Sri Lanka lacked play maker batsman; Bangladesh showcase professionalism

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The absence of Angelo Mathews and Kusal Janith Perera was badly felt in Sri Lanka’s 90-run loss to Bangladesh in the first ODI in Dambulla. Sri Lanka clearly lacked a play-maker batsman to carry the innings. In this context, it is relevant recalling past game plan’s on which Sri Lanka’s ODI cricket thrived. Marvan Atapattu was one of the best batsmen in carrying an innings to the end which is an important aspect Sri Lanka laid emphasis one time. There were also Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara who fitted to that role of innings building. With regular captain on an injury limbo, Kusal Janith Perera has been the closest to coming good as a lynch pin batsman, but not to… Read More →

Cricket heat shifts to Dambulla as Sri Lanka brace for Bangladesh

Dambulla Ground

Cricket heat grips Sri Lanka as never before. That Sri Lanka’s the Test loss to Bangladesh last week has lent to a charged up scenario as Sri Lankan cricket fans at large, and of course the cricketers look for evening up of scores. In such a tempo, that the rivalry shits in to the instant cricket would not matter for the die hards for whom a match is a match, and that bleeding Bangladesh is what matters from a Sri Lankan perspective when the contest shifts to rural Dambulla. The opening day-night gets underway on Saturday 25 with a sell out crowd expected. Indeed, from a local fan point of view defeat to the minnows of Test cricket was a… Read More →

Cricket in Sri Lanka not dead by any means, Let us be sporty and acknowledge Bangladesh

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Sri Lanka did lose to Bangladesh which is lamentable. That the loss was the result of certain mistakes by the home team in a see sawing contest that the minnows of Test cricket came on top is how the game went. The costly follies by the Sri Lankans like dropped catches, poor run out throws, and four specialist batsmen getting out on the trot were contributory factors. There have been certain grey areas mainly the fielding that needs to be nipped in the bud. While the Sri Lankan camp has to get back to the drawing board and recoup addressing those grey areas, a very dismaying factor is to find a good part of the local media in a seeming… Read More →

Sri Lanka must take lesson from poor fielding, middle order lapse

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Sri Lanka’s loss to Bangladesh that handed them a historic centenary Test triumph that had eluded the minnows would certainly kindle many regrets from the second Test match at the P. Saravanamuththu Stadium. For a match that saw Sri Lanka ride back from a first day early disaster to a point of dominating Bangladesh on Dinesh Chandimal’s laborious century, it must give the side a definite bad feeling; a bad feeling that the Sri Lankan fielders primarily contributed to that downfall by letting Bangladesh off the hook when the host team was in total control on the third day. The three lives to centurion Shakib Al Hasan, first a dolly catch put down by Upul Tharanga when he was on… Read More →

Chandimal a faith restoring, team redeeming ton of character

Dinesh Chandimal

It was a character defining Test for Dinesh Chandimal in the ongoing second Test against Bangladesh at the P. Saravanamuththu Stadium. His unbeaten 138 off 300 balls spanning 10 boundaries and a six was the salvaging cornerstone of Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 338 at the P. Sravanamuthuthu Stadium. Converting a gloomy situation on the opening day to taking his team to safety as wickets tumbled. There was Sri Lanka with the back to the wall as Bangladesh trailing 1-nil put the skids sending back the cream of the batting to the pavilion. 35 for 3 and 70 for 4 with Asela Gunaratne falling for 13 after Tharanga, Karunaratne and Mendis had perished; the latter stumped in a dancing… 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 →

Gurusinha to lift player standards in dual roles a major step forward

Asanka Gurusinha

Sri Lanka cricket’s (SLC) appointment of former cricketing great Asanka Gurusinha of 1996 world cup fame in the dual roles of  President, Thilanga Sumathipala it is a far sighted chain linking cohesive step that puts a highly versed man as the pivotal linking factor in coordinating a series of official functions connected to team performance on tour. Gurusinha would be the effective coordinating linkman revolving around the cricket team. It would relate to coordinating selections, team policy, captain pow wows, high performance other tour details to importantly player assessment feed backs to the cricket committee and executive committee as a whole. This necessary link chain for optimum results that had been a lacking factor in the past has been plugged… Read More →

