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Sri Lanka’s World Cup semi-final hopes fade away



The Wankhede Stadium in Bombay, the venue for the epic 2011 World Cup final between Sri Lanka and India will host the World Cup league game between these teams on Thursday.

Rex Clementine
in Bombay

After a clinical performance against defending champions England, Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign was back on track, but Monday’s loss to Afghanistan in Pune has brought it back to square one.

When Sri Lanka travelled to Pune, they had four games remaining and had to win at least three of those to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stage of the competition.

Now that they lost to Afghanistan, their chances of making it to the semi-finals are slim as they have got to win the remaining three games and hope the results of other games too go in their favour.

Even if other results go in their favour, it is hard to think that Sri Lanka will overcome India, who have been unbeaten in this competition.

India have been rarely tested in this tournament and their bowling attack has posed many challenges to the opposition.

Sri Lanka’s top order in this tournament has done fairly well with Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama amidst runs. It is the middle order that has been a flop with Charith Asalanka managing just one half-century in six games and Dhananjaya de Silva not been able to reach 50 even once.

If the top order failed to deliver, middle and lower middle order are unable to handle the pressure and that has been a huge drawback in this competition.

Now that hope of making it to the semi-finals has slipped away, Sri Lanka’s next aim should be to ensure that they do not get thrown out of the Champions Trophy to be played in 2025.

The two bottom placed teams in this tournament will not take part in Champions Trophy that will be hosted by Pakistan in two years’ time.

The Indian team had a training session yesterday at the Wankhede Stadium where Thursday’s clash against Sri Lanka will take place.

Sri Lanka were travelling to Bombay from Pune yesterday and did not train. They are expected to conduct a training session today at Wankhede.

Wankhede was also the venue for the epic 2011 World Cup final between Sri Lanka and India which the hosts won.

Since then, Sri Lanka have played just two games here – two T-20s both of which they lost to India. The most recent game was early this year when they went down to India by two runs.

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Spinners put England in command on Day 2




Shoaib Bashir bagged four wickets on Day 2 (Cricbuzz)

England’s spin duo of Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley put India in trouble on the second day of the fourth Test in Ranchi by sharing six wickets between them. After getting bowled out for 353 in their first innings, England kept striking at regular intervals despite Yashasvi Jaiswal’s efforts at the other end.

England made a positive start to the day with Ollie Robinson opening up to hit a flurry of boundaries to catch India off guard. He ended up stretching the stand over 100 runs alongside overnight centurion Joe Root with the latter taking a backseat on the second morning. In the process, Robinson ended up registering his first-ever fifty in Test cricket with India desperately searching for a breakthrough. That breakthrough arrived in the form of Ravindra Jadeja as Robinson gloved one to the ‘keeper while attempting to reverse sweep.

Jadeja then made quick work of the tail as Bashir first miscued one hoick and James Anderson got trapped lbw, leaving Root stranded on 122. England would have still been fairly pleased with the score of 353 though given they were reeling at 112/5 at one stage on the opening day. They received a massive boost with the ball too as Rohit Sharma ended up nicking Anderson behind very early in his innings.

Jaiswal on the other hand though got off to a bright start yet again. Having already smashed two double tons in the series, the opener was in great touch prior to the lunch break. He carried on the same vein post resumption as well but ended up watching a procession from the non-striker’s end. Bashir hurt India big time in the second session as he first trapped the well-set Shubman Gill lbw before getting rid of Rajat Patidar and Jadeja, who had smashed successive sixes prior to that.

Those three wickets put India on the backfoot and the onus was on Jaiswal again to revive the innings. The opener did  continue to pile on the runs but England managed to keep Sarfaraz Khan quiet at the other end. The visitors then took full control of the game when Jaiswal dragged one back on to his stumps to fall for 73. With half the side back in the pavilion and almost 200 runs still behind England’s tally, India needed a massive contribution from the lower order. However, England cashed in on their advantage as Hartley drew the outside edge of Sarfaraz before trapping R Ashwin leg-before-wicket. Kuldeep Yadav and Dhruv Jurel put up a brave fight batting out almost 18 overs before stumps but India still need a huge effort from the duo on the third morning to bridge the gap.

Brief scores:
219/7 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 73, Shubman Gill 38; Shoaib Bashir 4/84) trail  England 353 in 104.5 overs (Joe Root 122*; Ravindra Jadeja 4/67) by 134 runs

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Sri Lanka outplayed us – Jonathan Trott



Afghanistan Head Coach Jonathan Trott conceded that Sri Lanka outplayed his side.

Afghanistan Head Coach Jonathan Trott conceded that Sri Lanka outplayed his team in all three departments in the recently concluded bilateral series between the countries. While Sri Lanka won the one-off Test match, they swept Afghanistan 3-0 in the ODIs before taking an unassailable 2-0 in the T-20 series. On Wednesday, Afghanistan managed to record a three-run win in the last T-20 International, a dead rubber, at Dambulla.

The South African born former England Test cricketer Jonathan Trott conceded that his team was thoroughly outplayed in the series

“We should have done better than this. Sri Lanka have played good cricket and not allowed us to play good cricket. We could have won a few games or made a few games difficult to win for the opposition. For example, in the last T-20 International, they needed 36 in the last two overs and ended up getting 33 from the last two overs. We need to be more clinical. We hope to get our combination and form right before the T-20 World Cup in June,” Trott told journalists.

The Afghans missed their star bowler Rashid Khan, who is recovering after undergoing back surgery. The tourists were banking heavily on left-arm spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, in Rashid’s absence, but he too was injured during the tour and had to pull out

“We missed Rashid Khan and Mujeeb-ur-Rahman. Any team that doesn’t have Rashid will miss him heavily. The players who have got opportunities need to make most of those opportunities and I hope they learned something in this series,” Trott explained.

