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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)


Saajida Razick clinches Under-16 girls’ title



SSC Open Ranking Tennis

Bishops College player Saajida Razick out played Dinara de Silva to clinch the Under-16 girls’ singles title of the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Thursday.

The number two ranked Under-16 player beat the St. Bridget’s Convent player 6-2, 6-1 to claim her first title of the year in her age category.

Razick was out played by Hasali Gajaba at last month’s Colombo Championships and was eliminated in the quarter-finals at the Tennis Nationals 2020 (U16) which was played in January.

Though the finalists are from two schools they represent the same tennis school, namely the Dineshkanthan Tennis School.

In the Under-12 boys’ singles Elizabeth Moir School’s Saha Kapilasena won the title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Jayin de Saram in the final.

Meanwhile, Dulkini Ranasinghe and Arushi Thomas overcame stiff resistance to advance to the Under-14 girls’ singles final. Ranasinghe beat Jayami Thambugalage 4-6, 7-5, 10-7, while the other semi-final too was decided in three sets. Arushi Thomas beat Onali de Silva 6-7, 7-5, 10-6.


Under-16 girls singles final

Saajida Razick beat Dinara de Silva 6-2, 6-1

Under-12 boys singles final

Saha Kapilasena beat Jayin de Saram 6-3, 6-4

Under-14 girls singles semi-finals

Dulkini Ranasinghe beat Jayami Thambugalage 4-6, 7-5, 10-7

Arushi Thomas beat Onali de Silva 6-7, 7-5, 10-6 (RF)


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Ahan, Sadeesh in record-breaking stand as Royal recommence cricket



Under-19 Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

Captain Ahan Wickramasinghe scored an unbeaten double century and put on a record breaking partnership with Sadeesha Rajapaksha as Royal recommenced First XI cricket in style against Trinity at Reid Avenue on Thursday.

Royal reached 403 for two wickets at stumps as Wickramasinghe and Rajapaksha put on an unbroken third wicket stand of 362 runs.

According to Royal statistician M.L. Fernando ‘it is the highest stand by a Royal College pair against any opposition in more than their 140 year old history.

They broke the record held by Sumithra Waranakulasuriya and Ajith Dewasurendra.

“In 1981 Sumithra Waranakulasuriya and Ajith Dewasurendra put on 304 runs for the third wicket. Ajith walked in when the score was 10 for two and their stand helped the school win by an innings and 62 runs,” Fernando told The Island. Incidentally, the previous record too had been established against Trinity.

According to Fernando the partnership is also a new ground record at Reid Avenue, a venue which had witnessed the rise of a number of Sri Lanka national players.

The 19-year-old Wickramasinghe who was part of the Sri Lanka Under-19 team that featured in the last Youth World Cup faced 223 balls and stroked 17 fours and two sixes in his knock.

Rajapaksha’s knock which came in 259 balls contained ten fours.

The match started on Thursday was Royal’s first official cricket encounter since the 141st Battle of the Blues played last March. Though the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association is set to start a limited overs tournament instead of the customary league tourney of innings format, schools which respect their historic traditional encounters have resumed their First XI cricket matches.

The Royal-Trinity cricket series, which according to Royal statistician had been played uninterrupted, had commenced in 1893.


Royal 403 for 2 in 98 overs

(Ahan Wickramasinghe 210n.o., Ashen Gamage 22, Sadeesha Rajapaksha 152n.o.,)


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SLT-MOBITEL Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2021 Concludes Successfully



SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2021’ Motorbike and Car racing championship powered by the ultra-high speed fibre broadband and fastest mobile internet services provider in Sri Lanka SLT-MOBITEL concluded successfully amid much fanfare, on the 27th and 28th February, 2021 at the Eliyakanda racing circuit in Browns Hill Matara.

SLT-MOBITEL joined hands with the Southern Motor Sports Club (SMSC) for the 25th edition of the ‘SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb’.

The exciting racing spectacle comprised of 16 motor cycle events and 17 motor car events, on an uphill course covering a distance of 540 metres, The Bike races were conducted on 27th February and the Car races took place the next day, on 28th February, 2021.

Jaden Gunawardena took pole as the faster rider among 103 racers, marking a new race record of 33.63 seconds. Moreover, Ashan Silva made history at the car race as the first person in the event’s 25 year history to complete the race in 31.26 seconds. The race was made extra special as Ashan had in his first run beat Dilan Seneviratna’s record of 31.783 seconds.

The SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb is a national championship event which functions under the purview of the Sri Lanka Automobile Sports (SLAS), the governing body for motor sports in Sri Lanka.

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