31st August 1997

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[Image]G-O-A-L. Upul Samarasinghe of State Services bangs in his second goal to defeat Uva 3-2 in a hotly contested match of the 41st National Hockey Championships at the Astro Turf. Goalie Mahagamage had no chance to stop the bullet-like shot. Pic by Dunstan Wickremaratne.

[Image]B-R-E-A-K. Havelocks scrum half Leonard de Silva slings out this pass before the Police forwards can nail him. Havelocks beat Police 38-13 and qualified to meet CR&FC in the semi-finals of the President's Trophy Rugby Football competition on Wednesday (September 3) at Longdon Place. Pic by Sajeewa Chintaka.

Aussies invite Lankan team

As a surprise move, the Australia Cricket Board has asked the Sri Lanka cricket team to tour Australia in December to play in a four-nation limited overs tournament.

Unconfirmed reports state that the Sri Lankan Cricket Board has asked for $1 million (Australian dollars) for the Sri Lankan team to play in Australia.

Since New Zealand and South Africa will be visiting Australia this year, it is widely known that the crowds would be reluctant to pay and watch these teams.

Hence in a fourth hour bid to put a bit of excitement into the Australian cricket season, the ACB apparently decided to ask if the Sri Lankans could come.

41st Senior Hockey Nationals

Colombo HA pip State Services

By Annesley Ferreira

Last year's joint champions Colombo HA pipped State Services into entering the semi-finals from Group B and will take on Defence Services in the first semi-final of the 41st Senior Hockey Nationals to be worked off at the Astro Turf this morning at 7 am.

The second semi-final will be played between Mercantile and Matale at 8.30 am at the same venue.

Colombo HA and Defence Services are the reigning joint champions.

The play off for the third place will take place at 1.30 pm, in this year's nationals conducted by the State Services Hockey Association on behalf of the Sri Lanka Hockey Federation. The event is sponsored by Singers.

In the two deciding matches played yesterday, Defence Services beat Matale 2-0 to head Group A while Mercantile led Group B with Colombo lying in second position.

This year an award will be made to the best player and best goal-keeper at the request of The Sunday Times, while the champions trophy-A A. Wirasinghe, runners-up trophies M.I.M. Bin Ismail and J.C.S. Wijeratne will also be given away by the Chief Guest, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, S. B. Dissanayake.

In the run up to the semi-finals, the results of the matches played at the Astro Turf and CCC grounds are:

State Services beat Nationalised Services 9-nil, Defence Services beat Schools 4/1, Mercantile beat Colombo 3-1, Wennappuwa beat Uva 2-1, Matale beat Kandy 7-nil, Uva beat Nationalised Services 3-1, Defence Services beat Galle 8-nil, Mercantile beat Wennappuwa 6-1, Colombo beat State Services 3-1, Schools beat Kandy 2-1, Colombo beat Wennappuwa 8-nil, State Services beat Uva 3-2, Mercantile beat Nationalised Services 10-nil, Colombo beat Nationalised Services 9 nil.

The semi-finals will be played today, Sunday at 8.00 and 9.30 a.m. followed by the battle for the third place at 2.00 p.m. with the finals fixed for 4.30 p.m.

Marlon weds

Marlon Fernandopulle, senior sports journalist attached to The Sunday Times and Midweek Mirror tied the nuptial knot when he married Miss Mignonne Dias at St. Theresa's Church, Thimbirigasyaya yesterday.

We at the Sports Desk wish him a happy wedded life.

President's Trophy Rugby

Kandy in unimpressive 35-8 win over Army

By Saif Izzadeen

Kandy SC were through to the semifinals when they scored an unimpressive 35 pts (a goal, five tries and a drop goal) to 8 pts (a try and a penalty) win over Army SC in a Carlsberg President's Trophy Inter Club knockout rugby tournament quarter final match at Longdon Place yesterday.

Even though the victory margin looks very impressive it was a hard stuggle for the hill capital club. To add to their woes their place kickers let them down very badly when they kicked astray about three penalties and five conversions.

Army played skillful rugby but they lacked the finish and some silly mistakes, at crucial stages, gave the advantage to the Kandy side.

