Sri Lanka, who were successful in the
first ODI at the SSC grounds on Wednesday and having won the second
one as well will be looking to clinch the series with a knockout
blow in the third and final one-dayer as well.
The third m,atch will be played today
Clearly this is a miss-match as the two
teams are so absolutely unbalanced that a result in favour of
Bangladesh at this point of time seems completely out of sight.
Though rugby will take centre stage
today with Kandy SC meeting the CH in the Clifford Cup knockout
match it is difficult to picture an interesting result at the
Premadasa Stadium today.
Coach Dave Whatmore will have a one-
man revolution to fashion out when he leads his charges and points
them in the correct direction.
great heights however is not uncommon to this coach who could be
rated as the beat of all time having raised lowly Sri Lanka way back
in 1996 to reach the Everest of one -day cricket.
Rowing the boat for Sri Lanka is Tom
Moody the tall yet lithe individual who has set his sights on the
World Cup to be played in the West Indies in 2007.
Two years down the road it would seem
that Sri Lanka could send out signals to the rest of the cricketing
world that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Analysing the match at the SSC, which
was the curtain raiser and the second match at the Premadasa Stadium
Bangladesh won the toss on both occasions and put the home side in.
In the First ODI the captain thought
that he could exploit the conditions in the morning., but it was not
to be. Upul Tharanga, the makeshift opener has taken over from the
regular opener skipper Marvan Atapattu The selectors have broken the
established opening combination of the right-hand-left hand alliance
between two senior players.
Today's game could turn out to be a
hotly contested match, as the two teams would not like to lose a
game. No team likes to lose but then with a two nil lead staring
them in the face Sri Lanka could rest on their laurels and be
Keeping true to his word Tom Moody is
delivering the goods and it is refreshing to see Mahela Jayawardana
coming good at the correct time. He is peaking at the right time and
certainly will be an asset to the team.
He is fast filling the void that the
batsman Aravinda de Silva left when he left the scene after the
previous world Cup.
Hailed as an up and coming player three
years ago Jayawardena has come of age and could now be reckoned
amongst the best in the world even to be compared with Rahul Dravid
of India who is one of the most classical batsman of all time. Even
the present Indian coach the legendary Gregory Stephen Chappell, can
be compared in that lot but the late Len Hutton of England could be
termed the best though he was before my era and it is those who have
seen him who wax eloquent about his strokeplay both off the back as
well the front foot.
Wally Hammond was another who had a
beuatiful cover drive but these are just vivid pictures in my
imagination gleaned from books that I have been fortunate to have
bought and be presented with,
Sri Lanka should not assess their
standings in the one -day rankings as anything to go by. Tom Moody's
aim is to win the next World Cup and with that in mind he is
striving towards the goal.
The wins against sub-standard teams
like Bangladeshis and the West Indians could not be considered a
blessing as it will only go to boost the image of Sri Lanka against
the minnows of cricket and the Carribbeans who have descended to the
depths of their game after the rebels like Lara and Co: did not tour
It would seem that money was the cause
but there seem to be more sinister reasons behind that move.
Anyway it only meant that Sri Lanka
have had an easier time with the West Indians and also the
It was but poor consolation that
Bangladesh could not pull something out of the hat and they
succumbed like rabbits and crept back in to a hole.
The first ODI showed the poor catching
of the team. Coach Whatmore has not learnt the lesson of placing the
correct fielders in the right places.
An even contest was predicted before
the start of the First ODI where the coach was optimistic but it was
not to be.
Maybe the final countdown would prove
to be decisive and incisive but the dice is loaded heavily in favour
of the home side. Playing at the R. Premadasa International Stadium
theSri Lankans have whipped the best opposition in the world.
For a ground that was just a dirt track
the late President transformed and transfigured the stadium to what
it is today.
So if one is not interested in rugby
and is not doing anything on Sunday, to put it simply in the words
of Tony Orlando and Dawn the group that gave us songs like
"Knock three times", "Candida" etc, maybe you
could ask yourselves the question, "What you doing Sunday,
baby" and come to the match because there is no better place to
be than at the Premadasa watching the "King of Sport"
cricket. Let rugby take a back seat for once.
finding its old magic
ALL that remains to be done is to
conclude today's Knockout Final, and the 2005 domestic rugby season
would be ready for the historians to write on. The CH & FC,
meanwhile Wednesday, ensured drama would be written into the last
chapter by as good as gate-crashing into a final that was widely
expected to be between Kandy SC and CR & FC, league's nos. 1 and
A face-off different to that which was
predicted somehow appears like that justice has not been done. After
all, the long 2005 season had, effectively, been two different
races: Kandy SC and CR ran for the plum and the rest of the pack.
well, for the leftovers. CR's elimination in the semifinal might be
cruelly undeserving, but it won't harm the game.
