6th January 2002

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Cricket is a thinking game -Bradman

By Bernie Wijesekera
Bradman Weerakoon, one of the finest products to hail from S. Thomas' Mt. Lavinia has many firsts on and off the field.

Recently he was appointed as Secretary to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Both are soft-spoken and a rare Royal-Thomian combination. 

Bradman, is an academician par excellence and has served the country without petty affiliations. He believes in three things: loyalty to his family, loyalty to the institution and loyalty to the one he serves. 

Bradman comes from a sporting stock. His brother Ronnie too played with distinction for S. Thomas', SSC and later for All Ceylon as a leg-spinner. 

He was one of the guests invited for a reception accorded by the then Aussie High Commissioner, Howard Debanam, after Australia beat Sri Lanka in a sensational finish to win by 15 runs in Sept., 1992. Bradman was in the company of Bob Simpson the (Aussie Coach), Dr. Cam Battersby and the then Cricket Board President Tyronne Fernando. 

To a question put to Simpson after the Lankan defeat, Simpson said: "You must get used to winning. More cricket can mean more disappointment. Then the players get hardened."

Bradman agreeing said, when one gets hurt that makes him feel the pinch. Anything on a platter is not going to help the game or that matter the cricketers concerned. Unlike other sports cricket is a thinking game of character building, Bradman said. The present national players please take note of, this meaningful comment.

'Brad', a good reader of the game. He played for the school and later for the University in the company of Anton Perera, an old Peterite, and brother-in-law of Ronnie Weerakoon. 

Bradman is firstly a gentleman and then a cricketer. The likes of him who commands respect on and off the field deserve to be in any administration be it sports or otherwise. At present it is being plagued by petty politics. Bradman was interviewed by this writer at Howard Debanam's residence.

Dr. Cam Battersby the Aussie Manager too agreed with Weerakoon's comments. Dr. Battersby said, "it was one of the greatest glories of cricket and only a Test can produce such an exciting result which one day cricket does not have".

Forwards played like Trojans - Arjun

The Sri Lanka Under-19 rugby team, which participated in the recent Rugby Asiad staged in Japan made a tremendous impact.

The future of the sport holds good for Sri Lanka rugby said, Manager Arjun Dharmadasa, when interviewed by The Sunday Times.

Despite the cold prevailing - at times 6 to 7 degrees, the lads gave of their best to enter the Plate final. The forwards played like Trojans and there was no let up. Peterite wing forward Dulanka Wijesekera, was the pick of the lot. Isipatana's second-rower Talagampola - lock forward played an excellent game. He even out jumped his opponents in their own long throws. Dushan Lewke too played his heart out in the loose and gave nothing away.

How was the three quarters? They played within their limits. Sri Lanka, lacked an experienced fly-half. The freezing cold quite unused to the youngsters who were called upon for the first time to scrum down. Had hardly any time to get acclimatised. There were more knock-ons in the entire tournament. Even the host team Japan felt the cold and lost to S. Korea in the Cup final.

The Lankans lost to Chinese Taipei in the Plate final 20-6. After being 10-6 at Lemons. While Hong Kong beat S'Pore in the Bowl final.

Anything special on this tour? The Lankan team conducted themselves in an exemplary manner on and off the field. A pride to the country and for their respective schools. The hotel management, presented each player with a gift as a token of appreciation for their behaviour, Dharmadasa said. 

The entire team should be kept in a junior national development pool under Priyantha Gunaratne and Asanga Seneviratne. Both did an excellent job with their charges, Priyantha should handle the players in Kandy, while Asanga to help the players in Colombo. The duo co-oridnated well and should be contracted for a long tenure. Some of these talented players even could be drafted to the national pool to be in reserve. Its appropriate to draw up an Int. Rugby calendar for year 2002 - especially for 'sevens' rugby, which has improved much since the Int. Singer - Sri Lankan Airlines rugby 7s organised by Kandy SC, now in the Int. 7s rugby calendar.

