4th March 2001

Front Page
Editorial/Opinion| Plus| Business
 Mirror Magazine

The Sunday Times on the Web


Fringe players must improve

A number of players tapping on the door to get into the National Team got an opportunity to combat against the Englishmen in the two day and two four-day games against the Englishmen.

Whilst there were some good performances only one player stood out to indicate worthiness of a place in the side. With two centuries the already partly established Tillkeratne Dilshan impressed.

Once again it emphasizes the weakness in the domestic game. The step up to the first class game is still a far cry for most. At least most of those who played were in match practice, as the three day club tournament is in progress. Most of the players who had displayed good form were pitted against the Englishmen.

The least that could be done for the players is to have a three day competition going right through from September to March. Three days of a month could be devoted to one day games.

That way, even though all of the games may not be highly competitive, the players are experiencing regular match practice.

It nearly came to a situation when Muttiah Muralitharan was not going to be part of the test team through injury. For the past half-a-dozen years he has spearheaded the attack and has played a prominent role whenever Sri Lanka has done well or won. The bowling strength would have been halved had he been absent.

The replacements naturally cannot fill in the shoes of the master. Dinuk Hettiarachchi, Muthumudalige Pushpakumara and untried schoolboy Kaushalya Lokuarachchi were in the wings.

More seasoned campaigners, Niroshan Bandaratilleke and Malinga Bandara were tried but were not acceptable to the selectors.

Spin bowlers need time to mature. Taking into consideration the cricket that youngsters climbing the ladder play, it would be necessary to bowl plenty of overs at club level and against foreign opposition when the opportunity arises.

That is the required foundation. A spinner who has been performing honestly in these games has been Thilan Samaraweera. He has scored runs too and falls into the all-rounder category.

Rangana Herath who mesmerized the Australians a couple of seasons ago has disappeared. The four bowlers who should be in contention should replacements be required are Samaraweera, Hettiarachchi, Bandaratilleke and Bandara. Throwing Spinners into the deep end and too early never pays.

It is only a backward move when they suddenly have to bowl at the broad bats of seasoned international batsmen. Let Pushpakumara and Lokuarachchi go through their apprenticeship, before getting into the national squad.

Some of the batsmen who were tried got half century scores, including spin bowlers Pushpakumara and Bandaratilleke, but only Dilshan stood out. The pitches on which the games were played did not give unplayable assistance to either pace or spin. Although batsmen had to work hard, runs were gettable. It is important to work hard, valuing the wicket and not throwing it away.

That is a quality that is gained by playing against tough opposition regularly on good cricketing surfaces.

England have matured into a team that is prepared to be taken on the conditions and local talent they encounter when on tour. Overcoming these two factors plays the major roles in the success of a touring team.

Many teams touring the sub continent demand for home conditions. They moan at the non existence of conditions that they are familiar with. Having such un attitude is a certain way to failure.

The important factor is to adopt to the conditions and playing surfaces in that particular country. England's recent success in Pakistan came as a result of recognizing that.

During the past three weeks the Englishmen have demonstrated that. The eleven players batting it out in the first test match in Galle have all earned their place. They have made full use of the practices and lead up games to prepare.

Sri Lanka are continuing to play with the tried and tested, squeezing every bit of venom out of them. They have to, because the fringe players have to improve to dislodge the established lot.

Havelocks take Sevens

Amid thunder and lightning defending champions Havelocks SC trailing 19-7 at the turn around did well to retain the Denzil Kobbekaduwe Memorial inter-club rugby 'sevens', defeating CH & FC in the final.

It was a Feather in his Cap for former Sri Lankan player internationally famed Hishan Abdeen - who coached the team and played a dynamic role, playing with his charges and mapping out strategy.

The lads had much to learn from this former Zahira and Isipathana player, who played for the Havies initially as a schoolboy under Frank Hurbert also in a cup final against CH & FC in 1981 which match they lost. Ironically after 20 years he helped the Havies to beat CH in this final as player cum-coach.

It was a thrilling spectacle to see him making some dazzling runs plus firm tackling.

Age has not taken his vim and vigour. With Yes FM and MTV sponsoring and sandwiched with a musical extravaganza, the fans were there in their numbers to watch it.

With Abdeen to coach the Havies in the coming season aided by keep fit Marco de Silva, as assistant.

After the game Abdeen when interviewed by The Sunday Times said, "the boys are willing to learn and show 100 percent commitment and are a disciplined lot."

"The present president of the Havies Mr. Yusuf and his committee gave me all the support with men and material".

Former Sri Lanka stalwart, Michael Jayasekera takes over from him and he will continue the good work.

