22nd August 1999
By Bernie Wijesekera
The World Cup one-day champions Australia, with a balanced side consisting of several batsmen high in world rankings will go out firm favourites to enter the finals of the triangular series between India and Sri Lanka starting at the picturesque Galle Esplanade, on Aug. 22.
Sachin Tendulkar, who will lead the Indian team, in the absence of Azharuddin, with immense skills could put tremendous pressure on the W.C. champions and Sri Lanka with a young and talented team.
Tendulkar, undoubtedly the leading batsman in the world has made a tremendous impact with his batting exploits and has been a scourge to the Lankan bowlers.
Name the shot he will play with charm and aggression. The Australian bowlers are quite aware how he caned them in their last tour to India. He could cut, drive and pull effortlessly. The Aussie fielders were made to look mere spectators, with the beautiful shots that came from his blade.
In the end Tendulkar ended up with 446 runs at 111.50. His strike rate was 80.65, speaks well for his ability.
The Aussies were beaten by a better side at that time and in no way disgraced.
India has the batsmen to pile up the runs with players of the calibre of S. Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, who made a mockery of the Lankan attack in the last W.C. tie in England, when they paired for a world record 318 runs - a highest in a one day match.
He gets tremendous support from Ajay Jadeja, Srinath and Anil Kumble to be in contention for the championship. They are a seasoned side, blended with youth and expereince. The Indian bowlers are led by "destroyer" Javagal Srinath.
Srinath will be well supported by the spinners led by on -the spot 'leggie' Kumble to provide excitement to the fans.
The Indian batsmen know how to counter spin bowling especially that of Shane Warne and Stuart McGill or Sri Lanka's spinning artiste M.Muralidaran with their own strategies.
Australia still brimming with confidence after their effortless World Cup final win over Pakistan has a team that could adjust to any conditions, with a strong batting line up going down the line. Led by Ice-cool Steve Waugh, a superb competitor who leads by example. Taking over the reins from Mark Taylor, he has already led the team from the front drawing a series in the Caribbean and to add to it to emerge the top team in the shorter game IX - the World Cup.
The Aussies are a well tuned team with a fine mixture of righthand and lefthand batsmen. Gilchrist (who has a highest score of 153 against Sri Lanka, in a one-day at the MCG) early this year. Mark Waugh, Darren Leheman, M.Bevan, Steve Waugh and Ponting, have a strike rate of over 70. To add to it the dashing Queensland batsman Andrew Symonds, has had a good stint for Kent this summer. The experienced Tom Moody and Brendon Julian. For bowling it will be swing and seam specialists Glen McGrath and Adam Dale.
They have a very good fielding side almostin par with S.Africans, which is a decisive factor in the shorter game.
Ponting is in the class of Jonty Rhodes.
Fullyfit Shane Warne, should be a key bowler in the Aussie bowling armour.
The new look Sri Lanka team is led by one-day super star, Sanath Jayasuriya.
Sanath has a tremendous task in hand to resurrect the team's image after the setbacks in the recent World Cup, when Lanka's cricket hit a new low.
Jayasuriya's fearless approach, with a mix of charm and aggression, when he sets about the task of caning the bowlers all over, to be tagged as one of the leading batsmen in the world.
Chasing big scores with his opening partner Romesh Kaluwitharne is nothing to them to bring the opponents to submission.
But those feats have somewhat disappeared from them in recent times.
Today, Jayasuriya has to bat with much more composure, with the added responsibility on his shoulders. With the return of Dav Whatmore to guide and help the team to resurrect their image, with a revamped team. Newcomers, will take the field in the shorter game in place of Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva and Roshan Mahanama (retired) and H.Tillekeratne. This the selectors have done with an eye to the future. The Lankans have the experience of Marvan Atapattu, vice-captain Mahela Jayawardena, Romesh Kaluwitharne, Chaminda Vass, M. Muralideran, P.Wickremasinghe, Upul Chandana among the old brigade. Among the newcomers youngsters Indika de Saram, Nimesh Perera, Suresh Perera (as an utility allrounder), Indika Gallage and Russel Arnold. This will be an ideal baptism for the youngsters for a better future. The bowling looks mediocre when they have to confront some seasoned campaigners drawn from the visiting countries, who possess the technique and the strokes to bat freely even under pressure.
A plus mark is that the Lankan fielding looks much improved and sharper at present unlike in the recent past. Whatmore has given special emphasis on fielding.
The selectors, headed by Sidat Wettimuni, should be commended for making these changes and giving that much needed exposure to the youngsters, with an eye to the future. Other cricketing nations have adhered to this principle. Though Sri Lanka has made a belated move but it is stillnot too late. Even if the Lankans lose in the end, their efforts will not be in vain, as the team will make a concerted effort to uplift the game which has hit a low patch in recent times. When the Lankans win they win in style.
