Aravinda back at crucial number six position
Master batsman to strengthen the middle order

By Marlon Fernandopulle
Sri Lanka's World Cup winning Vice Captain Aravinda de Silva will return to the side after 18 months as Sri Lanka take on Bangladesh in the first one day International at the SSC grounds today.

The 36 year old right hander who has accumulated 8430 runs in 275 games was not a regular in the one day team after the last world cup. He was in and out of the team before being totally overlooked since Sri Lanka's New Zealand tour in February last year. However with Sri Lankas middle order becoming increasingly vulnerable and lacking the much needed stability the present selectors headed by Guy de Alwis have reverted to the veteran batsman in a move which has been widely welcomed.

Speaking to the Sunday Times after his final practice session yesterday at the SSC grounds Aravinda said,"I am delighted to be back in the one day side. It's always an honour for me to play for my country. I have played one day cricket for the last 18-20 years and enjoyed my game and so I am looking forward to playing once again".

De Silva who has scored most of his runs batting at number four for his country will bat at number six today as Sri Lanka will be looking to strengthen their middle order.
"It's a new position to me and sometimes a tricky place to bat. It's very often a position where you can't play your normal game. Sometimes you have to accelerate and sometimes you have to take the side out of trouble.

But I am certain that my experience will help me to adjust to the number six position ", said a confident De Silva. It is believed that Aravinda De Silva is determined to make it for next year's World Cup in South Africa.

Despite being pushed from pillar to post by Sri Lanka's chaotic set of Cricket Administrators, De Silva has stood his ground and fought back successfully to regain his position in the one day team which once again demonstrates the star batsman's commitment and love for the sport he has played for over quarter of a century.

"I would like to take it tour by tour. I am not thinking in the long term. I feel if I can contribute in any way to the team I will continue. But as soon as I feel that I am a burden to the side I will not want to stay any longer",said the unassuming soft-spoken master batsman.

De Silva who smashed a double hundred against Bangladesh in the first test in the scorching heat proved his fitness that ultimately prompted the selectors to draft him into the one day team."

I am not an Upul Chandana or Russell Arnold on the field .They are probably brilliant on the field and could be compared with the best in the World. The problem is that you have to keep playing as soon as you are out of it you are on the decline. But certainly now I am working on the speed aspect as well",concluded Aravinda.

Debut for Hasantha
Chilaw Marians SC allrounder Hasantha Fernando will make his one day international debut in today's game. Fernando is expected to bat at number seven and add muscle to the Lankan pace trio of Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando and Buddhika Fernando.

Sri Lanka team:- Sanath Jayasuriya (Captain), Marvan Atapattu, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Russell Arnold, Aravinda de Silva, Hasantha Fernando,Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, Buddhika Fernando, Muttaih Muralithran

Lanka rugby 7s team add to embarrassment
Channaka de Silva reporting from Manchester
The Lankan ruggerites ended their fixtures in the main competition by being beaten 12-47 by Tonga in their last Group B match at 8 p.m. yesterday Sri Lanka time at the XVIIth Commonwealth Games.

Earlier in the day they received an unbelievably massive thrashing of 0-82 in their opening match of the Rugby sevens tournament by New Zealand. They went on to suffer another humiliation at the hands of Wales who won easily 55-7. Today they move into the Bowls tournament.

Sri Lankans have almost finished their disastrous campagin here in Manchester, England without a single medal or at least coming near achieiving one. Experienced shooter Pushpamali Ramanayake secured the second best position by any Sri Lankan individual or team in any sport in the entire games when she finished fifth in the women's 50 metre Rifles Three Positions event with a total of 653.9 points on Friday. Gold Medal winner Anjali Bhagawat of India had a total of 678.0 points while Ramanayake came very close to winning a bronze.

Ramanayake also secured sixth place finishing, the third best position by a Sri Lankan in any event as well in the 10 metre Air Rifle Singles event with a score of 586 points.

The fourth place finish by Sri Lanka team captain Susanthika Jayasinghe in the women's 100 metre sprint final in athletics remained Sri Lanka's best placing in the entire games.

Badminton players Niluka Karunaratne and Chandrika de Silva progressed to the final 16 in men's and women's singles in a good display. Specially, schoolboy Niluka Karunaratne showed good promise before losing to Scotland's G. Bellingham in the pre-quarter finals

3-7,3-7,1-7. De Silva lost to S. Hughes 0-7,7-8,0-7 also in the pre quarter finals of the women's singles. In other shooting events yesterday, Anoma Wickremansinghe and Shyamalie Wijesooriya finished 14th and 15th respectively in the women's 10 metre Air Pistol singles event while Gamini Walgama and Suranga Fernando finished 19th and 20 th in the Men's 50 metre

Pistol Singles event. Walgama also finished 19th in the Men's 25 metre Standard Pistol event.

CH & FC drub Havelocks
CH & FC playing a controlled game of rugby outplayed Havelocks SC after leading 5-0 at the half time to register a 25 points (a goal, three tries, and a penalty to 3 ( a penalty) to win their second leg Caltex league A division match at Maitland Crescent last evening.

Last week CH suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of table leaders Kandy SC losing by 51-0 at Nittawela. In yesterday's game the Crescent Club playing with better co-ordination scored four tries, where the ball changed several hands.

Lasantha Ediriweera (2 tries), scrum half Milinda Jayasinghe (1) and Peterite school boy Rushan Wijesinghe scored a try each. Nalin Dissanayake converted a try and put over a penalty. Havies' solitary 3 points was scored by fly-half Tikiri Dissanayake. Referee Orville Fernando -BW

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