Badminton Nationals 2020
by Reemus Fernando
All three Karunaratne brothers, Olympian and many time national champion Niluka, Test cricketer Chamika and former champion Dinuka reached the quarter-finals as some top ranked players were eliminated in the fourth round of the men’s singles as the Badminton Nationals 2020 continued in Colombo on Friday.
Chamika, who is making a return to badminton from cricket beat number one seed Lochana de Silva 21-11, 21-16 to secure a quarter-final berth against last year finalist Ranthushka Karunathilake.
Karunathilake, the runners-up of the last edition, overcame a first set defeat to oust Chirath Illeperumachchi. Chamika and Ranthushka were set to compete in the quarter-finals late in the evening yesterday.
Niluka, who is seeking qualification to compete in the Tokyo Olympics scored straight set wins against Siyath Senaratne.
Niluka was scheduled to meet Lahiru Weerasinghe in his quarter-final clash also in the evening yesterday.
Sachin Dias and Buwaneka Goonatilleka were probably the biggest casualties in the morning session as they were eliminated by Viren Nettasinghe and former champion Dinuka Karunaratne respectively.
Nettasinghe and Dias were tied 1-1 when they entered the decisive third set. The latter sustained an injury and was forced to retire. Nettasinghe was set to meet Dumindu Abeywickrama in the quarter-finals.
Dinuka had a scare in the first set losing narrowly to Goonatilleka but came back fighting to oust him 21-23, 21-10, 21-10.
Rasindu Hendahewa, Lahiru Weerasinghe and Dumindu Abeywickrama were the others to record wins to complete the quarter-final line up.
Meanwhile in the women’s singles Ashini Fernando turned tables on defending champion Dilmi Dias as she scored 21-15, 21-19 to advance to quarter-finals. Fernando was scheduled to meet Thiyana Vidanarachchi. Evergreen shuttler Chandrika de Silva was set to meet Hasini Ambalangoda in the evening, Sasini Hansamali, Hasara Wijayarathne, Nadeesha Gayanthi and Madushika Dilrukshi were the other quarter-finalists.
Thewin, Pawan help Trinity as Gishan bags eight wickets
by Reemus Fernando
A laboured 44 runs by Thewin Amarasinghe in the first innings and an unbeaten 76 by Pawan Pathiraja helped Trinity avert defeat in the traditional Under-19 cricket encounter dominated by Royal at Reid Avenue on Friday.
Royal declared their innings on the overnight score of 403 for two and spinner Gishan Balasooriya picked up five wickets to rattle the Trinity batting line up. A painstaking 44 runs by Thewin Amarasinghe (in 155 balls) was the only highlight in Trinity’s first innings.
Following on Pawan Pathiraja scored an unbeaten 76 (in 105 balls, 11x4s) as they reached 115 for six wickets when bad light forced an early end.
Balasooriya was the pick of the bowlers as he collected a match bag of eight wickets.
The match will be remebered for the record breaking partnership between Royal captain Ahan Wickramasinghe (210n.o.) and Sadeesha Rajapaksha (152n.o.). They broke the Royal record for the highest partnership held by Sumithra Waranakulasuriya and Ajith Dewasurendra when they put on an unbroken 362 runs stand for the third wicket against Trinity in 1981 which was won by Royal by an innings and 62 runs.
Royal 403 for 2 in 98 overs
(Ahan Wickramasinghe 210n.o., Ashen Gamage 22, Sadeesha Rajapaksha 152n.o.)
Trinity 133 all out in 62.3 overs
(Thewin Amarasinghe 44, Matheesha Pathirana 16, Ranuda Somaratne 16; Gishan Balasooriya 5/41, Kavindu Pathirathna 2/18) and 115 for 6 in 32 overs (Pawan Pathiraja 76n.o.; Prashan Kalhara 2/29, Gishan Balasooriya 3/44)
Dhananjaya returns for West Indies Tests
By Rex Clementine
Stylish Dhananjaya de Silva’s calm presence in the middle order had brought so much assurance to the Sri Lankan batting in recent times but he has been out of cricket for almost three months now after pulling a thigh muscle during the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at Centurion. De Silva was cruising on 79 when he attempted a run and pulled the muscle ruling him out of the series and the subsequent home Tests against England. His absence resulted in Sri Lanka struggling to balance the side.