The turning of the formbook has been a
rarity in recent seasons, unlike in the past when no team was quite
safe from defeat. There was a marvellous sense of excitement in the
air in seasons of old, and just about any A division game packed all
four sides of playing fields. The stunning upset Wednesday might
have come too late to be of any good to this season. Had it come,
say, in the first round, there would've been a third serious
contender for the league title - and the tournament would've been
that much better for it. No matter. At least now there's hope that
one-sided seasons might be nearing an end.
It is nice to think that a Kandy SC v.
CH showdown will be a hell raiser on the hill today. Truthfully,
though, it is not quite the High Noon that a Kandy SC - CR meeting
evokes. But that is crying over spilt milk. The wish now is that the
CH might reveal a strength that they haven't yet, and, for the good
of the game, make mortals of the perennial champions. CR did that in
the first league encounter, but any hopes of tearing off the cloak
of invincibility from the champion's back were thwarted in the
return. Not that Kandy SC handed CR a revengeful thrashing; as much
as the Longden Place club lost they might so easily have run off
with the league title. And had the two met for a third time today,
Kandy SC's long invincibility would've been under serious threat.
It is now up to the CH to strip Kandy
SC of its aura of dominance and so create a more level playing
field, psychologically, for the next season. But hopes of a
realization of that feat, however, linger on the fringe of fantasy.
Not only did the CH lose to Kandy SC in both league encounters, but
there's a certain magical bonding between the Nittawela turf and its
custodians that visitors can't quite break: Kandy SC has not been
defeated on home turf in more seasons than one can remember.
Another certainty is that the Nittawela
stands will again heave and throb, and the roars from thousands of
throats will likely startle the quiet folks in far-off villages. All
this sound and fury is a sign of rugby's return to good health after
being afflicted by public indifference for long years.
It's not as if the public suddenly,
years ago, found the ways of rugby abhorring; that the collision of
flesh on flesh, the sheer bloody-mindedness had become distasteful.
Really, crowds will come a long way to be treated to just that sort
of entertainment. But there is a difference between the rugby's
attractive fury and one-sided competition. And the game sadly fell
to the latter, as for decade-plus seasons Kandy SC predictably, nay
robotically, scooped all that was there on the prize table.
Not many moons ago, it was jokingly
argued, why go through six months of sweat when all and sundry were
certain that all the silverware would anyway end up in Kandy SC's
cupboard, apparently, so creaky and shaky under the weight of its
burgeoning contents that Hemaka Amarasuriya, Chairman of Singer, the
club's sponsors, donated a bigger and sturdier cupboard two seasons
ago - rather than the club having to answer charges of damage to
It is no fault of Kandy SC that they
reigned in isolated splendour. The side effect, however, to their
long dominance was the lowering of the domestic season, as a
competition, to pretty much a race between the able and the
disabled. This season, though, saw a welcome departure; CR entered
Kandy SC's lonely planet in the opening weeks of the league and
brought an air of expectation to the tournament. For once, in three
seasons, the word defeat and Kandy SC were spoken in the same
And so, the fans appetite was whetted
again. CR loyalists returned in their numbers to follow the
improving fortunes of their club. And the numbers among the Kandy
fans who kept away, bored by the monotony of their club's successes,
returned to cheer on the club and will it to resist the CR's threats
on its long supremacy. So, a turnout reminiscent of the halcyon days
of local rugby was seen at both league encounters.
Any conclusion, though, that club rugby
has now regained its lost legion of supporters would be unwisely
premature. The truth is that the popularity is nowhere nearly
widespread as it was 60s through to the mid-90s. Let's look at the
issue dispassionately. Kandy SC, of course, has the large following
that champion teams inevitably attract, and their matches
consequently pull spectators by the thousands. But it's not the sort
of genuine thousands who throng in the belief of experiencing an
entertaining evening. The CR-Kandy SC games of this season, however,
were a return to those old times. The rest, though, were not. The
Havelocks, one-time rugby's most popular club, quarterfinal meeting
with Army last week, by a generous estimate, pulled around a
thousand - skeletal, in comparison to the 10 -12, 000 the meeting
attracted in the 60s to 80s.
