17th March 2002

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Tough, but Lankans will show up at HK 7sBy Bernie Wijesekera

Since our impressive performance in last year's Int. Dubai Rugby Sevens, the squad has been showing up well with a tight training programme, said coach Asanga Seneviratne, when interviewed by The Sunday Times after the team was picked at Longden Place on March 13.

The 12-member team will be managed by burly Chaminda Rupasinghe, including a physio, Anura Bandara. Coach Seneviratne too will accompany the team. They will leave on March 19. The World Int. HK Sevens will kick off from March 22 and the finals on 24.

The team has been working on a tight schedule. The players are fit and strong. They have the endurance and fitness to last the pace unlike in the past when they wilted under pressure.

What is the secret behind? The squad has been afforded with all the facilities - including nutrition.

There is 100 percent commitment all round that makes my task as coach much easier.

Off the field Manager Rupasinghe does all the work to perfection. His human qualities and understanding to motivate the players is a decisive factor. Speaking to the players they said that they were happy with the duo.

The team is playing in a tough group - New Zealand, Scotland and Portugal. Though beaten, the Lankans have crossed their line at the last Dubai 7s. Lost to Portugal 24-14, nearly turned tables on Wales, 21-28, due to a bad judgement by the referee seconds before the long whistle.

That's part and parcel of the game, said Asanga. The team is determined to make it to the Plate.

Pity, missing two key players for the HK 7s forwards Navy's Manjula Ruwantilleke and Sajith Mallikarachchi (KSC) - undergoing surgery.

Internationally reputed Jason Winthrop, a physical trainer par excellence from Sydney, did a fantastic job with the squad for three weeks.

He trained them for the Dubai and Thai 7s. The Rugby Union should get him on a long-term stint. P.G. Gunawardena is handling the training in his absence.

Twenty four teams drawn into six groups will scrum down at the HK 7s.

Sports Association AGM

By Annesley Ferreira

With the deadline nearing for all National Sports Associations to hold their annual general meeting, how come the AGM's are allowed to be held flouting Section 29 of the Sports Law where every affiliate qualified to vote is posted with the audited accounts.

One such Association who is to hold its AGM is the National Billiards and Snooker Association which is one sport which has produced a world official, a world champion M.J.M. Lafir and had the distinction of holding two world and an Asian championships. BRC, one of the lively affiliates of the sport has in a letter to the minister protested to declare the AGM schedule to be held on February 24, as null and void since the audited accounts which is a must has not been posted to those qualified to vote at the AGM. Furthermore the Constitution clearly states that the audited accounts is a must.

The question posed is why is the minister silent on the protest made by the BRC.

Royal schoolboy Attygalle to run in Thai open

Sixteen-year-old Royal's sprint champion, Lahiru Attygalle will take part in the Under-17 age group in the Open Track and Field Championship to be held at Thammasat University Complex, (Thailand) from May 7 to 10.

A young future prospect Lahiru has been in the forefront of junior athletics. A bundle of energy he has done proud for Royal at home and abroad.

Besides he has been invited to undergo High Performance Training for Asian Athletes (Juniors) organised by the IAAF (HPTC), in Bangkok from April 10 to May 6. His coach R.S. Perera will accompany the lad. He too has been invited to follow the coaching programme.

They are expected to leave on April 8.

According to his coach, who is the physical education coach at Royal Lahiru came under his tutelege as a juvelin thrower and showed tremendous potential in the short runs. He won a sprint double at the Junior Nationals in year 2000. Royal with a 24-member team, took part in a schools championship drawn from India and Pakistan held in Islamabad. Royal came second, while Sri Lanka Combined Schools emerged champs. Lahiru came second in both 100 and 200M.

Perera a former national javelin champ in 1976, is a product from Taxila MV, Horana, and is a qualified IAAF coach.

Royal College Athletic Club, headed by Dr. Suranga de Silva is giving all support for the promotion of track and field sport . Royal in the past had the reputation of having produced some fine athletes at the national level. - BW

Dehiwela in Inter-club cager finals

Dehiwela Basketball Club beat National Youth Services Council by 60 points to 48 points after leading by 33 points to 30 points at short whistle in the Inter-Club Basketball Tournament "B" division semi-finals played at Otter Aquatic Club Basketball Court and conducted by Colombo District Basketball Association & Amateur Basketball Federation.

It was a keenly contested match with the losers taking the lead from the first jump-ball and equaling the scores at 08, 14, 18, 20, 28, 32. But the experience helped the winners to get long distance 3 point shots from every point as the defence of the losers was very tight and the winners could not penetrate through to get their usual lay-up shots.