Incidentally Abdeen led Sri Lanka for the first time to win the Bowl Championship at the Cathay Pacific H.K. international 'sevens'. It was a well organised tournament. Despite clouds hovering around with imminent rain expected, organisers could have got on with the much look-forward to cup final, than indulging in a meaningless tap rugger among the past players. In the end the match was played amid a torrential downpour, plus thunder and lightning.

As a result Ref. Nizam Jamaldeen blew no-side. Controversy raged over the bell and the Ref's decision to stop the tie, with about two minutes left with Havies revelling in the mud - leading 27-19. This could have been avoided if the Cup final took precedence over Golden Oldies' tap rugby. Team of the tournament - (Cup) the Sri Lanka Army who held Havies 'A' to a thrilling draw in the semi's they lost to them during extra time.

Abdeen commended the soldiers performance. It was the toughest match for the boys. The soldiers fought a relentless battle to the bitter end.(BW)

First track & field meet on march 10, 11

The first Inter-International Schools Athletic meet will be held on Saturday and Sunday March 10 and 11 at the Shalika grounds, Narahenpita. Fifteen Inter-International Schools will vye for honours for both boys and girls with the champions being awarded the Inter- International Schools Athletic Trophy. The schools participating are: Alethea International School, Asian International School, Belvoir College International, The British School, Colombo International School, Gateway International School, Ikra International School, Leighton Park International School, Lyceum International School, St. Nicholas International School, Royal Institute, Staffod International School, Wycherly International School, The College of World Education and Elizabeth Moir School.

The Minister of Sports, Lakshman Kiriella and his wife Charmaine will be the chief guests.

Mayura third in surfing

Putting Sri Lanka on the map of surfing is 14 year old Mayura Chanaka who won third place at the SriLankan Airlines Amateur International Surfing championships sponsored by SriLankan Airlines held at the Hikkaduwa beach last Saturday.

This event was won by Michael Lerner of Israel with Hiroyuki Nishimoua of Japan second.

In the quarter finals of the event four Sri Lankan surfers qualified out of the ten while two Lankans qualified to the semi finals.

Hussain Areef of the Maldives took fourth place at the finals, in the first ever surfing event co-sponsored by Jetwing Travels, Carlsberg, Sunday Times, MBC Radio Network and the Hikkaduwa Hoteliers Association and supported by the A. Frame.

In all 33 participated in the SriLankan Airlines Amateur International Surfing championships, which included 9 from Maldives, 5 Japanese, 4 Israelis, 2 Danish, 1 Italian, 1 Frenchman and 10 Sri Lankans.

Masakazu Kuono, the fourth ranked surfer won the Japanese Surfers Sri Lankan Cup and was awarded 700,000 yen, Takao Kuga 300,000 yen, Tetsuya Uruyam 200,000 yen, Disuka Imamura 150,000 yen, Tomofumi Yoshioka, Toshihiro Sekiya, G. Matsumoto, and Akira Shindo won 150,000 yen each.

Results of the SriLankan Airlines Cup Semi finals.

Heat 1 - Nishimura Hirayaki (Japan), Hussain Areef (Maldives), Kapila Bandara (Sri Lanka), Suto Tatsuhiro (Japan).

Heat 2 - Michael Lerner (Israel), Mayura Chanaka (Sri Lanka), Kent Dam (Denmark), Ashef Elbaz (Israel).

Quarter finals.

Heat 1 - Hussain Areef (Maldives), Yamada Yudi (Japan), Nishimuru Hirayuki (Japan), Saman Kumara (Sri Lanka).

Heat 2 - Suto Thatshuhiro (Japan), Kapila Bandara (Sri Lanka), Yonebayshi (Japan), Liron Lusaky (Israel).

Heat 3 - Asher Elbaz (Israel), Kent Dam (Denmark), Charmin (France), Kukuda Isao (Japan).

Heat 4 - Michael Lerner (Israel), Mayura Chanaka (Sri Lanka), W.M. Chaminda (Sri Lanka), Hussain Shanez (Maldives).

This surfing championships is to be conducted annually, sponsored by SriLankan Airlines with the assistance of the Japanese Professional Surfers Association, which will no doubt mark a watershed in the history of Sri Lanka.

The JPSA established in 1981, is a member of the Association of Surfing Professionals which holds 10 surfing circuits a year in Japan.

Heart-warming win for England

Bernie Wijesekera reporting from Kurunegala

The visiting England team after the first test drubbing, registered a heart-warming eight wickets win over the Sri Lanka Colts XI at the picturesque Welagedera Stadium here yesterday.