The 29-year-old has been named in the 17 member squad that also includes Lahiru Thirimanne, who tested positive for COVID-19. Roshen Silva, Vishwa Fernando and Lasith Embuldeniya also have been named in the Test squad. All five players will fly to Antigua on Sunday via Doha and New York.
The selectors were contemplating of retaining an 18th player for the two match series. Lahiru Kumara had been named in the squad but he had to be withdrawn after testing positive for COVID. Sources said that either Nuwan Pradeep or Dilshan Maudhsanka could be retained as the additional player. However, no final decision had been made yet.
The players will have to go through 72 hours of quarantine in Antigua before being allowed to resume training.
All-rounder Dasun Shanaka will also travel to the Caribbean on Sunday but he will be taking an entirely different route – literally four flights. He will travel to Dubai from Colombo and will get connecting flights to Paris and St. Martin before reaching Antigua.
Shanaka was unable to get a US visa in time and was not able to be present in Antigua to lead the side. The all-rounder had lost his passport containing a valid US visa and the US High Commission in Colombo was investigating whether his previous visa had been used by someone else.
Sri Lanka will play three ODIs in Antigua prior to the two match Test series. All five games will be played at Sir Viv Richards Stadium. The T-20 series is being played at Alan Stanford Stadium, named after the Antiguan businessman who is currently serving a 110 year jail term in the United States for financial fraud.
Sri Lanka squad for West Indies Tests:
Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Angelo Mathews, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Chandimal, Dasun Shanaka, Dushmantha Chameera, Asitha Fernando, Ramesh Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Oshada Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Lasith Embuldeniya, Vishwa Fernando, Roshen Silva and Suranga Lakmal.
Arushi going from strength to strength to clinch U14 title
Arushi Thomas receives her trophy from Nishan Gunasekara, Honorary Chairman SSC Tennis House Committee while runner up Dulkini Ranasinghe and Manoj Lakmal, Assistant Referee look on. (Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)
SSC Open Ranking Tennis
by Reemus Fernando
Newstead Girls School, Negombo player Arushi Thomas toppled top seeds and top ranked players on her way to clinch the Under-14 girls’ singles title at the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Friday.
Thomas beat Dulkini Ranasinghe 6-2, 6-2 to win the title after ousting top seeds in the last two stages.
In the quarter-finals, Thomas beat top seed and number two ranked Under 14 player Melasha Randini 7-5, 6-4 before scoring a hard fought 6-7, 7-5, 10-6 to edge out Onali de Silva in the semis.
Thomas commenced the year reaching the last 16 at the Tennis Nationals (Under-14 tournament) in January and improved to reach the semi-finals at last month’s Colombo Championships where she was eliminated by Dinara de Silva.
Meanwhile, top ranked Under-14 player Lisal Goonethlleke ensured a Royal-Thomian clash in the semi-finals when he beat Aweesh Ganegoda 6-3, 6-3 in the quarter-final. The S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia player is set to meet Tharuk Marasinghe of Royal College. The third seed Marasinghe beat Senuk Herat 6-3, 2-6, 10-6 for his semi final place.
Sandas Usgodaarachchi beat fourth seed Dhanushka Dias in his match to meet number two ranked Methwan Wijemanne in the semi-final. Wijemanne advanced to the semi finals on Thursday when he beat Janava de Saram.
Under-14 girls singles final
Arushi Thomas beat Dulkini Ranasinghe 6-2, 6-2
Under-14 boys singles quarter-finals
Methvan Wijemanne beat Janava de Saram 6-3, 6-4,
Tharuk Marasinghe beat Senuk Herat 6-3, 2-6, 10-6
Lisal Goonetilleke beat Aweesh Ganegoda 6-3, 6-3
Sandas Usgodaarachchi beat Dhanushka Dias 6-2, 6-3
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