The two "A" division semi-final matches will be played on 23rd & 24th March 2002 at 0500 p.m. on both days. All matches will be played at Otter Aquatic Club Basketball Court.

Dilroy, pride to Lanka Refs.

Dilroy Fernando, one of Sri Lanka's front line rugby referees has been nominated by the International Rugby Board, to officiate in the quarter-final round games in the year 2003 World Cup (Asian region) matches.

Fernando, a keen student of the game has served well, be it as a player, administrator and coach since he left Isipatana on and off the field. His first assignment will be in Malaysia on March 30 - Malaysia-Chinese Taipei. The next match at Arabian Gulf - Thailand on April 5, in Qatar.

For both games Lankan referees will be the touch judges - Aruna Jayasekera and Nizam Jamaldeen, while Anil Jayasinghe and Jamaldeen will man the touch line, in Qatar.

Fernando will be one of the referees for the Int. Hong Kong 10s from March 20-21 and for the World Series H.K. 7s from 22-24. He will take wings on March 18.


Historic tie for Mustangs Trophy

By Bernie Wijesekera

Five runs to make in the last over with Royal's last pair Damith Abeygunewardena 24 n.o and S. Perera. A dropped catch in Mohammed's first delivery and one run to be made in two balls. Perera had swung himself stranded, all out for 216 in 49.5 overs in reply to the Thomians 216 all out in 49.4 overs at the 27th one-day match which ended in a spine-chilling tie at the SSC Grounds yesterday.

It was cricket luv'ly cricket to the avid fans after the three-day drawl last weekend. Controversy raged over the scores, but umpires D.A.S. Dissanayake and C.A.C. Rodrigo confirmed that they strictly went by the scoreboard scorers and declared the match as a draw. Bewildered fans from both schools went berserk and cheered both teams as cricket was the winner in the end, including the two heads of school, Warden David Ponniah and Lakshman Gomes, shaking hands. The game swung pendulum wise from the start.

Defending champions, the Thomians, won the toss when skipper Gunawardena called correctly and elected to bat first on a slow pitch after overnight rain.

Royal hit back to remove opener Heshan Pieris trapped in front for a duck - one for 6. Williams, who joined hard-hitting Rajawasam put on 54 runs thanks to some shoddy fielding by the Royalists. Williams was run out. Jeevan Mendis the batsman in form joined Arjun. Mendis was let of the hook before he entered double figures. Profiting from this lapse, the nimble-footed left hander drove the ball beautifully with Arjun to restore the innings and pushed the score past 100 runs. Rajawasam batting in his characteristic style completed an attractive 50 in 88 balls with five fours. Kottehewa in his fifth over struck twice, in the fourth and fifth balls to remove Rajawasam and Warusawitharna - two wickets at 104 - 4 for 104.

Mendis took control and batting with authority showed abundant batting skills with support coming from Kaushal Silva (27) and Pravin Pieris (14) to bring some respectability helped by indifferent Royal fielding. Finally Mendis was out for 77 (in 81 balls with five fours). With Kaushal Silva, the pair put on 54 invaluable runs for the sixth wicket. All out for 216.

Royal in reply lost an early wicket at 18. Arumprakash fell to Tharindu Fernando for six. P. Chamikara, who joined Suren Mendis, tended to be too defensive and it proved to be a run-crawl. 38 runs in 10 overs.

Mendis fell for a well struck 31. Skipper Ratnayake joined Chamikara with the Thomian bowlers giving nothing away backed by excellent fielding. Finally Chamikara's subdued innings came to an end when he fell to leg spinner Jeevan Mendis for 36 in 82 balls with two fours.

Ratnayake and Wijeratne, the pair inform, should have taken control. But the pair opted to go for a single when two runs were there.

Sixteen-year-old Thomian leggie Balasubramaniam flighting the ball and varying his deliveries supported by Mendis, had the Royal middle order falling on the wayside. Ratnayake playing an agricultural shot was well held by Rajawasam for 34, caught at backward short-leg.

He made 41 balls with two fours. Wijeratne too departed becoming Bala's first victim. Bala struck twice in his sixth over. Wijeratne for 16 and Vidanapathirana for a 'duck' in his second and third deliveries. The two spinners had Royal marooned with dark clouds covering the square. But fresher Varuna Wijewardena, joined by Damith Abeygune-wardena batted stout heartedly to thwart a Thomian victory. The pair with cheeky singles closed the gap.

Wijewardena batting confidently was on the lookout for runs, while Damith gave his partner admirable support. The pair found the gaps and showed there were no terrors in the Thomian attack.

The pair batted sensibly. 28 runs to be made in 30 balls and the game was gradually slipping away from the Thomians. But Bala lured Varuna on 25, when the batsman was bemused by his guile,to be caught for a spicy 25 in 33 balls with three fours.

