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St. Joseph’s, Royal cruise to final

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Under-19 Division I Tier ‘A’ Semi Finals

by Reemus Fernando

St. Joseph’s beat the daylights out of Trinity with a clinical ten wicket win and Royal disappointed century maker Pavan Ratnayake with a six wickets win over Mahanama in the Under-19 Division I Tier ‘A’ semi-finals played on Wednesday.

St. Joseph’s continued their remarkable rise during the knockout stage as their batting openers Sadeesh Jayawardena and Sheran Fonseka knocked off the win need without being parted after bowlers contained Trinity to 160 runs at the Surrey Village ground.

Fonseka was unbeaten on 93 (116 balls, 10x4s) and Jayawardena was not out on 62 (98 balls, 5x4s) when they reached the target with 14 overs to spare. The stage for victory was however set by their bowlers, paceman Mithira Thenura, captain Dunith Wellalage and Shenuka de Silva.

Thenura dealt a severe blow to Trinity’s aspirations when he took two wickets in his second over. When Deshan Senaviratne and Shenuka de Silva accounted for the next two wickets Trinity had only 21 runs on the board. While Shenuka de Silva took two wickets, Wellalage and Thenura took three wickets each. Trinity had a fruitful 100 run partnership for the fifth wicket between Pawan Pathiraja and Akram Muthalib but some accurate bowling by Wellalage and Thenura prevented acceleration of the run rate during the final overs. While Wellalage grabbed two wickets in the final over, Thenura took a remarkable diving catch off his own bowling in his final over.

In the other semi-final, a century by Pavan Rathnayake (114 in 150 balls, 3x4s, 4x6s) was in vain for Mahanama as Royal reached a target of 210 runs for the loss of four wickets with three overs to spare. Sadisha Rajapaksha scored an unbeaten 85 runs and put on a third wicket stand of 116 runs with opener Sehan Herath who scored 62 runs. Sonal Amarasekara with three wickets was the pick of the bowlers.

Now Royal will meet St. Joseph’s in the Division I Tier ‘A’ final at the NCC Ground on Saturday.

Results

Royal beat Mahanama by six wickets at Moratuwa

Mahanama

209 for 8 in 50 overs (Pavan Rathnayake 114, Vinuka Rubasinghe 33; Sonal Amarasekara 3/29)

Royal

210 for 4 in 47 overs (Sehan Herath 62, Sadisha Rajapaksha 85n.o., Ahan Wickramasinghe 27)

St. Joseph’s beat Trinity by ten wickets at Maggona

Trinity

160 all out in 49.4 overs (Pawan Pathiraja 61, Akram Muthalib 49; Mithira Thenura 3/26, Shenuka de Silva 2/30, Dunith Wellalage 3/32)

St. Joseph’s

161 for no loss in 35.4 overs (Sadeesh Jayawardana 62n.o., Sheran Fonseka 93n.o.)



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Dharmasena reaches singles final

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Ranjan Dharmasena(Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

Ranjan Dharmasena booked a berth in the singles final against Korea’s Sung Bong Han as he beat Sagg-Ho OH 6-1, 6-2 in his semi-final in the Sri Lanka Open International Wheelchair Tennis Tournament at Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Tuesday.

Sung Bong Han of Korea prevented an all-hosts final as he beat Gamini Dissanayake 6-1, 6-2 in the other semi-final.

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New champions add spice to tennis singles events

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The First Capital SSC Open Men’s and Women’s Singles championships were won by Sharmal Dissanayake and Sajida Razick respectively (Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

By A Special Sports Correspondent

Tennis star Sharmal Dissanayake (26) made a comeback to the racquet game in Sri Lanka when he won the Men’s Singles event at the First Capital SSC Open Championships worked off in Colombo recently.

The annual SSC Open tournament gave a great start to the tennis scene in the island for the New Year. It was also a new start for champion player Dissanayake after being away from playing on Sri Lankan courts at local tournaments for a while. He overcame stiff resistance from Chaturya Nilaweera in the finals, which went for four sets. Dissanayake won 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and 7-6 in the pulsating final which was scheduled to go for five sets if required. This is the first time five-set tennis was introduced at a local tournament in the island.

