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17th May 1998

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Contents NZ Cricketters
Kiwis here, but rain too

(1) Chris Cairns, Mark Priest, Adam Parore, Nathan Astle and Craig McMillan

(2) Paul Weisman, Mathew Horne, Craig Spearman, Mark Harrison and Daniel Vettori

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Kiwi coach predicts battle of batsmen

New Zealanders plan to attack Muralitharan

By Marlon Fernandopulle

New Zealand Coach Steve Rixon is of the view that batting will play a vital role ,and even decide the forthcoming three test series against Sri Lanka, which begins next week.

The former Australian wicketkeeper, now in charge of the New Zealand team arrived in Sri Lanka in the early hours of yesterday with his squad minus captain Stephen Fleming.

Fleming who is attending a Captains meeting in London is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka shortly.

In an Interview with the Sunday Times Rixon said,” Sri Lanka has a very strong and experienced batting line up with the likes of Jayasuriya, De Silva, Ranatunge and Mahanama who are all capable of big scores. New Zealand lack the experience in batting, but will look upto the seniors like Fleming, Astle,Young,Parore and Cairns to form the backbone of their batting. Any team which could stamp their authority early with their batting will hold the key in the Tests”

For the very first time the New Zealanders have three spinners in their tour party Daniel Vettori,Paul Wiseman and Mark Priest. Commenting on their inclusion Rixon said,”We were aware of the slow turning wickets in Sri Lanka, and so included three spinners.In fact the boys were trained with simillar bowlers back at home so that they would be able to counter the slow wickets in Sri Lanka.”.

“Although the majority of guys lack the experience and are new to Lankan wickets they have played on simillar tracks in Sharjah,India and Pakistan which should be very helpful here”, added Rixon

When aked how his team plans to counter Muralitharan who will be Sri Lanka’s trump card,the former Australian quickly replied saying, “Muralitharan is no Shane Warne, He is another challenge to us.We plan to attack him instead of going on the defensive.”

Sri Lanka will miss the services of Chaminda Vaas for the test series who recently underwent an operation on his right ankle.Commenting on the left arm fast bowler, Rixon said,”Vaas is a quality fast bowler who has impressed me a lot.He did very well in New Zealand,and Sri Lanka is going to miss him for this series.”

The three test series will be the Baptism for New Coach Roy Dias and Manager Ranjith Fernando.

Dias and Fernando who took over the reins last week from Bruce Yardley and Duleep Mendis will be keen to get Sri Lanka off to a flying start.

Sri Lanka and New Zealand have played twelve tests between them and Sri Lanka has won two,loosing four.Inthe last series in New Zealand Sri Lanka were beaten 2-0.Thus Arjuna Ranatunge who will be fielding a team with a couple of new faces will be eager to settle the score with the Kiwis.

The itinerary

May - 18,19,20 vs Board President’s Eleven at the Sara Stadium.

May -22,23,24 vs Board President’s Eleven at Asgiriya.

May 27-31 - First Test at the Premadasa Stadium

(Umpires : K T Francis,Ruddy Kirsten Third Umpire-Udaya Wickremasinghe,Stand By- Ignatius Anandappa)

June 3-7 - Second Test at Galle.

(Umpires:B C Cooray,Ruddy Kirtsen Third Umpire - K T Francis,Stand By Udaya Wickremasinghe)

June 10-14 -Third Test at the SSC

(Umpires : Peter Manuel, V.K Ramasamy,Third Umpire Ignatius Anandappa Stand By T M Samarasinghe)

Patana power too much for Trinity

By Shane Seniviratne

Isipatana showed that even in the bowels of the Trinity territory that their rugby supremacy is intact as they scored a runaway 24 points (two goals and two tries) to nil win over Trinity in their annual inter-school rugby match at Pallakella yesterday.

Isipatana led 17-nil at lemons.

The game was dominated by Isipatana with Shamly Nawaz leading the way. Isipatana went ahead in the 10th minute through a try by No8 and skipper Nawaz. The conversion was missed by fly half Charith Kodagoda. Three mintues later Shamly Nawaz scored his second try. However the conversion was fluffed by Charith Kodagoda which Gave Patana a 12-0 lead. Few mintues before the short whistle Isipatana took an unassailable 17-0 lead through a try by blind side winger Nishantha Kumar.The conversion was missed by Kodagoda.