This will help to keep the players together in the squad. This will bring about awareness among the players even to keep themselves fit as they have something to look forward to. Asanga Seneviratne, as coach and Chaminda Rupasinghe (manager) of the national 'Sevens' squad works with much understanding, looking into the needs of the players put aside training, nutrition and discipline which is a 'must' in any walk of life.

Incidentally Dharmadasa, is the chairman of the rugby dev. committee. He will suggest to the Council to draw up a format for a long-term programme, which should include more 'sevens' tournaments to be staged in the outstations as part of their rugby promotion programme.

The next Jnr. Asiad will be staged in S. Korea. - BW

On to Year 2002

Sri Lankan Cricket finished the Year 2001 on an auspicious note with a Test win on the last day. They did not let the game go onto the fifth day - first of all the new year. That win recorded their on the trot with a possible two more wins in sight. Only the weather could be a spoiler.

The Australians are the current holders of the record for the highest number of Test wins consecutively. An amazing sixteen and what a streak it was. They tippled Zimbabwe (1), Pakistan (3), India (3), New Zealand (3), West Indies (5) and India (1). Twelve of those wins were at home and four away. They out did the previous record held by the West Indians of eleven wins without a break. Ironically their eleventh and twelfth win were against the once mighty men of the Caribbean.

Initially the winning habit must be cultivated at home. Should you not be able to win at home then to win abroad is just an impossible dream. Sanath Jayasuriya's men have now got the first part in order. The next challenge is not too far away. The next two series are in England (late spring, early summer) and South Africa. It will be a very big test. Six matches in those conditions will really test the Sri Lankans mettle.

Muttiah Muralitharan had a wonderful year. Perhaps his best ever, in terms of wickets taken, coverage per cricket and economy rate. He came on top of the world rankings and deservedly so. He has reached the peak of his powers and should be able to maintain this pinnacle for some years to come. He should be concerned about his fitness. No "body" can go on taking punishment. Bowling put a lot of strain on the body. Muralitharan must confine himself to only his body as much rest in between.

Chaminda Vaas has been the revelation of the past year. He too has reached the peak of his career. His mastering reverse swing is a big feather in the cap. He must remember though, that swing bowling is his strength. That he must not lose sight of. He must also remember that in certain countries it takes longer for the ball to lose its shine and its conventional swing that works for fifty overs or more.

Mahela Jayawardena has come into the reckoning as one of the best batsmen in the world. He has to prove himself overseas now. The foundation is solid, the platform has been constructed. Jayawardena has the talent and ability. He has the confidence. He has been eager to score runs quickly at times and it has caused his downfall. His mental toughness that triggers success in all situations. This will be the test for Jayawardena when he travels to England, South Africa and Australia.

The best young player to establish himself has been Kumar Sangakkara. In the one day game he bats in a difficult position in the middle. He is a player who requires, to settle in before going on the offensive. Most often the situation gets the better of him.

St. Sebastian's in thrilling 4 wkts win

By M.Shamil Amit
St. Sebastian's College, Moratuwa registered a thrilling four wicket win over St. Joseph's in the Lemonade Cup inter-school cricket match concluded at Darley Road yesterday. 

The Sebastianites pulled off this sensational win with seven balls to spare. In reply to the Josephians score of 113, the Sebastianites scored 167. The Josephians batting a second time fared much better to score 169 with skipper Thivanka de S. Wijeratne hitting 57. The Sebastianites were thus set a target of 116 runs to win in 29 over which they reached in 27.5 overs.

In two other games of the same tournament Raddoluwa MV and S.Thomas' Mt. Lavinia beat Maris Stella, Negombo and Nalanda College in the first innings at Raddoluwa and Mt. Lavinia respectively. While the match between St. Benedict's and Dharmapala Pannipitiya at Kotahena ended in a no decision.

