Williamson, Nicholls tour de force leaves Sri Lanka gasping
Kane Williamson (215) scored his sixth Test match double hundred while Henry Nicholls (200*) got his first as the pair put on a mammoth 363 run stand to leave Sri Lanka staring from the base of a mountain of runs at the Basin Reserve. After a truncated opening day to start the Wellington Test, Day 2 saw the hosts rack up 425 runs in 75 overs at a rate of 5.67 to the over before declaring their innings at 580/4 late in the final session. After chasing leather for a good portion of two days, Sri Lanka slipped further behind in the game when they lost Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis in the 17 overs before Stumps.
The stories of the day were undoubtedly the twin double tons, the fifth-highest partnership in New Zealand’s Test history as well as the ease and speed with which the aforementioned feats were achieved. However, there was also contrast in the backdrop to the two double centuries. Williamson arrived here having reeled off Test Ton Nos. 26 and 27 in his last two games, the more recent one coming in New Zealand’s thrilling victory in Christchurch. On the other hand, Nicholls’ last 50+ score in the New Zealand whites had come 16 innings ago.
And so it showed in a partnership between the two that Williamson dominated allowing his under-fire batter to build slowly. The Basin Reserve pitch was a willing ally to their cause, it’s greenish tinge serving mostly as deception to its mostly true nature. It had quickened up after a truncated opening day too, rendering hitting through the line an easy proposition. The signs were ominous for the visitors at the start of an extended morning session with 29 runs coming off the first five overs.
Lead fast bowlers Kasun Rajitha and Asith Fernando didn’t help Sri Lanka’s cause by bowling too short and then overcompensating for it with half-volleys that Williamson and Nicholls put away in style. The plan changed when Lahiru Kumara came into the attack. But Sri Lanka’s short-ball ploy didn’t serve them too well either. Williamson pulled Kumara for back-to-back sixes although the first of the two had come in slightly fortuitous fashion, off a top-edge. The second though was dispatched outside the stadium.
At the other end, Nicholls dealt with the 6-3 leg-side field by backing away and punching balls through the vacant spaces in the offside. With the pacers bleeding runs on either side of the wicket, captain Dimuth Karunaratne turned towards his spinners Dhananjaya de Silva and Prabath Jayasuriya for control. By now though the fielders were well spread out and singles were readily available for the taking.
Williamson completed 8000 Test runs and subsequently got to his century with his 10th four, a drive through extra cover off de Silva. He then proceeded to hit the off-spinner for two more boundaries. The closest Sri Lanka came to a wicket in the first session was right at the stroke of the Lunch break when the returning Rajitha managed to cut one back into Williamson, but the ball bounced just over the Stumps.
If the wicketless first session saw New Zealand score their 149 runs at 4.38, the second saw the pair plunder 139 runs at 5.39. In the post-Lunch period Williamson raced away from 113 to 189 almost unnoticed while Nicholls got to his drought-ending century. The left-hander offered a big chance when on 92, a second after being reprieved on 6 yesterday, when he punched a de Silva delivery tamely back to the bowler. The of-fspinner, however, couldn’t hold on and duly conceded a boundary off the very next delivery. Nicholls got to his ninth Test century soon after and kicked into overdrive thereafter.
Williamson completed his double century straight after the Tea interval and was dismissed for 215 after an attempted lofted hit off Prabath Jayasuriya found the fielder at long-on. It brought an end to a 363-run stand for the third wicket but Sri Lanka’s travails continued. Daryl Mitchell walked out and put on 49 off just 30 balls for the fourth wicket. At the other end, Nicholls passed 150 and marked his feat by swinging Rajitha over deep mid-wicket for a six. The left-hander now began to walk across his crease and club deliveries all around the ground. He hit two sixes and four fours and scored his final 50 runs off just 28 deliveries before getting to his maiden Test double with a gentle push towards square leg for a single. Tim Southee called his team in right at the end of that 123rd over.
