3/43)

 

St. Peter’s beat Mahinda at Galle

Mahinda

230 all out in 48 overs (Navod Paranavithana 91, Sandew Induwara 25, Rashmika Madushanka 26, Dhanuja Induwara 24n.o.; Vinuda Liyanage 2/42, Jesuran Benjamin 4/41)

St. Peter’s

236 for 4 in 45.1 overs (Shanuka Galagoda 63, Shenal Botheju 41, Rusanda Gamage 27, Lahiru Chethaka 36, Wanuja Kumara 57; Kavindu Lakshan 2/30)

 

Isipatana rout Ananda at BRC

Ananda

66 all out in 31.4 overs (Maoshada Fernando 19; Sithuka Gunawardana 5/15, Amaan Thaha 2/14)

Isipatana

68 for no loss in 9.1 overs (Tharush Nethsara 38n.o., Naveen Kanishka 20n.o.)

 

St. Anthony’s beat St. Sylvester’s at Wattala

St. Sylvester’s

261 for 9 in 50 overs (Malith Lakshan 24, Sadeepa Halangoda 39, Charith Samuditha 41, Maleesha Silva 56, Nimsha Deshan 67; Romesh Suranga 4/39)

St. Anthony’s

262 for 8 in 50 overs (Gihan Sathmika 64, Dilip Fernando 47, Kaveesha Dulanjana 41, Kanishka Gimhan 24; Malith Lakshan 2/37, Shashika Gihan 2/44)

 

Thomians post 262/8 at Sooriyawewa against St. Anthony’s, Katugastota

S. Thomas’

262 for 8 in 78.4 overs (Shalin de Mel 19, Anuk Palihawadena 22, Ryan Fernando 100rtd. Mahith Perera 63; Nimnaka Jayathilaka 4/64, Kaneesha Rajapakshe 2/13)



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Sports

Dilshi stamps her class with national record

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Shanika qualifies for World Junior Championships

by Reemus Fernando

Former Ratnayake Central Walala athlete Dilshi Kumarasinghe stamped her class with a new Sri Lanka record performance in the 800 metres while emerging 800 metres runner Shanika Lakshani reached qualifying standards for the World Under 20 Championships and sprinter Mohamed Safan broke shackles to win the 200 metres as the first Selection Trial produced its best on the final day at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Friday.

Kumarasinghe who registered her maiden 400 metres triumph at national level on Wednesday bagged the 800 metres win as well in style on Friday when she clocked the fastest time for the distance by a Sri Lankan in history. Her time of two minutes and 2.55 seconds erased the four year-old national record held by experienced Gayanthika Abeyratne who finished third(3rd 2:03.64 secs) yesterday. Asia’s third ranked 800 metres runner Nimali Liyanarachchi was placed second in a time of 2:03.15 seconds. Former record holder Abeyratne is ranked fifth in Asia.

The 21-year-old athlete trained by Susantha Fernando maintained a steady pace right throughout to win the event for the second time within months. She won her first 800 meters title at senior level at the last National Championships in December. “I am happy to have broken the record. We planned for the record but I am not satisfied with the time,” Kumarasinghe told The Island. Her coach Fernando expressed similar sentiments. “We were planning to produced a far better timing as she has the potential to reach international level,” said Fernando.

Kumarasinghe who is currently ranked sixth in Asia behind local counterparts Liyanarachchi and Aberatne is set to improve her ranking when the World Athletics update statistics next week.

Holy Cross College, Gampaha athlete Shanika Lakshani became the second junior runner at this championships to earn qualifying standards for the World Under-20 Championship which will be held in Nairobi, Kenya next August. Her coach Madura Perera said that it was a huge relief to witness his trainee accomplish the target after missing it by a whisker at the National Championships in December. Lakshani, running alongside the veterans clocked 2:07.02 seconds (Qualifying mark: 2:08.70 seconds).

On Wednesday Isuru Kawshalya Abewardana of Ananda Sastralaya Matugama reached qualifying standards for the World Under-20 Championship when he returned a time of 47.24 seconds in the Junior Men’s 400 metres final.