At Darley Road:

St. Joseph's - 113 and 169 (Thivanka de S. Wijeratne 57, Deshan Bastianpillai 20, Heshan Gunatileke 25, Chandana Aravinda 22, Radhive Fernando 21; D.Abeydeera 3 for 40, Nuwan Perera 2 for 18, Buddika Amarasinghe 2 for 21)

St. Sebastian's - 167 (Nirosh Silva 49, Lasith Fernando 44; Joel Sabreen 3 for 31, Umesh Ruberu 3 for 20, Ranesh Perera 2 for 39) and 117 for 6 (Lasith Fernando 22, Nirosh Silva 20, N.Fernando 27, Nuwan Perera 20 n.o., Manjula Silva 15 n.o.; Joel Sabreen 2 for 22)

At Raddoluwa:

Raddoluwa MV - 188 and 234 (Charith Kodikara 63, Namal Chaturanga 21, Lakmal Silva 51, Heshan de Silva 18, Nimalka Gunetileke 15, Chanaka Silva 13; Hadlee Jayawardena 4 for 115, Thilina Silva 2 for 29)

Maris Stella - 148 (Ishan Mutaliph 15, Thilina Silva 28, Hadlee Jayawardena 21, Nalaka Wijesuriya 30, Shanaka Silva 16; Charith Kodikara 3 for 10, Gayan Silva 2 for 31, Namal Chaturanga 2 for 22, Chanaka Silva 2 for 8) and 83 for 3 (Ishan Mutaliph 16, Ashu de Silva 16, Rukshan Warnakula 20; Charith Kodikara 3 for 23)

At Mt Lavinia:

Nalanda - 170 and 108 for at close (Gamini Chandrakumara 43 n.o., Mevan Dunusinghe 31, M. Gammarachchi 16; Primalka Rodrigo 2 for 16)

S.Thomas' - 173 for 9 dec. (Arjuna Rajawasam 49, Jeewan Mendis 44, Praveen Peiris 14; Sanjaya Gangodawila 4 for 50, Ishara Dilshan 2 for 34)

At Kotahena:

Dharmapala - 152 and 126 for 6 at close (R.Ranasinghe 51 n.o.; J.A.Priyantha 3 for 33, Jeremy Saverymuthapulle 2 for 40)

St. Benedict's - 152 (Mohamed Imran 22, Angelo Anandappa 31, Jeremy Saverymuthapulle 19; D.Agiliyage 5 for 34, A.Jayaratne 3 for 35) 

Gajanayaka cracks 50 n.o to give TU win

Premier Division 50 Over League Championship
M.Shamil Amit
In the Premier Division 50 over league championship cricket matches played yesterday Moors SC defeated Kurunegala YCC by six wickets at Braybrooke Place. Colts defeated Panadura SC by 60 runs in a match reduced to 31 overs due to late start which was played at the Panadura Esplanade. Galle CC beat Chilaw Marians in the game that was played at Kadirana. 

Galle CC won this match on the Duckworth/Lewis system on a faster run rate as the match was stopped due to bad light and at the P.Sara Stadium Tamil Union defeated the Antonians by 52 runs with Malintha Gajanayake hitting an unbeaten 80 for Tamil Union.

At Braybrooke Place:

Kurunegala YCC - 189 in 50 overs (R. Jaymon 38, S.Madanayake 23, M. Maduwantha 35, S.Gamage 16, R.Amunugama 26 n.o.; Chandika Hathurasinghe 3 for 40, Ikram Abdeen 2 for 24)

Moors SC - 192 for 4 in 47.2 overs (Nilantha Cooray 23, Dilshan Witharna 27, Chandika Haturasinghe 76 n.o., Bhatiya Perera 58; R.Amarasinghe 2 for 47)

At Panadura:

Colts CC - 242 in 31 overs (Jeewantha Kulatubge 63, Romesh Kaluwitharna 20, Kaushalya Weeraratne 27, Sajith Fernando 41; Kapila Silva 3 for 60)