The Colts XI made 249 for 7, England in reply helped by a 138 run opening stand between inform left hander Marcus Trescothick (85 in 68 balls with 13 fours) and a perky 73 by skipper Nasir Hussain (in 99 balls with 2 sixes, 6 fours) helped them to post 250 for 2 in 43.4 overs. Both batsmen timing the ball with precision, batted with charm and aggression. Graham Hick (38 n.o in 58 balls with a six and a four), Graham Thorpe (32 n.o in 44 balls with two fours) batted confidently.

Left arm leggie Rangana Herath, was the successful bowler with 2 for 51.

England skipper Nasir Hussain at a media briefing after the match, commended the pitch which was ideal - where both batsmen and bowlers enjoyed, with even bounce. He also praised the venue, one of the best he has seen. Asked about the Darren Gough issue he said it was a coincidence that he had to leave the field as the bowler was nursing a back problem. He said that nothing untoward happened and all was forgotten. He said that there were a few injury problems but all have recovered and were fit for the second test. England skipper Nasir Hussain, winning the toss, invited the Sri Lanka Colts XI to bat first in the 50-over match played in ideal humid conditions. Earlier this match was to have been played over three days. The Colts XI opened with lefthander Avishka Gunewardena and Romesh Kaluwitharana against the Yorkshire duo - Darren Gough and Matt Hoggard, who bowled to a lively pace. Gough bowled a maiden to Avishka, but nimble-footed 'Kalu' hammered 10 runs including two fours off Hoggard. On a parched outfield, both batsmen found the gaps - the 50 hoisted in 9.4 overs. Gunawardena on 26 gloved a rising delivery from White (with five fours in 45 balls - 68 for 1. Ten runs later Kalu gave White his second wicket, which was well held at extra cover, for an elegantly stroked 37, with four fours in 56 balls - 78 for 2.

Hometown idol Lanka de Silva, was joined by Indika de Saram, after Upeka Fernando, who batted with confidence for 27 runs, with five fours. De Silva and De Saram provided the entertainment in a 56-run fourth wicket stand.


Sri Lanka Colts XI

Avishka Gunawardena c. Nixon b. White 26
Romesh Kaluwitharana c. Trescothik b. White 37
Lanka de Silva c. Stewart (sub) b. Hoggard 49
Upeka Fernando c. Stewart (sub) b Hoggard 27
Indika de Saram c. Stewart b. Gough 62
J. Kulatunga b. White 14
Eric Upashanta c. Nixon b. White 00
Malintha Warnapura not out 05
Tilan Samaraweera not out 01
Extras: l.b. 11, 13 wides, n. balls 4 28
Total for 7 wkts, in 50 overs 249

Bowling Darren Gough 10-1-44-1 M. Hoggard 8.5-0-44-2 Robert Croft 10-0-36-0 Craig White 10-0-37-4 Jason Brown 5-0-30-0 Trescothick 2.1-0-12-0 M. Vaughan 4-0-35-0


M. Trescothick c De Saram b R. Herath 85
Nasir Hussain st Kaluwitharne b R. Herath 73
Graham Hick not out 38 Graham Thorpe not out 32
Extras: (byes 1, lb3, wides 7, nb 11) 22
Total: (for 2 wkts in 43 overs in 185 mts) 250
Fall: 138 (Trescothick), 186 (Hussain)

Bowling: Eric Upashantha 8-0-54-0 (1 wide, 5 nb), Indika Gallage 3-1-17-0; J. Kulatunga 1.5-0-20-0 (2 wides); Upeka Fernando 2-0-20-0 (1 wide); Rangana Herath 10-0-49-2; Indika de Saram 8.4-1-35-0.

Umpires: T.M. Samarasinghe and D.A.S. Dissanayake.

In Brief

2003 World Cup

Three countries will qualify to play in the 2003 World Cricket Cup in South Africa. The three will include both finalists and the winner of the qualifying final.

The ICC Trophy will be held from June 28 to July 17 in Toronto, Canada among the 24 associate members.

The ICC Trophy tourney will be played in the venues, Ajax, Maple Leaf CC, G. Ross Lord and Sunnybrook all within the Greater Metro Toronto.

The countries playing in the ICC Trophy are: Argentina, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, East & Central Africa (Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia), Fiji, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Holland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Namibia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, USA and the West Africa Conference (Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone).

Indoor cricket here at last

The Ceylon Indoor Cricket Association with Minister Salinda Dissanayake as President was formed, with work of its first indoor stadium in Talawatugoda being constructed and due to be opened in May this year.