Duminda de Silva of Track Masters Sports Club and Manoji Preethika of Ports Authority was crowned the Netball King and Queen respectively in the Western Province open league championships conducted by the Western Province Netball Association and sponsored by ICL Marketing Private Limited concluded at Police Park.
Ports Authority with Hatton National Bank were declared joint champs in the A division with Spice Birds SC and Track Masters SC joint runners-up.
Air Force won the B division title with Hatton National Bank as runners-up with Arpico the C Division champions and Nomads the runners-up.
Maliyadeva BMV won the girls under 19 title with Kalutara BMV runners-up while Kalutara BMV won the under 15 title with Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda, as runners- up.
Pannala National Schools won the under 19 title with St Joseph's Nugegoda as runners- up.
The LSR Midsummer Windsurfing championships to be held today at the Airport Garden Hotel Lagoon at Seeduwa at 10.30 a.m. will see a battle on the hands of Thushal Gunawardena the defending champion.
The other contenders for this trophy donated by Baron de Livera the President of the Windsurfing Association will be Thushal's brother Priyantha, Lalin Lalendra and Mahesh Seneviratne.
This new trophy donated by Baron is because the trophy had been won on three occasions by Mark Anthony Perera which enables him to keep the trophy.
Mark is presently a instructor in Windsurfing in Oman.
He represented Sri Lanka at the Goodwill Games in Russia and won the 6th place among participants from 28 countries.
Thushal Gunawardena won the 7th place in the last Asian Games held in Bangkok.
The chief guest at this championships will be H.M.S. Samaranayake the Chirman of the Ceylon Tourist Board while the judges at the championships will be Ray Wijewardena, Thilak Weerasinghe and Shanthi Abeyratne.
This championships in sponsored by Carlsberg, Lanka Sports Reizan, Airport Garden Hotel, and Windsurfing equipment will be gifted by North Sails and Aqua Dynamis.
Bloomfield Cricket and Athletics Club organised a ceremony to bless Sri Lanka's Cricket Captain Sanath Jayasuriya and the Lankan team. All were present except two seniors who are known to be anti-Blommfielders while one other excused himself due to his wedding and honeymoon.
A committee appointed by the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka was going around inspecting the venues for the world Youth Cup to be hosted here in January next year.
Rover learns a ground in the Gampaha District was inspected by this committee where not only the equipment was lacking, but no sight screens and scoreboards were to be found to play matches of this nature. Further Rover learns that these pavilions had no electricity. What a shame.
A leading cricketer sidelined now was told in no uncertain terms by press officers of his old school to learn how to treat the press. They also told it was the press that had been instrumental in building up his image, and why now hit them below their belt. Not done indeed.
Rover scores again
The Chinese TT coach has been reinstated to train the SAF games pool while Mahinda Ellepola has been instructed to train the junior team for the Asian Championships in India. Since then, the Chairman of Selectors has tendered his resignation as the Vice President, since he does not want to hold two posts.
Free for all
Two competitors at a sports event worked off at the Sports Complex near the Parliament were hammering each other, over what is left to be learnt. Many witnessed this free for all. Is this sportsmanship?
What a party
A paduru party was held on a grand scale near the Parliament Complex a few days ago which was attended by a lot of big names including a VIP. The fee to attend this party was Rs. 2000 each - where everything was found from a caterer from Dehiwela.
Sumathipala never did this......
It seems that the members of the Cricket Board's interim committee are cracking up under pressure. The other day its chairman Rienzie Wijetilleke lost his composure and slammed the phone down when he was asked to comment on Arjuna Ranatunga's unauthorised entry to Canada. Rover has to admit here that Wijetilleke's predecessor Thilanga Sumathipala may have had his shortcomings but he was an excellent Public Relations Man, for never did he slam down phones and was available to the media even at 12 midnight.
Remember the famous Sinhala song "Sing-yore" about a defeated politician. Well our man Sunil Perera who himself is an ardent cricket follower has added something to the song. It goes. . . "mata captaincy ekath nathiuna, vice captaincy ekath nathiuna".
Rugby club made to pay
Guess why a certain Colombo rugby team is on the decline. The story doing the rounds is that their masters have stopped paying them. So they don't perform to expectations. The dangerlight has been flashed.
Name these Cricketers
1.! Who was the Sri Lankan batsman who during the World Cup was told at 2 a.m. that it was time he had his sleep to be fit for next morning's play?
2. Who was the lucky cricketer who during the World Cup was wined, dined and entertained away from the rest of the team for three days by a fellow Sri Lankan ? Was permission granted by the Tour Manager?
3. During a formal dinner who were the females who'gate-crashed' much to the disgust of the organisers, two of whom had to give up their places, to appease a cricketer who threatened to leave the dining hall unless the 'gals' were accepted?