Kandy SC who opened scoring early as in the fourth mintue of the match when their No 8 Apsi Nagata, who ran a good 45 metres and scored an unconverted try to give the hill capital club a 5-0 lead. Army, who brought play into the Kandy half earned a penalty through an infringement by a Kandy player.The kick by Upul Wijesiri saw the ball bisecting the uprights which reduced the score to 5-3 in the 11th minute.

Soon afterwards the Kandy lads scored again through another try by Apsi Nagata when he crashed through the Army defence to score a unconverted try to give Kandy a 10-3 lead.

After this there was some lack lustre rugby by both the teams who didn't play to expectations. But ten minutes into half time Army SC, who played attacking rugby, were rewarded when they scored through wing three quater Vajira Jayatilake, but the conversion was missed by Upul Wijesiri which helped Army to reduce the lead to 10-8.

Kandy's Taruwa Opethi scored one of the tries of the match when he was able to intercept a pass from Army line and ran a good 45 metres to score near the right corner flag. This gave Kandy a 15-8 lead at 'lemons'.

Kandy's fly half Nalin Dissanayake who dropped a beautiful goal, 25 metres out, saw the ball sailing over the uprights to give them a 18-8 lead soon after resumption.

Kandy scored again through their wing three quarter Imithi Marikar when he was able to touch down for an unconverted try to stretch their lead to 23-8 in the 20th mintue

Kandy SC, further increased their lead to 28-8 through a try by newcomer and wing three quarter Sameera Silva. The conversion was missed by Nalin Dissanayake. Kandy scored again a few mintues from the long whistle through Trauwa Opethi who touched down under the posts. The conversion was kicked correctly by Nalin Dissanayake to give the hill capital club a hard fought 35-8 win.

Referee: Roshan Deen

* Today in another quarter final game CH and FC will take on Petersons at Longdon Place at 5.00 pm to decide the team which will meet Kandy in the semi-final on Thursday.

CR & FC to meet Havies in Semis

Havelocks qualified to meet traditional rivals CR & FC in the President's Trophy semi-final with a win over Police by 38 points (3 goals, 1 try, 4 penalties) to 13 (1 goal, 2 penalties) in their quarter-final encounter played at Longden Place.

The Park Club led 18-3 at the half.

Centre, Topo Sukunawelu scored 2 tries, while Rushdi Faiz and Thushara Jayalath scored a try each for Havelocks. Sukulawelu goaled three tries and put over three penalties too with Amila Ratnayake putting over the other penalty.

In an earlier quarter-final match, CR & FC beat Air Force by 49 points (4 goals, 3 tries, 2 penalties) to 10 (1 goal, 1 penalty).

CR led 32 to 3 at lemons.

Naufer Rahim scored 2 tries while Asanga Rodrigo, Harin Gabriel, Rusiade Saukuru, Kishan Musafer and Nagiou Asalucy scored a try each.

Rohan Chintika converted 4 tries and out over 2 penalties.

Timosi Ladinalaga scored the try for Air Force with Kini Boco converting and Wasantha Anthony putting over the penalty.

Today CH & FC will take on Petersons at the CR & FC grounds at Longdon Place at 5 p.m.

The two semi-finals will be played on September 3 and 4 with the final to be played on Sunday, September 7 at 5 p.m.

Tendulkar praises Sanath

The batting of Sanath Jayasuriya came in for high praise from Indian skipper Sachin Tendulkar who went back to India after a disappointing Indian tour of Sri Lanka.

"I have not seen Don Bradman bat, but I have seen Jayasuriya. He played unbelievable shots. I have not seen anybody else bat like him before," the Indian skipper said. "He has got shots all round the wicket."

