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SLC confident England tour will go ahead

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Sri Lanka Cricket is confident that international cricket will resume in the country by January next year with SLC set to host England for two Test matches. The two Tests, part of the World Test Championship, were set to be played in March this year but the tour had to be postponed after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. England had been in Sri Lanka for around ten days when they were forced to return home ahead of the opening Test match in Galle.

It was expected that international cricket will return to the island this month as Bangladesh were set to play three Tests. However, there was dispute about the days the tourists would do quarantine and the series was once again postponed.

There is a two week mandatory quarantine period for those who come into the country. While England and Wales Cricket Board is unlikely to agree to this measure, SLC is confident of getting a shorter quarantine period.

“Ideally, what we are looking at is one week’s quarantine and then get the players and support staff into a bubble and let them resume training. I am pretty sure we would be able to work out something like that,’ an official privy to negotiations told The Island.

“We will discuss the matter with Health Ministry when the time is right. This is not the time to approach them for obvious reasons,” he added.

Originally, England were set to play the two Tests in Galle and Colombo but now Dambulla has been earmarked as the venue for both Tests.

SLC will book an entire hotel and accommodate both teams, match officials and others involved in the series putting everyone in a bubble.

This means Dambulla will become Sri Lanka’s latest Test cricket venue. The popular cricket ground has only hosted one-dayers since it was built in in 2001. Incidentally, England played the first game at this venue.

What this also means is that there will be no international cricket played in Sri Lanka in 2020. This year SLC was set to host India, South Africa and Bangladesh apart from England. They were also set to host the Asia Cup. All those tours have now been postponed.

Sri Lanka are set to tour South Africa in December but officials said that it is unlikely this tour will take place.

 



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Joes stun Richmond, Mahanama sail through

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Under-19 Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

St. Joseph’s registered a stunning 128 runs win over league stage group champions Richmond and Mahanama beat St. Anthony’s Katugastota by 38 runs as the two teams completed the semi-final line up of the Under-19 Division I Tier ‘A’ tournament on Tuesday.

Dunith Wellalage top scored with 61 runs for St. Joseph’s before taking two wickets as the Joes ended Richmond’s unbeaten run restricting them to 100 runs. Incidentally, Richmond had recorded five wins in a row during the league stage and were the champions in group ‘Z’. St. Joseph’s were the third placed team in group ‘Y’ having scored three wins in five outings.

Mahanama lived up to their reputation as one of the favourites for the title as they knocked out the team from Kandy. Sampath Nissanka took four wickets to contain St. Anthony’s to 116 runs.

Now Mahanama will meet Royal in the semi-final, while St. Joseph’s take on Trinity.

Meanwhile in a Division II Tier ‘A’ quarter-final match Royal College, Panadura registered a two wickets win over Bandaranaike College, Gampaha.

Results

Division I Tier A

St. Joseph’s beat Richmond at DSS ground

St. Joseph’s

228 for 9 in 50 overs (Sadeesh Jayawardena 29, Sheran Fonseka 54, Dunith Wellalage 61, Hirun Matheesha 21n.o.; Amshi de Silva 2/46, Kavindu Nirmana 4/39)

Richmond

100 all out in 29.3 overs (Hansamana de Silva 33, Amshi de Silva 25; Deshan Seneviratne 2/22, Shenuka de Silva 3/27, Dunith Wellalage 2/22, Shevon Daniel 2/00)

Mahanama beat St. Anthony’s at Kurunegala

Mahanama

154 all out in 46.4 overs (Savindu Kavinda 22, Sachira Weliwatte 50, Dhanaja Sadalidu 27, Achintha Supun 24; Chamindu Wickramasinghe 2/21, Divyesh Ramaiya 3/19, Tharindu Lamahewage 2/37)

St. Anthony’s

116 all out in 44.4 overs (Anjala Bandara 44; Sampath Nissanka 4/36, Sethum Kenula 2/22, Sadishan Chamodya 2/22)

 

Division II Tier ‘B’

Royal beat Bandaranaike at Asgiriya

Bandaranaike

113 all out in 32.3 overs (S. D. Saranga 21, Rusith Kavishka 27; Himesh Fernando 2/15, Hasantha Warunajith 4/28, Milinda Sanjaya 3/26)

Royal

116 for 8 in 30.3 overs (Jayod Silva 17; Kanishka Malinga 4/29, Kavishka Jayawardena 3/17)

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Green top awaits Cobras  

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Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Head Coach Mickey Arthur take a look at the pitch ahead of the first Test against Bangladesh at Pallekele that gets under way today. Fast bowlers are expected to make merry on a green top never seen before in Sri Lanka.

Rex Clementine at Pallekele

One of the best gifts a dad can give a child is a trip to Leisure World at Avissawella and similarly one of the best things that can happen to a Sri Lankan quick is to get a green top at home. That’s exactly what’s going to happen at Pallekele today.

Not too sure when was the last time on  Sri Lankan soil so much grass had been left on a cricket pitch.  For a few days Pallekele is going to look like Newlands in Cape Town.

The unlucky ones are Dilshan Madusanka and Asitha Fernando who will not get a chance to bowl here.  

The new ball will be shared by Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Kumara with Vishwa Fernando providing variety with his left-arm seam.

A lot will be expected of Suranga Lakmal who was Player of the Series in the West Indies. Kumara will be a handful with his raw pace. But the real deal is Vishwa, whose clever tricks when conditions are helpful are a treat to watch.

Expect Angelo Mathews to do more bowling this series as well. Whether they will have a fifth seamer in Dasun Shanaka or opt for Wanindu Hasaranga at number seven remains to be seen.

With Mathews returning to the side, one of the batters will be left out from the side and whoever who gets the axe must consider himself very unlucky.

There is reason for Sri Lanka to change their strategy to pace based. Bangladesh’s strength is spin and the hosts don’t want to play into their hands. That’s exactly why the series is played in Kandy and not Galle.

Bangladesh will miss Shakib Al Hasan, their main match winner. They are also without their lead pacie – Mustafizur Rahman. Both are in India playing IPL.  

The tourists are under pressure. They lost a home series to West Indies unexpectedly and were whitewashed in New Zealand losing all six white ball games. Their away record also nothing much to boast about having won just one Test match in the last four years – against Sri Lanka in 2017.

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Lisal, Saajida win singles titles

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Clay Courts National Tennis Championship

Number one ranked Lisal Goonetilleke bagged the Under-14 boys’ singles title, Saajida Razick claimed the Under-18 girls’ singles trophy as the Clay Courts National Tennis Championship continued at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Tuesday.

S. Thomas’ College player Goonetilleke scored a 6-1, 6-4 win against Methvan Wijemanne to win the Under-14 final.

Bishop’s College player Saajida Razick beat Hasali Gajaba 7-5, 6-4 to win the Under-18 girls’ title.

In the Under-14 girls doubles final, Inuki Jayaweera of Musaeus College and Melesha Randini of Ave Maria Convent, Negombo beat Akeesha Silva and Movindi Fernando to win the trophy.

Results:

Under 14 Boys’ Singles Final:

Lisal Goonetilleke beat Methvan Wijemanne 6-1, 6-4.

Under-18 Girls’ Singles Final:

Saajida Razick beat Hasali Gajaba 7-5, 6-4.

Under-14 Girl’s Doubles Final:

Inuki Jayaweera and Melesha Randini beat Akeesha Silva and Movindi Fernando 5-3, 4-2. (RF)

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