Blockbuster Mathews the impetus to Sri Lanka’s resurgence Says, ‘Life’s all about Pressure’

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It is a critical new voyaging phase of Sri Lanka cricket that the sub continent nation, dubbed the Paradise Isle in the Indian Ocean, seeks new vistas. It becomes pertinently the thrust for a new order in rebuilding in the wake of senior player retirements and injuries to some. It is a search for the Holy Grail for an anointment that was truly saw tiny Sri Lanka bask as the paradise of cricket in the biff bang game. Had not Sri Lanka jolted the rest of the cricketing world just 15 years since entering the International Cricket (ICC) fold in1981, when the Indian Ocean nation brought mighty Australia dubbed the super power of world cricket to its knees? Winning the… Read More →

Aussie home tour acid test for Sri Lanka

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The Australians are in Sri Lanka for a near 3-month tour that does sound exciting to both camps for the very newness both sides carry since last meeting in 2011. A 5-year hiatus is a long time to both sides from Tillekeratne Dilshan leading Sri Lanka and Michael Clarke Australia when incumbent Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was then the vice captain. Since then while Australia, manned by a relatively new name in Stephen Smith, basks in the supremacy of the No. 1 Test team in the world, Mathews does carry the atom of experience of 5 years ago. He would be stealthier this time around having been the host team’s highest run getter with 274 in a 2-match series… Read More →

Dinesh Chandimal took the batting honours

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Vice captain Dinesh Chandimal hogged the limelight as Sri Lanka’s most successful batsman in the recently concluded tour of England. The batting form of the 26-year old right hander was the high point from an individual perspective in assessing the ups in a series that went England’s way in the hosts taking the Test series 2-nil and the ODIs 3-nil.  Chandimal, who turns 27 on November 18, was the second highest run getter in the test series with 172 runt s from 5 innings with a highest of 126 for an average of 34.40 while he headed the ODIs with a tally of 267 from 5 innings with a highest of 63 averaging 53.40. in the second match played at… Read More →

Kusal Mendis – New Gold to Sri Lanka Cricket

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Since those giant killing days of Jayawardene and Sangakkara, Sri Lanka has been yearning for a new messiah. The last 2 to 3 years have been hard as the island nation cruises in a fine-comb of its harvest of young batting talent. There have been great expectations for the future. While skipper Angelo Mathews has proved to be the Blockbuster with the bat for his abounding talent, Dinesh Chandimal, the young vice captain has been blood stirring talent for his right handed talent with the bat. Similarly, the left handed young Lahiru Thirimanne too has been an entertaining willow wielder. Both have displayed the type of talent that has made the national selectors look upon the duo as future torchbearers… Read More →

ENGLAND ODI SERIES: Several individual positives for the future

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Sri Lanka has scored on the rebuilding front where skipper Angelo Mathews and the national selectors can take heart from the discovery of potential new talent for the future in ODI cricket. There is still the strongpoint for Sri Lanka of having beaten England squarely in the English’s own den only 2 years ago. That euphoric 3-2 result was steeling satisfaction to the islanders in an year when England got the blues having also been beaten in the Test series. That 2 years hence it is the same man in Angelo Mathews who wore the captaincy mantle does carry a significant poignancy for Sri Lanka for the future. That is in a rebuilding curve having lost some of its steadfast… Read More →

ENGLAND TEST SERIES: Several positives Sri Lanka can take heart from

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In the harsh rigors of Test cricket, Sri Lanka’s campaign, with two overseas Test series triumphs in the hat having won a 1-off series in 1998 and 1-nil in 2014, did hit a wall. That is considering the bad timing of the 3-test itinerary by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in favour of the home team. That the lords of the game scheduled the first two tests in the bitter cold climes of Northern England at Leeds and Durham was a bitter pill to swallow for the Sri Lankans who had thrashed England the last time on tour in 2014. The scheduling this time around in the two initial exchanges was clearly an ill consequence of the English… Read More →