In the men’s 200 metres, Mohamed Safan turned tables on National Champion Kalinga Kumarage as both clocked sub 21 seconds, a rarity at local athletics. Safan was playing second fiddle to Kumarage at the last National Championships where he clocked 21.41 seconds. Yesterday Safan returned a time of 20.81 seconds, while Kumarage clocked 20.85 seconds.

In the women’s 200 metres, Nadeesha Ramanayake was the winner. She clocked 24.28 seconds.

The men’s 800 metres, conspicuous by the absence of national record holder Indunil Herath, was won by the Asian Championship participant Rusiru Chathuranga, who clocked 1:49.82 seconds.

Herath was not the only leading athlete who was absent at the First Selection Trial which was organized by Sri Lanka Athletics to provide much needed competition opportunity to top athletes vying to reach Olympic qualifying standards.

The next track and field competition for top athletes will be the next month’s National Championship.

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Sports

COPE; a toothless tiger?

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by Rex Clementine

Parliamentary watchdog COPE – Committee on Public Enterprises has made a scathing attack on some of the corrupt practices at Sri Lanka Cricket. COPE Chief, Professor Charith Herath has gone onto claim that by fighting out certain legal battles and writing off money that companies and member club owed SLC, insiders may have been receiving kickbacks. This is a very serious allegation by the  legislature.

Professor Herath wants legal action taken against SLC officials. It remains to be seen whether any culprits can be hauled up before courts or whether COPE is just a toothless tiger.

In the absence of SLC bigwigs, CEO Ashley de Silva bore the brunt of the criticism. In January this year, in these pages we wrote that Ashley’s time was up. While there are many questions about his efficiency and decision making abilities, it can be safely said that Ashley is no crook. The real crooks are hiding behind the CEO.

There have been some decent men as well at SLC like Mohan de Silva, who was President in 2004. De Silva had warned his colleagues that their excesses could tarnish the reputation of the institution, but his concerns fell on deaf ears.

Not only the guardians of SLC but even those who let them enter into these corrupt deals need to be probed. While most of these allegations will take time to prove, certain things can be proven beyond reasonable doubt. For example fixing a domestic match in 2017 by some prominent members of SLC.

However, four successive Sports Ministers – Dayasiri Jayasekara, Faizer Mustapaha, Harin Fernando and Namal Rajapaksa – failed to take action. All four turned a blind eye despite having overwhelming evidence in front of them. Ravin Wickramaratne, the number one suspect, went places in cricket circles. He is now SLC’s alternate ICC Director.

At a time when the game has been so badly managed, Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa’s decision to backdate a gazette notification extending the term of SLC’s Executive Committee has not gone down well with many. Rather than giving a clean bill of health to SLC hierarchy, he should have perhaps taken the bad eggs out.

The ball is back on Namal’s court. It is his Ministry that has to now decide which deals need to be proved and against which officials’ action needs to be taken in courts of law.  From the start, Namal has treated SLC hierarchy with kids’ gloves. Now that their deficiencies have been exposed well and truly, he needs to watch his steps. If he continues to play politics with cricket governance, his popularity is going to wane, fast.

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Saha wins U12 boys’ singles title  

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Saha Kapilasena beat Sasen Premaratne to win the Under-12 boys’ singles title of the Clay Court Nationals conducted at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Friday. 

Kapilasena scored 6-3, 6-1 to win the title. Kapikasena ousted third seed Aahil Kaleel in the semi-final, Premaratne eliminated number one seed Methika Wickramasinghe in the semi-final. 

In the mixed doubles final Anika Seneviratne and Thangaraja Dineshkanthan were the winners as they beat Sanka Athukorale and Neyara Weerawansa 7-5, 6-4. 

Sanka Athukorale and Yasita de Silva beat Rajeev Rajapakse and Renouk Wijemanne 6-4, 6-0 to clinch the men’s doubles title.  

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