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Test in the balance after Brathwaite’s marathon innings

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A century from Kraigg Brathwaite proved the backbone of a strong first innings for the West Indies but Sri Lanka are firmly in the contest after another fifty from Lahiru Thirimanne.

Sri Lanka reached stumps at 136/3 trailing by 218 after bowling the West Indies out for 354 earlier in the day.

With Dinesh Chandimal (34*) and Dhanajaya de Silva (23*) both well set, the Sri Lankans will be hoping to take a key first-innings lead.

Having played within himself with plenty of success in the first Test, Thirimanne started his innings in the second Test more positivity. He opened his account with a drive through mid-off for four in the innings’ first over from Roach.

With his captain and opening partner Dimuth Karunaratne struggling at the other end, Thirimanne looked to keep the pressure on the West Indies’ attack, hitting another boundary in the sixth over off Shannon Gabriel.

While Thirimanne was seeing them well, Karunaratne was struggling to get going. Having scored a single off the first ball he faced, he had since been kept scoreless for 15 balls. On the 16th he edged Alzarri Joseph to the cordon, where he was caught spectacularly. Diving full length to his right at third slip, Nkrumah Bonner pulled in the catch with his right hand at full stretch.

Despite the loss of Karunaratne, Sri Lanka reached the tea break in the reasonably strong position of 60/1, with Thirimanne closing in on a half-century following a flurry of boundaries towards the end of the session.

It had been an eventful start to the innings for Oshada Fernando, who survived two lbw reviews from the West Indies before the tea break. Both reviews had come back ‘umpire’s call’. On 18 his time was up, trapped in front by Kyle Mayers.

And the hosts were soon celebrating a double-strike as Thirimanne played one shot too many, chopping on against Roach for 55 to leave Sri Lanka in a spot of bother at 77/3. It was Thirimanne’s third consecutive half-century for the series.

His fall meant two new batsmen were out in the middle but that did not prove the opening the West Indies had hoped, with Chandimal and Dhananjaya reaching stumps with relative ease – the latter surviving a caught behind appeal from Cornwall in the final over of the day.

Earlier, the day started on a positive note for the West Indies as Brathwaite brought up his first Test century as captain on the second ball of the morning session.

It was a welcome return to form for the opener, who had not scored a century since 2018.

Having gone to sleep on 99, he put any nerves to bed at the start of the day by nudging Suranga Lakmal down to fine leg for a single to reach the milestone in 241 deliveries. The 28-year-old has now scored nine Test centuries and he is the only West Indies opener to have scored a hundred in the format since Chris Gayle in 2013.

In the very next over the Sri Lankans thought they had their man as Brathwaite edged Vishwa Fernando to second slip. However, umpire Joel Wilson suspected it was a bump-ball and the third umpire quickly confirmed as much.

The West Indies were soon celebrating another milestone as Cornwall raised his second consecutive half-century with an edged four behind point. Another edge for four through the same region took Cornwall past his previous Test best of 61. His next boundary was far more convincing – a backfoot cut for four that took the eighth-wicket stand past 100.

But Cornwall’s luck would soon run out as he miscued a drive against Lakmal straight into the hands of mid-off to perish for a 92-ball 73 featuring 10 fours and one six.

With his team at 325/8 and only the tail for company, Brathwaite started to play his strokes, punching Lakmal down the ground for one boundary before smoking Dushmantha Chameera through the covers for another.

Unfortunately for the hosts, the fireworks did not last too long.  Roach came and went, caught behind off Chameera, and soon after Brathwaite’s 311-ball, 514-minute vigil came to an end.

The captain dragged a good length ball from Chameera onto his stumps, perishing for 126 having lifted his side to a commendable 354 after it was 185/6 at one point. (ICC)



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Murali hospitalised for cardiac treatment

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Muralitharan was at the Chepauk when Sunrisers played Mumbai Indians on Saturday, incidentally his 49 birthday. © BCCI/IPL

Sri Lankan cricket legend Muttiah Muralitharan, who is part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad support staff in the ongoing IPL, has undergone an angioplasty in Madras.

It was reported that the champion off-spinner “had a stent fitted to unblock an artery, and will rejoin Sunrisers Hyderabad when discharged.

He has been the bowling coach and mentor of Sunrisers Hyderabad since 2015. His team has suffered three losses in a row this season.

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Dilhara Lokuhettige gets eight-year ban for corruption

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Dilhara Lokuhettige had been slapped with corruption charges in April 2019

“The severity of the sanction reflects the seriousness of his offences and his continued refusal to cooperate”

Dilhara Lokuhettige, the former Sri Lanka allrounder, has been banned from all cricket for eight years by the ICC anti-corruption tribunal after being found guilty of breaching the ICC’s anti-corruption code on three counts.

