Jesse Ryder who scored 52 in 37 balls
was named Player of the Match
secured a 2-0 Twenty20 series win against
with a comfortable 22-run victory at the Premadasa
Openers Brendon McCullum (49 from 34) and Jesse Ryder
(52 from 37) got the tourists off to a flyer, putting on
Guptill (32 from 20) also weighed in with useful runs as
the Black Caps amassed 170-4.
Jayawardene (41 from 30) and Kumar Sangakkara (69 from
50) gave the hosts hope, but Shane Bond returning to
international cricket after 18 months took 3-18 as Sri
Lanka were restricted to 148-8.
fourth straight T20 defeat.
T20 games could go either way
won the first T 20 game in a tight finish. It was a good
effort by the Black Caps after the 2-0 defeat in Tests.
The abbreviated game allows teams to come back. This
form of the game is a spectators delight and is
guaranteed to survive. Recall the debates when the 50
overs were introduced? Well, it is so many years since
the purists have been challenged. Would anyone in their
mid fifties and over ever have thought that T 20 would
be a reality? The debate at present is whether the 50
overs should continue in the face of the T 20. Note: No
one is questioning that Test Cricket should be replaced.
is a further tightening of the 50 overs version and has
at this point narrowed the difference between bat and
ball. In a matter of one over a match could go either
way. Since only four overs are allowed per bowler, the
composition of the team also changes from that of a Test
and 50 overs. Fielding also becomes that much more
important as each run given away instead of earned could
be the one on which a game is won. The bowlers have to
alter the pace, line and length of each delivery. The
batsmen need to come back if a dot ball is given away.
Average of almost eight to nine runs an over is comfort
zone. Of course the conditions of the wicket and when it
is a day/night game things could turn out different. The
Kiwis averaged seven in the end to win.
not forget the umpires. One mistake means the match.
They are under intense pressure and need to be sharp in
the middle. Remember what I said about the senior
players in an article previously? Well they have found
new life in this format. Not before they get into
pasture but because they can contribute positively with
their experience. Younger players need to watch with
more awareness how the seniors approach this form of the
game. They will learn that there’s more than the slog in
Task now is to legitimise our No.2 status
rise to No.2 in the world Test cricket standings is
cause for celebration, and there’ll surely be quite some
trumpeting by officials in the days ahead. A bit of
bragging isn’t a bad thing, and when there’s good reason
for doing it, why not.
overdoing the boast, which our officials are notoriously
accustomed to, can have less desirable consequences.
Apart from over-valuing the achievement, bragging
induces a false sense of superiority, so heightening
expectation beyond levels of reasonableness – all of
which make unnecessary baggage for the team to bear.
our officials like the politicians who appoint them,
must justify their jobs and so, aren’t going to pass up
the chance to take a share of the credit for any success
Fortunately, skipper Kumar Sangakkara takes a more
pragmatic view. Even though he holds the bragging
rights, in that intoxicating moment of glory, he
preferred to be guarded, lest his thoughts go to nourish
a belief that we are better than what we really are.
“The easiest thing is to get somewhere; the harder is to
stay there,” he said. “The No. 2 position probably
reflects how well we are playing but also says that we
are second best, and that means we have a lot more to
achieve to get where we want to be.”
Trumpet and drum
quite the words you’re likely to hear from the
officialdom’s gasbags. Trumpet and drum they will the
team’s triumph in the hope it earns a renewal of the
term of office. It has to be said though; the promotion
to No.2, to be sure, is something to crow about.
few months ago Sri Lanka had resided in the fifth rung,
so, the rapid rise to No.2 by any measure is quite
astonishing – more so as it was achieved by a team that
can hardly be said to be at its prime in terms of
experience and maturity. The skipper himself is barely
six months on the job. Not all its members have the sort
of experience you’d expect of the second-best in the
world; Mathews is yet a rookie while the likes of
Kapugedera, Paranavitharna, Kulasekera, Thushara and
Herath, were freshers not so long ago and are yet in the
struggle for permanency in the playing eleven.
Skipper Sangakkara apart, all that remains of the old
backbone are, of the batsmen, Mahela Jayewardene,
Tillekeratne Dilshan and Samaraweera, and just
Muralidaran of the bowlers. No Jayasuriya and Vaas,
numerically it might be just two but their contributions
over a decade-plus seasons have been the equivalent of
probably four-five players.
won’t be wrong to say that about half the national team
personnel could pass for ‘A’ team players – and that
they are now Test caps speaks as much for the
commendable re-blooding policy of the selectors as the
admirable honing of skills by ‘A’ team coach Chandika
Hathurasinghe. So, Sangakkara’s team by definition is a
transitional one, which makes their elevation to
second-best in the world even more remarkable.
