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21st June 1998

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Bowled - Well Tackled!
Sanath Jayasuriya bowled by Ajith Agarkar in the Nidhas Trophy cricket encounter against India.

Royal winger Viraj de Silva runs into a tackle by a Trinitian in the first leg of the 54th Bradby Shield game at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. - Pix by Kumara Dayawansa Nanneththi.

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Bradby shock as Trinity stun Royal

Trinity Lions shatter Royal's unbeaten run
By Bernie Wijesekera

What a game it turned out to be. The first Singer sponsored leg of the Royal-Trinity rugby match at the Sugathadasa Stadium watched by a big crowd.

The Trinity lions, who took the field as underdogs after three defeats in the on-going schools rugby championships dished out octane rugby to outplay the unbeaten Royal team by 20 points (two goals and two penalty goals) to 18 (three tries and a penalty goal) after leading 10-8 at the turn around.

This much looked forward to game in the schools rugby calendar, not only by the respective institutions and Old Boys, but by all lovers of sport, were there in numbers to witness the match.

C.V.Gunaratne, who was the chief guest said: "The game was the winner". This was a high scoring match and the fans really enjoyed it to the hilt.

Trinity in this match, really played well, dishing out cohesive rugby against the Royal XV and came on top in the end.

Two minutes silence was observed before the start of the match as a mark of respect in memory of the late Mr. M.T.Thambapillai - doyen of Royal rugby, who passed away recently.

It was a game played hard and clean - no quarter asked and none given and played in the correct spirit. The way the players inter-mingled after the match to such an extent it was not possible to say who the winners were at the end. Royal who were fancied to win with an unblemished record to date but met their Waterloo at the Sugathadasa Stadium.

The Hill Capital school playing to a plan capably marshaled by the ever green Quintin Israel, at full strength for this crucial first leg, nudged the Royalists at the posts. Though the Trinity forwards could not match their counterparts, they matched their skills with superb rucking, mauling and pouncing on the loose ball, mainly due to Royal's poor handling. This they took to their advantage and put tremendous pressure on the Royal defence. The entire Trinity back division played like terriers and gave a harrowing time to their opponents defence.

It was rugby football at its best, dished out by both teams where five tries were scored between them. Royal scored three tries while Trinity had two - both converted by skipper Prasanna Jayawardena, who manned the last line.

Prasanna's deep kicks to touch gave them much territorial advantage despite not winning much of the good ball in the set pieces and in the lines out where Royal dominated due to their superior 'eight'.

Royal were badly let down by their poor kicks over the cross-bar. They missed as much as six penalties and failed to convert all three tries. R.Gonaduwa, had an off day with his kicks, which cost the Royalists dearly.

With the kick off, Royal scored in the third minute off a mid-field scrum. Skipper and scrum half Shanaka Perera, worked the blind side, ran a good 20 metres and slipped it to flanker Pavithra Fernando, who rolled over for an unconverted try. After missing a penalty in the eighth minute, Trinity hit back in the ninth minute off a lines out in the Royal 25. Their forwards got their act together with the ball changing several hands for centre Zameel Mohammed to put the finishing touches. Prasanna Jayawardena added the extra points for the lions to lead amidst jubilation 7-5.

It was a spectacular try. The lead was short lived when Royal put over a penalty through Gonaduwa mid-left to lead 8-7. The ball moved pendulum-wise.

Trinity missed an easy penalty just before the short whistle. Then Trinity put over a penalty to lead 10-8 at the breather.

After the short break, the game was played at a hectic pace. The unyielding Royal back division had all cylinders firing to score a dandy try in the second minute through a middle scrum. Flanker Pavithra Fernando broke through and winger Viraj de Silva backed up well, to fall over for an unconverted try for Royal to lead 13-10.

A few minutes later a penalty was awarded to the lions and Jayawardena arrowed it beautifully which helped Trinity to level the scores at 13 all. Trinity scored again through prop forward Rajiv Mendis which had the the Royal defence rattled. Jayawardena put over the kick to assure Trinity of winning the first leg.

Royal, despite this setback, kept on pressing and were rewarded seconds before the long whistle. A five-yard scrum ensued and skipper Shanaka Perera who had a good game fromthe base, wriggled his way for an unconverted try to lose 18-20 when referee Anil Jayasinghe blew 'no side'. In the Under 17 match played for the C.E.Simithiarachchi Trophy Royal won the first leg 10-7.