At that point, Sri Lanka would have been happy to call time on the day’s play. But the timing of the New Zealand skipper’s declaration had them survive 17 overs before Stumps. It went about as well as one would have hoped from a team that had been run ragged. Matt Henry bowled a probing spell and had Oshada Fernando feeling for a delivery outside off stump and nick off to the wicket-keeper. Doug Bracewell then dismissed Kusal Mendis for a duck with what was a loosener that Mendis cut fiercely only to see Devon Conway complete a leaping catch at backward point. Sri Lanka ended the day 554 behind and needing a miracle to come back into this game.
Sri Lanka 26/2 (Doug Bracewell 1-1, Matt Henry 1-15) trail New Zealand 580/4 decl. (Kane Williamson 215, Henry Nicholls 200*; Kasun Rajitha 2-126) by 554 runs
Pasindu wins digital stimulator E Racing in Thailand
Pasindu Marasinghe, the delegate of the Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC) at the Federation Internationale De L’Automobile (FIA) organized Region II Ideas Forum, won an ECARS Digital Racing Car Stimulators competition at the 44th International Motor Show in Thailand Organized by Motor Sports Club of Thailand (RAAT) on Saturday.
Twelve members from the Asia Pacific region participated in this competition. The winner was presented a Medal by Anothai Eamlumnow, Executive Committee Member and Chief Production Officer of the Grand Prix International Public Company Limited.
The world’s largest mobility and motorsports organization, Federation Internaionale De L’Automobile (FIA) organized Region II Ideas Forum was held from March 22 to 25 in Thailand. Automobile Association of Ceylon, which is the affiliated club in Region II was invited for this conference programme.
This programme commenced on March 24 at Studio 4 MAA-LAI Kimpton Hotel Thailand. It was a knowledgeable and effective forum with discussions by experts on insights with capacity building in regions and resources available to clubs through FIA University Mentoring Programme and also to discuss AA Philippines Tourism Start up Experience. AA delegates attended this Conference.
On Saturday (25), the AA Delegates, who were invited to attend the 44th International Motor Show in Thailand Organized by the Motor Sports Club of Thailand (RAAT) as VIP Guests and were introduced to take part in the ECARS Digital Racing Car Stimulators, which was a grant offered to this club by Federation Internaionale De L’Automobile (FIA). Simulator training provides experience to drive Formula Grand Prix.
Kalutara Lawn Tennis Club is 85 years old
One of the oldest outstation tennis clubs in the whole country, the Kalutara Lawn Tennis Club (KLTC) celebrated its 85th anniversary at a special function held at Kalutara Garden Beach Hotel on Saturday, 25 March with the participation of its senior and junior membership.
The event was presided over by the club’s current Acting President Roche Fernando and Vice President Dulip Wijayanayake.
The Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) President Iqbal Bin Issack also addressed the gathering on video conferencing and congratulated the club on reaching the remarkable milestone.
Among last eight in All-island Inter-club Tournament –
By the time the KLTC celebrated its 85th birthday, the club tennis team, led by Ashan Fernando, had already reached the 2023 All-island Inter-club Doubles Tournament Division-5 Quarter-finals. That too by finishing as table leaders of their Group, Group B of Division-5. The Quarter-final stage of the Tournament, organised by the SLTA, is to be staged from mid next month onwards.
During Saturday’s celebrations, the KLTC Committee felicitated its distinguished former Presidents and members such as Camillus Silva, the late Elmo Fernando, Sumanasiri Fernando, Renuk Nanayakkara, Srimantha Fernando, Priyantha Fernando, Laksiri Peiris, Dasantha Fonseka, Janaka Fonseka, Sunil Geeganaarachchi, Chaminda Fernando and Chamila Iddagoda.
The KLTC is one of the handful of British colonial-era public tennis-playing institutions presently surviving in the island. It was founded as the ‘Senior Officials’ Club’ or SOC in 1928 by the then British government officials working in the area. In 1938, it was rechristened the Kalutara Lawn Tennis Club and opened its doors to non-government-service members too.
