Arnold - 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.

Promoted to 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 such batsmanship.

Duncan Fletcher 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.

Champion batsman 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 for him.

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.

Physically he 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.

Throughout his 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. Nanayakkara 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.

Dr. Nanayakkara, 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)

Rover Pin Points

Making a fast buck
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.

How forgetful?
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 indeed?

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.

ID Cards
The ID Cards issued to Schoolboy TT players are issued at Rs.10/- and Rs. 100/-. What a way to make money!

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