The decline by the thousands of pure
entertainment seekers gradually dropped off, bored by the unfailing
spectacle of Kandy SC knocking the stuffing out of Colombo clubs,
year in, year out. Kandy SC yet continues to do that, but CR showed
the champion's infallibility is a myth. And the Army, too, Tuesday,
subjected Kandy SC to quite some trauma before conceding defeat in
the semifinal. The soldiers themselves endured long harrowing
moments against Havelocks before snatching the quarterfinal in extra
time. The knockout had its moments.
But the game is all about more teams
populating Kandy SC's lonely planet. CR did that and CH, in the last
game of the season, has a chance of doing that today. The heart says
CH and the head, Kandy SC.
under 19 inter schools Cricket Champions, Gateway College were sent
on a tour to Bangalore from the 23 August to 30 August. The 14
cricketers were accompanied by the Master-in-charge Sunil Koralagama
and the coaches Ramesh Weerakoon and J. W. K. Boteju.
The Gatteway cricketers won all three
In their first encounter played on the
25 august two players Milhan Hassin and derrick Ruston scored
centuries aginst Imtiaz Ahamed Cricket Academy at St. John's
Shifan samsudeen took 6 wickets for 14
runs and Nadeesh Wickramage 3 wickets for 31 runs.
In their second encounter against Delhi
Public school in Bangalaore they defeated Delhi Public school by 57
runs ina high scoring game.
In this match Malith Silva scored 56,
Shazaad 44, and Adnan Cassim 38 runs.
Photo - Standing left to right:-
Aadhil Niyas, Malith silva, Nadeesh Wickramage, Shaham Yusoof,
Damien Fleming, Namiq Ismath, Romesh Ramachandran, Shifan samsudeen,
Eshan Tilakesena, Siraaj jayah, Derrick Ruston, Shahzaad Zahirsha
and adnan Cassim.
Seated from left to right-Ramesh
Weerakoon (Coach), Sunil Koralagama(master-in-charge), Sunil
Jayaweera (Head of Sports) , Somabandhu Kodikara (Headmaster), R. I.
T. Alles (Director), Harsha Alles (Director), Milhan Hasin
(Captain), Shanthi Podimahatmaya (Deputy Head of Sports), and J.W.K.
in Astra Cup Division II final
Carey College under 17 cricket team won the Astra Cup Division II
semi finals match played against Prince of Wales on August 29 and 30
at Kadirana Grounds in Negombo.
Carey batted first and scored 195 and
Prince of Wales replied with 171. Batting for the second time Carey
scored 167, taking 6.
Photo - Front row - left to right:
Adhil Hafiz (Captain), C. Fernando (Coach), S. Ranasinghe (Master in
Charge), M. Kuwaju (Vice Principal), E.W. Wijesinghe (Principal),
M.L.C. Peiris (Prefect of Games), Andrew Jansen (Vice Captain)
Second row left to right: K.A.
Ellesinghe, M.S.E. Kitchilan, A. Nazeer, A. Harsha, K. Urapola, N.D.
Dissanayake, S.S. Gunadasa, A.N. Sawal, C.K.C. Perera, T. Peiris, C.
Perera and M. Preena.
joins history makers
A WINDFALL of Rs 40, 000 in the hands
of a 19-year-old can send his mind a-racing: should it be spent on a
motorcycle, a computer, an overseas holiday. the choices cascade.
Prize monies adding up to Rs. 42, 500
came the way of Harshana Godamanna last Sunday, and since the
Royalist is nuts about tennis you'd expect him to rush-off to the
closest sport shop and splash it all on the best set of racquets on
the shelf. Right? Wrong ?.
"I haven't even thought about how
I am going to spend it. I think I'll let the money sit in the bank
for awhile," says Godamanna, the new national tennis champion.
"Meanwhile I'll let the fact that now I am the National Singles
champion sink into me - it's a dream I've nursed since I began
playing under 10 competitions."
As if a dream come true wasn't enough
to absorb, Godamanna was told that he is only the fifth to win a
Triple Crown in the 90-year history of the event, taking the Men's
Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles. "Being men's singles
champion of the country is delightful enough, but then to know
you've also got into history is . well, that's mind blowing."
