Herath returns to the top 10, Mendis just outside the top 20

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Rangana Herath and Kusal Mendis have charged up the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankingsafter steering Sri Lanka to a 105-run victory over number-one ranked Australia in the first Test in Pallekele on Saturday. It was only the second Test victory for Sri Lanka over Australia, the previous one being way back in September 1999. Herath, who took four for 49 and five for 54, has returned to the top 10 in ninth position after rising four places in the bowling chart, while Mendis, who won the player of the match award for his 176 in the second innings, has vaulted 27 places to 21st position in the batting table. Herath’s rise means he has opened up a nine-place gap on his… Read More →

Changing batting positions affected my shot selections

Lahiru Thirimanne

Strong faith in my technique to win Test recall – Thirimanne At 26, Lahiru Thirimanne could consider himself both lucky and unlucky; Lucky that he did make a promising start to his international cricket career  – modest 1056 runs in 50 innings from 26 Test outings and 2586 from 87 innings in 107 matches.  A solitary Test century 155 and 4 half  tons and 4 ODI tons and 16 fifties where in the longer version but more flattering ODI credentials, the former Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa product was quick to be identified by the country’s think tanks in the game for an uncanny inherent talent of copybook beautiful stroke play. Wearing the vice captain’s mantle the within a few… Read More →

Herath wraps up historic Sri Lanka win in first Test

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In the end, it was a blend of youth and experience that secured Sri Lanka a remarkable 106-run win against the top-ranked Australia side in the rain-hit first Test in Pallekele on Saturday (June 30). It was only its second Test win against the visiting side. Twenty-one-year-old Kusal Mendis paved the way with a masterful 176, while 38-year-old Rangana Herath applied the finishing touches, with 5 for 54 in Australia’s second innings, four of those wickets coming on the last day. For Australia, who began the day on 83 for 3 and was bundled out for 161, it will be a bitter pill to swallow. Not only was it the first defeat under Steve Smith’s captaincy, but it came against the No. 7 team, who had… Read More →

Sri Lanka spinners dominate on another rain-hit day

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Australia lost three early wickets to Sri Lanka’s spinners before Steven Smith and Adam Voges steadied the ship with the visiting side in all kinds of trouble in their attempt to chase down the target of 268 in a low-scoring thriller of a first Test in Pallekele. Australia was placed at 83 for 3, with Smith unbeaten on 26, when bad light forced the umpires to call tea early on the fourth day in Pallekele on Friday (July 29). No play was possible after that either as the light only worsened, and the match that has been hit by rain and bad light on all four days so far lost even more playing time. Australia still needs another 185 runs for victory… Read More →

Jon Holland called up to replace injured Steve O’Keefe

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Steve O’Keefe update Cricket Australia has provided the following update on spin bowler Steve O’Keefe who was injured yesterday during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Kandy. Bupa Support Team Physiotherapist David Beakley said:  “Steve injured his right hamstring while chasing a ball in the field during the second session yesterday. “Initial assessment indicates a moderate grade hamstring injury which means it is highly unlikely that he will be available for the remainder of the Test series. “Steve will remain with the squad in Kandy until the end of the Test and will undertake imaging on the injury upon his return to Australia.” Victorian left-arm orthodox bowler Jon Holland has been named in the squad to replace O’Keefe. National… Read More →

Sri Lanka expands its support arsenal

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“We always believe in engaging the best professional advice and technical support for our National Team” “Fielding is an area we intend to focus strongly on” Sri Lanka Cricket is pleased to announce the recruitment of Nic Pothas as the National Fielding Coach. The 42-year-old South African, a versatile wicketkeeper-batsman, who retired from 1st Class Cricket in 2011 having amassed over 11,000 runs in all forms and having taken over 500 catches is an addition to the Sri Lanka arsenal of coaching staff that has seen a strong boost in the recent past. Since he’s retirement from First Class Cricket in 2011 with the highest average of any wicketkeeper for Hampshire, Pothus has served as the Director of Cricket at… Read More →

Masterful Mendis steers Sri Lanka ahead

Kusal Mendis

Kusal Mendis struck a magnificent maiden century on Thursday (July 28), as Sri Lanka fought its way back into contention in the first Test against Australia. By the time bad light brought an early end to the proceedings for a third consecutive day a little after tea, Sri Lanka had opened up a lead of 196 runs in Pallekele. Playing in only his seventh Test, Mendis was batting on a monumental 169, with Sri Lanka 282 for 6 and eyeing a come-from-behind win. Giving Mendis company was Dilruwan Perera on 5. Victory had seemed light years away when Sri Lanka was bowled out for just 117 on the first morning, but a Rangana Herath-led bowling fightback restricted Australia’s first-innings lead… Read More →

Australia strikes early after taking 86-run lead

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Rain brought an early end to play for the second consecutive day in the first Test between Sri Lanka and Australia in Pallekele on Wednesday (July 27). At close, Sri Lanka was 6 for 1 in its second innings, having lost Kusal Perera lbw to Mitchell Starc for 4, which left it trailing by 80 runs after Australia’s first innings ended at 203 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 117. After Perera’s dismissal, a sudden downpour forced the players to take an early tea break. But the deluge soon made it impossible for the match to resume, and the umpires called stumps early again. Earlier, Australia had gone on to build up a lead of 86 runs, which could prove crucial in the low-scoring… Read More →

Khawaja, Smith steady Australia before rain arrives

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Usman Khawaja and Steven Smith extended Australia’s dominance after a fine show by the visiting side’s bowlers, who bowled Sri Lanka out for just 117, before rain had the final say on the opening day of the first Test in Pallekele on Tuesday (July 26). Australia was 66 for 2 at tea, trailing by 51 runs with Khawaja (25 not out) and Smith (28 not out) involved in an unbroken 59-run third-wicket partnership after it had lost David Warner (0) and Joe Burns (3), the openers, early in the piece. However, there was no play possible in the final session and that remained the score at stumps. Play will begin 15 minutes earlier than the scheduled 10am on Wednesday. In the post-lunch session, Nuwan Pradeep… Read More →