Young Sri Lanka must play with arrogance against India – Kumar Sangakkara

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“If Angelo Mathews is deemed unavailable for this vital clash, it could severely hamper the team’s chances of winning against India.” Sri Lanka go into its crucial do-or-die game against India with a few concerns having lost its opening match versus South Africa. Firstly, it has its stand-in captain Upul Tharanga suspended for the remaining ICC Champions Trophy group stage matches for a serious over-rate offence and, then, it also has ongoing concerns about the fitness of Angelo Mathews. If Angelo, Sri Lanka’s best batsman and captain, is deemed unavailable for this vital clash, it could severely hamper the team’s chances of winning against India. Even if Angelo is considered fit, the threat of slow over-rate will be a major… Read More →

Sri Lanka batting begins to gel: Has edge over Kiwis

The trophy hype has begun to spin full circle with the warm up matches gaining momentum. Of course, the build up focus is on tomorrow’s game between Sri Lanka and New Zealand at Warwickshire. While for the record, both sides have lost the first of two games, from a Sri Lankan point of view, the loss to Australia being in a very tight finish, Angelo Mathews’ team would thus not be dented when they take on the Kiwis at The Oval on June 3 . Comparatively, Sri Lanka has the edge having also won handsomely over Scotland the second of two games though they suffered a shock defeat in the first game. New Zealand has failed to touch wood recently…. Read More →

Herath rounds off record to bowl Sri Lanka to victory

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In a 259-run win it was fittingly a captains serenading as the wily veteran spinner Rangana Herath hogged the limelight in that euphoria with a record breaking personal milestone. His world record of 363 Test wickets by a left arm spinner at that level eclipsing New Zealander Daniel Vettori’s 362 was the high point as far as personal milestones go that he extended to winning fusion to put Sri Lanka 1-up in the 2-match Test series. Indeed, in an age defined by cricket mathematics as the fading years of a player’s career, Herath mounting an odyssey of getting better and better as he once again demonstrated by his 6 for 59 to destroy Bangladesh was great stuff. As Bangladesh crumbled… Read More →

Kusal Mendis comes in to his own in machine style

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Kusal Mendis’s return to top gear with an innings of 194 in Sri Lanka’s first Test match against Bangladesh was indeed magical. Having plodded to finding his nick, Mendis was quick to transform his batting in to a run harvesting stroke-play unleashing 19 boundaries and 4 sixes at the Galle International Stadium. It was a knock that put back the muscle of character from a hiccup of poor form at that level for the young star from Moratuwa who turned 22 on February 2. A characteristically free scoring batsman, Mendis considered a key U-19 find for the future, was quick to fire his way with the bat using his feet to good effect in a display of strokes all  round… Read More →

Buoyed Sri Lanka go for clean sweep despite Dickwella suspension

Australia's James Faulkner (3rd R) celebrates the wicket of Niroshan Dickwella of Sri Lanka (front L) during the second Twenty20 cricket match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Kardinia Park in Geelong on February 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Mal Fairclough / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE --

Basking in the aura of having already knocked out of contention the might of instant cricket in the 3-match T20 series, it will be a sky high fired up Sri Lanka that will go in to the third and final match tomorrow Wednesday against arch foes Australia at the Adelaide Oval. The 2-nil insulation of Upul Tharanga’s charges following back to back wins at Melbourne and Geelong has already put the Sri Lankans in the box seat of the trophy spoils. Of course, the handicap of the suspended in form batsman Niroshan Dickwella  from a dissent of an umpiring decision, dampening as it is will not deter the Sri Lankans final pursuit. Dickwella has been suspended for two limited-overs matches… Read More →

Individual positives from S. Africa; Young blood will mature from more exposure 

South Africa's captain AB de Villiers plays a shot during their One Day International (ODI) cricket match against Sri Lanka at St George's Park on January 28, 2017, in Port Elizabeth. 
This is the first ODI in the series. / AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH

South Africa’s 5-0 ODI clean sweep of Sri Lanka is a hard to digest result in a scenario of a plaguing injury sidelining of regular skipper Angelo Mathews and stand in Test captain and ODI vice captain Dinesh Chandimal losing his place. For the duo are trump card stuff on which the island nation’s cricket forward drive had shaped up fronting up as prime new generation torch bearers. Of course, trumping South Africa in their own backyard was from the very start a tall order given the superior player advantage the host country enjoyed even before a ball was bowled. Going in to the over month long T20, Test and ODI contests that South Africa had a professionally ingrained string… Read More →

Mendis underscores talent, but South Africa clinically professional

Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis (R) bats during the One Day International(ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and South Africa at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth on January 28, 2017. x / AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH

In an 8-wicket smarting at the hands of South Africa in the opening ODI, young batting spark Kusal Mendis riding back to form on a top score of 62 piercing the boundary line on ten occasions was the only consolation for the relative young Sri Lankan team. Given the strong odds Upul Tharanga’s Sri Lankans were pitted against of a strong batting pedigree of tried and tested frontline of the likes of run machines like A.B. de Villiers and Hashim Amla and Quintin de Kock and F. du Plessis, it was always a tough call for the visitors; what is more with their skipper Angelo Mathews out of action. That Sri Lanka went in with a debutant in 23-year old… Read More →

Head coach Ford and staff have plateful on their hands

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Skipper Angelo Mathews post-match statement that ‘it was my worst defeat as captain’ is indeed a manifestation as to how badly Sri Lanka was bruised by hosts South Africa in the 118-run innings defeat of the third Test match at Johannesburg last week. It signalled the 3-nil whitewash in a series Sri Lanka was comprehensively outplayed by the hosts in all departments of the game. If the losses in the first two Tests were smarting, the third Test annihilation of Mathews team rubbed the salt in the wounds. Of course, the swaying factor that made the big difference between the two teams was the superior South African pace bowling attack. At the New Wanderers Stadium pitch which is pace friendly… Read More →

Virat Kohli was super star of 2016, Herath in top 10 list

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli celebrates after winning the fifth and final Test cricket match between India and England at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on December 20, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ARUN SANKAR / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT

Virat Kohli was super star of 2016, Herath in top 10 list;  India No.1 Test XI, Australia No.1 ODI XI By Srian Obeyesekere While Sri Lanka’s spin bowler was the only player from the island nation to bowl himself in to the top ten performers fold, the international cricket year gone by was hogged by India’s Virat Kohli who proved to be the batting phenomenon of 2016, and of course the successor to all time great batsman Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli drove home his status quo by also going a notch further in turning things new succeeding long time Test captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to cap it in a flamboyance by leading India to finish as the ICC No.1 Test team…. Read More →

Greater discipline required by Sri Lankan batsmen

Sri Lanka batsman Dimuth Karunaratne (R) plays a shot during the fourth day of the first Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka on December 29, 2016 at the Port Elizabeth cricket ground in Port Elizabeth. / AFP PHOTO / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

Sri Lanka’s 206-run first Test debacle must certainly raise question marks in Skipper Angelo Mathews camp. While the Sri Lankan bowlers did a good job dismissing the opposition for 286 in the first innings, the batting floundering for 201 in reply sqaundered the good work of the bowlers, thus putting the onus on them when South Africa batted a second time to declare on an imposing 406 for 6 wickets. Only relative newcomer Dhananjaya played a disciplined innings to top score with 43 followed by skipper Mathews’ 39 with Dinsh Chandimal at the top order unable to convert his 28 in to bigger things. That apart, it was all pathetic with the top four of Dimuth Karunaratne (05), Kaushal Silva… Read More →

Upul Tharanga – A new awakening from cold storage to trophy Glitter

Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga celebrates his team's good bowling innings during the opening match of an ODI series Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe in Harare, on November 14 2016.  / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai Njikizana

From cold storage to strolling the park as the Sri Lanka cricket captain holding aloft the championship trophy! It is an apt summing up of 31-year old Upul Tharanga’s international career. Indeed, the left hander, who walked in to the Sri Lanka ODI team on August 2, 2005 against the West Indies in a home series as an opening batsman partnering Marvan Atapattu, soon insulated himself as an aggressive stroke maker in the role. His epoch making double ton partnership pairing with Sanath Jayasuriya versus England in England in a Test match remains memorable to this day. But Upul Tharanga sadly lost his way following a slight lean patch subsequently. Where many batsmen in that situation had benefitted from the… Read More →