4. Who were the two Sri Lankan bachelors who warmed their hearts and those of two 'gals' from Durham on a cold and windy morning under the bridges of Durham?
5. Was it the Manager or the calculator that miscalculated resulting in the overpayment of pocket expenses to players twice during the Sri Lanka A tour?
6. Who were these five players from the A team found missing during departure time to the ground and had to pay the taxi fare and suffer £10 fine?
7. Who was the Sri Lankan Doctor who presented a cheque valued almost Rs. 50,000 as a token of appreciation of the Sri Lankan A teams performances?
The DMB Group of Companies stepped into the scene to sponsor Golf and their first choice was the August Medal Round through their General Manager, the affable Michael Matthysz.
In the 'A' Division Zal Chatty was once again in tremendous form when he clipped 2 strokes from par 71 to take the prestigious medal and special award from DMS Garments. Jehan de Saram, another sprightly young star was able to clip only one stroke and remain content with 2nd position.
Mohan 'Kiwi' Alles has been telling the whole community and fraternity about the success of his life which unfortunately did not turn out the way he wanted it to be. In the'B' Division he was shooting fluently giving Hussain Esufally a few frights. They were neck to neck and so it ended on nett 68 each. Esufally the sharper of the two had a better back nine and took the medal and Alles took all the sympathies.
Rathven de Livera is an absolutely raw rookie but has shown hellish talent off the tees. He hits a long ball and is pretty accurate too. Through the medal round carrying a charitable handicap of 25 he cracked a great net 65 to tie with Navin de Silva and win the 'C' division medal with better back nine score. De Livera and de Silva will be hauled before the handicap and rewarded for their excellent performances with substantial cuts to their handicaps.
The no rush man Chris Candappa found his shots quite obedient - they seldom strayed and on the greens they responded to make him beam. Candappa moved slowly and measurably to end on a pretty century which gave him nett 74 and the Medal for the Seniors. He caned G Manuelpillai into 2nd place with 77.
Three rounds worthy of mention came off the Club heads of Ambassador Y Sugiyama from the land of the rising sun. His nett 68 was great. Then came Bernard Fonseka and Neil Chanmugam from the Pearl of the Orient with nett 69 each - quite creditable considering age.
Paul Goh of Singapore Airlines took off high and wide almost non-stop. He shattered the neighbourhood and splashed the water on the way to the highest for the day 126 outbeating John Leembruggen and Basil Amerasinghe who steadied themselves over a short period to settle on122. C I Gunasekera cracked a hurricane 101 and Ferrin Careem crawled to 106 despite 2 jewel pars on the back nine.
Arjun Dharmadasa, D M Hettiarachchi and M Jameel went for centuries after a massive training session. Arjun has a chip and putt area at Connaiassance but he found those greens far too fast. Hettiarachchi ran into the normal cycle of off and on. This time the chain gave way and he was off. Jameel had 2 attacks of aquaphobia which helped him to get to the century mark quicker. The order of merit was Hettiarachchi 107, Jameel 108 and Dharmadasa 116. Hettiarachchi collected handsome awards from Jameel and Dharmadasa and the celebrations stretched into quite an elastic afternoon. These enthusiasts are a popular trio.
Koreans Win Roses
It was no bed of roses when 'Duchess' Abhayaratne and teenage school girl Shannon Kern met with seasoned campaigners Heeran Bang and N H Noon, the Korean foursome specialists in the finals of the Rose Bowl Ladies Foursome Competition on the Ridgeways of the Royal Colombo Golf Club.
An unprecedented record number of ladies participated in this extremely popular event and the competition stretched out into many weeks. The Korean pair of Bang and Noon were exceptional as a pair and they apppeared to have a clever understanding of what they had to do dealing with each stroke, and they took full advantage of the 4 strokes they got from Abhayaratne and Kern.
From the very commencement there was very little to choose between the 2 pairs though it was felt that the Koreans played to a positive plan miserly looking after the gift of 4 strokes they got. It was one up or one down at most times with Shannon Kern and Heeran Bang showing brilliance a couple of times and the Duchess for once not showing anything regal off the tee. NH Noon was steady and ready to pounce on any lapse.
The Koreans combined superbly, played to plan intelligently and eventually clinched the Rose Bowl at the 18th with a par. They went one up to the Clubhouse to receive a of resounding round of applause from a great crowd present. Heerab Bang has won the Bowl 4 times 3 consecutive times with NH Noon.
The Award Ceremony was well attended with MR Lee the President of the Korean Golf Association giving away the Rose Bowl to Mrs Bang and Mrs Noon amidst applause, chatter and smiles over tea and cookies.
The ladies section handled the competition with skill and in a great spirit of comaraderie.
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