Let's go back in time to discover the
teenager's companions in history. The first men's Triple Crown was
won way back in 1924 by O M L Pinto, who won the men's doubles (with
Dr C H Gunasekera), the mixed doubles (with Miss C Gillat) and the
singles. It took another 26 years before the feat was repeated, by F
J de Saram in 1950. His partners were Noel de Costa and Miss Sheila
Roberts in the men's and mixed doubles respectively. Twenty years
later, in 1970, Rupert Ferdinands was the third Triple Crown winner;
D L Fonseka was his men's doubles partner and Wendy Molligoda, the
For the next 27 years no one managed
the feat until Jayaendra Wijesekera did in 1997 - Rohan de Silva and
Miss Saranga Sangakkara, sister of Test cricketer Kumar, partnering
him in the respective doubles. Last Sunday Godamanna became the
youngest, and fifth, Triple Crown winner in history; Amrith
Rupasinghe and Mrs. Shalini de Silva were his partners in the two
Five men's triple champions in 90 years
makes the feat's ratio, one in 18 years. The turnover among the
women, though, is higher. Since Doreen Sansoni won the women's
triple crown in 1935, the feat has been repeated a dozen other
times. Ranjani Jayasuriya won a hat trick of triples in 1957, 58 and
59 and Indian Dechu Appiah did the same over the next three years
(60, 61, and 62). Saranga Sanagakkara won the triple twice (1996 and
'97) while Indonesia Lita Liem (1965) L. Weerasuriya (1988), Anushka
Rajiyah (1999) and Shalini Pereira (2001) each won it once.
No one has won the men's Triple Crown
more than once, underlining the difficulty of its achievement. But
Godamanna, with many years ahead of him and his extraordinary
talents, looks a safe bet to become the first to repeat the feat
another time. But pursuing such ambitions doesn't quite fit into his
scheme of things. "I am looking at two options for the next
four years: to take up a tennis scholarship in the US or play in the
Asian pro circuit. If I happen to be here at the time of the
Nationals, then, I'll have a go - otherwise there are other dreams
to chase," says Godamanna. The good news, though, is that what
ever he chooses, it going to be a part of a build up to future Davis
"It means a lot for the country's
tennis that we get promotion to Group Two (of Davis Cup). We might
have achieved that (last July) but against opponents who have had
greater international exposure, we were a little short on
experience, '' says Godamanna. "Obviously, the idea of securing
a US tennis scholarship or playing in the Asian circuit is to try
and fill that gap in international experience."
Godamanna was one of some half-dozen
young players the SLTA identified in the new millennium as players
of the future - and invested in his junior career through overseas
exposure and training. In 2002 he repaid the faith reposed in him by
winning the ITF Junior under 18 Singles title in Islamabad, the
first Sri Lankan to win an international singles title overseas. In
the year following, he won a bronze medal in Afro-Asian Games in
Hyderabad. As well, he was a Davis Cup representative in 2002 in
Bangladesh and 2003 in Colombo, but failed to win in three singles
and one doubles appearances. But last July in Hong Kong, he reaped
four wins in Davis Cup, the premier world team event, defeating a
Vietnamese, Bahraini, Qatari in the Singles and the Qatari pair in
the doubles, partnering Rajeev Rajapakse.
Senior Asian Netball Championships 2005-
Lanka meet Hong Kong tomorrow
By Hishan Welmilla
Defending champions Sri Lanka will take
on Hong Kong tomorrow (Monday, September 5) as their first outing in
the 6th Senior Asian Netball championships, which is now in progress
The match is scheduled to get underway
at 4 pm local time (2pm Sri Lanka time). According to the reports
from Singapore Sri Lankans are the favourite in tomorrow's game
against Hong Kong. A win in this match will certainly boost the
moral of the Lankans on their way to retain the title for the third
The match between Sri Lanka and
Thailand will be held on Tuesday, September 6 at 4pm local time (2pm
Sri Lanka Time) .Sri Lanka has been drawn in to Pool A with Thailand
and Hong Kong.
Sri Lankan Netball Captain Harshini
Wijelath expressing her views before the departure said that her
team has a confidence of reaching the finals of the championship and
retain the Asian Netball supremacy for the third consecutive year.