Panadura SC -181 in 31 overs (Sarath Jayawardena 42, Tharanga Priyadharshana 34, Chamara Silva 28, Kanchana Cooray 26 n.o.; Dinuk Hettiarachchi 2 for 27, Sajith Fernando 2 for 37, Chaminda Mendis 2 for 16)

At Kadirana:

Chilaw Marians - 203 in 47.5 overs (Arosha Perera 92 n.o, Lakmalka Fernando 24, Charitha Sylvester 21, Janaka Guneratne 22, Ruchira Palliyaguru 22; Champaka Ramanayake 3 for 40, Pasan Wanasinghe 2 for 12, Lasith Malinga 2 for 29, Randy Pradeep 2 for 29)

Galle CC - 176 for 7 in 42 overs (Primal Buddika 21, Ruchira Karunasena 24, Pasan Wanasinghe 62, Ruwan Galappathii 54; Dhammika Perera 2 for 21, Ruchira Palliyaguru 4 for 27, Janaka Guneratne 1 for 0) 

At P.Sara Stadium:

Tamil Union 168 for 9 in 50 overs (Malintha Gajanayake 80 n.o., Indika .Galagoda 19, Indika .de Saram 14; Pulasthi Guneratne 2 for 39, Amal Dalugoda 2 for 11)

Antonians SC - 117 in 38.5 overs (Heshan Tilekeratne 15, P.Siriwardena 18, C.Samarasinghe 18 n.o.; Pramodya Wickremasinghe 4 for 23, Lassana Dias 3 for 26, Anil Ridigammana 2 for 25)

Air Force grounded 
Air Force SC were grounded by seven wickets by Bloomfield C & AC in their Premier Division Limited Over fixture at Reid Avenue yesterday. 

Having dismissed Air Force for 170 runs, Bloomfield coasted to an easy seven wicket win with eleven overs to spare. 

Air Force - 170 in 50 overs (A. Kumara 42, D. Fernando 20, C. Rangajeewa 27, S. Dissanayaka 2 for 34, K. Dharmasena 2 for 31). 

Bloomfield C & AC - 171 for 3 in 39 overs (S. Jayantha 36, I. Daniels 54, T.M. Dilshan 39, T. Kandamby 26 n.o., C. Gamage 2 for 32) - BM 

Ragama give CCC the jitters 
Ragama CC gave CCC the jitters before going down by a mere 14 runs in their Premier Division Limited Over encounter at Maitland Crescent yesterday. 

After bowling the homesters out for a paltry 148, Ragama CC were badly placed at 75 for five at one stage. However, they made a remarkable recovery to reach 134 and fail by a mere 14 runs. 

CCC - 148 in 49 overs (P. Jayawardena 40, M. Villavarayan 34 n.o; S. Arangala 3 for 33, S. Rajapakse 2 for 14, R. Priyadarshana 2 for 24). 

Ragama CC - 134 in 41.3 overs (A. Jayasinghe 33, R. Priyadarshana 24, S. Arangala 21, M. Villavarayan 3 for 23, N. Rupasinghe 2 for 20) - BM

Manoj Mendis 86 
By Bruce Maurice 
A match winning innings of 86 by Manoj Mendis was the feature of BRC's 102 run win over Sebastianites CC in their Premier Division One Limited Over match at Havelock Park yesterday. 

Taking first lease of the wicket, the home side scored 231 for 7 in their quota of overs and dismissed the visitors for 127 in 36.1 overs. Only Sanjeewa Silva with 51 played a lone hand. 

BRC - 231 for 7 in 50 overs (N. Bopage 34, M. Mendis 86, L. Silva 22, S. Perera 32, M. Peiris 3 for 40, N. Perera 2 for 52). 

Sebastianites CC - 127 in 36.1 overs (S. Silva 52, H. Fernando 22, K. Rodrigo 27, I. Gallage 3 for 13, S. Weerakoon 2 for 9, M. Warnapura 3 for 10). 

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