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23rd August 1998

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Defending champions Kandy SC beaten
in Presidentís Trophy final
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Lankan pacies fail against Hampshire

Sri Lanka's limitations in their medium pace attack was fully exposed when Hampshire rattled up 213 for the loss of four wickets by tea in their three day game which commenced at Southampton yesterday. On a green top wicket and overcast conditions acting captain Sanath Jayasuriya won the toss and had no hesitation in asking Hampshire to take first lease of the wicket.

However Lanka's three pronged pace attack comprising Wickremasinghe,Pushpakumara and Villawarayan failed to make good use of the situation as the Hampshire openers Giles White and Derrick Kenway took full contol. Villawarayan was the most impressive of the bowlers beating the openers on many occasions.Wickremasinghe was on target and was unlucky when Jayasuriya at second slip dropped a difficult chance.

However he came back in his second spell and trapped Kenway lbw for 38 with the total at 77. Hampshire went into lunch at 90 for the loss of one wicket. After lunch Hampshire's second wicket pair of White and Will Kenway made full use of some erratic pace and spin bowling to entertain the sparse crowd at the Southampton ground.White enjoyed a second dropped chance by Jayasuriya off Villawarayan to unleash a couple of powerful shots on both sides of the wicket. Jayasuriya kept switching his bowlers but found no consolation until Wickremasinghe came back and found the outside edge of Kenway's bat for Prasanna Jayawardene to take a regulation catch.The right hander faced 112 balls and hit 11 boundaries in his 59 and added 118 for the second wicket with White.

Opener White continued to grow in confidence and looked threatening as he was joined by former England Test batsmen Robin Smith. Smith opened his account with two boundaries before he was beaten by a throw from Mahela Jayawardene attempting a cheeky single. A few overs later Jayasuriya castled new batsmen Mathew Keech as Hampshire went into tea at 213 for 4 wickets. Hampshire are currently eighth in the County Championship and are coached by Malcolm Marshall and Desmond Haynes. Southampton is expected to host two games in next year's World Cup.However, the few journalists covering the game had hardly any space to carry out their usual work.

Scoreboard

Hampshire

Giles White not out 89

D.Kenway lbw Wickremasinghe 38

W.Kendall c P Jayawardene b Wickremasinghe 59

Robin Smith run out 11

Mathew Keech b Jayasuriya 03

Extras(b 2,lb 3,nb 8)

Total(for four wickets) 213

Fall of Wickets :1-77,2-195,3-208,4-213,

Bowling

R. Pushpakumara4-0-13-0, P. Wickremasinghe 21-6-53- 2, M Villawarayan 13-4-31-0, C. Hathurusinghe 11-2- 39-0; N Bandaratilake 10-2-28-0,U Chandana7-1-33-0, S ,Jayasuriya 5.2-3-11-1


Nishantha try gives CR sensational win

By Bernie Wijesekera

A sensational try by CR skipper and scrum half Champika Nishantha, off a short tap, beautifully goaled by Nalaka Weerakkody gave them a 30-26 win over defending champions Kandy in the President's Trophy k.o. final at Longden Place yesterday.

The game between unbeaten champions CR&FC and Kandy SC turned out to be a grand finale to a hectic rugby season. Defending champions Kandy SC were leading 26-23 with just minutes before the long whistle but Nishantha's try sealed their fate. CR won by three goals and three penalties to a goal, to two tries and three penalties by Kandy in a heart-throbbing match. At the break CR led 16-11.

It turned out to be a titanic battle between the two leading teams in the local rugby scene. There was no let up as the respective forwards fought it out to the bitter end.

Kandy had the edge with their experienced and rugged eight. They played to a pattern with Priyantha Ekanayake joining the pack midway in the second session with Kandy leading 26-16. Both teams dished out superb rugby with several national players turning out for their respective teams.

In the long throws KSC had the better of CR with Asoka Jayasena, Malith Silva and Suranga Amarasinghe towering over despite a solitary effort by the seasoned Duminda de Silva for the CR&FC.

The throws to the tunnel were shared. But in the loose they fought a relentless battle with burly Shantha Rohana, Savantha de Saram, hooker Viraj Prasanna playing their hearts out to match their tough opponents where Basnayake, Jayasena, Harris Omar and Malith de Silva excelled.

CR owe much of their success to this nerve-tingling win to cap it off with a rugby double to fullback Nalaka Weerakody, who was the toast of all fans for his superb display, be it in defence, where he was hard to beat. Nalaka constantly formed the overlap. It was his deep kicks to touch that took much pressure off with the Kandy SC forwards constantly buzzing. Out of the 30 points scored by CR&FC, Nalaka alone was responsible for 15 with his spot-on kicks. He converted three tries from varying angles and arrowed three penalties with precision.

For KSC winger Indrajit Bandaranayake gave a brilliant display and was the showpiece.

With CR leading 30-26,Bandaranayake sprinted with the ball with a Carl Lewis like dash to a corner flag try, but referee Roshan Deen thought otherwise. Spectators close to the line, thought it was a certain try and the controversy raged. Referee Deen awarded a scrum to the dismay of the Kandy players. But the referee is the best judge.

If this try was awarded then Kandy could have nudged out the CR on the post.