Referee Nimal Perera.

Bowlers let Lanka down-Arjuna

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunge blamed his bowlers for his teams humiliating defeat against India in the Singer Akai Nidahas trophy game at the R Premadasa Stadium on Friday.

Speaking to the Sunday Times soon after the day-night game ended Ranatunga said," Our bowlers let us down. They bowled very badly giving the Indians a lot of width and bowling too many short and over-pitched deliveries".

India reached the target with over six overs remaining as the Lankan bowlers were punished for their wayward bowling. To make matters worse the world champions were guilty of sending down as much as 14 wides with debutante Suresh Perera accounting for eight of them. Perera, Wickremasinghe and Dharmasena all went for over six and a half runs per over as Tendulkar, Ganguly and Azharuddin made full use of Lanka's mediocre bowling attack to cut the world champions to size in the lung opener.

The captain also admitted that his team was a few runs short." After being 195 for 2 in 40 overs ,I thought 243 was not good enough. We should have got around 25-30 runs more. But if our bowlers were on target we could have put up a better fight" said a disappointed skipper.

However the captain was optimistic that the World champions will comeback strongly. "We have been in similar situations before and I'm sure the boys will fight back" said Ranatunga whose team will meet New Zealand today at the same venue in another day-night encounter. Niroshan Bandaratilake who had a successful Test debut against the Kiwis is tipped to replace Suresh Perera in today's game.

Stephen Fleming's New Zealenders will not be easy meat for the Sri Lankans. Smarting after their Test Series defeat the Kiwis will be looking to an encouraging start to the Tri Nation Tournament and redeem lost prestige. They have a host of talented all-rounders in the side and will be looking to turn tables on Ranatunga's team

Sri Lanka won the Indian Independence cup after losing the opening match of the tournament and also beat New Zealand 2-1 in the home Test series after losing the first Test. Thus defeat in the first game should not deter the team although it was their first on home soil in four years and their first in nine games at the Premadasa Stadium.

Meanwhile Indian Coach Anushuman Gaekwad was full of praise for his young fast bowler Agarkar who bowled a tidy spell and accounted for Jayasuriya and De Silva's wickets. "It's nice to see Agarkar doing well on flat pitches ,especially considering the fact that he came straight into the International arena from school. But overall I think our bowlers did a good job in restricting the Lankan batsmen in the last 12 overs, said the jubilant Coach.

Gaekward also had a word for the man of the match Ganguly . "It was a long overdue innings from him and he came out very well". As for Sachin the Coach said, "He is just great and keeps improving all the time".

England lose early wicket after follow-on

LONDON, Friday Allan Donald's 12th five- wicket haul in tests sent England spiralling to a miserable 110 all out on the third day of the second test against South Africa at Lord's on Saturday.

Forced to follow-on 250 runs in arrears, England's embarrassing day worsened when debutant opener Steve James edged Shaun Pollock to second slip and departed for a duck.

At tea England were 47 for one. Starting the day on 40 for three in reply to South Africa's 360, England slumped to 94 for seven at lunch as Donald, having bowled seven of the fastest overs of his career on Friday evening, continued in the same controlled, aggressive manner.

Nasser Hussain, top scorer with 15, was tempted into a pressure-relieving off drive after taking three short deliveries on the body.

A thick edge resulted and wicketkeeper Mark Boucher took a leaping catch in front of first slip. Donald found the edge again to dismiss nightwatchman Dean Headley for two.

Graham Thorpe could at least count himself unlucky after turning a full length delivery from Jacques Kallis powerfully off his legs only to see Adam Bacher hang on to a reflex catch at short leg.

Thorpe made 10. Poor calling from Mark Ramprakash resulted in Mark Ealham's unnecessary run out for eight but a refreshed Donald was not to be denied his five-wicket haul after lunch.

Both Ramprakash, who made 12, and last man Angus Fraser were caught by Boucher to give him five catches in the innings. Reuters

Vasantha triumphs

Vasantha Tennekoon won the Junior sailing championships for boys under 21 conducted by the Ceylon Motor Yacht Club at Bolgoda. Chris Sagar was second, with Andreas Lenahan third and Julia Sagar fourth.

Asitha Tennakoon, the President of the Yachting Association of Sri Lanka was the Officer of the Day.

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