Kumar Dharmasena – a tremendous job as Elite ICC Umpire

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Kumar Dharmasena is going strong performing a tremendous task as an elite ICC umpire. Having made his foray in 2009 as an ICC accredited umpire in the ODI match between Sri Lanka and India at Dambulla, the former Sri Lanka cricketer was quick into his stride in cementing a name as one of world cricket’s most astute officiator’s in the middle. So much so that by 2012 Dharmasena hit the jackpot as world cricket’s No.1 umpire when he was adjudged the Umpire of the Year at the 2012 ICC Awards. The prestigious award won by a Sri Lankan for the first time at that level has served in enhancing not only the stock of the individual, but as much the… Read More →

Dasun Shanaka – New Whiz Kid on the blocks

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Badly bruised in the Test series, Sri Lanka could well be pleased that there are a couple of candidates for the whiz kid job to bleed England come the 5-match ODI series that kicks off tomorrow June 21 at Trent Bridge. That this fermenting hope to Sri Lankans comes from the young larder the national selectors have pinned faith on is indeed a morale boosting factor to the island  nation questing for the ideal gel in a team rebuilding voyage. With several freshers on the line of duty in the lost test series, seemingly  the Sri Lankan juggernaut of raw talent found the harsh cold English climes too much to cope with. It has been a gradual acclimatization that has… Read More →

Sri Lanka yearn for champagne streak of 2014

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If 2014 was a champagne year for in English climes sweeping the boards in a historic 1–0 Test series triumph, 3–2 ODI and one-off T20 success, 2016 evidently sees a back to the wall hurdle. With the Test series lost at 2-nil, the herculean doers of that golden year 2 years ago when the islanders captured the English in their own den, will be in search of a combinative formula to upset a highly revitalised England. come the June 21 ODI opener of the 5-match series.  With the exception of skipper Angelo Mathews, out of the ranks are stalwarts Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Dhammika Prasad and Lasith Malinga. While the first two have bowed out of the game,… Read More →

Umpire Tucker’s wrong call creates can of worms

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The controversy surrounding Australian umpire Tucker’s wrong no ball call when Nuwan Pradeep had well and truly clean bowled Alex Hales when on 58 in England’s second innings of the third Test at Lords, and the request for Sri Lanka to take off the national flag from the Lord’s balcony, have been two bad calls. For one, Tucker’s inability to comprehend that Pradeep’s foot was behind the line on first impact does go to raise serious concerns as to the compatibility of neutral umpires. Wrong calls by umpires have become a continuing worrying trend that has affected the results of matches while causing heartburn to the affected teams. In fact, the problem has also led to the ICC anti corruption… Read More →

Lively pacie Bandara certainty for Lords, Kusal Janith expectant

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“The names of the exciting hard hitting opening batsman Kusal Janith Perera and 29-year old left-arm pace man Chaminda Bandara hover as  Sri Lanka head to Lords.” The names of the exciting hard hitting opening batsman Kusal Janith Perera and 29-year old left-arm pace man Chaminda Bandara hover as  Sri Lanka head to Lords with several key issues to be ironed out in fielding a gelling combination against a highly professional England. Kusal Janith beefing up the side for his attacking pinch hitting ability could be a swaying factor while Bandara almost looks a certainty with pace man Shaminda Eranga whose action is being scrutinized, likely to be left out pending the biomechanical clearance. Concerns sounded two days ahead of… Read More →

Four Lankan Masters

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Ramachandra Guha In 40 years of watching international cricket, one of the absolute highlights remains an innings I saw by the stocky Sri Lankan, Duleep Mendis. It was played at Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla ground in the first week of November, 1975. Sri Lanka, which had not yet been awarded Test status, were touring India, and playing the North Zone in preparation for the unofficial ‘Tests’ to follow. Mendis’s father was a cricket fan, naming his son after K.S. Duleepsinhji, nephew of the immortal Ranji. Duleep, who — like his uncle — played for Cambridge University, Sussex, and England, was an artist with the bat, using skill and timing to great effect. His Sri Lankan namesake, however, relied more on brute… Read More →