Dissanayake has played at peak condition in past tournaments. Fitness was not a cause for Dissanayake at this tournament, but he can reach top playing condition as the months roll away this season. The talk doing the rounds in the tennis circles is that Dissanayake wants to raise his game and fitness and make himself available for the country at overseas assignments too. Meanwhile, Nilaweera, an up-and-coming player with much promise, had to sweat his way into the final with a tough semi-final fixture against Kiran Vairawanathan. It was good to see seasoned players like Guyanga Weerasekare contesting the SSC Open Men’s event. The men’s open tennis event overall in the country has just got the needed boost with the competition that’s raised by so many talented players entering and wanting a share of the pie.

Dissanayake won the Arjun Fernando Challenge Trophy for his efforts at the tournament which was witnessed by an appreciative crowd.

Schoolgirl Sajida Razick made a giant kill in the women’s open singles by beating seasoned player Neyara Weerawansa (6-3, 6-4). Despite taking the first set with her power play Razick saw the experienced Weerawansa breathing down her back in a well-contested second set. Both players made their share of unforced errors, but that didn’t take the punch away from the game Razick looked so confident throughout the game and brilliantly negotiated Weerawansa’s spirited late rally during the second set before winning her first major title in senior tennis. Razick overcame Vishmi Serasinghe in the semis while Weerawansa got the better of Dinara de Silva. Razick won the Sriya Munasinghe Challenge Trophy for her efforts.

Razick has raised her game tremendously and plays some powerful shots and also uses the full court. It would have been interesting to see how she would have fared against Anjalika Kurera had the latter taken part in this tournament. Incidentally, Kurera was not available for the SSC Open this season because she was busy preparing for a vital examination.

The tournament not only attracted its title sponsor in First Capital, but also saw Perera & Sons and Dimo coming in as co-sponsors. It’s one of the most looked forward-to events in the local tennis events calendar; having recorded its start in the 1980s. The SSC Open also serves as a category 1 ranking tournament.

The tournament was organized by the SSC Tennis Home Committee and held under the auspices of the Sri Lanka Tennis Association.

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Amameth scores back-to-back centuries

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Anjala Bandara (left) and Kavindu Amameth

Under 19 Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

Kavindu Amameth scored back-to-back centuries and put on a partnership over 200 runs for the second time in the match as Mahanama College earned major honours against De Mazenod in the Under 19 Traditional cricket encounter which ended in a draw at Kandana on Tuesday.

Amameth followed up his first innings score with an identical knock. In the first essay, he conceded 173 balls for his knock. But in his second he consumed only 101 balls as he cracked 11 fours and seven sixes to boost the score. He also put on a first-wicket stand of 209 runs with Anjala Bandara as Mahanama posted 323 for three wickets at close on a pitch where the home team could muster only 150.

It is also the first time this season that a batsman scored back-to-back centuries in a match.

At Ananda Mawatha, Mahinda College restricted the home team to 159 runs as Dhanuja Induwara picked up five wickets for the visitors to dominate day one of the traditional encounter.

Results

Mahanama take major honours

Scores:

Mahanama

363 all out in 92.1 overs (Kavindu Amameth 126, Inuka Karannagoda 75, Rashmika Perera 52, Chamika Heenatigala 24, Eshan Withanage 24; Kavindu Kaushalya 4/97, Thushan Udayanga 3/64, Sithum Fernando 3/71) and 323 for 3 in 54 overs (Kavindu Amameth 126, Anjala Bandara 84, Koojana Perera 55, Inuka Karannagoda 52n.o.; Thushan Udayanga 2/56)

De Mazenod

2 for 1 overnight 150 all out in 49.0 overs (Neshan Dias 65, Shevan Menusha 25, Uvindu Perera 20, Thareen Perera 20; Chamika Heenatigala 4/12, Inuka Karannagoda 2/26, Rashmika Perera 2/29)

Mahinda dominate day one at Ananda Mawatha

Scores:

Ananda

159 all out in 53.1 overs (Viduna Wijebandara 27, Iruth Gimshan 25, Ayesh Shahimal 42; Dhanuja Induwara 5/33, Tharusha Dilshan 2/37, Arosha Udayandga 2/18)

Mahinda

142 for 5 in 44 overs (Hareen Achintha 36, Hiruna Gallage 38n.o., Tharusha Dilshan 21n.o.; Ashinsa Deshan Nainayaka 4/40)

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