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St. Joseph’s, De Mazenod, Mahanama, Richmond battle for final spot



Under 19 Division I Tier ‘A’ Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

Defending champions St. Joseph’s are the favourites against giant killers De Mazenod while, Mahanama have the edge over Richmond when they battle it out in the semi-finals of the Under 19 Division I Tier ‘A’ cricket tournament today.

St. Joseph’s V De Mazenod

St. Joseph’s

having in their ranks three Sri Lanka Under 19 players are unbeaten in the tournament. After emerging as the champions in their group with victories against St. Anthony’s, Katugastota, St. Benedict’s, St. Sebastian’s, S. Thomas’, Mount Lavinia and St. Thomas’, Matara, they romped to six wickets victory over Wesley in the quarter-final.

De Mazenod put up a fine team performance to eliminate Nalanda, one of the favourites in the quarter-final, after reaching the knockout stage as the runners up to Mahanama in group ‘Z’. They had just three victories under their belt at the end of the league stage.

The team from Kandana have put up combined efforts to reach this far. In today’s match De Mazenod will consider bringing in spinner Pramod Rajamunindra in place of paceman Thushan Udayanga depending on the condition of the wicket at Surrey Village Ground.

Opponents of De Mazenod did not see much of Rajamunindra during this tournament. If he gets the opportunity, the Joes will be up against a complete spin attack consisting of Senash Fernando, Sithum Fernando and Thareen Sanketh.

There is no denying the fact that the Joes will be the stronger team in that department with their spin squadron braced with bowlers who faced the best in the world in their age category at the ICC Youth World Cup. Skipper Shevon Daniel makes a terrific combination with Sri Lanka Under 19 captain Dunith Wellalage, who is the leading wicket taker of the tournament.

St. Joseph’s

are likely to field an unchanged side with Daniel, who is also the leading scorer of the team occupying the third spot in the batting line up. Sadeesh Jayawardena who has produced some outstanding batting performances on return from the Youth World Cup will open batting with Hirun Matheesha. They have a strong and long batting line up with Wellalage joining in the middle order.

For De Mazenod skipper Ruveen Fonseka produced his best batting effort during the quarter-final and will have Salindu Pathirana, Mithul Senerath and Ashen Silva among others to form a formidable line up. The last three have maintained an averaged over 40.

St. Joseph’s (probable)

Shevon Daniel (Captain), Sadeesh Jayawardena , Hirun Matheesha, Mithira Thenura, Dunith Wellalage, Hiran Jayasundara, Muditha Lakshan, Rishma Amarasinghe, Deshan Senaviratne, Lahiru Amarasekara, Yenula Dewthusa.

De Mazenod (from) Ruveen Fonseka (Captain), Lester Jayaweera, Mithul Senerath, Senash Fernando, Salindu Pathirana, Chanuka Silva, Sithum Fernando, Sihina Sithumina, Ashen Silva, Thushan Udayanga, Thareen Sanketh, Pramod Rajamunindra.

Richmond V Mahanama

Mahanama captained by Devindu Kekirideniya are in terrific form after maintaining an unbeaten record to reach the semi-final. They rattled St. Benedict’s for 93 runs in the quarter-final before cruising to seven wickets victory.

Their leading wicket takers, left armers skipper Kekirideniya and Inuka Karannagoda did not have to worry much in the quarter-final after Koojana Perera did most of the damage. They will be looking to repeat the same against Richmond at today’s match at Reid Avenue.

Kavindu Amameth, Perera and the new recruit from Kandy Anjala Bandara, Sachira Weliwatta and Dhanaja Edirisinghe are the top scorers who are forming the backbone of the batting line up.

Richmond skippered by Bhanuka Manohara are a fighting outfit who have the fire-power with the batsmen rallying around Manohara and Tharinda Nirmal. Janeth Kaushal and Thamindu Pradeeptha are the others who have made notable contributions.

Spinner Sharon Abishek, speedster Kalpa Nethsara and former Madampa Central spinner Malsha Tharupathi will form a strong bowling attack for Richmond. Richmond beat St. Anthony’s, Katugastota according to D/L Method in the quarter-final after reaching the knockout stage with three victories under their belt.

