Rex Clementine in Dubai
Some stunning death over hitting by Matthew Wade helped Australia to record a come from behind victory over former champions Pakistan and book a place in the ICC T-20 World Cup finals against Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.
With Australia requiring 22 from the last two overs, Babar Azam called up his best bowler Shaeen Afridi rather than leaving him for the last over. But some maniac hitting by Wade gave Australia their first T-20 World Cup final in 11 years.
Afridi nearly won the game for Pakistan when Wade mishit one but Hasan Ali at deep mid-wicket dropped the chance. Wade then made Pakistan pay with some superb improvisation.
For the next ball, Wade had the guts to shuffle and play a stunning scoop shot for six and he didn’t stop there hitting two more sixes in successive balls to seal the game for the Aussies with an over to spare.
Wade’s unbeaten 41 came off just 17 balls with two fours and four sixes. Marcus Stoinis was 40 not out with two fours and two sixes. The pair were involved in an unfinished 81 run stand for the sixth wicket that came off 46 deliveries.
Afridi’s first three overs had only cost 23 runs and he looked to be the match winner having removed Aaron Finch for a first ball duck. But Wade made him look ordinary with some sensational hitting.
Pakistan were brilliant in their batting display after losing the toss. With the dew setting in late in the night, they need a competitive total and the openers put on 47 runs in the Power Play, their highest in the competition with the previous best being 43 for no loss against India.
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam added 71 in ten overs before the captain was dismissed as leg-spinner Adam Zampa struck.
Rizwan went onto make a fine 67 off 52 balls with three fours and four sixes.
The impetus for the innings was provided by Fakhar Zaman whose 32 ball 55 pushed Pakistan’s total beyond 175. There were three fours and four sixes in his knock.
Australia appeared to have got things under control but the death overs cost them dearly with the 17th over bowled by Josh Hazelwood costing 21 runs while Starc gave away 15 runs in the next over. Starc was called up to bowl the last over and that went for 15 runs including back to back sixes by Fakhar.
In the end, that did not really matter as some sensational batting saw Australia over the line.
Mendis and Embuldeniya seal big win for Sri Lanka
Rex Clementine in Galle
In Test cricket, no Sri Lankan bowler has had such an early impact as those with the surname of Mendis, not even the great Muttiah Muralitharan or his partner in crime Chaminda Vaas. First it was Ajantha Mendis and now it is Ramesh Mendis. These are very early days for this Dharmashoka lad but he could go onto become a prominent Test cricketer as he showcased with a match bag of 11 wickets yesterday as Sri Lanka completed a 164 run rout of West Indies in Galle.
Playing just his fourth Test match, Mendis complemented his career best figures of six for 70 in the first innings by claiming five for 66 in the second essay to finish with a match bag of 11 wickets. Ambalangoda is the home for many prominent Sri Lankans like CWW Kannangara, General Sarath Fonseka, Mahinda Deshapriya and Mendis could be the next big name from the coastal town popular for biling achcharu, ambul thiyal, masks and cinnamon.
Former great Michael Tissera hands over the Sobers-Tissera Trophy to Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne following Sri Lanka’s series win over West Indies in Galle yesterday.
It was a fantastic display of spin bowling. Mendis kept bowling to an impeccable line and length playing the waiting game and then when wickets started falling, they were falling in clusters.
West Indies had done well to reach lunch at 65 for two and looked set to fight out a draw. But after lunch, Mendis broke the 27 run stand between Shape Hope and Nkrumah Bonner that had lasted for 48 minutes and soon found himself taking two more wickets in the same over as Roston Chase and Kyle Mayers were dismissed without troubling scorer Tushara Corray.
He had claimed 16 wickets in the two Tests and was named Player of the Series.
Lasith Embuldeniya, one year younger to Mendis and from Royal College, kept the pressure from the other end to also finish with a five wicket haul. He had started off by dismissing Jermaine Blackwood in the last over before lunch and then polished through the tail. It was his fifth five wicket haul in Test cricket.
West Indies collapse was quite dramatic as they lost eight wickets for 40 runs. None of their batsmen managed a half-century.
