trounce S. Thomas' to regain Mustangs Trophy
By Marlon Fernandopulle
Royal regained the Mustangs Trophy when they trounced S. Thomas'
by 81 runs in a day night game at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday.
Chasing 216 to win S. Thomas' were bundled out for 135 in the 43rd
over with their last batsman Colombage not taking the field.
reply was no match to the Royal total of 215 for 8 as they struggled
to put up a fight. Despite making a head start and being 51 for
1 wickets, the Mount Lavinia team succumbed to some outstanding
fielding and tidy bowling by the Royalists. Royal accounted for
four run - outs as the Thomians lost their way under lights.
the day a sparkling 87 from D.N.Dias helped Royal to hit up a challenging
216 for 8 wickets in 50 overs. Winning the toss and batting first
Royal were in a spot after they lost two wickets with only five
runs on the board. But a determined 80 run stand for the 3rd wicket
between D N Dias (87) and J Jayaweera (40) helped Royal out of the
woods. Dias was further associated in a 45-run stand for the fourth
wicket with Wijeratne (15) as Royal looked set to put up an imposing
total after reaching a formidable 161 for 4 wickets at one stage.
capitalised on some sloppy fielding and wayward bowling to accumulate
over 90 runs in the last 15 overs to take the Royalist beyond the
200 run mark. However the Thomians came back in the late stage as
they picked up wickets at regular intervals and restricted Royal
to 216 for 8 wickets in 50 overs. Dias top scored for the Royal
with a compact 87 off 124 deliveries which included 8 boundaries.
For the Mount Lavinia lads opening bowler Rodrigo was the pick of
the bowlers claiming 3 for 38 .
ray of hope and then disaster
Let us not forget that in the previous seven World Cup tournaments,
Sri Lanka bowed out in the preliminary round six times. On the one
occasion they reached the semi- finals, they went all the way to
lift the cup.
team's performance was not totally convincing and consistent they
must be congratulated on reaching the last four. Barring Australia
and India to some extent the other top teams have played in fits
and starts. South Africa, Pakistan and New Zealand should have figured
more prominently. They have individual players and team capability
to have performed much better than they did.
after a prosperous start of three wins out of three slipped and
slided to reach the semi-finals. It could be said that they played
to expectations in terms of team results. Their big wins were against
New Zealand and West Indies. The rain affected South African game
was as good as won. Two defeats were suffered at the hands of the
Australians and Indians. They are teams in form and played better
on the day. The black mark was the defeat against Kenya. No excuses
can be given for that loss. In this the most prized cricket tournament,
every game is a must win. The Australians have shown the way.
The first session
of Sri Lanka's game against the Aussies saw the advantage see saw
with both teams battling to wrest the initiative. There was no doubt
that the world's most attacking and destructive opening batting
pair were going to fire all cylinders against the quicker bowlers.
Sri Lanka should have been brave to gamble by bowling Aravinda de
Silva first up. Why wait for five overs when the scoring rate was
in excess of seven per over? Pulasthi Guneratne should have been
pushed into two and three over spells in the middle of the innings.
Once the initial
breakthrough was got and spin started to play its part the scenario
changed. Chaminda Vaas was also no second to any other. He displayed
that throughout the tournament.
When the issue
could have been sealed Sangakkara missed that stump offered by Symonds.
No one can imagine whether the Aussies would have crumbled or whether
another player would have stood out to be counted. One thing that
would have been certain is that it would have decimated the top
order batting. It is not easy for lower order batsman to survive
and score runs on their own. Given the hand of a top order batsman
they can contribute to bring the score to respectability.
That is what
happened and it was never an easy target to get to 212. The nature
of the pitch made batting difficult both against pace and spin bowling.
It was not a pitch worthy of hosting a World Cup semi final. It
did not have the reputation of being a pitch suitable of producing
enough runs, much required to provide the drama of one day cricket.
A poor venue selection by the organizer.
was dismissed by a delivery of utmost pace. A bat not enough to
defend such thunderbolts! The rest succumbed to the lack of technique,
lack of guts and not clear batting. Eight batsmen were played in
the team to counter the lethal Australian bowling. All very impressive
on paper, but a failure out in the middle.
Tough as the
ask was to get 212 it was one slim opportunity which required a
committed batting effort. It was not to be. The team survived to
reach this stage on some lone, brave efforts from Sanath Jayasuriya,
Marvan Atapattu and Aravinda de Silva. The batsmen failed to deliver.
That was the story of Sri Lanka's World Cup mission.
coach to boost tennis
The Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) has taken a major step to
uplift tennis in the outstation. They have hired a top coach from
India to take charge of the seven training centres in the provinces.
A two contract has been signed between Calcutta based Sayandev Chakravartchy
and the SLTA and he is due to assume duties on the first week of
appointment was on the recommendation of former Indian star player
Suresh Menon who is also the ITF Development Officer in the Asian
region. Thirty four year old Sayandev is a product of of the renowned
Jaidip Mukerjee Coaching Centre in Calcutta. Jaidip has an outstanding
career behind him being a former Davis Cup player and a former Indian
captain and a semi finalist at the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
a Level 2 ITF coach and a Level 1 ITF tutor who is an expert and
a specialist in the development of rural talent which is not the
same as training players in the city. The new coach in assuming
duties will spend one month in each of the seven centres in Kandy,
Bandarawela, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Negombo, Panadura and Kurunegala.
He will also train the local coaches apart from coaching the players.
the president of the SLTA was of the view that there is immense
potential in the provinces and the players from these players should
be given the proper backing hence they decided to take this step.
The CEO of the SLTA Boshan Dayaratne said that the recently concluded
mini tennis programme was a tremendous success and we want to improve
the quality and we have drawn up more programmes to uplift the game
in Sri Lanka.
which is a Rs. Two million project is being sponsored by Aggreko
with the company's project manager John Judge handing over the package
as a parting gift before taking up duties in Switzerland.-MSA
women clinch series
KINGSTOWN - Sri Lanka clinched their six-match limited-overs women's
cricket series against West Indies when they won the fourth game
by nine runs at Arnos Vale on Thursday.
The Sri Lankans,
electing to bat, scored 147 from 48.3 overs and restricted the Caribbean
women to 138 in 50 overs for a winning 4-0 lead in the series.The
remaining games, five and six, will be played today and tomorrow
and the West Indies team's technical advisor Gus Logie believes
his side could upset the visitors if they are more patient against
the spinners and reduce the number of extras they concede.
are a big problem for us every time we lose a game, we look back
at the extras and realise how much it cost us. Also, we need to
be a bit more patient against the spinners. We tend to look too
much for the big hits", former Test batsman Logie said yesterday.
(35) and Indika Kankanamalge (31 not out) led the Sri Lanka batting
as they suffered four run outs and were restricted to their lowest
total in the series though aided by 37 extras, including 33 wides.
Left arm spinner Shane de Silva was the most successful West Indies
bowler with three for 17 off 5.3 overs.