Buoyed new look Sri Lanka on 1-month long tour of South Africa

Angelo Mathews

Sri Lanka’s predictably gruelling one and a half month long  December 26, 2016 to February 10, 2017 Test and ODI series tour does hold much interest. While the odds are heavily tacked in favour of South Africa for the home advantage the hosts will enjoy, what sparks the interest around the 3-match Test series and 5-match ODI series is the fact that Sri Lanka has gone a notch up the ladder in equalling South Africa in terms of Test ratings. This status raising credentials that must indeed buoy Angelo Mathews and his charges came in the wake of Sri Lanka’s recent sweeping away Test and ODI triumphs against Zimbabwe. Consequently, both teams are sitting at 96 marks in the ratings… 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 →

Sri Lanka champs in champagne style led by Tharanga and Mendis

Sri Lanka's players and their captain Upul Tharanga (R) receive the trophy after winning the final of the Blue Mountain Achilleion tri-series played between Sri Lanka and hosts Zimbabwe at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on November 27, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai Njikizana

Sri Lanka’s trophy clinching comprehensive 6-wicket triumph over Zimbabwe skippered by Upul Tharanga in the three cornered triangular final at Harare on Sunday was a fitting rounding off for the Sri Lankans. For, it was a relative new look team with a strong cast of youngsters thrust under the leadership of an old guard in Tharanga while fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekera was the only other player from the old cast. Going into the championship, Sri Lanka was tested strongly having allowed the hosts Zimbabwe to dominate them initially losing to the West Indies while figuring in a no decision with Zimbabwe. At the start Sri Lanka lacked the required type of cohesion of knitting as an unit. A major concern… Read More →

Gallant Dhananjaya de Silva adds muscle to new order

Sri Lanka batsman Dhananjaya de Silva (L) is in action as Brian Chari escapes a ball during the first day of the second cricket Test match between Sri Lanka and hosts Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports club, on November 6, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai Njikizana

Among Sri Lanka’s young guns who fired down Zimbabwe in the 2-nil Test series sweep, Dananjaya de Silva, the lad from the Southern terrain of Hambantota, measured heavily in that away triumph. At a time the country is on a rebuilding curve, the 25-year old right hander did infuse the flamboyance of stroke play in imbibing the required middle order solidity that Sri Lanka has been questing for in blazing a new trail following the retirement of several veterans in the recent past. Dananjaya made scores of 25, 64, 127 and 9 respectively in the four innings of the two test matches he figured in at Harare recently. It was a wholly insulating effort in what was his maiden overseas… Read More →

Sri Lanka’s use of the pink ball in view of day-night Test cricket

Pink Ball Cricket In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka opting to use the pink ball for the first time in its cricket history this week is significant with pink ball cricket set to take centre stage largely in the near future with the ICC envisaging day-night Test cricket. It was used for the first time in the first unofficial Test cricket match between Sri Lanka A and West Indies A at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday October 4. Interestingly, the over century long game of cricket that originated using the red leather ball has seen a progressive shift from the red cherry. It has been pushed to a back seat by the popularity of white balls, cork balls and the like. Now with cricket’s global… Read More →

Ideal foundation for SL World Cup drive to take off

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From a turbulent phase of senior player retirements, Sri Lanka’s national cricket has come alive within a short time frame on a concentrated drive driven by Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) dynamic President Thilanga Sumathipala and his administration. While the highly cricket versed Sumathipala, who had to wade off several bouncers that long stood in his way of realizing his much cherished passion of serving the country’s cricket in putting things back on track, his chosen faithful Mohan de Silva, as Secretary has combined in very fruitful decisions backed by a highly capable Executive Committee. As Sri Lanka has admirably put behind the recent losses by an emphatic 3-0 Test series comeback sweep of Australia, it is the ideal upswing trendsetter… Read More →