Cricket matches lasting 1 hour 15 minutes will be played between two teams, comprising 8 players.

Indoor stadiums are also to be built in Galle, Kandy, Kurunegala and Nuwara-Eliya.

In all nine sports can be played in the indoor stadium, which is being built in Talawatugoda, funded by Austasia.

The nine sports that could be played in the Indoor Stadium, other than cricket are Squash, Pool, Gynastics, Badminton, Swimming, Bowling and Roller Skating.

Indoor cricket is very popular in Australia, England, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The second World Cup will be played in New Zealand in the year 2002.

After the opening on the Indoor Stadium in Talawatugoda in May, with Sri Lanka given the full membership of the World Indoor Cricket body, Ross Collins, the President of Australia Indoor Cricket and the National Executive Director Karen Denman coming over here in May.

Immediately after the opening the first indoor cricket stadium, tournament will be organised for the Mercantile sector, after which a pool will be picked for a tour and thereafter a national pool will be picked for both men and women, with the hope of participation in the World Cup in New Zealand in 2002.

St. Bridget's sports meet

The centenary sports meet of St. Bridget's Convent will be held on March 8, at the Sugathadasa Stadium. The chief guest for the occasion will be Mrs. Rukmini Kodagoda, a past pupil of the school.

In celebration of the centenary year of the school, past prefects carrying Olympic torches will run from school to the stadium. Yet another highlight of the occasion will be the opening ceremony combined with a display by the Primary and Collegiate school bands.

In an attempt to open this 'once in a hundred year' occasion to all students of the school, relays have been organised for past pupils and all past games prefects will be presented with a token of appreciation for their service to the school.

Finally, one outstanding athlete will win the overall championship cup donated by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in memory of her mother Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike. The cup will be named the 'Sirimavo Bandaranaike Challenge Cup' in her honour.

All past students are welcome to be part of this centenary year sports meet.

Lakshan shines with 104 for St. Peter's

By S.M.D. Sirisena

The Ananda -St. Peter's inter-school cricket match ended in a draw at Bambalapitiya yesterday.

St Peter's - 252 (Anuruddha Gallege 37, Ruchira Fernando 58 n.o, Gihan Silva 50; Yohan Wickramage 4 for 68) and 104 for 4

(Ruchira Fernando 46 n.o, Gihan de Silva 46 n.o; Mihira Somaratna 3 for 4, Isuru Dias 1 for 15)

Ananda - (overnight 42 for 3) 306 in 94 overs (Lakshan Fernando 104, M.Madapata 63, Mihiri Somaratna 63 n.o. E.Abeysingha 25; M. Wijesingha 5 for 81, S.Mendis 3 for 52)

Sebastianites win

By M.Shamil Amit

Sebastianites skipper Nimesh Perera cracked a fine century (113) inclusive of 15 boundaries and a six to steer his side in defeating Singha SC by an innings and 64 runs with a day to spare in the Premier league match played at Moratuwa.

Singha - 123(Dinusha Fernando 5 for 62, Sujeewa de Silva 3 for 42, Nimesh Perera 2 for 14) and 196(G.Sanjeewa 38, T.Thushara 75, A.Wewalwala 21; Dinusha Fernando 5 for 74, Sujeewa de Silva 3 for 62, Nimesh Perera 2 for 40)

Sebastianites - 383(Nimesh Perera 113, Nilanka Peiris 86, Nilan de Silva 85, Dinusha Fernando 16, Nissnka Silva 18, Lalantha Fernando 17; Saman Jayantha 5 for 74, Dinesh Perera 4 for 102)

First innings lead for NCC

NCC secured a hard fought first innings lead over the SSC in the Premier league match being played at the NCC grounds. Ncc continuing from their overnight score of 73 for no loss scored 233. SSC in their second essay were 134 for 2 wickets at close.

SSC - 209 and 134 for 2 wickets at close(Malintha Perera 54, Sanjeewa Ranatunga 58 not out)

NCC - 73 for no loss overnight 233 (Rally Tissera 43, Pradeep Hewage 41, Ajantha Weerappuli 32, Naveed Nawaz 23, Carmen Mapatuna 22, Susantha Pradeep 18, Dilshan Rupasinghe 23 not out; Suranjith Silva 7 for 52) -MSA

Index Page
Front Page
Mirrror Magazine

Return to Sports Contents


Sports Archives

Front Page| News/Comment| Editorial/Opinion| Plus| Business| Sports| Mirror Magazine

Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to 

The Sunday Times or to Information Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.

Presented on the World Wide Web by Infomation Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd. Hosted By LAcNet