Eleven win streak
Critics might ask why a song and dance is made of last
week’s elevation when the No.2 position had been visited
before, in 2002 under Sanath Jayasuriya – a view that’s
only half-true. Unlike the present outfit, the 2002
personnel were maturity personified: Jayasuriya,
Atapattu, Hashan Tillekeratne, Vaas, Muralidaran,
Dharmasena and occasionally Aravinda de Silva (all
carryovers from the ’96 World Cup winning team). Mahela
Jayewardene and Sangakkara were then pretty much
equivalents of the Mathews, Kapugederas and
Paranavitharanas of now. Quite a formidable team which,
it should be reminded, rode to No. 2 in 2002 after an
amazing unbroken 11-win streak.
week’s promotion, from No. 5 earlier this year, came
with less difficulty: i.e. after four wins in the last
five Tests – which is reason why Sangakkara’s team has a
lot more to accomplish to legitimize its world’s no.2
status, a standing it might not have enjoyed had
third-placed India not been on holiday from Test cricket
since last March while we were engaging the Pakistanis
cricket rankings are determined by pretty much a
ceaselessly ongoing league competition, which means,
theoretically, standings can vary with the completion of
every series. That being so, it’s fair to say that Sri
Lanka’s current perch is a tad fortuitous. And being
no.2 does not necessarily mean we are better than those
nations residing in less loftier heights, like no.4
Australia or no.3 India. That is something to be decided
when we contest them on the field.
our next three-Test series in India in December will be
of crucial importance, deciding as it will the duration
of our residency at no.2. Sri Lanka might dearly have
wished this issue were left to be resolved on home
shores. Because historically, battling down
across the waters has proved pretty much impossible. In
five series, 1982 to 2005, Sri Lanka has not managed a
single win in 11 Test encounters; India won five while
six games have ended in draws.
challenge Sangakkara’s team will encounter in India is
going to a lot tougher than that
and New Zealand presented recently. It will be recalled
that, because of protracted violent turbulence it was an
underdone Pakistan team which we encountered here. The
visitors had never conceded a Test series to Sri Lanka
on the island’s shores – and that they did, 0/2, last
July, was due as much to their Test cricket absence for
more than a year as the combative spirit of the home
team. As for the Kiwis, a majority of players were
newcomers – and the resultant deficit in experience
combined with alien tropical conditions made the Kiwis
challenge much less formidable to overcome.
forbid, the Sri Lankans’ journey to India becoming
similar to what the Kiwis’ endured in their travels
here. The dust, noise and the teeming crowds of
India is a world away from the tranquility and sparseness
The extraneous discomforts however would be no more than
minor irritations in comparison to the on-field
discomfiture likely to be caused by a proud and
highly-motivated bunch of Indian cricketers.
Battle-hardened Sri Lankan teams have failed to overcome
India in Indian conditions; the best it could do was to
force a 0-0 draw in the three-Test series of 1997-98, a
time when Sri Lanka cricket was at the peak of its
powers and was the reigning one-day World Champions.
Sangakkara’s team is a transitional one, and as
aforementioned, its’ rise to no.2 in the world is quite
staggering. Bragging officials might have a field day(s),
but the truth is, the new-found status has now to be
endorsed through continuing successes.
is not to infer that the rise of Sangakkara’s team is
unmerited. If anything, it deserves nothing less than
full-marks for the manner in which the skipper has
shaped little or untried players into what is a
determinedly combative unit. Sangakkara is undoubtedly
an inspiring leader and clearly, the team to man is
responding to his every call. But the battles ahead are
going to be a lot more severe than the ones he’s won so
far, five of six and the other a draw. For a team in
transition that is dramatic advancement. The future is
hopeful, so, let’s not bragging officials spoil it.
Renault called to face ‘fix’ charge
Formula One’s governing body has summoned Renault to a
hearing to answer charges that they fixed the outcome of
the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
French team are accused of plotting with driver Nelson
Piquet Jr to crash in the race to deploy the safety car.
incident aided Piquet’s team-mate Fernando Alonso, with
the Spaniard going on to claim victory.
found guilty, the team face severe sanctions which could
include expulsion from the current F1 world
“Representatives of ING Renault F1 have been requested
to appear before an extraordinary meeting of the FIA
World Motor Sport Council in Paris on Monday, 21
September 2009,” read a statement on the FIA website.
team representatives have been called to answer charges,
including a breach of Article 151c of the International
Sporting Code, that the team conspired with its driver,
Nelson Piquet Jr, to cause a deliberate crash at the
2008 Singapore Grand Prix with the aim of causing the
deployment of the safety car to the advantage of its
other driver, Fernando Alonso.”
