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Sri Lanka express dissatisfaction after Gunathilaka ‘Obstructing the Field’ decision  



Second Sri Lanka – West Indies ODI tonight

By Rex Clementine

Cricket contests between Sri Lanka and West Indies generally have been good natured but on Wednesday the teams were involved in an ill-tempered game as opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka was given out ‘Obstructing the Field’ during the opening ODI at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. He became the first Sri Lankan cricketer to be dismissed in that fashion.

Obstructing the Field is such a rare dismissal in cricket and only Len Hutton has been dismissed in that fashion in Test match cricket while there are less than handful of such incidents in all international cricket put together – Tests, ODIs and T-20s. It is one of the ten methods a batsman could be dismissed in cricket. Law 37 of Laws of Cricket says that any batsman to be dismissed in that fashion, there has to be ‘willful obstruction’.

Gunathilaka’s intentions did not look like deliberate. The left-handed batsman had posted a half-century while adding 105 runs for the first wicket with skipper Dimuth Karunaratne as Sri Lanka got off to a solid start. Then in the 21st over, Gunathilaka was given out Obstructing the Field when he trampled on the ball as Kieron Pollard was searching for a run out opportunity at the non-striker’s end.

Debutant Pathum Nissanka had set off for a run but Gunathilaka, who had advanced down the pitch, sent him back. He did not see where the ball was and while recovering to the crease, accidentally knocked on the ball.

Pollard, who is also West Indian skipper, appealed and umpire Joe Wilson referred it to the third umpire. His soft signal was out. The third umpire had enough evidence to overturn the decision but he opted to go with the original decision ruling the batsman out. It was all happening in double quick time and Gunathilaka was hard done by.

The Island

learns that Sri Lanka’s team management expressed their dissatisfaction with regards to the dismissal.

Usually, in ODI cricket, one of the on-field umpires and the third umpire are neutrals but in this age of the pandemic, the International Cricket Council has decided to field local umpires for all international games. However, as cricket moves forward while dealing with the pandemic, the need to get the best match officials follow quarantine processes and be available for international games has been felt.

There was lot of support for Gunathilaka with former West Indian captain Darren Sammy – who won two T-20 World Cups – tweeting in support of the Sri Lankan batsman. ‘Don’t think that was willful at all. I wouldn’t have appealed,” Sammy said.

The dismissal proved to be a bitter blow for the Sri Lankans – who collapsed and were shot out for 232 runs after being well placed at 105 for none.  The run chase was child’s play for the hosts who reached the target with eight wickets and three overs to spare. Shai Hope made 110 and was involved in a 143 run stand for the opening wicket with Evin Lewis.

Sri Lanka were sloppy with their running between the wickets with Angelo Mathews and Pathum Nissanka being run out.

Nissanka, who has been a prolific run scorer in domestic cricket, was one of the debutant for Sri Lanka in the first ODI with Ashen Bandara being the other. Both players aged 22 are from Galle.  Nissanka looked a very busy player pushing his seniors for quick runs while Bandara became the fifth Sri Lankan to make a half-century on debut. Sunil Wettimuny, Chamara Silva, Kusal Mendis and Ashan Priyanjan are the others.

The second ODI will take place today; also in Antigua with the game getting underway at 7pm Sri Lanka time. All-rounder Dasun Shanaka will be not available for selections as he only ends his quarantine on Saturday and his participation for Sunday’s final ODI too remains doubtful as he would have had little training under his belt. 

Shanaka is not the only player Sri Lanka have missed during ODIs. Kusal Janith Perera, Avishka Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Mendis all are missing.

West Indies won the three match T-20 series 2-1. The teams will play two Tests after the ODI series.


Mihiranga, Charuka shine as Richmond secure quarter-final place 



Under 17 Division I Cricket  

by Reemus Fernando   

Spinner Pubudu Mihiranga produced a five wicket haul to lead Richmond to 60 runs victory over Sri Devananda in the Under 17 Division I cricket pre-quarter-final played at Ambalangaoda on Sunday. Richmond were in danger of missing the quarter-final berth after Ravindu de Silva triggered a middle order collapse to restrict them to 166 runs. But Mihiranga’s counter attack helped them earn the crucial victory as they restricted the home team to 106 runs.

Chasing a target of 167 runs to win, Mayura Malshan, Lahiru Kavinda and Sithum Vihanga were the only batsmen to reach double figures as Devananda were bowled out in the 25th over. After doing well in the field, their batsmen failed to back up, with five batsmen getting out without scoring.  For Richmond, Thamindu Pradeeptha and Yuri Koththigoda did early damage before Mihiranga came up with his impressive spell to complete a five wicket haul.  Mihiranga’s 8.5 overs included four maidnes and he gave away just 23 runs for his five wickets.

Deciding to bat, Charuka Gunasekara stood out with a valuable knock of 81 runs (94 balls, 14x4s). With Gunasekara going great guns Richmond were looking at posting a challenging total. But Ravindu de Silva had other ideas.