St. Joseph’s beat Mahinda, Kusal hammers 168 for Trinity
Under 19 Cricket
Kusal Wijethunga top scored with 168 runs for Trinity to amass 449 against Maris Stella and spinner Lahiru Amarasekara completed a match bag of 11 wickets in an outright victory for St. Joseph’s as they shared the batting and bowling honours of the day in the Under 19 traditional cricket encounters on Tuesday.
In reply to Maris Stella’s 268 runs, Trinity amassed 449 runs in 83 overs with Wijethunga and Dinusha Peiris scoring centuries. Wijethunga and Peiris were involved in a partnership of 171 runs for the third wicket. Wijethunga’s knock included 16 fours and eight sixes. With batsmen dominating in both innings the match ended in a draw.
At Galle, St. Joseph’s declared their innings on 255 runs (9wkts) after adding 123 runs to their overnight total. Muditha Dissanayaka and Lahiru Amarasekara were responsible for the bulk of it. Amarasekara then joined Yenula Dewthusa to restrict the home team to 142 runs leaving their batsmen a target of just 15 runs to chase.
At Boyagane, Moratu Vidyalaya earned first innings honours against St. Sylvester’s as they restricted the latter to 177 runs.
Meanwhile, in another traditional match started at Katugastota, St. Anthony’s posted 352 for nine wickets declared against St. Peter’s as their top order batsmen, namely Mohomed Aaqil (32), Kavindu Shehan (54), Induwara Galapitage (47), Thisara Ekanayake (54) and skipper Lahiru Abeysinghe (73) clicked together.
At Galle: St. Joseph’s record ten wickets win against Mahinda
Mahinda 127 all out in 57 overs (Ranmina Hettiarachchi 33, Chandupa de Silva 29; Lahiru Amarasekara 5/34, Muditha Dissanayaka 2/23, Yenula Dewtusa 3/32) and 142 all out in 51.4 overs (Hareen Achintha 32, Dhanuja Induwara 26, Dulana Rajapaksha 32; Lahiru Amarasekara 6/79, Yenula Dewtusa 3/23)
St. Joseph’s 132 for 4 overnight 255 for 9 decl. in 67.5 overs (Sadeesh Jayawardena 53, Naren Muralidaran 41, Muditha Dissanayaka 64, Lahiru Amarasekara 41; Shehan Hasaranga 3/72, Dhanuja Induwara 2/09) and 15 for no loss in 1.2 overs
At Welisara: Trinity amass 449 against Maris Stella
Maris Stella 268 all out in 93.5 overs (Kaveen Fernando 26, Shean Adithya 83, Anshen de Silva 28, Ramith Bandara 33, Nethum Basnayake 26, Levin Fernando 22; Jayavi Liyanagama 2/40, Dinuka Tennakoon 5/74) and 30 for no loss in 5.2 overs
Trinity 9 for no loss overnight 449 all out in 83 overs (Kusal Wijethunga 165, Rahal Amarasinghe 39, Dinusha Peiris 105, Vathila Udara 28, Jayavi Liyanagama 45; Sadew Hasthika 5/113, Chirath Adithya 3/51)
At Boyagane: Morau Vidyalaya take first innings honours
Morau Vidyalaya 249 all out in 93.1 overs (Vihanga Nimsara 82, Rasindu Ilukshana 54; Isuru Gunasekara 2/28, Pansilu Bandara 2/50, Akila Wickramasinghe 3/48, Khanka Wickramasinghe 2/31) and 99 for 4 in 21 overs (Isuru Fernando 20, Vihanga Nimsara 38; Akila Wickramasinghe 3/16)
St. Sylvester’s 5 for 1 overnight 179 all out in 59.3 overs (Charuka Ayeshan 77; Malith Shehan 2/29, Isuru Fernando 2/27)
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