It was a keenly contested game and neither side deserved to lose. The game was the winner in the end. The match had a tinge of a carnival atmosphere with Kandyan dancers in attendance. Former CR&FC rugby stalwart C.V.Gooneratne was the chief guest and gave away the Carlsberg President's Trophy to CR skipper Champika Nishantha.This was CR&FC's 16th successive win for the season.

Kandy opened scoring when their forwards charged from the kick-off. Off the ensuing scrum close to the line, the ball changed hands for centre Lasantha Wijesuriya to roll over the line for an unconverted try (5-0). Inthe eighth minute CR retaliated with a superb try initiated by their gutsy forwards for No 8 Nalin Wijegunewardena to fall over. Weerakkody added the extra points enabling CR to lead 7-5. KSC reduced the lead in the 22nd minute. Niloufer Ibrahim nailed a 45m penalty to make it 10-8.

It turned out to be a ding-dong battle, Two minutes later Weerakkody converted a penalty to make it 13-8.

KSC shot into the front again. Ibrahim reduced it with a simple kick in front. (13 -11). Just before the short whistle a Weerakkody 'special' saw CR leading 16-11. Then scrum half Niloufer Ibrahim's solo effort from the blind side where the nippy scrum half went over the line himself to make it 16 all.

KSC forwards playing to a pattern went on the offensive. In the process the CR defence was found wanting. A penalty put over by Ibrahim helped them to lead 19-16. This was followed by a try by Indrajit Bandaranayake who picked up the ball when the CR backs fumbled with the ball. Ibrahim added the extra point. (16-16). At this point Ekanayake walked into the middle.

In the 29th minute a late burst by the CR back division saw them scoring a smart try through Savantha de Saram who barged over for a short tap close to the line. Weerakody converted it beautifully to make it 26-23.

Referee Roshan Deen.


Murali for Lancashire?

Sri Lanka's Ace off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who cut the English men to size in the Emirates trophy final is set to make his county debut next season.Although negotiations have not been finalised, well informed sources say Lancashire has approached the curly right arm off spinner and is expected to sign him on for their next season.

Lancashire's current overseas player Wasim Akram who is leading the county this season has publicly stated that he will not be available next season as he has to concentrate on the World Cup.Lancashire is coached by former Sri Lanka coach Dave Whatmore and are currently second in the Championship table behind Surrey.They have already entered the Nat West Trophy final.

Pakistan's Saqlain Mushtaq who is representing Surrey has already claimed 59 wickets this season and is only behind Courtney Walsh who is the leading wicket taker. (MF)


New set of rules for umpires

New Delhi: (AFP) Harassed cricket umpires will now be able to consult a colleague watching television in the pavilion for all decisions except leg-before, the game's leading administrator said.

International Cricket Council (ICC) President Jagmohan Dalmiya said a new set of rules will come into effect on September 1 which will allow edges and bat-pad decisions to be referred to the third umpire.

In another move aimed at curbing controversy, the ICC wants to issue guidelines for television commentators, impose life bans on those found guilty of match-fixing and ensure uniformity in the decisions of match referees.

But there were no immediate plans to introduce mandatory drug testing. "We are not against it," Dalmiya said, "But tests have their hazards too and the ICC does not want it just because it is done in other sports."

In the past umpires were able to call for the third umpire's help only for line decision like run-outs, stumpings and adjudging boundaries.

Leg-before-wicket verdicts, the most contentious of all, will however remain the domain of the on-field umpires since the ICC was unwilling to make the game mechanical," Dalmiya said.

"Referring 1bw decisions to the third umpire will drastically slow down the game", he said.

"The ICC is liberal on the use of technology. But it should not become mechanical".

The new rules follow an uproar over controversial umpiring during England's 2-1 Test win over South Africa earlier this month.

Dalmiya, however, defended the men in white coats, saying "there is no mischief on anybody's part or error to such an extent in leg-before decisions which require technological support."

"Even the nine Test captains who met in London in May agreed that the quality of umpiring had improved."

Technology developed in South Africa to rule on leg-before appeals was limited, Dalmiya added. "It sought to project straight lines, vertical and linear, which cannot fully reflect the way a cricket ball behaves."

Dalmiya also wanted the ICC to examine the role of television commentators. "Sometimes their comments are quite unfair", he said. "Since most of them are ex-cricketers, their remarks added extra pressure on the umpires and vitiated the already tense atmosphere."

He hoped to sit together with independent TV companies around the world to find a solution.

The ICC Chief described match-fixing as a "heinous act" and said the world body was debating life bans on players, administrators or umpires found guilty.

"Betting is however a law and order problem. We can only forbid those connected with the game to keep away," he said.


WP Rugby coaching camp

The Western Province Rugby Football Union will conduct a coaching camp and a tournament at Negombo. This is organised by Basil Rodrigo, the rugby co-ordinator.

The coaching camp will be held at Major Raj Fernando grounds at Kurana, and the mini-tournament will be held today at the Harischandra MV. grounds, Negombo.

Assisting in the coaching are: S. W. Chang, S. M. Gunaratne, Indika Nishantha, Dilruk Gunaratne, Dinesh Rodrigo with Jayatissa Ratnayake as co-ordinator, Secretary of Harischandra MV, Negombo.

The chief guest at this tournament will be Dr. Maiya Gunasekera, the Chairman Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union and Iqbal Hassen, President, Western Province and Y. C. Chang, Chairman, Development Committee as guests of honour.


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