Young SL team more focused – Tharanga: India geared to play and win anywhere – Kohli

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In an expression of buoyancy Sri Lanka and India looked forward to the cricket ahead with Skipper Upul Tharanga, whop will be fitting in for the indisposed Dinesh Chandimal, and Head Coach, Nic Pothas reasoning that they had struck a balance while Indian Captain Virat Kohli and Head Coach, Ravi Shastri threw out the gauntlet that their mission was to play ruthlessly to be the supreme power in world cricket. Upul Tharanga said, “We believe we have improved in all forms although it was unfortunate to lose the ODI series to Zimbabwe. But in the Test series we chased down 389 which speaks of focus and cimbabweommitment. We expect to move forward with this young team”. Tharanga was quick to… Read More →

Sri Lanka host India in grueling tour: First warm up match on July 21

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Sri Lanka will gear for the near two-month home tour against India with a 2-day warm up match on the cards by the President’s XI against Virat Kohli’s charges on July 21 and 22 at the CCC grounds. While it will give the locals an initial feel of the Indians, it will also be the ground for the national selectors headed by Sanath Jayasuriya to watch player performances. Sri Lanka will meet India in 3 Tests and 5 ODIs and 1 T20 in what by all accounts will be a grueling hurdle of getting the better of one of the major forces in contemporary world cricket. India is the No.1 Test team, No.3 in ODIs, and 5th in T20s as against… Read More →

Mendis 60, Mathews 17 with Sri lanka needing 211 more to win with 7 wickets intact

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Facing the ultimate challenge of wiping off 388, Sri Lanka was on 170 for 3 wickets with young star batsman Kusal Mendis keeping the flame alight on an 85-ball 60 inclusive of six boundaries, and Angelo Mathews on 17 with one boundary off 33 balls, having lost openers Upul Tharanga for 27, Dimuth Karunaratne for 49 and skipper Dinesh Chandimal for 15 on the fourth day of the solitary Test match against Zimbabwe. In the face of  Zimbabwe’s second innings 377 lit up by a fine 127 by Sikander Raza, Sri Lanka faced a daunting task after its bowlers had been taken to the cleaners by the lower order batsmen. Mendis, who came in at the fall of Tharanga’s wicket… Read More →

Sri Lanka trail Zimbabwe by 63 with 3 wickets intact

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Sri Lanka was on 293 for 7 wickets at the close of play on the second day of the one off Test match, and trailing 63 runs as Zimbabwe kept a tight rein on the hosts at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Saturday. Having got off to a good start with Dimuth Karunaratne and Upul Tharanga putting on 84 for the first wicket, Sri Lanka lost two quick wickets that of Kusal Mendis for 10 when the total was 107 and Tharanga at 116.  Tharanga played the pivotal sheet anchor role carving 71 off 100 balls inclusive of six boundaries and was unlucky to have run himself out when in sight of a well-deserved century. His departure put the onus… Read More →

Craig Ervine’s 151 not out in Zimbabwe’s 344/8 

Craig Ervine stood defiant with a resolute unbeaten 151 off 238 balls to help Zimbabwe to a healthy 344 for 8 at the close on the opening day of the one off Test match against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium yesterday. Zimbabwe was struggling at 38 for 3 wickets and 70 for 4 after spin wizard Rangana Herath dismissed both openers – R.W. Chakabva and H. Masakadza for 12 and 19 respectively as Sri Lanka under new captain Dinesh Chandimal made early inroads in to Zimbabwe who opted to bat first. But Ervine, coming in at No.4 struck 13 boundaries and one six in a concentrated rescue mission. It began with an 84-run alliance for the fourth wicket… Read More →

Chandimal wears crown in strong Lanka Test squad

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Skyrocketing from the oblivion of losing his place in the ODI teamine to the captaincy of the Sri Lanka test team is the agonies to ecstasy poignant chapter in the cricketing career of Dinesh Chandimal. Literally nobody would have expected the former Ananda College product to come out of the gloom of a cocoon that had tripped his career recently losing his place in both ODIs and tests on the grounds of poor form. That it has been a career transformation of reaching the zenith of player dreams to wearing the captaincy mantle is indeed the high point of the 27-year old right hand batsman’s career in terms of player rank elevation; a manifestation of the cricket establishment’s faith in… Read More →

Sri Lanka much to rue as Zimbabwe take series 3-2

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Sri Lanka’s ODI home series loss to Zimbabwe will require some soul searching having gone down by 3 wickets in the decisive fifth and final ODI at Suriyawewa yesterday. While it evaporated home expectations of what was expected to be an easy stroll on home soil for Angelo Mathews’ charges, the 3-2 triumph was a shot in the arm ecstasy for minnows Zimbabwe having lost to Sri Lanka at home in both the ODIs and Test series to Sri Lanka. In that perspective, it was a hard to digest result for Sri Lanka who made a clean sweep of Zimbabwe in 2016 minus Mathews with Upul Tharanga captaining the ODI side and Rangana Herath the test team. Yesterday, Sri Lanka… Read More →