18 runs in 18 balls. What a game. Royal 190 for 8. Young Navin Dias, surprisingly lower in the order, showed scant respect with Damith batting confidently, made it 210 for 8 with Dias going for a perky 17. Last pair Damith Abeygune-wardena and Perera had the fans on their toes with just one run in two balls. Lady luck, however deserted them and they were all out for 216 with the game ending in a thriller.

Chief Guest Ajit Jayasekera Adjudicators: Mahinda Halangoda and Ajith Devasurendra. Man of the Match: Jeevan Mendis. Best Batsman for Royal: Damith Abeygunewardena for his gallant unbeaten 24.

International Cricket Council poised to increase the use of TV Technology

By Marlon Fernandopulle

The International Cricket Councils(ICC) Cricket Committee which meets in South Africa tomorrow will discuss a proposal that would allow field umpires to consult with the third umpire on any aspect of a decision they were unsure of.

The propasal forwarded by the ICC Management follows the growing criticism and debate over the years by past and present test cricketers of the inadequate use of Technology when it is available.Consultation would be optional, but when called for decisions would be reached as soon as possible, ideally within 20 seconds.

Line decisions, hit wicket and boundary referrals would continue to be decided by the TV umpire, as per the present system.

If approved by the Cricket Committee, the system would be piloted at the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in September.

The ultimate aim of the proposal is to help reach correct decisions more consistently, while maintaining the umpire's authority as the final decision maker.

Lanka makes proposal

A proposal by Sri Lanka to refer catches taken (from the moment the ball hits the bat until the catch is taken) to the Third Umpire will also be considered by the Cricket Committee.Sri Lanka is represented at the Cricket Committee by Sidath Wett-imuny.

Among other matters the Cricket Committee who has Sunil Gavaskar as it's Chairman will also discuss the future use of bonus points in One Day International tournaments, following the unsatisfactory aspects highlighted in the recently concluded Triangular Tournament in Australia.

Another proposal is the adoption of post Test match meetings between captains, umpires and match referees, to provide a forum to discuss issues, including umpiring decisions, arising during the match.

Lumbini overcome Wesley

By M.Shamil Amit

Lumbini MV the Elephant Lemonade Cup inter-school league champs of 2002 took another step forward in the Elephant Lemonade Cup knockout tournament when they overcame Wesley in a pre-quarter final match at the Colts grounds yesterday.

Lumbini taking first lease of the wicket were helped by a third wicket partnership of 95 runs between Lasantha Kumara (56) and Harsha Cooray (61) to score a modest 212 for 9 wickets in the alloted 50 overs. Wesley in their turn were bothered by some tight bowling by Lumbini skipper Upul Indrasiri who had figures of 4 for 17 and was well supported by Lasantha Kumara and Harsha Cooray and were bowled out for 168 in 44 overs. Wesley opener Anderio Toussaint was the only batsman who withstood the bowling to score 54. With this win Lumbini MV qualify to the quarter finals.

Lumbini MV - 212 for 9 in 50 overs (Lasantha Kumara 56, Dinesh Lasantha 45, Harsha Cooray 61, Upul Indrasiri 15; Sajith Colombage 2 for 43, A.Kumara 3 for 45)

Wesley - 168 in 44 overs (Anderio Toussaint 54, Thusara Waduge 16, Farveez Mahroof 18, Kamantha Kodikara 19; Upul Indrasiri 4 for 17, Lasantha Kumara 2 for 33, Harsha Cooray 2 for 25)

On March 18

The other Elephant Lemonade Cup knockout pre quarter final match between Maris Stella and Ananda which was to be played at the Kadirana grounds yesterday was postponed due to wet ground cnditions. It will now be played on Monday (March 18) at the same venue.-MSA

Battle of Mangosteens ends in draw at Kalutara

By H.P.P.Perera

The 44th Battle of Mangosteens between Tissa MMV and Kalutara Vidyalaya ended in a draw at the Kalutara Esplanade yesterday.

Tissa MMV - 215 (Niluk Shivantha 40, Nalin Roshan 46,Ravindra Seeman 14, Senaka Jeevan12,NadeepJanaka 10, Sajith Thevamal 16; Malinda Siriwardena 4 for40, Anuruddha 3 for 54) and 118 for 8 dec. (Niluk Shivantha 36, Sajith Harshan 17,Sajith Thamal 27)

Kalutara Vidyalaya - 171 for 8 dec (Senaka Wijeratne 79, Nadeeka Nawala 31; Nalin Razeen 3 for 59, Niluka Shirantha 2 for 11) and 55 for 1 at close (G.A. Joseph 16 n.o, G. Siriwardena 22 n.o)

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