Ricmond (from): Bhanuka Manohara (Captain), Kalpa Nethsara, Kavindu Nirmana, Vishara Sasmitha, Tharinda Nirmal, Ruwan Jayawardena, Janeth Kaushal, Maheesha Vethmin, Hansamana de Silva, Sharon Abishek, Malsha Tharupathi, Thamindu Pradeeptha, Chehan Subasinghe, Sihath Ramanayake, Imesh Sasindu, Seneth Sisan, Kaveesha Induwara, Sanahas Ramindu, Manuja Dulneth, Stephan Selvanayagam.

Mahanama (from): Devindu Kekirideniya (Captain), Viranga Yeshan, Omesh Udara, Sachira Weliwatte, Nihindu Perera, Duvindu Perera, Sethum Kenula, Anjala Bandara, Dasith Gunathilake, Koojana Perera, Inuka Karannagoda, Nadeesh Yasiru, Kavindu Amameth, Chanuja Sandalindu, Bhanula Algewatte, Tharindu Lakshan, Anuk Wijewardhane, Ruveen Sankalpa, Hasith Hansindu, Venuk Hettiarachchi.

Under 19 Division I Tier ‘A’ Semi-Finals

St. Joseph’s V De Mazenod at Surrey Village Ground

Richmond V Mahanama at Reid Avenue

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Will Smeed hits the Hundred’s first hundred to get Birmingham Phoenix off the mark



Will Smeed hit the first hundred in the Hundred as Birmingham Phoenix thrashed reigning champions Southern Brave by 53 runs in a sun-soaked Second City.On NHS Heroes Night at Edgbaston, with NHS workers and support staff invited along as a thank you for their brilliant work, a 14,000 crowd was royally entertained as Smeed socked an unbeaten 101 off 50 balls to lift his side to 176 for 4.Brave replied with a paltry 123 all out as Henry Brookes enjoyed a dream debut on the ground he has always called home. The Edgbaston product took 5 for 25 and two excellent catches in the outfield as Phoenix banked their first victory of the campaign and handed James Vince’s side their first defeat in nine matches.

After Phoenix were put in, they leaned heavily on Smeed after Chris Benjamin, promoted to open, and Moeen Ali each raced to 17 but then perished. Benjamin sent up a skier off Marcus Stoinis before Moeen, having lifted George Garton deep into the crowd at midwicket, chopped James Fuller’s first ball on to his stumps.Smeed galloped to a 25-ball half-century, reached with six over long off off Jake Lintott in a stand of 80 in 44 balls with Liam Livingstone. Livingstone was the top six-hitter in last year’s Hundred, but this time never really hit his stride, scoring just two from his first seven balls and 21 from 20 before lifting Lintott to extra cover.

Into the last ten balls, the big question was whether Smeed could complete his first professional hundred. He needed five runs from the last three, and a four and a two took him to the landmark from 49 balls.Phoenix set about defending their total with an increasingly depleted seam attack, Adam Milne (Achilles) having joined Matt Fisher, Chris Woakes and Olly Stone on the absentee list. But Kane Richardson soon stepped up, bowling Vince with his first ball after the Brave captain had smote Moeen for 16 in three balls in the first set.

Richardson conceded just a single from his first five balls and Phoenix struck again when Stoinis was brilliantly caught by Brookes at short fine leg off Tom Helm.Brookes followed that up in sensational style by striking with his second, tenth, 13th, 15th and 17th balls. Quinton de Kock sent back a return catch, Tim David lifted to deep square leg, Alex Davies was bowled through an attempted scoop and Fuller and Garton were pinned lbw. Who needs Milne, Fisher, Woakes and Stone?

