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Sri Lanka prep for T20 World Cup with nervy 2-0 win



For second time in three days, Oman squandered the chance to secure a win as Sri Lanka chased down their total of 159/8 in the 18th over to seal the two-match series 2-0. Another late partnership from Sri Lanka – for the sixth wicket this time – took them over the line.

Oman’s bright beginnings

The home side lost two wickets in the opening six overs but helped themselves to 44 runs. Though opener Jatinder Singh just couldn’t get going and fell for a forgettable 12-ball five, Kashyap Prajapati and Aqib Ilyas got the innings going with a handful of sixes. Kashyap particularly took a liking for off-break bowler Maheesh Theekshana, hitting him for two big shots.

Post-Powerplay acceleration…

Zeeshan Maqsood took over the mantle after the six-over period, keeping Oman’s momentum going in the seventh when he tonked Akila Dananjaya over deep square leg and extra cover off successive deliveries in the eighth over. Though Zeeshan’s cameo ended at 16 off 8, Oman reached 77/3 at the halfway stage.

What happened in the second half?

Despite a 12-run over in the 13th over off Dasun Shanaka, Oman got only 35 runs in five overs in a period of lull. But Dananjaya’s return kickstarted Oman’s revival before the death as Ilyas smashed two big sixes in the 17-run 16th over. Having made the most of Sri Lanka’s off-day in the field, Ilyas got to a quick-fire half-century, before falling for a 38-ball 60 in the 17th over. Sri Lanka pulled it back by conceding just 19 off the last 18 balls, as Oman reached a par score of 159/8.

How was Sri Lanka’s start?

Very similar to Oman’s.

They got to 48/2 in the PowerPlay, as Fayyaz Butt and Maqsood picked two quick wickets to take out Dinesh Chandimal and Charith Asalanka. One of the half-centurions from the opening game – Avishka Fernando – and opener Pathum Nissanka slowly but steadily plotted the visitors’ recovery.

When did they stutter?

In the 10th and 11th over.

It started with medium-pacer Kaleemullah trapping Nissanka leg before and then Mohammad Nadeem dismissing the heroes of the opening fixtures – Fernando – and Dasun Shanaka in the space of three balls to leave Sri Lanka five down.

Who rescued them tonight?

The sixth-wicket pair of Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Chamika Karunaratne.

When Sri Lanka found themselves tottering at 89 for 5 in 10.3 overs, they needed 71 more to get off 57 balls. It was still gettable if one partnership clicked, and that’s exactly what happened between Rajapaksa and Karunaratne. Oman had the game by the scruff of its neck in that 11th over, but once again crumbled under the pressure of a possible victory.

The Sri Lankan duo dwarfed the target with constant singles and twos, and even got the odd six to keep their scoring rate well ahead of what they needed. The tables truly turned in Bilal Khan’s over in the 14th, when Sri Lanka needed 42 off 36. Oman’s most experienced campaigner bowled a waist high full toss that was carted away for a six in a 13-run over.

Dew didn’t make things easy for Oman either as left-arm spinner Zeeshan Maqsood let one slip out of his hand that went way above the batsman’s head and landed well behind the wicket-keeper. The consequent free-hit ball was carted for a six. With that, Karunaratne showed more urgency, and sealed the game with two sixes – one in the 17th and one in the 18th over. The pair finished with an undefeated partnership of 74 from 42 deliveries, with both batters scoring 35 apiece.


Brief Scores:

Oman 159/8 in 20 overs (Aqib Ilyas 60, Lahiru Kumara 2-20)

Sri Lanka 163/5 in 17.3 overs (Chamika Karunaratne 35 n.o., Bhanuka Rajapaksa 35 n.o.; Mohammad Nadeem 2-22)

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My best knock for Sri Lanka – Asalanka



By Rex Clementine

If you had no idea why Roy Dias identified Charith Asalanka as a Test captain in the waiting some seven years ago, there was proof for his claims at Pallekele on Wednesday as the diminutive left-hander from Elpitiya pulled off a stunning run chase against Afghanistan.Sri Lanka chased down a target of 314 in the last over with Asalanka finishing things off in style with a pulled six. What’s so special with the win is that it is Sri Lanka’s highest successful run chase ever at home.

“I was struggling with cramps. The heat was too much in the afternoon.

Once Dunith came in, I told him not to do too much running and target the gaps. There was a good partnership with Dasun too before that and that helped us to get back into the game,” Asalanka noted.

Most players when they get into the Sri Lankan cricket set up they get themselves tattooed and buy fancy cars and luxury apartments. Asalanka has remained grounded and he is very much close to his roots at Elpitiya.

In fact, he married his childhood sweetheart, whom he fell in love with at the age of 15. The pair met at the school bus when Asalanka was playing under-17 cricket and despite money and fame the captain in waiting hasn’t forgotten his past. Asalanka took a break middle of the series to get married on the 28th of November, the day of their tenth anniversary of falling in love. However, there was no honeymoon as Asalanka had to return to Pallekele for the rest of the series.

His wife is an English teacher and that gives us hope that press conferences are going to be interesting again although the good old days of Sanga will never come.Asalanka received a scholarship to Richmond College after passing the Grade Five scholarship and he is known as a sharp thinker of the game.

“First game the ball swung a lot. It was a grassy pitch. We knew this wicket was not going to do much for the bowlers. The main thing we wanted was to bat 50 overs. Everyone contributed from top to the lower middle order, and it was great to watch.”

Sri Lanka have a settled top order when it comes to white ball cricket and the middle order could be built on Asalanka who can accelerate and rebuild an innings. “Dasun is the one who told me that I’d be batting at number five and to feel comfortable. I was going to get the long rope. I had never batted at number five before that and glad I have cemented my place now.”

