Sri Lanka's complaint is quite "upsetting"
So, it is griping time. Air Commodore Ajith Jayasekera, Sri Lanka's cricket manager has complained to the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) that the Australian media is treating them unfairly, and that they are upset by it.

It is now quite well known that the Australian media is behind its sportsmen, and that the media launches a psy-ops war against visiting teams. Any and all visiting teams. This is done on behalf of their sportsmen, with an unfailingly patriotic fervor.

Cricket and all other major international sports are no longer sports in the purest sense that they were sometime back. A nation that once complained about body-line bowling in that historically well known series, are now the grand masters of sledging and other forms of on- field intimidation and abuse perfected to a fine art.

Some of their most stellar batsmen and bowlers were caught up in an international bribery and corruption scandal related to match fixing, but while the late Hanse Cronje of South Africa was the scapegoat, the Aussies were allowed to play for their Prime Minister and their country, in a win at all cost policy. It is a policy that is endorsed from the top of their sporting and political establishments, and supported by the cheering multitude that flock every time their countrymen perform on the playing fields at home.

But, notwithstanding that, why on earth must our tour manager complain that the Aussie press is doing their part of national service. To say that adverse pre - match publicity on the bowling action of our match wining spin bowler has upset the Sri Lankan camp is a complaint of a wimp. There is another report elsewhere that says that the team is wary about travelling to Kenya because a bomb went off last month in Mombasa. This has attracted the absolutely appropriate rejoinder from the Kenyan Cricket Board that has said that Sri Lanka should be the last to complain about bombs.

When Shane Warne said that he was afraid to make a tour of Sri Lanka because of a bomb threat our then Foreign Minister had some flowers and chocolates delivered to him. The message was delivered. Is it time to send some flowers and chocolates to the men in our camp now?

Just what did the Sri Lankans expect in Australia? Accolades and hosannas for Murali from the Aussies for the wrecker who spun a web round the world champions who crashed to a humiliating defeat when the two teams met not too long ago in Colombo.

If the Sri Lankan team is "upset" by the Aussie media publicity then they must stop reading the offending newspapers, and instead go back to the basics wehere the batsmen better start taking more singles than trying to hit every ball to the boundary; the bowlers reduce their no-ball quotient, and the fielders wipe their fingers well after breakfast to take that Australian butter off them.

The contingent must also be ready to meet all contingencies. For example, if Umpire Darryl Hair calls Murali again do we know what to do? When Arjuna Ranatunge nearly walked off the field when Hair called on that previous occasion, only commentator Tony Greig thought that there was a plan involved. There was no such thing however. There was only Arjuna's natural impulse to defend his boys.

We must always be grateful to the Australians for two things at least. It was they who proposed Sri Lanka for test cricketing status. And it is they, who during our tour of 1995-96 made men out of our boys by the very kind of pschy-ops tactics they are indulging in right now - and made them into World Champs by beating the Autralians in Lahore a few months later.-Sports Editor

Asia Cup in Sharjah
Lanka juniors in the finals
By M. Shamil Amit
A solid knock of 45 runs in 34 balls by Shalika Karunanayake who also put on a valuable 43 runs partnership for the sixth wicket with Prabudha Perera enabled Sri Lanka to register a four-wicket win against India in the semi final and advance to the final of the Under 15 Asia Cup being played in Sharjah.

Sri Lanka winning the toss sent the Indians to bat who reached 177 for 7 wickets in their allotted 40 overs with an unbeaten 51 scored by S. Martin. Rajiv Weerasinghe and Malinda Pushpakumara shared the wickets for the Sri Lankans.

The Lankans in their turn helped by skipper Angelo Mathew, Sachitra Serasinghe and Sameera Soysa in the early part of the innings and then a face saving knock by Shalika were able to reach the target with seven balls to spare. Sri Lanka will now meet Pakistan in the final scheduled to be played today.

Results of the two semi finals
India 177 for 7 in 40 overs (S. Singh 31, V. Sandeep 20, S. Martin 51 n.o.; Rajiv Weerasinghe 3 for 30, Malinda Pushpakumara 2 for 35)

Sri Lanka 178 for 6 in 38.5 overs (Sachitra Serasinghe 34, Angelo Mathew 42, Sameera Soysa 27, Shalika Karunanayake 45, Prabudha Perera 13 n.o.; S. Nadim 2 for 26) Sri Lanka beat India by 4 wickets.

Pakistan 117 in 36.3 overs (A. Raza Ali 25, F. Nawaz 25; R. Shestra 4 for 15, D. Shestra 2 for 25)

Nepal 90 in 37.1 overs (I. Siddique 22, R. Shestra 15. S. Ali 3 for 13, N. Ahmed 2 for 13, F. Nawaz 2 for 12) Pakistan beat Nepal by 27 runs.

Bloomfield crush Galle CC
By Marlon Fernandopulle
Bloomfield romped home to a comprehensive 92-run victory over Galle CC to win the Inter Club Premier League Limited over final at the SSC grounds yesterday. The game which was played in front of a handful of spectators cut a sorry figure of Sri Lanka's Premier Cricket tournament. It was not only a game that lacked any interest but it also proved to be a game that lacked any competition.

Galle CC who toppled SSC in a Preliminary round game were no match to the Reid Avenue club who were even minus a couple of players doing National Duty.The Southerners who were chasing 236 for victory were never in the game as they preferred to bat out their overs and prolong the inevitable instead of accepting the challenge.

They were finally bundled out for 143 runs in the 47th over. Invited to bat first Bloomfield openers Thilina Kandambi (27) and Ian Daniel (36) added 49 for the first wicket in 13 overs to give their side a sound start. Galle came back when they picked up two more wickets and a run out to have Bloomfield at 101/4 in the 30th over.

At that stage T. M. Dilshan and Duminda Perera came to the rescue with a productive 129 -run stand that saw Bloomfield hit up a challenging 235 for 5 wickets in 50 overs. Both batsmen scored freely as they struck five boundaries each and punished the Galle attack that proved to be the downfall for the Southerners. Dilshan finished on a stylish 63 and was dismissed in the last over while Perera remained unbeaten on 73 from just 60 deliveries.

Needing to score at over 4.5 runs an over Galle CC never looked like taking up the challenge. After an alliance of 29 runs for the first wicket Galle stumbled to 30 for 3 before D. Sudarshana(39) and Pasan Wanasinghe(17) put on 45 runs for the fourth wicket.

But the introduction of Kumar Dharmasena to the attack triggered another collapse as the off spinner picked up Wanasinghe and Sudarhshana in successive deliveries to have Galle CC at 75 for 5 wickets in the 25th over. From then on it was only a matter of time as Galle CC struggled right along.They were eventually dismissed in the 47th over for 143 runs leaving Bloomfield winners by 92 runs.

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