The Sunday TimesTimesports

27th October 1996




Auckland awaits Aravinda

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Sri Lanka vice-captain and man of the match in the World Cup Final, Aravinda de Silva will make his maiden appearance in New Zealand’s first class championship when he represents Auckland in the forthcoming summer.

Aravinda is expected to represent Auckland in the Premier One-Day tournaments, but will keep away from the 4-day games due to his national commitments. He is expected to leave for New Zealand early next month.

“It was Dean Jones who was to be Auckland’s overseas player for the summer. However the former Australian declined at the last minute, after which Auckland approached me. I checked on my National commitments and gave my consent to Auckland,” Aravinda said when The Sunday Times met him at a practice session at the NCC nets.

It was only last year that Aravinda completed a highly successfuul season with the English county, Kent. The experience gained from his maiden season with Kent has helped him immensely.

When asked how the Auckland season will benefit the stylish batsmen? De Silva said, “Playing in different countries with varying climates and batting on different types of wickets will add to my experience, which will be very beneficial to me and Sri Lanka. Especially since we will be touring New Zealand next year, my season with Auckland is timed well.

Aravinda, who stroked a monumental century in the World Cup Final earlier this year, is batting at his brilliant best. After a successful World Cup De Silva followed it up with an excellent Singer Cup in which he was not dismissed a single time in four innings. He followed it up with his 7th One-Day century and 39th half century in Kenya recently.

Today the right hander has played in 191 One-Day Internationals for Sri Lanka and has an aggregate of 5837 runs. He is only a couple of innings away from reaching the magical 6000 run mark, achieved only by an elite band of cricketers that include, Desmond Haynes, Dean Jones, Azharuddin, Javed Miandad and a few others.

Aravinda’s talents were never in doubt as a batsman. He possesses all the ingredients of a batting genius when he made his debut in the mid-eighties, but lacked the temperament to play a long innings on many occasions. Today the 31-year-old has matured and is enjoying phenomenal success with the bat. To a question on the type of bats he uses, De Silva said: “Lately I have been using bats that are heavier than the average bats. The bats vary in weight from 2 lbs 06 oz. to 3 lbs 3 ounces.” And how do you select your bats for a particular game? “It all depends on the type of wicket,” he said.

New Zealand has always been a happy hunting ground for Aravinda. His highest Test score was on the picturesque Basin Reserve ground when he whacked a superb 267 in a Test against the Kiwis. Cricket fans in New Zealand are certain to be entertained with some delightful innings when Aravinda de Silva, who is ranked among the top four batsmen in the world, represents Auckland this season.

Pace blitz blasts Zim

Akram’s 10-wicket haul ends match on third day

FAISALABAD, Saturday (Reuter) - Pakistan pace trio Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shahid Nazir destroyed Zimbabwe’s second innings to set up a 10-wicket victory in the second and final test on today.

Captain Akram finished with a match haul of 10 for 105 as Pakistan won before tea on the third day to clinch the short series 1-0.

Zimbabwe, 134 behind on first innings, collapsed from their overnight 136 for three to 200 all out, Akram finishing with four for 57, Waqar four for 54 and Nazir two for 25.

Openers Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail comfortably scored the 67 needed to win, the former hitting the winning four off pace bowler Bryan Strang as Pakistan won with two and a half days to spare.

Anwar struck nine fours to finish on exactly 50, his third successive half-century of the series. Sohail was 18 when the victory was achieved 70 minutes after lunch.

Zimbabwe’s chances of building a good lead had depended on the overnight pair of David Houghton (74) and skipper Alistair (51) extending their century stand.

But Akram struck a telling blow by trapping Houghton leg before with his first ball of the morning to end the 113-run fourth-wicket partnership.

Nazir then accounted for Campbell, who touched the paceman’s fourth delivery to wicketkeeper Moin Khan to leave the touring side reeling on 136 for five.

Nazir took his second wicket when Guy Whittall was adjudged leg before for nought at 140.

Paul Strang had his stumps rattled by Waqar, who also removed Andy Flower for 23 with a fine slip catch by Anwar.

Akram disposed of Mbangwa and Matambanadzo to terminate the innings five minutes before lunch, Zimbabwe having lost their last seven wickets for 64.

Akram, dominating the series with a career-best 257 and a haul of 11 wickets in the drawn first test, was voted man of the match.

“We played positive cricket and the team fought very well. It was a good pitch and the way the Zimbabweans batted yesterday I thought we might have to work hard, but we got two quick wickets which put us top,” Akram said after the game.

Campbell said he was disappointed at losing.

“It wasn’t an easy pitch to bat on and once we were bowled out for 133, it was always an uphill task,” he said.

“Pakistan had world-class bowlers and we had no answer to it. It was mainly due to these bowlers that the match finished in two and a half days,” Campbell added.

The two teams now play a three-match one-day series with the first game in Quetta next Wednesday.

Thrilling Shuttling

The 44th Badminton Nationals have seen a thrilling semi-final stage. The seeded players however, managed to come through.

The matches were conducted by the Badminton Association of Sri Lanka and played at its Headquarters Indoor courts at Maitland Place last evening.

Kaushali Dissanayake and Sriyani Deepika, the bottom seeds in the women’s doubles semi-finals were beaten by the third seeds C. Tillekaratne and T. Nishantha in two straight sets 15-10, 15-12.

In the other semi-finals, top seeds Chandrika de Silva and Inoka Rohini got the better of Malshi Jayasuriya and Nilupa Seneviratne 15-6, 15-3.