ඉලක්කය 2019 ලෝක කුසලානයයි

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අපගේ මීලග ප‍්‍රධාන ඉලක්කයක් විය යුත්තේ 2019 වසරේ එංගලන්තයේ පැවැත්වෙන මීලඟ ලෝක කුසලාන සීමිත ඕවර 50 තරඟාවලියේ ශූරතාව දිනා ගැනීමයි. මේ අරමුණ ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා ක‍්‍රිකට් ආයතනයේ තවත් ඉලක්කයක් පමණක් නොව රටේ දෙවැනි පුරවැසියාවන අග‍්‍රාමාත්‍ය රනිල් වික‍්‍රමසිංහ මහතා ක‍්‍රිකට් කී‍්‍රඩකයන්ට ලබා දුන් අලූත්ම අභියෝගයයි. අරලියගහ මන්දිරයේදී සැප්තැම්බර් 20 වෙනි අඟහරුවාදා අග‍්‍රාමාත්‍යවරයා ක‍්‍රිකට් ක‍්‍රිඩකයන් මුණ ගැසුණේ, ටෙස්ට් තරඟාවලියේදී ඕස්ටේ‍්‍රලියාව 3-0 කින් පරාජය කළ ලංකා ජාතික කණ්ඩායමටත් 19 න් පහළ කණ්ඩායමේ එංගලන්ත සංචාරයේදී ටෙස්ට් හා එක්දින තරඟවලියන් දෙකම ප‍්‍රථම වරට ජයගත් ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා අවුරුදු 19 න් පහළ කණ්ඩායමට උපහාර පිදීමට පමණක්ම නොව ඔවුනට තව වසර තුනකින් ළගාවිය යුතු ඉලක්කයක්ද ලබා දීමටය. එම ඉලක්කය 2019 ඕවර පණහේ ලෝක කුසලානය දිනා ගැනීමටය. පාසල් ක‍්‍රිකට් ක‍්‍රීඩාව දියුණු කිරීම ජාතික මට්ටමේ ක‍්‍රිකට් ක‍්‍රිඩාව දියුණු කිරීමේ ප‍්‍රධානම මාර්ගය… Read More →

Premier’s buoying world cup tonic to SL cricketers timely

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The buoying tonic to the Sri Lanka cricketers by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to go for the 2019 World Cup is indeed timely. For a young blend at the helm of which is the experienced skipper Angelo Mathews this reminder to the national cricketers from high up 3 years hence to the cricketing showpiece event must serve as soul stirring in the island nation’s new generation thrust to scaling international heights. The concentrated drive that begun some months ago under the administration of the game’s nerve centre’s President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Thilanga Sumathipala has significantly just begun to get into rhythm on the back of new blood or young guns that have raised their hands to deliver. The… Read More →

යහපත් පරිපාලනය නැතිවූ අභිමානය යළි ගෙන එයි

SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala & Secretary Mohan De Silva

දීර්ඝ කාලයක් තිස්සේ අතුරු කමිටු මගින් පාලනය වෙමින් අසාර්ථක පරිපාලන කාලපරිච්ෙඡ්දයක්ද ටෙස්ට් ක‍්‍රිකට් කණ්ඩායම දුර්වල ක‍්‍රීඩා විලාශයන් දැක්වූ යුගයක්ද නිමාවට පත් කරමින් තිලංග සුමතිිපාල මහතාගේ සභාපතිත්වයෙන් යුත් තේ්රී පත්වූ ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා ක‍්‍රිකට් පාලක මණ්ඩලය අපට අහිමිව තිබූ ක‍්‍රිකට් අභිමානය දැන් යළි උදාකර ගනිමින් සිටී. ටෙස්ට් හා එක්දින තරගාවලිියන්හි ශ්‍රේණිගත කිරීමේදී 1-3 ස්ථානවල දීර්ඝ කළක් රැුඳී සිටි ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා ක‍්‍රිකට් කණ්ඩායමට පසුගිය වසර කිහිපය තුළ හත්වන හා පස්වන ස්ථාන දක්වා පසු බැසීමට සිදුවිණි. ටී 20 තරඟවල හිමිවූයේ අට වන ස්ථානයයයි. දක්ෂ පරිපාලන නිලධාරීන් වන තිලංග සුුමතිිපාල මහතා සහ ලේකම් මොහාන් සිල්වා මහතා ඇතුළු කණ්ඩායමේ දුරදර්ශී සැලසුම් අනුව විදේශික පුහුණු කරුවන්ගේ සහායද ඇතිව ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා කණ්ඩායම නැවතත් හිණිපෙත්තට යාම දැන් අරඹා තිබේ. තවත් ආකාරයකින් පැවසුවහොත් නැතිවූ අභිමානය යළි ළඟා කරමින් සිටී. පසුගියදා… Read More →

Sri Lanka well ingrained in rebuilding drive: Lifted biggest chunk of gold off Aussies

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The humming winds breathe draughts of a new aura for Sri Lanka Cricket flaunted on new blood driven by handpicked foreign expertise, thanks to the far sightedness of the SLC President, Thilanga Sumathipala and his able administrative machinery. Significantly, the Sumathipala administration has put Sri Lanka cricket on track from what was apparently tripped in no man’s land due to no cohesive management plan by several longtime interim administrations that had bungled the country’s cricket. That this new phase of the island nation’s cricket took off on all fours during the recent tour of Australia here is significant. For, the assignment for Angelo Mathews and his charges was like getting past a massive iceberg when it came to the super… Read More →