The sixth edition of the Senior Asian
Netball Championship got underway on yesterday at the Toa Payoh
Sports Hall. The host nation Singapore, Malaysia, India and Maldives
were drawn into Pool B and Singapore met Maldives on the opening day
of the championship, which followed after a grand opening ceremony.
Malaysia will meet India in a group B
match while Thailand is meeting Hong Kong in a group A match today
Another group B match between Maldives
and Malaysia also scheduled for tomorrow (Monday). The first round
matches of the championship will be concluded on Tuesday. India will
take on Maldives while Singapore meet Malaysia in-group B.
In the men's tournament, Hong Kong,
India, Maldives and Singapore had sent their teams and first of the
men's matches will be held on September 7 between India and
Singapore. The Men's match between Hong Kong and Singapore will get
underway on September 9.
Sri Lanka Netball team from Harshini
Wijayalatha (Capt), Gayathri Lankatilleke (V.Capt), Ratna Victoria,
Arunika Karawita,Sherine Nugera,Iresha Koralagodage, Saduni Bolagala,
Mangalika Priyadharshani, Shashika Samarasinghe, Tharijini
Sivalingum, Sujani Dilrukshi Gamage, Chandi Perera,
Cup U-15 Division cricket
All island inter schools under 15
Division Cricket Tournament entered the final stage.
The Under 15 division 1 final between
St. Peter's College, Colombo and D. S. Senanayake College Colombo
will be played on Saturday October 3 and Sunday October 4 at the
Thurstan College new grounds at Professor Stanley Wijesundara
The under 15 College entered the final
beating S. Thomas College, Mount Lavinia in the semi final and Sri
Sumanagala M.M.V. Panadara in the quarter finals. St. Peter's
entered the final beating St. Aloysius College, Galle.
This match will be an important
juncture in the the Sri lankan schools cricket calendar and for
young budding cricketers of the island.
This tournament is organised by the Sri
Lankan schools cricket Association and sponsored by
Unilevers for the Astra trophy.
action cleared by the ICC
Jermaine Lawson, the West Indian fast
bowler, has been cleared by the International Cricket Council over
his suspect bowling action. Lawson, 23, was pulled up for a dodgy
bowling action for the second time in his career during the first
Test in Colombo recently but the ICC felt his action fell within the
"That is the formal position. They
have found that his deliveries on average are within the 15
degrees," said Phillip Service, the Jamaica-based territorial
development officer of the West Indies Cricket Board, to CMC Sports.
"He has passed the test. However, we need to be continually
aware that this is the second time he has been reported so he needs
to maintain his fitness on one hand and also be reminded of the
various things we worked on during his remediation."
Lawson had to undergo an ICC-mandated
independent analysis of his action by Dr.Paul Hurrion, the
London-based biomechanics expert. He was also excluded from the
28-man training squad for Jamaica for the President's Cup in
October. However, Service added that Lawson was free to continue his
Lawson, who has taken 50 wickets in 12
Tests, also had his action reported by the ICC in 2003 after the
Test series against Australia.
in the frame for The Oval
The legspinner, Stuart MacGill, has
emerged as a contender for Australia's make-or-break fifth Test at
The Oval next week, as their coach, John Buchanan, sized up the
options available to his team. Australia need a victory to secure a
2-2 share of the series and retain the Ashes for the ninth series in
MacGill, 34, has taken 160 wickets in
33 Tests since making his debut in 1998, but the pre-eminence of
Shane Warne has restricted him to a walk-on role in the Australian
squad. Nevertheless, against England, MacGill has a remarkable tally
of 39 wickets in just six Tests, and he could be called upon to
replace the ineffectual Michael Kasprowicz, and shore up an attack
that has relied too heavily on Shane Warne and Brett Lee.
"The Oval historically provides
bounce and it provides turn," Buchanan told AFP. "That
aids both pace bowlers who hit the deck and spin bowlers because
they actually get bounce with some turn. Therefore, I am sure
[chairman of selectors] Trevor Hohns would say, Stuart MacGill is
very much in the equation."
Buchanan would not be drawn on any
other possible changes, which might include the replacing of Matthew
Hayden at the top of the order. Until recently, Hayden was ranked as
the No. 1 batsman in the world with an average in excess of 58, but
he has failed to pass 70 in his last 30 innings, and has been badly
found out by England's pace attack this summer.