- the bright spark
Russel Arnold was the bright spark of a dismal Sri Lankan performance
as they stumbled to a second consecutive defeat at the hands of
the Englishmen and another series loss. The team was not a patch
of the side that kept notching victories at home and in the sub-continent.
the top of the order, Arnold grabbed the opportunity with open arms
making a half century and a century. A player blessed with reasonable
talent and ability, but possessing loads of guts and determination,
he must be given the opening berth in the long game.
Doubts of succeeding
in this form of cricket was being formed as he was constantly getting
out caught close behind the stumps or throwing the wicket away.
Both major weaknesses to be considered when assessing any batsman.
Every quick bowler looks for a dismissal caught in the close region,
Ibw or bowled. Then, throwing your wicket away is a cardinal sin
for any batsman to commit.
Both these types
of dismissals can come about through an overdose of one day cricket.
Batsmen often open the face of the bat and run the ball through
the vacant slip area. They also adopt the approach of throwing the
bat without calculating the risk in order to grab some runs. Both
these are often part of the middle order batsman's make-up.
Arnold has cemented
a place in the one-day eleven. He has played some very valuable
knocks. Some of them brilliant match winners. His off-spinners have
come in handy. Delivering them from a height and often accurately,
the captain can depend on him for a quota of overs. A safe and agile
fielder in any position makes Russell Arnold a solid package.
It is hoped
that Manchester would be the turning point of his career. That performance
must give him the confidence and erase any doubts of being resigned
only to one-day cricket.
The fact that
he spent long hours at the crease against pace regularly pounding
short deliveries was the real test. It must have given him great
satisfaction to come through unscathed whilst the others around
him struggled to deliver. From now on he should be regularly replaying
images of those two innings and fashioning future knocks around
won his bout over Dav Whatmore for preparation. He exploited with
regular bombarding of the Sri Lankan batsmen using the short pitched
delivery. The rising chest height delivery was something the Sri
Lankans were not prepared to face upto.
Aravinda de Silva's dismissals were classic examples. First he glanced
off the rib cage to leg slip and secondly, he instinctively hooked
to backward deep square leg. De Silva looked determined to make
good his final appearance in England. He was comfortable during
both his knocks, but was unable to avoid the traps that were set
The other veteran
of the Sri Lankan team, Hashan Tillekeratne manfully accepted many
body blows. He stuck it out to the bitter end with a stubborn effort,
full of concentration. His task seemed achieved but in the end,
all the bruises were in vain!
The oldest player
amongst both teams certainly needs to be mentioned. Former England
Captain Alec Stewart was not far from his old self at the age of
thirty nine. Recalled for the 3 matches, he too made the most of
the three test series.
looks in excellent shape. No extra weight, agile, sharp reflexes
and able to endure the five day grind. He was on the field for most
part of the game scoring a ton and wearing the gloves for two innings.
playing days, Stewart has displayed determination, a strict work
ethic and self-belief. So, he soldiers on. An abject lesson for
any cricketer who wishes to reach the top and survive a long career.
George here to watch Bradby
Old Royalist Dr. George Nanayakkara was a member of the schools
rugby team in 1954, who won the Bradby Shield, against Trinity.
Dr. Nanayakkara, now domiciled in London, played under K.W. Edwards
(now settled down in Canada) and late C.V. Goonaratne.
He is here on
a sojourn to attend late CV's requiem mass and watch the prestigious
Bradby Shield contest next month. He was met at the CR&FC in
the company of his school rugby coach Mahes Rodrigo.
said Mahes was assisted by Summa Navaratnam. Both did an excellent
job and commanded respect. I must say that besides coaching the
players learnt much from Rodrigo on and off the field.
The other members
of the Royal team were the likes, of Dr. S. Mahalingam, S.R. Amerasinghe
etc. Trinity in 1954 had a strong team led by Lucky Witharna. Today
I am here with Rodrigo to bring back nostalgic memories. He was
a fine wicket keeper batsman who played at the national level, but
rugby was his first love.
was the medical officer in attendance for the CR& FC team during
Sari de Sylva's time. During the past a "Doctor" is a
"must" in a game be it club or schools. But in some quarters
today besides a doctor not even a first aid box is available. If
that is happening then it is bad for the game and for the players
concerned, he added. -(B.W)
The Wesley-Issipatana Milo Inter Schools Rugby Match never saw a
crowd as big as that of a Bradby. But the tickets sold at Rs. 100/-
were not numbered, which left much doubt to the fair sale of it.
Even the 2 tickets given to players to be given to parents were
this time not issued. Rover is in possession of a ticket for Rs.
100/- minus any number.
A former President of a popular sport now, in his address to the
gathering at the Junior Nationals was only hoping on the progress
made at the Junior Levels. But no mention was made of a teenage
girl winning a Gold Medal for the Ist time abroad. How forgetful
What a Boast?
A Manager on a recent tour made it known that he was going to introduce
a sport to the boys and girls in the streets. Did he little realise
whether he was going to purchase the equipment, which is at a high
cost, to each boy and girl from the streets? Good idea indeed.
The ID Cards issued to Schoolboy TT players are issued at Rs.10/-
and Rs. 100/-. What a way to make money!