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Sri Lanka’s day of misery at Centurion

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Francois Du Plesis was the star for South Africa on day three

By Ruan van der Merwe in Centurion

After a brilliant start to their tour of South Africa, Sri Lanka’s miseries were compounded on third day’s play yesterday as several of their players pulled out with injuries allowing the Proteas to consolidate into a strong position.

The game was hanging in the balance when play resumed on day three with the Proteas 79 runs behind on a Centurion pitch that always brings quicks into the equation. Already reduced to nine players with Dhananjaya de Silva and Kasun Rajitha being ruled out of the game with injuries, Sri Lanka’s problems compounded with their quickest bowler Lahiru Kumara too pulling out.

Kumara had bowled at a decent pace sending a set Faf du Plessis on the back foot and beating him with a couple of away swinging deliveries. He was troubled by a groin strain.

Later Dasun Shanaka and Wanindu Hasaranga also withdrew with niggles. The leg-spinner returned and went onto finish with four wickets.

The hosts were making merry in the meanwhile with Faf posting his tenth century and Keshav Maharaj making a career best 73.

It was Faf’s career best score as well and cruelly he was dismissed one short of a maiden double hundred offering a simple catch to mid-on. It would have been also the second double hundred by a South African against Sri Lanka. Only King Kallis has scored a double against the Lankans

South Africa’s total of 621 is their highest against Sri Lanka; the previous best being 580 for four declared at Newlands in 2012. It was also their highest score at Centurion and the seventh highest score ever – home or away.

Despite the setbacks, the Sri Lankans kept their spirits high but the lead of 225 that they had conceded left too much catching up to do with one of their regular batsmen – Dhananjaya de Silva ruled out of the series. That list could have more casualties. Already Suranga Lakmal and Oshada Fernando have missed the first Test due to injuries.

Lungi Ngidi did considerable damage with the new ball. He nailed skipper Dimuth Karunaratne with a delivery that kept low and then had Kusal Mendis caught at second slip for no score.

The intensity with which Sri Lanka came into the game will be in question. The tourists were involved in a T-20 competition before coming to South Africa and went into the Test series straight without even a practice match due to health restrictions. The gap between the T-20 final and the opening Test was ten days.



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Sri Lanka Cricket appoints Olympic medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe to promote women’s cricket

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Sri Lanka Cricket announced the appointment of Olympic Silver Medalist  Susanthika Jayasinghe as the ‘Consultant—Mentoring and Development of Women’s Cricket.”

Jayasinghe, one of the most decorated athletes produced by Sri Lanka and the only female athlete to win an Olympic medal for her country and the only Asian woman athlete to have won an Olympic medal in sprint events, will use her story of grit and determination to inspire the present and future generations of women cricketers in Sri Lanka.

Her appointment took effect on February 1, 2023.

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Sri Lanka leave out injured Hasini Perera for T20 World Cup

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Sri Lanka will be without Hasini Perera during the T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka have left out experienced campaigner Hasini Perera from their 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup after she suffered an injury. Perera, who was named in the original squad, was forced out after injuring her finger during a practice session.

She has been replaced by Sathya Sandeepani, whose only appearance for the national side came in the 2020 T20 World Cup encounter against runners-up India. Apart from the forced change, the Asian side have also made a couple of changes to their squad from the one that reached the Asia Cup final last October.

Rashmi Silva and Madushika Methtananda, two players who didn’t get an opportunity in the Asia Cup, have been left out of the squad for the World Cup in favour of Vishmi Gunaratne and Ama Kanchana. 17-year-old Vishmi made her debut in both T20Is and ODIs last year for Sri Lanka and the experienced Ama Kanchana, who made her T20I debut almost 10 years ago, has been recalled for the first time since the Commonwealth Games.

Chamari Athapaththu will lead the 15-member squad once again. Sri Lanka are in Group A alongside New Zealand, Bangladesh, hosts South Africa and defending champions Australia. They begin their campaign on the opening night (February 10) against South Africa at Newlands.

Squad:

Chamari Athapaththu (C), Oshadi Ranasinghe, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Anushka Sanjeewani, Kaushini Nuthyangana, Malsha Shehani, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandika Kumari, Achini Kulasuriya, Tharika Sewwandi, Vishmi Gunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Sathya Sandeepani.

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President’s Mahara and Sri Parakrama NS Kobeigane declared joint champions

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The captains of the two schools Mihilsara Oshan (President’s College) and Adeesha Lakshan (Sri Parakrama NS) are seen with the trophy here.

Under 13 Division III Cricket Final

President’s College Mahara and Sri Parakrama National School Kobeigane were declared joint champions of the Under 13 Division III cricket tournament after the final between the two schools ended in a no-decision at Ananda Sastralaya ground Kotte yesterday. In reply to President’s 183 runs, Sri Parakrama National School were 133 for five wickets when rain prevented further play.

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