Introduced to the attack as the ninth bowler, de Silva rattled the Richmond batting line up with a five wicket haul. Richmond were 133 for two wickets at the end of the 30th over but their last eight wickets could add only 33 runs during the remainder of the innings as Ravindu De Silva joined Sithum de Silva to contained the formidable line up to 166 runs.

Sithum who completed his quota of ten overs gave away just 19 runs for his three wickets. Ravindu bowled seven overs taking five wickets for 19 runs, while Mayura Malshan and Sithum Vihanga too bowled economical spells. Malshan’s seven overs (7.2) cost him just 12 runs. In the other two pre-quarter-final matches played on Saturday, Revata College, Balapitiya pulled off an exciting three runs victory over St. Thomas’, Matara and Trinity scored two wickets victory over D.S. Senanayake.


Richmond 166 all out 43.2 overs (Helith Edirisinghe 19, Charuka Gunasekara 81, Extras 24; Sithum de Silva 3/19, Ravindu de Silva 5/19) 

Sri Devananda 106 all out in 24.5 overs (Mayura Malshan 28, Lahiru Kavinda 30; Pubudu Mihiranga 5/23, Yuri Koththigoda 2/11) 

Results of the Matches played on Saturday 

Revata beat St. Thomas’ Matara by three runs at Matara  


Revata 140 all out in 49.1 overs (Kaveesha Mendis 59, Malith Mihiranga 23; Loshitha Diksith 3/26, Manuga Yonal 2/22, Pesandu Sanjan 2/14) 

St. Thomas’ 137 all out in 37.5 overs (Abdul Majid 26, Manuga Yonal 23, Sanju Dilshan 21; Kaveesha Mendis 2/32, Malith Mihiranga 2/18, Shehan Madusanka 3/18, Purna Ranyuru 3/18) 

 Trinity beat DSS by one wicket at Mount Lavinia  


DSS 144 all out in 45.3 overs (Shanal Binuksha 23, Sohan Senarathyapa 39, Chanul de Alwis 20, Extras 24; Malith Rathnayake 2/25, Sweaph Anurajeewa 2/24)

Trinity 145 for 8 in 49.5 overs (Sweaph Anurajeewa 27, Jayavi Liyanagama 32; Akidha Weerasuriya 2/19, Randisha Bandaranayake 2/22) 

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Man United’s David de Gea after Brentford defeat: Last season’s horror show still in our minds



David de Gea has said Manchester United are struggling to get over last season’s traumatic campaign and added the hangover is contributing to a nightmare start to life under Erik ten Hag.Ten Hag is the first United manager in more than 100 years to lose his first two games in charge after back-to-back defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

The 4-0 humiliation at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday left Ten Hag’s team bottom of the Premier League table and De Gea said the dismal end to last season, when United lost seven of their final 12 games, is playing a part.

“It was a difficult season and probably it’s still in our minds,” he said. “When something goes wrong people get panicky, it’s difficult. But we have to learn, we have a new manager, some new players, we need to be more positive, keep learning and improve.”

All four goals at Brentford were conceded in the opening 35 minutes, prompting Ten Hag to replace Luke Shaw, Lisandro Martinez and Fred at half-time. The Dutchman said afterwards he wanted to change his entire starting lineup following a disastrous first 45 minutes and De Gea said the United boss relayed his anger to the players at the break.David de Gea endured a miserable afternoon as Manchester United were thrashed at Brentford. Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

“He said it was unacceptable, what we were doing on the pitch,” De Gea said. “Nothing else to be honest. It was horrible, then some tactical things. It was horrible from us.

“I must take responsibility, I think I cost two goals to the team today. That first goal cannot happen. As a team we should react much better than we did, but I think I cost the team two goals.”

It won’t get any easier for United with Liverpool their next opponents at Old Trafford on Aug. 22. United haven’t beaten Liverpool in a league game since 2018 and the last three fixtures against Jurgen Klopp’s side have ended in three defeats and a combined score of 13-2.

“It’s about winning games,” De Gea added. “As soon as we win one game, two games, we’re going to start feeling better and more positive.

“We’re training really well, people are training hard, everyone is giving everything, to be honest, but then in the games we are not performing. For sure we’re going to learn, we have to learn and we have to play much better.”


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Godamanne retires as Sri Lanka secure Group III promotion



Sri Lanka registered a 2-0 victory over Iraq to earn promotion to Group III as they won the vital encounter in the Asia Oceania Zone Group IV Event, which was also the final Davis Cup match for Harshana Godamanna at the SLTA clay courts in Colombo on Saturday.

In the singles Yasitha de Silva beat Abdullah Ali Hatem 6-4, 6-2 and Harshana Godamanna beat Adel Mustafa Al-Saedi 6-3, 6-2.

Godamanna who represented Sri Lanka for 20 years made his retirement from the game a memorable one. He was presented with a plaque with many pictures of him in action and his parents in appreciation. The presentation was made by Iqbal bin Issack president of SLTA.

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