Lokuhettige had been slapped with corruption charges in April 2019, five months after the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) had also charged him. The charges relate to the 2017 T10 tournament played in the UAE, which is why the ECB had been first to lay charges.

In January this year, the tribunal found Lokuhettige guilty of:

Article 2.1.1 – for being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspect(s) of a match.

Article 2.1.4 – directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any participant to breach code article 2.1.

Article 2.4.4 – failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in corrupt conduct under the code.

“Having represented Sri Lanka in international cricket, Dilhara had attended a number of anti-corruption education sessions and would have known his actions were a breach of the Code,” Alex Marshall, the ICC general manager – anti corruption, said. “The severity of the sanction reflects the seriousness of his offences and his continued refusal to cooperate and should serve as a deterrent for anyone considering getting involved in corruption of any kind.”

An Al Jazeera documentary on cricket corruption in Sri Lanka had initially raised concerns about Lokuhettige. In that, Lokuhettige was seen to be in the room when another former Sri Lanka cricketer was talking to an alleged corruptor, as well as an Al Jazeera journalist posing as a prospective bettor.

Former Sri Lanka seamer Nuwan Zoysa was also found guilty of three corruption-related offences to do with that T10 tournament in November last year. Zoysa has since denied any wrongdoing.

Zoysa and Lokuhettige are the third and fourth former Sri Lanka players to be charged with corruption. Sanath Jayasuriya was the most high-profile cricketer to cop charges, and has served out a two-year suspension from the game, while former offspinner and sometime Galle curator Jayananda Warnaweera was the first to be charged with corruption by the ICC.

As Lokuhettige has been living in Australia and held no positions with Sri Lankan cricket, he has not faced a sanctions from the SLC so far.

He played 11 white-ball internationals for Sri Lanka, picking up eight wickets to go with 101 runs with the bat. His last competitive game was a first-class fixture for Moors Sports Club in February 2016.

 

(ESPN Cricinfo)

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Royal, Trinity march into semis as Ahan continues top form

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Under-19 Cricket

Royal College marched into the semi-finals of the Under-19 Division I Tier ‘A’ tournament with a convincing six wickets victory over Nalanda as they stopped the team inclusive of at least two leading players of the tournament at the quarter-final hurdle on Monday.

Chasing 190 runs to win, the tournament’s leading batsman Ahan Wickramasinghe scored an unbeaten 71 runs for Royal to seal the semi-final place with 11 overs to spare. Dasis Manchanayake who took three Nalanda wickets also chipped in with 22 runs.

Wickramasinghe has scored over 400 runs now in six matches. Raveen de Silva who scored an unbeaten half century and Vinuja Ranpul who chipped in with 22 runs for Nalanda are the tournament’s second and third highest run scorers. .

In the other Tier ‘A’ quarter-final played on Monday, Trinity beat St. Sebastian’s, Moratuwa by seven wickets to book their semi-final place.

While Royal meet the winners of the match between St. Anthony’s, Katugastota and Mahanama, Colombo in the semi-final, Trinity will encounter the winners of the quarter-final between Richmond and St. Joseph’s.

In the Division II Tier ‘A’ tournament, Lyceum International School, Wattala continued their impressive run as they edged out Rahula College, Matara in the quarter-final.

Results

Division I Tier A

Royal beat Nalanda at Mount Lavinia

Nalanda

189 for 7 in 50 overs (Rashan Dissanayake 30, Nadil Jayakody 32, Vinuja Ranpul 22, Raveen de Silva 59n.o.; Dasis Manchanayake 3/17)

Royal

191 for 4 in 39 overs (Sineh Jayawardena 60, Isiwara Dissanayake 21, Ahan Wickramasinghe 71n.o., Dasis Manchanayake 22; Dineth Samaraweera 2/32)

Trinity beat St. Sebastian’s at Reid Avenue

St. Sebastian’s

131 all out in 43.2 overs (Yashan Avishka 51, Savindu Rodrigo 30; Dinuka Thennakoon 4/23, Abishek Anandakumar 3/37)

Trinity

133 for 3 in 30.1 overs (Thevin Amarasinghe 39, Umair Raizan 60, Pawan Pathiraja 21n.o.; Sadeesh Fernando 3/39)

 

Division II Tier ‘A’

Lyceum beat Rahula at Darley Road

Lyceum, Wattala

148 all out in 42.1 overs (Gamitha Pawan 61, Jaron Fernando 20, Theekshana Shehan 26; Binura Sanketh 2/17, Sandew Rithmaka 3/27)

Rahula, Matara

117 all out in 42.2 overs (Tharindu Rajapaksha 52, Binura Sanketh 24; Mohammed Rifnaz 2/23, Mithush Lakshman 3/14)

(RF)

 

 

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