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SSC name indoor nets after Michael De Zoysa

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by Rex Clementine

Singhalese Sports Club yesterday honoured one if its stalwarts Michael De Zoysa by naming the indoor nets after him.

Michael was SSC’s go to man having joined the club in 1974.

A regular with the SSC’s Division II, team, Michael’s untiring efforts saw him playing a couple of First Class games.

But it was as a cricket administrator that he made an impact.

Michael’s greatest contribution to the game according to SSC President W. T. Ellawala is introducing Arjuna Ranatunga to the club. ‘The rest as they say is history,’ Ellawala said.

He also went onto claim that the SSC ground is what it is today thanks to the commitment and dedication of Michael.

Former Test captain Mahela Jayawardene addressed the gathering and remembered some of the classic moments of Michael’s life.

Michael played rugby at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia. But he didn’t go to CH or CR to pursue his favourite sport after school. He joined SSC. But was it really to play cricket? Mahela disagreed.

“He joined SSC not for cricket, but to see the fairer sex in the swimming pool. I’m told Mrs. De Zoysa was one of them,” Mahela said.

Menik, Michael’s wife was present at the gathering. Lara and Natasha, his two daughters joined online from the UK and Australia.

Michael was also one of the national cricket team’s most successful mangers.

He managed the team when Sri Lanka recoded their first ever series win in England in 2014.

The deciding Test at Headingley was closely fought. Captain Angelo Mathews was battling hard to help the team get a lead and the tail needed to hang in there. Dhammika Prasad played a poor shot first ball and was dismissed. Michael lost his cool. He told the team to give Prasad the cold shoulder.

For the rest of the day, not a single player or member of support staff spoke to Prasad. The fast bowler plays for SSC and Michael knew how to bring the best out of the quick.

Prasad was fired up next morning and bowled his heart out to finish with a match winning five wicket haul.

Mahela also explained how Michael would storm the Match Referee’s room with the book of Cricket Laws when a decision went wrong against the team.

Michael was the Manager when Sri Lanka won the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh in 2014.

The press loved his media briefings. During the 2015 World Cup, Sri Lanka had a tough schedule traveling from New Zealand and Australia back and forth, regularly crossing the Tasman sea. After a game at MCG, Sri Lanka had to fly to Wellington for the game against England 48 hours later. Michael was asked whether this was tough on the team. He said, “It’s tough but we don’t mind. England is a bye.” British tabloids went town. True to form Sri Lanka beat England by eight wickets with more than ten overs to spare.

By 2016, when Australia arrived for a series, Michael had quit as Manager and was back with SSC. Australia were making too many demands with practice facilities and Michael wasn’t happy. The press asked for a comment and Michael called them, ‘Dirty Aussies.’

Mahela finished off by getting the gathering to shout out loud one of Michael’s famous one-liners during club matches. ‘Come on SSC, wrap it up.’



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Navy men and women record wins at Inter Club rugby matches

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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

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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

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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.

Scores:

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)

Ananda

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

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