Bloomfield sends Air Force crashing
Kumar Dharmasena, Lokuarachchi and Prabath Nissanka dismiss opponents for 125
By Marlon Fernandopulle Bloomfield were in a commanding position as they tightened the grip on Air Force SC and were poised to grab full points at the end of the second day's play at Reid Avenue yesterday.

Three wickets each from Kumar Dharmasena, Kaushal Lokuarachchi and Prabath Nissanka sent Air Force crashing to 125 all out in reply to Bloomfield's 226. Enjoying a lead of 101 runs Bloomfield finished the day at 154 for 6 wickets an overall lead of 255 runs.Opener Ian Daniel top scored for the host with a stylish 42.

Bloomfield vs Air Force
Bloomfield 226 & 154/6 at close (Ian Daniel 42, Kaushal Lokuarachchi 38; S Cooray 4/62) Air Force 125 all out (A Rizwan 25, C. Rangajeewa 25; Kumar Dharmasena 3/21, P Nissanka 3/33, Kaushal Lokuarachchi 3/15)

Amila Perera (7/82) shocks CCC
Despite a minor batting collapse CCC were in a strong position against Panadura SC at the end of the second day's play at the Panadura Esplanade yesterday.

Continuing from a formidable 170/2 in reply to Panadura SC's 214 all out CCC collapsed to 247 all out to take a slender 33 run first innings lead. Amila Perera did most of the damage claiming 7 for 82.

However the Panadura batsmen failed to capitalise on the good work done by their bowlers as they finished the day at 146/7 to lead by just 113 runs with 3 wickets in hand.

Panadura SC vs CCC
Panadura SC-214 & 146/7 (Chamara Silva 27, C. Aravinda 38 n.o; C Mudalige 7/60)
CCC- 247 (Micheal Van Dort 95, D. Ranaweera 89; Amila Perera 7/82 S Rohan 2/55)

Galle CC fight back
Galle CC fought back strongly after conceeding first innings points to Moors SC at the end of the second day at Braybrooke Place yesterday

In reply to Moors first innings total of 273 Galle CC replied with 189 all out with T. Wanasinghe top scoring with a sedate 55. Allrounder Chandika Hathurusinghe(4/60) and Nilantha Cooray (5/24) were the pick of the bowlers for Moors.

Batting for the second time Moors were in deep trouble with half their side out and only 54 runs on the board.

Moors SC vs Galle CC
Moors SC-273 & 54/5 at close (S. Jayawardene 21; D. Lokuhettige 3/21 N Kulasekera 2/26)
Galle CC - 189 all out (D. Sudarshan 25, H. Wijesinghe 26, T. Wanasinghe 55, D. Wickremasinghe 34, V. Perera 29; Chandika Hathurusinghe 4/60 Nilantha Cooray 5/24)

Ragama shocks Sebs
Ragama CC shocked Sebastianites SC when they grabbed first innings points at the end of the second day's play at the Moratuwa Stadium yesterday.

Chasing Ragama's first innings total of 247 Sebastianites were bowled out for 208 with M. Perera (60) and D Fernando(60) stroking half centuries. R. Priyadarshana was the wrecker of the Sebes innings claiming 6 for 44.

Sebastianites SC vs Ragama CC
Ragama CC- 247 & 43/0 Sebastianites SC-208 all out (M. Perera 62, D. Fernando 60; R Priyadarshana 6/44)

Exchanges even
Exchanges were even at the end of the second day's play in the Premier League game between Moratuwa SC and Chilaw Marians SC at the FTZ grounds Katunayake.

Batting first Moratuwa SC hit up 237 with S Perera top scoring with a fluent 74.Chilaw Marians in reply were 99 for 3 wickets at the close

Moratuwa SC vs Chilaw Marians
Moratuwa SC-237 all out (M. Fernando 43, S. Perera 74, L. R. Fernando 58; D. Perera 4/48, P. Wickremasinghe 4/60) Chilaw Marians- 99/3( A Perera 30 C Sylvester 20 n o)

BRC-Kurunegala: No Play
No play was possible on the second day of the Premier Leage game between Kurunegala YCC and Burgher Recreation Club (BRC) at the Welagedara Stadium Kurunegala due to rain and a waterlogged outfield.

Lankan rugby in a mess
By Bernie Wijesekera
Players in the national squad are not turning up for training, in preparation for the forthcoming Asiad to be staged in Bangkok just a week away.

In its wake the captain has pulled himself out for reasons best known to him. Worse followed, when the coach, C.P.P. Abeygunawardena resigned at the eleventh hour - putting the game in total chaos.

Never in the history of this sport, in the past has suffered such a calamity. The administration is answerable (the present) for this sad episode. The talking point among some past stalwarts, who have played at the highest level, it attributes to poor thinking by those, who are controlling the game.

As mentioned in these columns earlier, due to lack of professional management and planning for the future betterment of the game. Imagine players skipping national training, excusing themselves saying they have to attend club practises (Premier Trophy) matches.

Which is more important - the Rugby Asiad, or the Premier Trophy? It's a common occurrence here, be it sports or otherwise. Petty politics take pride of place at the expense of the country.

Before organising the Premier Trophy, with the blessings of the Ministry of Sports had the Rugby Union any idea of planning and the game at least in the Asian region? They could have postponed this tournament or barred all national squad players from practising in this tournament with a view to concentrating on the coming Rugby Asiad.

The tournament was played under lights, at much expense, that too before empty stands. It's a poor reflection among the organisers (Rugby Union). They are playing politics even with a trophy - three Ps - Premadasa, President's and Premier. What will be the next - only a soothsayer could predict!

Before the disastrous Busan Games, Sri Lanka was placed eighth in the Asian table. Arabian Gulf and newcomers China were placed ahead of us. Had the selectors or the Rugby Union acted with responsibility this could have been avoided. Ad hoc decisions have ruined the game and public interest. This was evident if one witnessed the Premier trophy games at the Sugathadasa Stadium.

A long-term project been in progress Sri Lanka should have gone places instead of hitting rock bottom as at present.

The Minister of Sports, must not get carried away apparently with cheap publicity (it has done more damage) than help develop and promote sports. He should be more transparent and take notice of constructive criticism, done in good faith for the betterment of the sport at national level. At least keep politics out of sport and the 'Hurrah Boys', who apparently leading him off the garden path who are doing more damage than promoting sport.

Emirates joins AFC commercial family
Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline has announced that it is to become the new official partner of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The AFC President, Mohamed bin Hammam and Mr. Ghaith Al Ghaith, Commercial Operations Director of Emirates Airline, were among those attended the official signing ceremony at The Ritz Carlton Doha on 30th October, the day before the final match of the AFC U-20 Championship, Qatar 2002.

In an agreement that will run until 2005, Emirates Airline will enjoy sponsorship benefits at Asia's premier football events including the newly formed AFC Champions League, and the Asian Cup, which will be held in China in 2004.

Emirates will feature on all AFC publicity materials, including perimeter boards in stadiums throughout Asia, and a ticketing facility for all the official AFC tournaments.

The Asian Football Confederation comprises of 44 national associations and is the largest and most diverse of FIFA's six governing bodies. Following the outstanding success of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Asian football's popularity has never been higher, and with Emirates Airline, Asian football fans can soon be flying high too.

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