They simply love dashing 'Sonna Boy' in India

From Bandula Jayasekara in India

[Image]Indians love Sanath Jayasuriya more than any other cricketer in the world. They like his cricket; they like his simplicity; they like his strong arms and they like his balding head. Indian mothers want their children to be like Jayasuriya, some want to name their children after Jayasuriya. Amithab Bachchan selected Jayasuriya as a judge for Miss World. He will be the chief guest at the Sri Lankan Night in Bombay soon. His poster is displayed at the Calcutta travel fair held now and the boys from Punjab want to visit his house in Matara. Indian Newspapers salute him with "Sabash Jayasuriya". India knows that "Jaya" is victory and "Suriya" is sun. But he is the son that brings victory. Lanka is not the country of Bandaranaikes or Senanayakes nor the Tea Country. It is Jayasuriya country. Indians love to hate him but they want Jayasuriya to stay on and continue changing the game of cricket. One senior Indian Journalist wanted Sri Lanka to give Sanath to India and take the former Chief Minister of Bihar Laloo Prasad Yadav.

Indians hail Sanath as a man of action. I met a cross section of Indians and asked them about our Jayasuriya. They willingly shared their thoughts with The Sunday Times.

Muneesh Bushan - New Delhi - Engineer

Jayasuriya is Dynamite. He is the Napalm Bomb which creates a chain reaction. The only man in the world making one day cricket very exciting. The crowd puller who explodes making the target so easy for Sri Lanka.

Sapna Balhara - Ferozepur - Student

He is one of the best one day players in the world today. He has a very good eye and very strong forearms and he just gets the ball to the boundary line. He is also very athletic and a good fielder and he inspires the entire team to perform well.

Abaha Bushan - Daman and Div Commercial Artist

Sanath is the best cricketer ever born on this earth. He beats the ball as if he is beating anything. I wish he was born in India and pray to God that we get someone like Jayasuriya in India.

Gautam Verma - Bombay - Film Director

He is a great batsman. Jayasuriya has overshadowed everybody. Even Sachin gets confused and nervous when Sanath walks in. There is a lot of betting on his batting in India especially in Bombay.

Arvin Tucker - Goa - Computer Expert

He is a leader who has put so much effort. He is on top of the world.

Vikram Singh - Haryana - Marketing Rep

He is a murderer of the ball and will do anyting for his country. He can do any damn thing. Hit any ball and gets out to an easy ball.

Dr. Hemant Ardakar - Bangalore

He is a great man. I love him because every shot he plays is a cricketing shot. Many can score runs on a faster rate but Sanath is different as he collects his runs in style.

Wing Cmdr K.D. Sharma - New Delhi

He is absolutely great. No batsmen in the world can match him. Once he gets into form nobody can stop him. He is a man of action. I get so tensed and excited when he comes to play.

Kethan Divan - Chankyapura - Commerce Student

He is a brilliant batsman. He looks good only in your team as he thrashes the hell out of us. I always hate him specially when he wins the "Man of the Match" award.

I feel like shaking his head because India always loses against him. God please help us. We need a Jayasuriya.

Sandeep Avish - Delhi - Freelance Journalist

I feel jealous of him because no one has got his ways. A great batsman and his footwork is a treat to watch.

Aruna Devi - Madras - College Student

He is great, excellent. The kind of cricket he plays is great. He hardly gets ones and twos. To me Jayasuriya is a man of fours and sixes.

Anoop Jain - Calcutta - Executive TV 18

He is an allrounder who has improved the game and the run rate in fifty overs. I think India should take lessons from him.

Gautam Chawla - New Delhi - Management Consultant

He is very consistent and reliable and made people think about the game in the first fifteen overs.

Sadina Karachiwallah - Surath - Hotel Employee

He is fabulous and unbeatable. His might has changed the game as he does not care for any bowler. I think the Lankan team depends on him a lot and Jayasuriya has made Sri Lanka look so good.

Ashok - Deharadun - Executive

We hate him from the bottom of our hearts. But he is a classy batsman. We can only watch him thrash India.

The Indian Express Editorial of August 27 says that Chandrika Kumaratunga must take a tip or two from Sanath Jayasuriya and prepare to bat a long innings for peace. Vibha a political science graduate from Bombay speaking of Jayasuriya said: 'I like Sanath Jayasuriya because he is from Sri Lanka.

In the recent past it was LTTE and Sri Lanka. Now it is Jayasuriya and Sri Lanka.

He has overshadowed the LTTE and done your country proud. Long live Jayasuriya!

