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18th October 1998

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Champs ready to face unknown Dhaka challenge

By Marlon Fernandopulle

ArjunaDespite a wealth of one-day experience that could not be matched by any other nation World Champions Sri Lanka set off for the Mini World Cup Tournament this week knowing very litttle of the conditions in Dhaka,Bangladesh. However Captain Arjuna Ranatunge and Coach Roy Dias expressed confidence that the team will live upto their credentials and strive to underline their growing reputation in the game.

Speaking to the Sunday Times Arjuna Ranatunge said,"Bangladesh is unknown to all of us. We are not aware of the type of wickets that will be prepared for the tournament. The lights are also new at the Stadium and so day - night games will have to be very closely watched. But given a level playing field I am confident that my team will be successful in this tournament".

"One-dayers are a very funny game. You are not given a second chance to come back. In addition the tournament in Bangladesh is played on a knock-out basis and if you have one off day,you are out of the tournament"said Ranatunge who led his team to win the Triangular in England after losing to South Africa in the first round.

When asked what type of wickets he expected for the tournament the veteran of 244 One-day Internationals replied saying "It is difficult to say but I expect something on the slow side that could be compared even to a Sub Continent track". Does that mean our batsmen could revel on it and our slow bowlers could be very effective?Yes, if we get the type of wickets we expect.But until you go and have a look at the wickets you cannot be certain.

One of the drawbacks for the team has been the lack of outdoor practice due to the frequent rains that have prevailed in Colombo. "We have had only two days of practice outdoors and today is the only day we had a fielding session,expressed Coach Roy Dias,with some disappointment. In the same vein Dias continued saying "that's no excuse we have to make best use of the little time left and ensure that the team is at it's peak performance".

Dias who has already tasted success with the Lankan team was also concerned that Sri Lanka has not been involved in any cricket after their England tour while most of the other countries are engaged in competitive cricket. To make matters worse there is no domestic cricket that is on, thus depriving the players of any match practice.

Amidst the gloom and doom is the news that Lanka's number one strike bowler Chaminda Vaas and lanky Nuwan Zoysa have recovered fully and ready to take wing if selected. The final squad of 14 will be selected after the trial game that has been scheduled for tomorrow.

Bowlers to decide tie-breaker

For the first time in the history of International cricket a 'bowl out' system will be used to decide the winner if bad weather prevents play in the Mini World cup tournament.

According to ICC match Referee Ranjan Madugalle the system is already used by the England and Wales Cricket Board(ECB) in their Sunday League Tournament.

Madugalle who leaves for Bangladesh on Tuesday briefly outlined the rules that will govern the new bowl out system which will be implemented only if a minimum of 15 overs each cannot be bowled in a match.

1. Five bowlers named in the team for the game will bowl two balls each at the stumps which will not be defended by batsmen.

2. The bowler will use his normal run up and speed.

3. The designated pitch will be used for the bowl out which will be held on the same day or the next day prior to the commencement of the game.

4. The full set of stumps with the bails will be used and the wicket keeper will have to stand away from the stumps.

5. The Umpires will stand in their usual position .

6 No extra ball will be given for a no ball.

7. In case the number of balls that hits the stumps are equal after the 10 deliveries the process will continue with a single delivery each,until a winner is found. (MF)

Taylor soars higher than history books

PESHAWAR, Pakistan,Saturday Australian captain Mark Taylor selflessly denied himself the chance of a world record test score today by putting the interests of his team first.

But his hopes of bowling out Pakistan twice in three days to win the second test were dashed by Ijaz Ahmed and Saeed Anwar who hit centuries in a 211-run second wicket stand. At the close of the third day Pakistan were 329 for two in reply to Australia's first innings 599 for four.

Taylor had equalled Sir Donald Bradman's highest test score of 334 by an Australian on Friday but opted to declare overnight rather than push on towards Brian Lara's record score of 375. "There are two reasons for that," he said. "I want to win a series in the sub continent and this is the only way I can be bracketed with Bradman."

Pakistan began their reply in belligerent fashion, Anwar and Aamir Sohail putting on 45 by the ninth over before Sohail mishooked Glenn McGrath to long leg and was caught by Damien Fleming for 31.

Anwar and Ijaz continued to score briskly on a placid wicket and Anwar completed his seventh test century and second in succession in this series immediately after tea. He eventually fell to off-spinner Colin Miller, caught behind by Ian Healy for 126. He hit 18 fours and three sixes and faced 226 balls.

Ijaz enjoyed a "life" on 99 when he was put down at backward point by Ricky Ponting before completing his fourth test century against Australia and ninth in all. It came off 210 balls and included 16 fours. By the close he had moved on to 125 and had hit 19 fours. Inzamam-ul-Haq was unbeaten on 31.

Schools' under-15 at Gampola

The Gampola Football League which is a very active one will give a boost with the conduct of the Under -15 tournament for schools in the area sponsored by Seylan Bank at the Weegulawatta grounds at Gampola from today (October 18th).

The opening ceremony of this much looked foward tournament will be held at 8 a.m.

The schools taking part and their groupings are:

Group A- Wickremabahu MMV., St Andrews College, Wallahagoda Vidyalaya, Jinaraja Vidyalaya, Thembiligala Vidyalaya.

Group B- Zahira, Gampola, Kalugamuwa CC,Gangasiripura Vidyalaya, Udugama Vidyalaya and Sri MU Amman Vidyalaya. (AF)

Have Your Say...

Our cricketers and athletes obtained land from the President at a special ceremony held last week, while our soldiers sacrificing their lives for the sake of the country. get nothing.

Write in your views to The Sports Editor, The Sunday Times, No 8 Hunupitiya Cross Road, Colombo 2.

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Malcolm Marshall impressed with Mario

Former West Indies bowling great Malcolm Marshall is reported to have been impressed with one of Sri Lanka's uncapped pacemen Mario Villavarayen who has ironically not found a place in the current 17-member pool after the recent tour of England.

Villavarayen (25) is reported to have caught the attention of Marshall, the current coach of Hampshire, during a first class match between Sri Lanka and the English county side.

Villavarayen, it is understood, has told friends that Marshall had given him "very encouraging" advice when he met the retired Caribbean fast bowler.

Villavarayen, who now plays for Tamil Union, is a bowler with a history of raw deals, missing out on a training stint at the Madras fast bowler's clinic on no less than three occasions.

The tour of England was his first sojourn with the Sri Lankan squad after he narrowly missed out on a preceding tour in South Africa.

Villavarayen played in three matches on the tour of England, all against county sides, taking nine wickets.

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