Gunathilaka and Dickwella blast Zimbabwe attack as Sri Lanka take 2-1 lead

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Openers Niroshan Dickwella and Dhanushka Gunathilaka struck centuries in a record 229-run partnership as Sri Lanka mounted the massive 311- victory target by 8 wickets in 47.2 overs in in the third ODI at Suriyawewa yesterday. It was the perfect scripting upfront that Sri Lanka required as Dickwella 102  of 114 balls inclusive of 14 boundaries and Gunathilaka 116 from 111 containing 15 boundaries and a six proved be the cementing answer to Sri Lanka’s long search for a durable young cast to slot in for the job for the  future.  Dhanushka Gunathilaka. Indeed, the due answered the clarion call for the new brigade to step in and take charge displaying tremendous temperament and determination in that commitment to passing… Read More →

Chamari Atapattu’s plethora of batting records

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Sri Lanka ’s Chamari Atapattu’s blistering unbeaten 143-ball 178 comprising 22 fours and 6 sixes against Australia in the ongoing Women’ World Cup in England is a shot in the arm for women’s cricket in the country. More so at a juncture women’s cricket is still in an evolving process of matching the might of the world. Sri Lanka is currently slotted No.8 in the Women’s Team Rankings next to Pakistan and only ahead of Bangladesh at 9th and Ireland 10th. Incidentally, Sri Lanka made its One Day International (ODI) debut in 1997, against the Netherlands, and later in the year participated in the 1997 World Cup in India. The team has since participated in every edition of the World Cup, with a fifth-place finish… Read More →

Nic Pothas expresses confidence as SL Head Coach: More new blood – Enter all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga

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Yesterday’s press confab fronted by Zimbabwe’s arrival that held much importance to Sri Lanka with Nic Pothas replacing the departed Graham Ford as Head Coach at the head table at the Move N Pick Hotel, did find the Sri Lankan camp in strong binding of oneness. This was best exemplified by Sri Lanka Cricket’s President, Thilanga Sumathipala who aired the fullest confidence in Pothas to handle the high profile job up to the India tour to Sri Lanka. And, there was the British born Pothas, elevated from Fielding Coach, reassuring in no uncertain terms that nothing was amiss at all within, and that he was already fully focused on the job; that his immediate task was approaching player by player… Read More →

Player fitness imperative to optimize fielding

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Player fitness and improving the fielding levels is indeed a high priority factor in Sri Lanka’s thrust to mounting the international ladder of ICC team rankings. Presently, Sri Lanka is 7th in Test rankings next to Pakistan, and 8th in ODI rankings next to Bangladesh. In that context, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara’s stated concern about Sri Lanka player fitness is indeed timely. Fact of the matter is Sri Lanka had a very good chance of making it to the semi finals of the 2017 Champions Trophy, but crucial dropped catches put paid to that. That cricket’s gospel slogan ‘Catches win matches’ is a stark pointer to how sacred fielding is knitted to the outcome of matches in a contemporary high… Read More →

Home tour vs Zimbabwe a pick up ground for SL from Champions Trophy blunders

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With the dust settled on the recent showpiece cricket heat wave that pitted the eight creams of nations in battle, giving way to the customary country versus country exchanges, Sri Lanka hosting Zimbabwe late June will be new ground in its team building process.  It will be the pick up passage from those costly ICC Champions Trophy fielding blunder let off that profited Pakistan to the title. That Sri Lanka on a cricket mainstream reshaping process from player retirement voids has been a belittling onus in high stakes grabs. In the consequent youth accentuation drive under expert coaching guidance that has been the necessary way forward; poor fielding will be the major concern for the Sri Lankan cricketing think tanks… Read More →

Pakistan rise from the unpredictable to Kings of 2017 Champions Trophy

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Pakistan bulldozed to kingly status authoritatively crowning themselves champions from the lowly dumps of the unpredictable to such brilliant glitz of a two pronged thrust of brilliant batting and impeccable swing bowling reminiscent of Wasim Akram fame. That the final trophy glitter was by whacking the daylights out of arch foes India who was on an ascendancy to a point of Virat Kohli breags,  was indeed a truly remarkably euphoric new aura making milestone for a long war riddled nation unable to host international cricket, and that had last won a major world tournament in 1992. That was when the mercurial Imran Khan led Pakistan to the World Cup title 24 years ago. That it took a long odyssey from… Read More →

Coach Ford shoots down criticism; Says, ’Beating India best example of commitment’

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In a back home media meet up reassessment of Sri Lanka’s performance at the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy at the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) auditorium, in a heavily charged bout of questions raised by media men, Head Coach Graham Ford’s contention that a highly fresher laden Sri Lankan team, most of whom with just 20 odd ODI outings as against the 70 t0 80 by experience hardened opposing players, was plausible reasoning. There was Ford magnifying the majority young team but for a few veterans thrashing reigning champions and championship favourites in record fashion of achieving the highest target chasing as the best example that here was a team evolving. “These youngsters showed tremendous commitment to defeat reigning champions and… Read More →

Strong Sri Lanka outfit for ICC Women’s World Cup 2017

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It will be a strong Sri Lanka outfit that will mount its campaign at the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup starting in June. The squad took wing this week following rigorous preparations based on high intensity training ahead of their WWC campaign. The ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 is from June 24 to July 23 in England and Wales. The Sri Lanka squad led by Captain Inoka Ranaweera, has been steeled by a long phased out 30-day  schedule accentuating on fitness and the finer points of the game under the watchful eye of been engaged in an intensive training programme under Head Coach Hemantha Devapriya. The significant high factor about this team is a marked change infused by an aura of new… Read More →