Brookes hadn’t quite finished. At 108 for 7, Brave’s one sliver of remaining hope lay in some pyrotechnics from the big-hitting Ross Whiteley, but when he hoiked Benny Howell to long leg who was waiting underneath the ball? Brookes made no mistake and Phoenix closed out a victory which owed everything to the precocious talent of two young Englishmen.Birmingham Phoenix 176 for 4 (Will Smeed 101*) beat Southern Brave 123 (Alex Davies 33, Henry Brookes 5-25, Kane Richardson 3-19) by 53 runs

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Niroshan Dickwella stars in Greens 8-run win over Reds



Opening batsman Niroshan Dickwella hammered an unbeaten 76 off 56 balls packed with 8 boundaries as Team Greens defeated Team Reds by 8 runs to register back to back wins in the SLC Skyexchange Invitational T20 League 2022 at the R. Premadasa International Stadium yesterday. Batting first the Greens ran up 161 for 6 off 20 overs with Dickwella dominating the innings. Skipper Dasun Shanaka struck 21 off 12 hitting 3 boundaries before getting run out followed by Dhananjaya de Silva 19 off 12 with 3 boundaries and Ramesh Mendis 11 off 8 (1×4).

The Reds did make a match out of it making 153 for 5 but lacked the final charge to make it despite having enough wickets in hand. Bhanuka Rajapaksa top scored with 34 off 28 with 2 boundaries while skipper Kusal Mendis made 30 off 28 with 3 boundaries and Kamindu Mendis 24 off 22 hitting a six.Upfront opening batsman Lasith Croospulle struck 31 off 24 inclusive of 3 boundaries for the Reds. Dickwella was adjudged Player of the Match.


Team Greens 161/6 (20 Overs) (Niroshan Dickwella n.o. 76, Dasun Shanaka 21, Dhananjaya de Silva 19,.Dinesh Chandimal 15, Ramesh Mendis 11, Asitha Fernando 2/32, Sahan Arachchige 1/13, Matheesha Pathirana 1/25, Wanindu Hasaranga 1/30).

Team Reds

153/5 (20 Overs) (Bhanuka Rajapaksa 34, Lasith Croospulle 31, Kusal Mendis 30, Kamindu Mendis 24, Sahan Arachchige n.o. 19, Ramesh Mendis 1/22, Nimesh Vimukthi 1/23, Nuwan Thushara 1/32, Dhananjaya Lakshan 1/39).


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New Zealand juggernaut rolls on with another all-round win



Odean Smith’s all-round show went in vain as West Indies’ batting once again did not manage to come to the party. Chasing 186, West Indies fell 13 runs short in the opening T20I in Jamaica as New Zealand’s juggernaut rolled on.

New Zealand had their returning skipper Kane Williamson put up a solid 47 off 33, and with Devon Conway’s 29-ball 43, the pair gave New Zealand a solid foundation to pile on the runs. There was a rain interruption in the 12th over for almost two hours, and although New Zealand lost momentum, briefly then, they recovered pretty quickly. Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell got starts but couldn’t convert them. It was, however, Jimmy Neesham’s 15-ball 33 in the end that propelled New Zealand towards the finish they wanted. Odean Smith finished with a career-best 3-32, striking at vital junctures to dismiss New Zealand’s top three; else the West Indies could’ve been chasing a lot more.

Tim Southee struck in the second over to dismiss Kyle Mayers, but West Indies would take heart from Shamarh Brooks’s fighting 42 off 43 while wickets fell at the other end as all of New Zealand’s bowlers cashed in. West Indies were reduced to 114/7 with the inevitable end drawing closer, but resistance came, albeit late, of 50 off 23 balls from the eighth-wicket stand Smith and Romario Shepherd.

Smith smashed four boundaries and a six in his unbeaten 27 off 12, while Shepherd struck three sixes and a four in his 31 not out off 16 balls. New Zealand’s spinners shone through once again on a wicket that assisted them, returning four wickets. Santner was the pick with 3-19 in his four leading New Zealand’s defence, making the most of the knowledge gained from his CPL experience.

Brief scores:New Zealand 185/5 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 47, Devon Conway 43; Odean Smith 3-32) beat West Indies 172/7 in 20 overs (Shamarh Brooks 42; Mitchell Santner 3-19) by 13 runs.


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