In the second half Trinity played good rugby and did some splendid spoiling work which stalled Isipatana from scoring. But midway in the second half Isipatana took a 24-0 lead through a second half try by Nishantha Kumar. Kodagoda’s conversion was on traget to give Isipatana this splendid win.

Referee:John Bernard

Isipatana scored a hard fought 13-10 win over Trinity in the junior game earlier.


Kingswood scored a close 7 points (one goal) to 5 ( one try) win over Vidyratha in a Central Province Zone inter school rugby match at Nittawela last evening. A free-for-all marred the match with police and parents intervening to settle the issue.

Mahanama scrape through

Mahanama scored a hard fought 7 (one goal) to 5 (one try) win over Prince of Wales in a Western Province Milo Zone Two inter school rugby match at Moratuwa yesterday.

The game was keenly contested with both teams playing good rugby. Prince of Wales went ahead in the 10the minute through a try by Anjula Silva. But the conversion was missed by Saliya Asanga. Five mintues later Mahanama hit back through a try by Roy Wijesinghe The conversion was put over over by Sampath Samarasinghe which gave Mahanama a 7-5 lead at half time. There was no scoring in the second half.

Referee: S.W.Chang. - S.M.D.S.

Royal dazzle to beat St.Peter’s

By Saif Izzadeen

Royal dished out a dazzling display of rugby and sent out a warning to their traditional rivals S.Thomas’ as to what is in store for them in next week’s ‘Battle of the Blues’, as they scored a rousing 58 points ( five goals, four tries and one penalty) to 6( two penalties) win over St. Peter’s in the annual inter-school rugby match at the Sugathadasa stadium last evening.

Royal ruggerites were in a class of their own as they simply steamrolled the Peterites with a display of power rugby. Royal’s forwards combined well with the three quarters, which helped them to cross the opponents’ goal line on nine occasions.

On the other hand St. Peter’s have not recovered from their defeats at the hands of Wesley and Thurstan and they could not keep the attacking Royal ruggerites at bay.

The game was dominated by Royal from start to finish. They opened scoring in the fifth minute through a try by blind side wing three quarter C. Perera who ran 35 meters to score by the left corner flag. However the conversion was missed by R. Gonaduwa. Royal led 5-0. Eleven minutes later Royal went into a 8-0 lead through a 30 metre penalty by Gonaduwa. Royal stretched their lead to a 15-0 lead in the 25th minute as Royal’s line worked the ball which saw open side wing three quarter V. de Silva scoring by the right corner flag. The conversion was put over by Gonaduwa.

Royal took a commanding 22 -0 lead when full back Ranajaya Gonaduwa scored a try by forming the overlap and covered 40 meters after a three quarter move. Gonaduwa was on target with his boots as well. St.Peter’s reduced the lead to 22-3 through a 35 metre penalty by Ludowyake. Royal then scored two tries in quick succession through hooker Rahim and flanker Ravindu Athukorale, however the conversions were missed by Gonaduwa which gave Royal a 32-3 lead at the breather. In the second half St.Peter’s opened scoring through a 30 metre penalty by G. Ludowyke (32-6). But Royal scored six tries through wing three quarters C. Perera and V. de Silva out of which three tries were converted by Gonaduwa to give Royal a masive 58-6 win. Referee - Anil Jayasinghe

Royal won the junior game 44-0.

Navy Athletics today

The finals of the Navy athletics championships will be held today at the Sugathadasa Stadium (May 17).

This meet has been revived after nine years. In the past several outstanding feats have been witnessed at the meet.

Competitors from the Western, Eastern, Central, North Central, Southern and Training and afloat commands will be in the fray.

Rover pinpoints

Curator axed

A leading curator of a leading club was axed because he failed to see eye to eye with a leading cricketer about the preparation of the wicket.

Hair-pulling clash

Two leading netball administrators were seen at a free for all at a leading venue watched by the players and other officials who throughly enjoyed it.

Believe it or not!

The laying of the Mondo track at the Sugathadasa Outdoor Stadium cost 13 million rupees, the second Rs 26 million and the latest Rs 46 million.

Why so much? Rover’ asks, since there had been a lower bidder.

How many people squandered a part of this money? A commission will bring out the truth.

All settled now

All faxes coming to the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) were firstly received by the Sports Ministry, and later on by the NOC.

It is only now that faxes come direct to the AAA. Rover learns earlier stories were leaked before the AAA got to know them.

Undignified ducking

One umpire ducked his colleague after a high spirited night at Matara.

A fight was expected, but a third umpire prevented this.

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