Jayasuriya is the man for all seasons and reasons. Why protect the politicians? Protect Jayasuriya.

He is a true son of Sri Lanka and a national asset.

Cappellini wins first power boat race

Cappellini negotiated the 51 laps on a placid Volga River in 69.15 minutes, nipping Gillman, the 1997 U. I. M. FI drivers series leader, at the wire by .03 minutes. The top two racers were the only drivers to complete 51 laps. Finn Pertti Leppala was third with a time of 69.20 for 50 laps, ahead of Sweden's Goran Karlof and Italy's Fabrizio Bocca.

Although conditions were ideal, 30^ Celsius temperature and humid under bright sunshine, only 13 of the original 23 starters were able to finish the race. Among the non-finishers were the Gold Leaf FI Racing Team pair of Massimo Roggiero and Jonathan Jones.

A day earlier, Roggiero had qualified with the pole position, only to have his engine fail on the second lap of Sunday's race, Jones, in fifth on the grid at the race start, had his engine quit three times after taking on too much water, the result of a high-sider (a lateral flip) early in the race, and was forced to abandon on the 21st lap.

After six races, Gillman leads the Drivers' Championship with 95 points, 20 ahead of runner-up Leppala. Cappellini is third with 65 points, while Karlof is fourth with 30. Sunday's result left Gold Leaf's Jones and Roggiero far back in the standings in 9th and 12th place respectively with 20 and 13 points.

The next round in the nine-race series will be the Italian Grand Prix at Campione, Sept. 14.

Koelmeyer new patron

[Image]Rodney Koelmeyer former president of the Gampaha District Circket Association and the President of the Wattala Cricket Club was nominated Patron of the Gampaha District Cricket Association at their recently concluded Annual General Meeting.

Gampaha District is the second largest cricket playing district in the country. Rodney Koelmeyer has been in the forefront of cricket in the Gampaha District.

Gampaha District Cricket Association played matches with Bangladesh, England under 19... etc.... which they won during his term as president.

Rodney Koelmeyer also received an award as one of the most outstanding personalities of the Gampaha District Cricket Association and a few others who received similar awards at this function were the former secretary to the Gampaha District Cricket Association, Royle Barthelot. Arjuna Ranatunga (Sri Lanka Captain) Dhammika Ranatunga and Chaminda Vaas. This function was held under the patronage of the current president Roshan Abeysinghe and his executive committee

Sri Lankan divers excel in Chinese Taipei

By Annesley Ferreira

Sri Lankan Diving TeamFollowing the glorious footsteps of the Sri Lanka cricket team and Susanthika Jayasinghe's silver winning 200 metres dash at the World Athletic Championships in Athens, comes the news that the Sri Lankan Diving Team has bagged two silvers, two bronze medals and seven diplomas at the 11th Asia Pacific Age Group Swimming and Diving Championships in Chinese Taipei.

This is the first occasion that Sri Lanka has won so many medals and diplomas in diving, outbeating their solitary bronze last year.

Putting Sri Lanka on the map was 12 year old Gayan Ranatunga of S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia. Ranatunga won a silver in the 1 metre spring- board while Harini Jayasekera won a silver in the 7.5 platform event.

The gold medal in the event where Ranatunga bagged a silver was won by Fan Ching Yao of Chinese Taipei.

Ranatunga also won a diploma in the 3 metres springboard event.

Harini Jayasekera who won a silver in the platform event was beaten by Sukrutai Tommaoros of Thailand an Olympic diver.

Harini also won a bronze in the 1 metre springboard and a diploma in the 3 metre springboard event.

Divers from Korea, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Kuwait, Qatar, Iran, India and Singapore participated in this meet.

Juhani de Mel too won a bronze in the 3 metre springboard event and also a diploma in the platform event.

Dilshan Karunaratne though beaten was not disgraced winning three diplomas.

Karunaratne won a diploma in the 1 metre and 3 metre springboard event and the 7.5 platform event.

M. Fayaz, the diving coach was a very happy man on the performances of his divers whom he says should go places in the coming championships especially the World Championships in November.

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