“This is my best innings in international cricket. Dunith Wellalage was outstanding as well. Afghanistan have a very experienced side. They have lot of players who are involved in league cricket. Dunith showed lot of maturity.”

“We had identified that Rashid Khan was their key players. We didn’t want to take risks against him. We got out for some good balls. We made sure that we didn’t give wickets to him, and it got easier to score runs.

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Richmond, Trinity clash for Under 19 Division I Tier ‘A’ cricket title  



by Reemus Fernando  

The stage is set for a thrilling climax when unbeaten Richmond meet formidable Trinity in the final of the Under 19 Division I Tier ‘A’ cricket tournament at the Thurstan College ground today.

There are two factors indicating to a thrilling climax. Both teams know what it takes to win a championship title as they have players who have featured in finals before. It was not long ago that a few players in the Trinity team guided their Under 17 team to joint champions title of the Division I cricket tournament of that age category. The team from Galle have in their ranks a number of players who had to be content with the runner up position after reaching the final of this tournament during the last season.

For the final, Trinity are likely to stick to the same team which won the semi –final against their arch rivals St. Anthony’s at the same venue early this week. During this tournament captain Rahal Amarasinghe has seen Manula Kularathne, Theeraka Ranatunga, Dinusha Pieris  and Janith Warnakula sharing most of the batting responsibilities for the team’s success.

In the bowling department, Ranatunga (with over 20 wickets) has topped the wicket takers list. Dinuka Thennakoon, Tharana Wimaladharma and Manula Kularathne are the others shouldering most of the wicket taking duties.

During the semi-final Ranatunga was joined by skipper Amarasinghe, Peiris, Wathila Udara and Vibhavith Ehelepola to play crucial roles with the bat, while the former and deputy skipper Ehelepola took two wickets each to contain St. Anthony’s to 202 runs.  A prominent feature of Richmond during this tournament was the dominant role played by their Sri Lanka Under 19 player Malsha Tharupathi. Tharupathi produced outstanding all-round feats to beat defending champions St. Joseph’s and St. Benedict’s in the quarter-final and the semi-final.

They have a strong batting line up from skipper Tharinda Nirmal, Helitha Edirisinghe, Thamindu Pradeeptha, Kavindu Nirmana, wicketkeeper batsman Janeth Kaushal to Tharupathi.

While Tharupathi is easily their top wicket taker, Nalaka Jaywardena, Nirmal and Sharon Abishek have all shared bowling responsibilities. Maheesha de Silva and Kaveesha Induwara have been economical with the new ball.

How they reached the final 

Trinity beat St. Sebastian’s, Moratuwa and St. Anthony’s, Katugastota during the knockout stage after completing their first round matches as the third placed team in their group. They won five out of the eight matches during that phase.

Richmond have remained unbeaten during this tournament. They won all their eight matches in the first round to be the champions in their group. During the knockout stage they ousted defending champions St. Joseph’s and St. Benedict’s in a row to reach their second consecutive final.


Richmond (from): Tharinda Nirmal  (Captain), Kavindu Nirmana (Vice Captain), Ruwan Jayawardena, Janeth Kaushal, Maheesha De Silva, Malsha Tharupathi, Sharon Abhishek, Thamindu Pradeeptha, Chehan Subasinghe, Sihath Ramanayake, Sasindu De Silva, Seneth Sisan, Kaveesha Induwara, Manuja Dulneth, Helith Edirisinghe, K.K Yuri, Pubudu Mihiranga,  Charuka Gunasekara. 


Nuwan Jayasinghe (Master in Charge), Lakmal de Silva (Head Coach), Umal Udayanga (Asst. Coach), Lahiru Madhuwantha (Asst. Coach) 

Trinity (from):  Rahal Amarasinghe (Captain), Vibhavith Ehelepola (Vice Captain), Theeraka Ranatunga, Supun Waduge, Manula Kularatne, Tharana Wimaladharma, Kusal Wijetunga, Dinusha Pieris, Dinuka Tennakoon, Jayavi Liyanagama, Janith Warnakula, Malith Rathnayake, Lakvin Abeysinghe, Wathila Udara, Yewan Hulangamuwa, Viduka Dhammage. 


Brian Senaratne (Master in Charge), Naveen Ekanayake (Head Coach),  Lakshitha Alahakoon (Asst. Coach) 

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Daraz partners with LPL for the third Consecutive Year



IPG Group, the official right holders of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) franchise, recently announced Daraz, Sri Lanka’s largest online shopping platform as the ‘League Partner’ and ‘Exclusive Ticketing Partner’ of Lanka Premier League 2022 tournament.Sri Lankan cricket fans can now purchase LPL 2022 tickets on Daraz– prices starting from Rs. 300.

The steps are as follows:

1) Log in to Daraz app & Add LPL tickets to the cart and checkout

2) You will receive a QR code via SMS and email

3) Walk into the respective stadium on the match day, show the QR code and get in

Speaking on the partnership, Managing Director of Daraz, Rakhil Fernando stated: “Cricket has always been the most popular sport in Sri Lanka; it plays a vital role in bringing the nation together. Ahead of the LPL 2022 season, Daraz is proud and excited to deliver an enhanced ticketing approach. Through our combined vision and expertise, we strive to deliver a superior cricket experience for the cricket fanbase.”

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The IPG group, Anil Mohan added, “As planning for the LPL 2022 began, we knew that we needed to take a fresh approach to administration in order to provide our enthused cricket fans with an agile, fast and smooth customer experience. A holistic online shopping platform like Daraz is just what is needed in today’s day and age to ensure smooth, hassle-free ticketing operations for a tournament of this scale. We request LPL fans to purchase their tickets at the earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.”

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