Renault said they would not make any comment until after
won the Singapore GP in 2008 when Piquet crashed two
laps after the Spaniard had come in for a routine pit
stop. That meant that when race officials sent out the
safety car to clear up the debris from Piquet’s car,
Alonso was alone among the front-runners in not having
to stop for fuel and tyres.
time, Piquet attributed the crash to a simple error, but
he was dropped by Renault after July’s Hungarian Grand
Prix and has since been outspoken in his criticism of
Renault team boss Flavio Briatore.
said the negative publicity might lead Renault to pull
out of the sport, following the departures of
manufacturers Honda and BMW Sauber.
Brazilian specifically cited unequal treatment between
himself and two-time world champion Alonso as the source
of his discontent.
world champions Renault have already been in the FIA
dock this season.
were banned for one race after a wheel flew off Alonso’s
car at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
However, the suspension, which would have ruled Alonso
out of his home race in Valencia in August, was lifted
helps heal wounds of war
By T.M.K. Samat
Sri Lanka Tennis Association has joined forces with the
Women in Sport Committee of the National Olympic
Committee to bring tennis into the lives of the inmates
of IDP camps in Vavuniya.
SLTA’s initiative attempts to unburden the camps’ young
inmates of the horrible legacy left by the long and
initiative comes within the broader sphere of nation
building, creating pathways for children to overcome
social barriers and facilitate an easier entry into the
mainstream of society.
Committee commenced a pilot project from July 10 to 12,
paving the way for the programme’s forward movement. It
had been duly endorsed by the Peace Secretariat, at the
Veerapuram Transition Resettlement village in Vavuniya.
project will engage children in tennis as well as other
sports so as to help them overcome war’s trauma in the
short term. The ultimate aim is to assist them to reach
national level in the sport and so help in the creation
of united and disciplined communities.
has already introduced the game in the camps and has
provided a layout of a tennis court, racquets and balls.
As well, the SLTA has trained a coach and a young
assistant to handle participants.
Dharamkeerthi of the NOC heads the project while the
SLTA is represented by Zarina Saleem and Diana Alles.
Old Petes win Quadrangular
Peterites Over 40 cricket team continued their good form
of the current season to annex the Annual Quadrangular
amongst Catholic schools worked out in Kandy recently.
Petes entered the final by comfortably beating the host
the Antonians whilst Old Bens beat the Old Joes in a
thriller. The final was an absolute thriller and the
Old Petes who handled pressure better on the day won the
Trophy after a lapse of 8 years. Skipper Ranmore
Martinez was in outstanding form and was adjudged the
Man of the Match.
Old Peterites SC 162 for 9 in 25 overs
Ranmore Martinesz 51
Priyankara Abeyratne 27
Susan Bandara 24
Ranil Perera 3 for 29
Lorenzo Jayasinghe 2 for 30
Old Bens SC 156 for 8 in 25 overs
Lalith Fernando 41
Ranil Perera 26
Shathilal De Silva 19
Keerthi Gunaratne 2 for 22
Sudath Kuruppu 2 for 28
Speed Drome ready for launch
Speed Drome in Battaramulla is all set to launch Sri
Lanka’s first outdoor Go-Kart centre later this month.
This initiative, long awaited by fans of this
entry-level motorsports category, will see an
international class track layout along with electronic
timing equipment, trained staff as well as quick, yet
fun to drive Go-Karts.
Dinesh Jayawardana, CEO of the Speed Drome, the launch
of the kart centre has been the culmination of a dream
that he has been working towards for a long time. “I’ve
always believed in promoting karting as it is the most
cost-effective way of going racing. Having raced
Go-Karts competitively in India as well as in Sri Lanka
in the past and having seen the progression that young
karters abroad have made, I know for certain that the
Speed Drome will play a huge part in the motorsports
ladder in Sri Lanka,” said Jayawardana.
venue will also play a significant part in the local
motorsports arena as Sri Lanka will now be able to host
regional karting events similar to the 24-Hour Endurance
Kart Race held in Goa, India last year. The electronic
timing equipment will be able to relay drivers’ timings
direct to the timing stand so that drivers interested in
improving their skills and abilities will be able to
understand where they can gain or how they lose time on
addition to hosting track championships and conducting
international meets, the Speed Drome is also geared to
host corporate team-building events as well as the
recreational karter. However, a more serious initiative
of the Speed Drome is the development of the next
generation of Sri Lanka’s racing drivers. “If we can
find 20 talented young drivers and prepare them to make
the transition to Formula Fords or a similar entry-level
Formula, we will consider our investment a success.
Through Go-Karts we will be able to identify local
talent and then ensure that they are given the best
training in terms of specialized driving techniques,
driving etiquette, maintaining sponsor relationships and
the technical understanding of race cars. Our long-term
goal is to provide opportunities for these drivers to
race internationally and become professional racing
drivers if they have the talent and determination to
succeed,” said Jayawardana.