25th March 2001
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Lanka ready to deliver the knock-out punch

Meet England in a day-night game at R.Premadasa Stadium today
By Marlon Fernandopulle
Sri Lanka will go all out and fire from all cylinders to knock-out England in the one day series when they take on the visitors in the second one day international at the R. Premadasa Stadium in a day/night game today. After they cantered to a morale boosting five wicket victory on Friday at the Rangiri Dambulla international stadium, Sanath Jayasuriya's team is eager to deliver the knock-out punch to Graham Thorpe's Englishmen and seal the visitors' fate in the one day series. Speaking to The Sunday Times, skipper Jayasuriya, said: "We are aware that we lost the Test series after winning the first game and so will not repeat that. The R. Premadasa Stadium has been a good ground for us and I expect my team to continue the winning run in the game". However the skipper expressed concern over his teams batting. "In the last two tests and the one day game in Dambulla our batsmen have not performed to their potential. They get up to the 20s or 30s and get out. This has very often led to the team's downfall. We have spoken to the players and I hope the batsmen especially the top order will deliver the goods now. 

I think the batsmen have to concentrate more, apply themselves well, and most of all think and use their mind to a great extent." The skipper praised his bowlers for routing England for just 143 in the first game which paved the way for the batsmen to get at the target with ease. "Our bowlers did extremely well to restrict and bowl out England for a small total. We also delayed bringing on Muralitharan until the 20th over to put more pressure on the England batsmen. The move paid off", said a beaming Jayasuriya. Sri Lanka are expected to field the same team for today's game. 

However England are expected to make a couple of changes. Skipper Graham Thorpe said that he was not happy with his team's batting and expects to strengthen the department with the inclusion of Nick Knight and may be even all rounder Mark Elaham. It is likely that Michael Vaughan will not retain his place while the chances of England leaving out one of the three medium pacers who played on Friday is certain as the wicket at the R. Premadasa Stadium offers little or no assistance to the fast bowlers." "It's not easy defending 143 in a game. However that is all over now and we are looking forward to our next game. 

We came back very well in the test series and I don't see why we can't repeat that in the one dayers", said a confident Thorpe who is captaining England for the first time.

Honours for Vidyartha in big match

Vidyartha's hopes of pulling off a Big Match win after a lapse of 34 years, were dashed by the stubborn resistance put up by the Sylvestrian batsmen at Asgiriya yesterday.

The Sylvestrians who were reeling at 19 for 4 overnight, batted through to 134, conceding a lead of 125. Skipper Sanjaya Nanayakkara grabbed six wickets with his off cutters.

Acting skipper Weerasinghe (deputising for Chanaka Wijesinghe) top-scored with 34. Consistent scorer Refai made 28 and followed it up with an unbeaten 53, second time around.

All honours in this game were claimed by the Vidyartha team, even though a win eluded them.

Vidyartha - 259 for 4 dec.

St. Sylvester's - 19 for 4 contd., 134 (M. Refai 28, J.Weerasinghe 34, S. Matotaarachchi 26, M.Hamid 18; S. Nanayakkara 6 for 60, K. Dunusinghe 2 for 23) and 112 for 4 (C. Ranaweera 10, J. Weerasinghe 18, S. Matotaarachchi 16, M. Refai 53 n.o; B. Chandrasiri 2 for 26) - A.K.

Nalanda on top in 'Battle of Maroons'

Finish the day at 111 for four at stumps
By Leonard Ratnayake
A positive approach from Nalanda placed them on top against Ananda at close of play on the first day of their 72nd Battle of the Maroons at SSC grounds yesterday.image

Nalanda finished the day at 111 for four at stumps after bowling their opponents our for a mere 168 runs.

Nalanda winning the toss made a wise decision to give first lease of the wicket to Ananda who were reeling at two wickets for four runs in the fifth over of the match. 

Opener Bagya Thalagala and inform Yohan Wickramage failed to deliver the good for Ananda who are crippled by the absence of two of their best batsmen in the side as skipper Mutumudalige Pushpakumara and his deputy Thilina Kandambi are in Australia doing national duties against an Australian Under 19 XI. 

Nalanda skipper and the season's greatest schoolboy batsman Sukitha Peiris too is away in Australia. 

Thus the glamour of seeing these two star players in action was a big disappointment.

However Damidu Kularatne and skipper Lakshan Fernando were building their innings before the latter got out for 24. Kularatne led a solitary fight to resist the opposing bowlers but eventually was bowled by Ishan Dilshan for 70 made in 198 balls. Dilshan struck at regular intervals to cause severe damage to the Ananda innings as he grabbed five wickets for 47 runs.

Dinesh Danthanarayana, coming in at number nine, launched a valuble 32 runs to take the Anandian total to 168 all out in 74.4 overs.

In reply, the Nalandians played positive cricket with almost every batsman doing his bit.

Experienced Mevan Porage made only 22 while Amila Kiriella made 30 runs.

Ananda College - 168 all out in 74.4 overs (D. Kularatne 70, 

L. Fernando 24, U. Dantanarayana 32, I. Dias 6 n.o; M. Gamarachchi 1 for 26, C. Kumarasiri 2 for 26, I. Dilshan 5 for 47, D. Jayasundera 2 for 24)

Nalanda College - 111 for four in 27 overs. (M. Porage 22, A. Kanchana 30, M. Dunusinghe 13, C. Kumarasiri 16 n.o., T. Perera 12 n.o;

I. Dias 1 for 35, M. Somaratne 1 for 18, Wickramage 1 for 30)


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