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Sri Lanka’s Galle fight back not good enough



Rex Clementine in Galle Fort

Sri Lanka came up with a much better performance in their second innings of the opening Test against England but that effort may not be good enough to test the tourists who require 36 more runs to go 1-0 up in the two match series.

Sri Lanka had conceded too much of advantage on day one after they were bowled out for 135 on a good batting wicket and England made them pay by piling up 421. Having conceded a lead of 286 runs, the hosts batted for more than four sessions to wipe off the deficit and then take a lead of 73 runs.

Sri Lanka showed lot of energy on the final session’s play and England lost three quick wickets for just 14 runs in pursuit of a 74 run target. Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence then steadied the ship to help their team reach 38 for three.

Lahiru Thirimanne probably playing to save his place came up with a valiant effort posting his second Test hundred. But he should have done much more to take the game beyond England, who struck with the second new ball.

Dinesh Chandimal was dismissed soon after lunch for 20 leaving Angelo Mathews with too much to do.

The extended afternoon session – between lunch and tea – produced just 60 runs in 29 overs for the fall of three wickets. With England’s bowlers tiring that was the phase that Sri Lanka should have looked for runs but their over cautious approach backfired. The caution was very much needed in the first innings when the bowlers were fresh. In contrast, Sri Lanka were going in reverse.

Dilruwan Perera and Angelo Mathews kept Sri Lanka interested with a ninth wicket stand that was worth 38 runs. Perera who hit five fours for his 24 was stumped by Buttler, a dismissal that raised a few eyebrows.

With more than 15 overs left for the day, England finishing off the game with a day to spare was a possibility. But Lasith Embuldeniya ensured that it went for a fifth day. He bowled Dom Sibley with an arm ball. It was clever bowling by the left-arm spinner taking a few away from the right-hander and then slowly sneaking one that held its line.

Zak Crawley was well caught at gully by Kusal Mendis to give Embuldeniya his second wicket.

Joe Root was then run out by a direct hit from Niroshan Dickwella, who did well to sprint to covers and throw the stumps down.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka 135 and 359

(Kusal Perera 62, Lahiru Thirimanne 111, Angelo Mathews 71, Dinesh Chandimal 20, Niroshan Dickwella 29, Dilruwan Perera 24; Sam Curran 2/37, Dom Bess 3/100, Jack Leach 5/122)

England 421 and 38 for 3

(Lasith Embuldeniya 2/13)


Navy men and women record wins at Inter Club rugby matches



The men’s and women’s rugby teams of the Navy secured two more wins in their encounters over the Air Force in the Sri Lanka Rugby Nippon Paint Inter Club League Rugby Tournament at the Navy Rugby Ground, Welisara.

Navy men scored a thrilling 32-31 victory over Air Force where T.M. Weerasinghe added points through three conversions and two penalties. Further, S.J.F. Gregory, R.A.N.U. Perera, M.A.F.M. Mushin and G.D.J. Laksara also made a try each.

In the meantime, Navy women recorded a comprehensive 55-0 win over their Air Force counterparts. In this encounter, A.H.S. Madumali scored three tries and collected points through five conversions. In addition, R.S.H. Kumari scored two tries and P. Dilani, M.R. Kumudumalee, G.G. Randunu and W.R.W. Vithana too scored a try each.

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Dinara, Sajida win first-round matches



ITF Junior Circuit Week I Tournament

Dinara de Silva and Sajida Razick won their respective first-round matches of the ITF Junior Circuit Week I tournament which commenced at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Monday.

De Silva beat Silvia Caliman of Spain 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the second round and Sajida Razick overcame India’s Gagana Mohal with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win in her match.

The tournament is set to conclude on February 5.

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St. Anthony’s in command against Ananda



Under 19 Cricket

Kaveesha Piyumal and Induwara Galapitage shocked Ananda sharing six wickets between them as St. Anthony’s, Katugastota contained the home team to 56 for eight wickets at stumps after posting a commanding 268 on day one of the Under 19 traditional match at Ananda Mawatha on Monday.

Mohomed Aaqil (73) and Kavindu Shehan (46) gave the hosts an ideal start adding 90 runs for the first wicket after they decided to bat first. Lahiru Abeysinghe, Rayan Anthonyzs and Janith Rathnasiri then made vital contributions for them to reach 268 runs.

In their essay home team were rocked by the visitors as Piyumal grabbed for wickets for 17 runs to rattle the middle order.


St. Anthony’s

268 all out in 54 overs (Mohomed Aaqil 73, Kavindu Shehan 46, Lahiru Abeysinghe 47, Rayan Anthonyzs 27, Janith Rathnasiri 36, Charuka Ekanayake 21; Kithma Sithmal 3/86, Ashinsa Nainayake 2/57, Ayesh Shashimal 5/40)


56 for 8 in 32 overs (Kaveesha Piyumal 4/17, Induwara Galapitage 2/11) (RF)

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