Stage is set for a fresh start
The Indians fell from grace, when they were comprehensively beaten at Lords by the Englishmen. On that same venue some weeks before they clinched an impossible victory almost from the jaws of defeat, against the same opposition to win the tri-nation one day series. Such are the ups and downs in the game today.

Many storms brewed over Sri Lanka's cricket in the past few weeks. Now there is a hill. All is still not well. It could be said though that the stage is set for a fresh start.

In the international scene, Jehan Mubarak, Michael Vandort, Prassana Jayawardena, Naveed Nawaz, Chamara Gamage, Sujeewa de Silva, are virtually unknown. Charitha Buddhika, Tilan Samaraweera are not far from that either. They were presented with an opportunity. It will be considered a mild test, not a fiery one against the weak Bangladesh team.

The main point is that they have taken the initial step. They have achieved success of different propositions. It is a matter of improving and continuing to stake claims by sheer weight of performances.

Michael Vandort produced the best results on the score sheet. Runs flowed off his bat to the tune of 61 and 140. He was very strong driving on the front foot. The Bangladesh medium pacers could be tackled coming into the front foot. It was a rare sight for international cricket to see him stand inches outside the crease in stance position!

He has two areas to work on. Time and again he spars at deliveries outside the off stump. As an opening batsman that is a big no no! He must be certain of what to play and what to leave. Being a very tall player he will be tested to the tilt by good quick bowlers, with deliveries aimed at the body. That is for certain he will be peppered with short stuff and that will be the real test.

Jehan Mubarak did the hard work but could not go on. Particularly in the second innings he was looking good when he was unfortunately run out. His fielding was also impressive. He stood in the short leg position for the sprinter and displayed agility and sound anticipation.

Overall, he got off to a promising start, now he must seize every opportunity, whenever he plays to perform, to be noticed.

Chamara Gamage has wormed his way to recognition. Has all the ingredients to be a successful medium-fast bowler. He mainly bowls in swingers and at times one holds its own and moves as an out swinger. He must spend most of his daylight hour learning and developing the art of bowling.

Tilan Samaraweera came up with his best bowling performance in a Test picking up four wickets when Bangladesh batted a second time. He is bowling with confidence and maturity. He needs to add a couple of variations to this armour. That is what he must work at during the next domestic season.

Bangladesh were dismissed twice by a combination of Buddhika de Silva, Gamage, Jayasuriya, Chandana and Samaraweera. Whatever the strength they fell in 62 and 60.4 overs respectively. That was the most satisfying aspect of the victory.

Le Kandyan open Squash tourney
Connaissance Group in collaboration with Lanka Oberoi will hold an open squash championship for the fourth successive year from August 17 to 25.

Since its inception this open has roused tremendous interest among the participants and spectators. It has given opportunities for the youngsters to indulge in competitive squash at junior level.

Sri Lanka Squash Federation has done much to promote it among schoolchildren. The Federation has decided to hold a Workshop (free of charge) mainly for Kandy schools to be held at the Kandyan Courts on August 23 (Saturday) from 9.30 a.m. to 12 noon with a view to promoting squash at grassroots level in the hill capital. Handled by some experienced players of yesteryear Gihan Fernando, Shammi Silva and Yasmin Zarook. etc.

The preliminary round matches will be staged at the Lanka Oberoi Courts from 17 to 22. The semi-final and final matches will be staged at Le Kandyan Resorts on August 23 and 24. The presentation of awards will be made on August 25 (Sunday). (BW)

Young Dejan proves his class
By Annesley Ferriera
Seventeen-year-old Thomian school boy Dejan De Zoysa, driving a Formula Ford for the first time stamped his class by finishing second to Formula Ford veteran Rohan De Silva at the inaugural Pannala Race meet on Sunday 28th July '02.

Having secured the second best timing of the day at the trials on Saturday he was on the tail of Rohan De Silva on race day and was quick go past him when the champion driver hit an oil patch and spun, only to suffer the same fate further down the lap, but raced past the entire field of nine drivers to come in a brilliant second in a twelve lap race.

De Zoysa was the cynosure of all eyes with his determined and spirited drive earning top ratings from the large crowd present. Dejan who turned seventeen last month was faced with a non- starters situation in the meet which was originally to be organized by the Ceylon Motor Sports Club. Fortunately, Speed Development (Pvt) Ltd. together with SLAMSC, and Negombo MSC went ahead with the meet.

De Zoysa proved that he was a class of his own when he performed with sheer brilliance in an International Go-Kart Meet in Malaysia recently having got the better of the best Go-Kart drivers of Sri Lanka. Go-Karting is the stepping stone to Formula driving and some corners see Go-karters much faster than the Formula drivers.

Dejan the son of the legendary rally driver Richard De Zoysa won the Caltex All Island Prokart Championship at the age of thirteen and progressed to international class Go-Karting at fourteen years under the watchful eyes of Suren and Sheran Cooke. In his first karting season he ended up second to dazzling Go-Kart driver Yoga Perera after being tied on points at the end of the fifth round.

He could not drive his Kart on the sixth and final deciding round due to mechanical failure. He attributes his phenomenal success to Randy Batcho, Sheran Cooke, Yoga Perera, Danuka Nadeera and Rohan De Silva who recently inspired him to drive a Formula at Pannala. De Silva is a pillar of strength to budding racing drivers and supports talent tremendously.

De Zoysa drives for mobile/auto colour racing team and is due to follow an advanced course in Formula driving later this year at Silver Stone, UK.

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