Former Ceylon captain Michael Tissera was present to hand the Sobers-Tissera Trophy. Sri Lanka moved up to number seven in the ICC Rankings for teams in Test cricket while West Indies slipped down to number seven.
Sri Lanka also collected 24 points from the ICC World Test Championship. They had won the first Test by 187 runs.
Vichinthya, Methwan, Githmi win singles titles
106th Colombo Championships Tennis
Vichinthya Nilaweera, Methwan Wijemanne and Githmi Fernando won their respective age group singles titles of the 106th Colombo Championships which continued at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Friday.
Nilaweera fought back to clinch the Under 16 boys’ singles title as the Stafford International College player scored 0-4, 5-3, 10-8 to win against Venuka Kithnula.
Royal College player Wijemanne beat Danushka Dias (5-3, 4-2) in straight sets to win the Under 14 boys’ singles crown’
In the Under 12 girls’ singles final, Ave Maria Convent, Negombo player Githmi Fernando was the winner against Gehansa Methnadi (4-1, 1-4, 10-8).
Jaffna Central meet Vidyaloka Galle in the final
Under 19 Division III Tier ‘A’ Cricket
Two unbeaten teams, Jaffna Central and Vidyaloka College, Galle will battle it out for the title of the Inter School Under 19 Division III Tier ‘A’ tournament at Nalanda College ground, on Saturday.
The two teams were the champions in their respective groups during the first round and they continued in the same vein in the knockout stage to secure their final berths.
Jaffna Central will bank heavily on S. Sarangan, the batsman in form. Sarangan was the key to their success in the knockout stage after having scored decisive knocks, an unbeaten 31 and a half century at the business end of the tournament. J. Vithushan and V. Viyaskanth also made notable contributions during that phase.
R. Newton, V. Viyaskanth, N. Ajay, T. Gowtham and Inthujan stood out in the bowling department during the knockout stage.
For Vidyaloka, Umanga Imanjana, Sonal Ransara and Sasindu Lakshan played key roles with the ball during that phase, while Sonal Ransara, Kavinda Basnayake, Yasith Deshan and Sineth Praveen did well with the bat.
How they reached the final
Jaffna Central beat all Group ‘F’ counterparts namely, Skandavarodaya MV, Chunnakam, Hindu College, Kokuvil, Hindu College, Jaffna and St. Patrick’s College Jaffna in the first round.
During the knockout stage the team captained by B. Inthujan beat Royal College, Polonnaruwa, St. Joseph’s College, Wattala and Rajasinghe Central, Hanwella.
Vidyaloka remained unbeaten in Group ‘J’ in the first round. The team captained by Pasindu Lakshan beat Debarawewa National School and Wanduramba Central College. Vijitha Central, Dickwella and Madampa Central were the other two teams drawn in their group but their withdrawal made things easy for them.
During the knockout stage they beat Badulla Central in the pre-quarter final round. Their quarter-final ended in a no result but they were able to advance to the semi-finals thanks to their superior run rate over Ibbagamuwa Central. In the semis they edged out Methodist High School Moratuwa in the semi final.
Jaffna Central (from): B. Inthujan (captain), V. Viyaskanth, S. Abiyuth, B. Kavitharshan, G. Janujan, T. Kaveejan, S. Sarangan, U. Tharmikan, J. Vithusan, A. Kajan, R. Newton, T. Gowtham, M. Sansayan, N. Ajay, S. Anusanth, S. Similtan, D. Poulparamathayalan, T. Abilash, S.Sayanthan, S. Mohommed. Officials: S. Tharshan (Master in Charge), F.R. Selton (Coach)
Vidyaloka College (from):
Pasindu Lakshan (Captain), Senith Praveen, Dilshan Kavinda, Dilan Rashinda, Dulara Nimsara, Sonal Ransara, Gihan Asanka, Chamith Shiran, Umesh Kavinda, Chamath Nirmal, Sasindu Lakshan, Hasanka Jayanath, Yasith Deshan, Umanga Imanjana, Dasun Chamod, Rashmika Prabath, Harsha Manohara, Hansaka Randeepa, Prageeth Bimsara. Officials: L.R. Manatunge (Master in Charge), Thusitha Kariyawasam (Coach).
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