Cheer Man Percy evokes sense of patriotism

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Cricket supersedes beyond the boundaries of the playing fields and the big stage performers in a family wholesome encompassing the populace at large, of whom the cheer leaders have succeeded in infusing an aroma of color and splendor to the over century long game. While today we see more cheer girls than cheer men who are largely outnumbered by the fairer sex who have enveloped world cricket in intensifying the sizzler action in the middle by their charm acts as stage performers, it is pertinent to dwell on the origin of cricket’s cheer leaders. That it dates back to a Sri Lankan in our very own Percy Abeysekera in the 1970s era when Sri Lanka was striving to win international… 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

Angelo

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 →

ODI series loss an eye opener in search for ideal mix

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In the wake of Sri Lanka’s routing of Australia in the 3-match test series, it would have been ideally great to have made gone the full distance by coming tops in the ODIs. But it was not to be with a more purposeful looking Aussie ODI side led by David Warner taking the series 4-1. Having lost the opening game, Sri Lanka came back strongly to down the Aussies in the second match. But that was as far as the home team could go with Australia producing some scintillating stuff to make it a ‘one way ticket’ affair. The pointed difference between the two sides was that Australia had a distinct edge as the reigning world champions. Steve Smith led… Read More →

Dhananjaya De Silva underlines solid technique in lost cause

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In a lost cause, new find Dhananjaya De Silva underlined a batting artistry to endure for the future of Sri Lanka cricket. Australia won the fifth ODI by 4 wickets Friday at the R. Premadasa Stadium, but De Silva’s 50-ball 62 studded with 5 boundaries saw the 25-year old youngster, who cut his teeth in the game from Debarawewa Central, Hambantota, display the type of classical finesse of a complete batsman equipped with solid technique. His eye, bat coordination in meeting the ball displayed a perfect straight bat and his driving on the on and off was so regal somewhat reminiscent of Marvan Atapattu. Only, De Silva enjoys a longer reach than Atapattu which gives him greater depth advantage of… Read More →

Maxwell heroics undo Sri Lanka

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Glenn Maxwell, the 2015 world cup final hero, sidelined by poor form, did revive memories of the type of destroyer he is with the bat by a whirlwind century that took the breath out of Sri Lanka in the first T20 at Pallekelle on Tuesday. His unbeaten 146 off 65 balls laced with 14 boundaries and 9 sixes did tell the difference between a superior Australian side and a Sri Lankan combination on a rebuilding curve. Although most of the cast have fair experience with the retiring utility player Tillekeratne Dilshan the most experienced followed by skipper Dinesh Chandimal, it was evident they could not put out a wholesome combinative performance to get the better of the David Warner led… Read More →

The Aussies won, but retiring Dilshan the Larger Hero

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Dambulla turned out to be the farewell ground Sunday to veteran all-rounder Tillakaratne Dilshan before a sell out crowd on an emotional day to the 39-year old capping his 333rd ODI. Australia won the match by two wickets with 24 balls to spare, but the day belonged to the big made Sri Lankan who could not hide the tears as he swivelled around bat upraised in a salute to the crowd after his final innings in a final look at his farewell venue before heading for the pavilion. The moment typified how much the game means to a player for whom it all begins as a schoolboy’s ‘First Love’ dream of playing for his country. The start to the proceedings… Read More →

Tillakaratne Dilshan : Saluting the Cricketing Gladiator

Tillakaratne Dilshan Catch

Sri Lanka’s hawk eyed cricketing eagle, Tillakaratne Dilshan will call it a day on his ODI career on Sunday, September 3 when he will make his farewell appearance against Australia in the third ODI at Pallekelle. The bearded cricketer from Kalutara, Dilshan, who turns 40 on October 14, has been a tremendous servant to the game. What transcended him to a valiant warrior was the uncanny all-round trait of a player gifted with the ability to perform the ‘out of the word’ deeds that stood him out as a great all-rounder on the international firmament. As a batsman, he could take the game away from the opposition, and as a stock bowler give his captain the vital breakthrough. Perhaps more… Read More →