While Afghanistan’s bowling wasn’t steady, their batting had too many collapses and to make matters worse they were sloppy on the field dropping quite a few catches. Fielding, Trott said, was one area that needed definite improvement.

“Drop catches nearly cost us during the last game as well. It has cost us a lot in the past. Certainly, one thing we have to work on is our catching. Fielding will be one thing that we will discuss when we take into account team selections moving forward.”

Afghanistan will begin a T-20 and ODI series against Ireland later this month in UAE while Sri Lanka will travel to Bangladesh for a multi-format series that involves two Tests, three ODIs and three T-20 Internationals. Both teams will then travel to United States for the T20 World Cup.

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Lahiru takes nine wickets to restrict Maliyadeva



Lahiru Amarasekara

Under 19 Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

Spinner Lahiru Amarasekara picked up nine wickets for St. Joseph’s as the home team restricted Maliyadeva to 175 runs on day one of the Under 19 Division I Tier ‘A’ tournament match at Darley Road on Friday.

Amarasekara bowled the bulk of overs (23) for the Joes as he took nine wickets for 54 runs. His figures included nine maidens.

Amarasekara’s figures are the fourth best figures by a St. Joseph’s bowler. According to St. Joseph’s officials, Malcolm Orr’s 9 for 24 against Ananda in 1914 is the best bowling performance. While Shinal Warnakula took 9 for 41 against St. Peter’s College in 1997, C. O. de Silva had taken 9 for 45 against St. Benedict’s College in 1898.

In reply to Maliyadeva’s 175 runs, the Joes were  131 for three wickets at stumps with Hirun Kapurubandara unbeaten on 55.

In the matches concluded yesterday, St. Thomas’ Matara pulled off a two wickets win over Maris Stella in the match played at Kadirana. Abdul Maajid’s half century in the second innings stood in good stead for the team from Matara as others struggled in pursuit of a target of 117 runs.

Match Results

St. Thomas’ Matara record two wickets win at Kadirana


Maris Stella 109 all out in 52.1 overs (Ramith Bandara 22, Shafni Deen 33; Pesandu Sanjan 3/32, Navija de Seram 5/19) and 161 all out in 53.1 overs (Oshadha Gimhana 48; Navija de Seram 3/50, Jimuth Iddamalgoda 4/14)

St. Thomas’ Matara 99 for 3 overnight 154 all out in 58.5 overs (Navija de Seram 40, Thathsara Dewmith 41; Nilesh Perera 2/22, Ramith Bandara 3/24, Yohan Aloka 2/36) and 120 for 8 in 22 overs (Abdul Maajid 51; Yohan Aloka 3/31)

St. Joseph Vaz’s earn first innings points against Zahira at BOI ground


Zahira 248 all out in 65.2 overs (Ranidu Malith 23, Mohomed Ijaz 100, Salman Refai 77; Janith Fernando 3/68, Tharindu Eshan 2/17, Dominic Fernando 2/40, Suhada Fernando 2/26) and 99 all out in 34.4 overs (Mohamed Ijaz 50; Janith Fernando 4/21, Dominic Fernando 4/20)

St. Joseph Vaz’s 76 for 3 overnight 255 for 9 decl. in 79.5 overs (Dasun Perera 37, Vishwa Rajapaksa 63, Suhanda Fernando 30, Tharindu Eshan 31n.o.; Abdul Rahuman 2/45, Tharusha Nawodhya 5/58)

Mahinda force a draw after first innings collapse at Galle


Moratu MV 300 all out in 81.5 overs (Vihanga Nimsara 22, Mahith Appuhami 43, Deneth Sithumina 96, Nidharshana Fernando 63, Hasidu Gimsara 24, Kanchana Nimshan 20; Arosha Udayanga 3/59, Tharusha Dilshan 5/106)

Mahinda 30 for 5 overnight 117 all out in 57.5 overs (Senuka Dangamuwa 46; Lakindu Yahampath 4/32, Nishitha Fernando 3/28) and 216 all out in 67.5 overs (Pramesh Madubashana 62, Senuka Dangamuwa 47, Deneth Kaushalya 38; Nidharshana Fernando 5/31)

Richmond heading for big lead at Kurunegala


St. Anne’s 78 all out in 49.2 overs (Chamith Sasenjana 19; Malith de Silva 3/19, Kaveesha Induwara 3/12, Sharon Abhishek 4/10)

Richmond 154 for 5 in 41.1 overs (Chehan Subasinghe 50, Nikil Jayaweera 36, Malsha Tharupathi 44n.o.; Kevin Nanayakkara 4/46)

Thisara produces all round performance at Uyanwatta


St. Servatius’ 233 all out in 54.4 overs (Chamarindu Nethsara 65, Diniru Abeywickramasinghe 74; Kaveesha Piyumal 5/82, Thisara Ekanayake 3/56)

St. Anthony’s,

Katugastota 127 for 2 in 40 overs (Thisara Ekanayake 55n.o.)

Royal bat whole day to post 218 runs against Trinity at Reid Avenue


Royal 218 for 8 in 100.3 overs (Rehan Peiris 72, Sineth Jayawardena 34, Dinura Senarathna 30; Malith Rathnayaka 3/62, Tharana Wimaladharma 3/53)

Lahiru’s nine wickets haul restricts Maliyadeva at Darley Road


Maliyadeva 175 all out in 65 overs (Chandupa Abeysinghe 32, Gayana Weerasinghe 67n.o., Vinuka Galappaththi 31; Lahiru Amarasekara 9/54)

St. Joseph’s 131 for 3 in 37 overs (Hirun Kapurubandara 55n.o.; Dimantha Arusha 2/25)

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