Dilruwan’s 3/53 the pick as Herath closes on record

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  On a day the spin duo of Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath shared six wickets between them in bowling out Bangladesh for 312, the third day’s high point was the Sri Lankan skipper edging closer to the personal milestone of becoming the highest  wicket taking left arm spinner in Test cricket history at the Galle Esplanade yesterday. If it was the 34-year spin all rounder Dilruwan Perera who was literally Sri Lanka’s early hero in accounting for two wickets that of Mehedi Hasan (41) and Taskin Ahmed in successive balls on a day bad light was a spoiler. The double blow inflicted by Perera that precipitated Bangladesh being dismissed for the addition of 14 runs after having recovered from… 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 →

Big Match fever and the significance to grassroots cricket

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The traditional 138th Royal-Thomian or ‘Battle of the Blues’ at the SSC from March 8 to 10 will be the culminating high to school cricket’s Big Match fever that grips the island nation in a show of flag display of assorted cuolours. The Big Match fever that has become a part of tradition in a land where cricket is near religion to the fanatics, does take centre stage. If cricket at the grassroots has been an accelerated slogan of the country’s citadel of cricket – Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in its vision to optimizing national cricket to winning ways, that school cricket as the cradle to that stated dream is fusion lending to the national cricketing drive. It is significant… Read More →

 Malinda Pushpakumara has arrived with a bang

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It is literally one step away from realizing his schoolboy dream of playing for his country for Malinda Pushpakumara, the former Lumbini MV, and Chilaw Marians CC off spinner. At 29 years, everything the left arm orthodox bowler cum all-rounder has done has been to thumbs up perfection that is all about winning the national selectors’ faith. If the domestic club cricket season has rained in the rainbows that colour one’s performance levels in the game to the zenith of bowling his heart out to head the bowling averages with 67 wickets in the first round, Pushpakumara’s 21-wickets against England A for Sri Lanka A in the two unofficial Tests matches was extraordinarily amazing stuff. That he rounded off his… Read More →

Expectant new look SL Test composition under Herath vs. Bangladesh

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Sri Lanka’s  two-match Test series against sub continent neighbours Bangladesh  does take on a different air given the composition of the 15-member squad with spin veteran Rangana Herath once again handed the captaincy in the absence of injury sidelined regular captain Angelo Mathews. While Mathews’ recuperation will reportedly see the all-rounder out of action for three weeks, Herath once again taking over the reins as he did on the tour is interesting. With Dinesh Chandimal, who lost his place midway during the ODI series against South Africa due to poor form, interestingly named in the 15, the onus falls on Herath to carry the chips in a predictably challenging home tour against a highly resurgent Bangladesh. Certainly the absence of… Read More →

Sadeera Samarawickrama strikes it rich for youth cricket

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The batting performances of Dimuth Karunaratne and Sadeera Samarawickrama who struck 212 and 185 respectively against the England Lions is a big leverage to the Sri Lankan cricket establishment’s concentrated drive to team building. With the accent on all fours on promoting the new generation of cricketers indeed the youth cricket is beginning to rear its head.While Sri Lanka Test opener, Karunaratne, who is on an acid trial by the national selectors following a poor tour of South Africa, did make a salvaging statement by his mammoth double ton, the coming good of 21-year old Samarawickrama by such an impressive knock in  figuring in a massive 314-run fourth wicket partnership with Karunaratne, is a shot in the arm for the… Read More →

Sri Lanka A prevail in high drama to square series

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Sri Lanka A prevailing by 3 wickets in the second and final Test match going down to the wire against the British Lions at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium in a tension filled game in a last gasp countdown to an honourable 1-all squaring up of the 2-match series was high stuff. That Sri Lanka did it reaching the 90-run victory target in a compelling run chase to reaching home with 15 minutes to stumps indeed set apart the triumph in to the gripping in the final analysis of the second unofficial Test. Given the high scoring tempo that filled the 4-day game with the England Lions first making 353 and Sri Lanka run feasting in turn to the tune of… Read More →

Sri Lanka taking series 2-1 the eventual trophy glitter

Sri Lankan players celebrate their T20 series win over Australia after the third T20 Cricket International at the Adelaide Oval on Febuary 22, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Brenton Edwards / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE --

In a face saving Australian redemption by 41 runs at Adelaide, the larger result of Sri Lanka emerging the T20 champions in the 3-match contest by a margin of 2 wins, was the eventual trophy glitter euphoria for the Sri Lankan camp. If Australia saved face by breaking the drought after scoring 187 for 6 and bowling out Sri Lanka for 146 on the back of leg spinner A. Zampa’s 3 wickets, moreover the Sri Lankan hurrah of coming trumps up was the colourful silver lining. For it was an insulating backyard triumph against an Aussie side that did boast of some regular players in the cast like A.J. Finch, J.P. Faulkner and Zampa. The Aussie media did make out… Read More →