The other players to qualify for the semi-finals in the women’s singles are, bottom seed Chandrika de Silva who beat Chamalka Tillekaratne 11-8, 12-10. Number four seed Dilani de Silva beat Shashikala Perera 11-5, 11-1 and unseeded Tharanga Nishantha received a walk over from number three seed Inoka Rohini.

Top seed in the men’s singles Thushara Edirisinghe had a tough task in disposing of the Number 5 seed M. S. Fernando 18-16, 17-14, while the bottom seed Duminda Jayakody had an easy victory over Number 8 seed Thanuja Liyanage 15-2, 15-7.

In the other two quarter-finals in the men’s singles, Number 4 seed Niroshan Wijekoon won in a hard fought three setter 15-7, 8-15, 15-8 over Number 7 seed Subash Janaka and Number three seed N. P. Halangoda beat Number 6 seed N. de S. Jayasinghe 15-10, 15-8.

Todays line-up for the men’s singles semi-finals scheduled for 9.30 a.m. is Thushara Edirisinghe versus N. P. Halangoda.

Duminda Jayakody vs Niroshan Wijekoon.

Women’s singles semi-finals at 9.30 a.m. - Kaushali Dissanayake vs Dilani de Silva, Chandrika de Silva vs Tharanga Nishanthi.

Women’s Plate singles final at 10.30 a.m. - Muthumali Wijeratne vs K. Geeganange.

In the semi-finals, Wijeratne beat D. C. Halangoda 11-3, 11-4, Geeganage beat R. Kalpana 11-7, 11-4.

The other events fixed for tomorrow are:

Women’s doubles final and men’s doubles final at 11.30 a.m.Veterans men’s singles and doubles final at 4 p.m. followed by the Masters singles final at 4 p.m. (AF)

Comfortable victory for Thomians

By S. M. D. Sirisena

S. Thomas’ scored a comfortable 10 wicket victory over Dharmaraja in their Inter School cricket match played at Mount Lavinia yesterday.

Continuing, their overnight score of 91 for 7, Dharmaraja were all out 107 in reply to S. Thomas’ total of 223 for 3 declared.

Pubudu Seneviratne top scored with 31 run that included 4 boundaries, pace bowler Naveen Ratwatte took 4 wickets while Rumesh Fernando and Suranga Pieris took two wickets each.

In the second innings, Dharmaraja scored only 116. Suranga Pieris (4 for 19) and Chandika Gunawardana (4 for 8) were the main wicket takers.

S. Thomas’: 223 for 3 in 51 overs. Upeka Fernando 119, Bathiya Karunaratna 72 n.o.

Dharmaraja: (Overnight 91 for 7) 107 all out. Pubudu Seneviratna 31, Naveen Ratwatte 4 for 35, Rumesh Fernando 2 for 14, Suranga Pieris 2 for 5 and 116. (Pubudu Seneviratna 26, Varuna Herath 24, Nuwan Ekanayaka 13 n.o., Suranga Pieris 1 for 19, Chanaka Gunawardane 3 for 8)

Russel Arnold helps NCC crush Old Cambrians

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Sri Lanka A Poolist, Russell Arnold warmed up for this weeks West Indies tour with a good all-round performance to help NCC to a crushing 126 run victory over Old Cambrians SC in a Inter Club Division 1 tournament at Maitland Place yesterday.

Invited to bat first NCC hit up 263/7 in 50 overs. Stylish left hand opener Russell Arnold was the sheet anchor for his side with an elegant 88, which included 8 boundaries. He was well supported by Sanjeewa Warusamanne (34) and Skipper Hashan Tillekeratne (56 n.o.). The home side piled up a match winning total, as the visitors bowling attack lacked sting and were unable to stem the run flow.

Chasing an asking rate of over 5 runs an over the Old Cambrians batting fell to the NCC spin duo, Russell Arnold (4/24) and Nishantha Saranasekera (3/29). Both Arnold and Saranasekera checked the runs and also struck vital blows with their teasing spin to send the visitors crashing to 137 all out in 40.2 overs.

NCC beat Old Cambrians by 126 runs. NCC - 263/7 in 50 overs. (Russell Arnold 88, Sanjeewa Warusamanne 34, Hashan Tillekeratne 56 n.o., N. Gunawardena 3/40, N. Peiris 3/54). Old Cambrians - 137 all out in 40.2 overs. (Senaka de Silva 24 Manoj Dilruk 37, Anurudha perera 21. n.o., N. Saranasekera 3/29, R. Arnold 4/24)

Police SC scored a smashing 132 run victory over Leo Stadium at Police Park yesterday.

Batting First, Police hit a massive 287/6 in 47 overs. Ravindra Wimalasiri (64) and Chaminda Liyanage (54) stroked half centuries as the policemen sent the Leos on a leather hunt.

The Leos failed to take up the challenge of scoring 6 runs an over as they ploded through the overs to finish at 155/8

(Roshan Jayasinghe top scored for Leo Stadium with a patient 54.

Police SC beat Leo Stadium by 128 runs

Police - 287/6 in 47 overs (Anura Priyantha 36, Chaminda Liyanage 56, Ravindra Wimalasiri 64, Deepal Gunawardena 28, Chamara Silva 41, Sampath Fernando 3/75)

Leo Stadium - 155/8 in 47 overs (Sampaht Fernando 25, Roshan Jayasinghe 54, Wimal Linton 21, Deepal Gunawardena 2/12, Nihal Soysa 2/21)

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