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

MRICS 1

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 →

ICC WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Sri Lanka face New Zealand June 24 in opener

Sri Lanka Womens team in UK

It will be a tough call for the Sri Lanka Women’s cricket team in the high stakes USD 660, 000 winner’s prize and glittering trophy of the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup that kicks from June 24 to July 23. Sri Lanka will face New Zealand in the championship opener on Saturday at Bristol. Skippered by Inoka Ranaweera, it is a new look Sri Lankan side that of course, packs experience in the likes of former captains Shashikala Siriwardena and Chamari Atapattu, the opening batsman, the skipper Ranaweera and Chamari Polgampola. Players to watch will be Eshani Lokusuriya, Nipuni Hansika, and Prasadini Weerakkody. India will face England on the same day. The Sri Lankans will need to shrug off the… Read More →

Pakistan rise from the unpredictable to Kings of 2017 Champions Trophy

JDK_5172

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’

Graham Ford

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

Inoka Ranaweera

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 →

Sri Lanka throw semi final berth

JDK_6485

Sri Lanka must still be ruing sending asunder the semi final berth that was within sight, the villain being Thisara Perera dropping a straight forward catch at extra cover that would have swung the game Sri Lanka’s way with Pakistan on 197 for 7 in the 39th over off Lasith Malinga. In a dramatic see sawing contest that Sri Lanka had swung their way reducing Pakistan to 6 for 137 in 25.4 overs from a healthy 92 for 2 wickets, and 114 for 4 needing 237 to win, Malinga induced skipper Safraz Ahamed in a last gasp effort. But Perera momentarily held on to the catch that came at moderate pace, and let it out of his hands. With it… Read More →

Young guns gelling a championship positive as Sri Lanka brace for Pakistan today

JDK_3671

Sri Lanka carries a strong confidence optimism of getting past Pakistan in a Champions Trophy countdown at the Oval today. That is in a decimating estimation by the experts that both sides border on the erratic; that Sri Lanka, who should have beaten South Africa, registered a knee jerk win against the high riding reigning champions India. They have also analyzed the win loss ratio that has cast Sri Lanka at No. 7 in ICC rankings, and Pakistan at 8, and that it will be two of the weakest sides in the championship in a crucial battle to get in to the se mi finals. Contentions that Sri Lanka lacks a game plan, and that there are no super stars… Read More →

Mendis (89), Gunathilaka (76) pound India as Sri Lanka set up record chasing 321

JDK_3981 - Copy - Copy

Young guns Kusal Mendis(89 off 93 balls) and Dhanushka Gunathilaka (76 off 72) fired the daylights out of 100 to 30 odds on India in blazing style as Sri Lanka smashed the championship record chasing the highest score at the Oval yesterday. The annihilation of the reigning champions came in a run blaze of a 159 alliance between 22-year old Mendis, and 26-year old Gunathilaka. If their coming together at the early dismissal of Niroshan Dickwella when the total was 11, cast a cloud over Sri Lanka’s run chase of 321for 6 wickets in 50 overs, the Indian euphoria that engulfed Mathews’ team fine edged by a majority vociferous Indian crowd ran into deafening silence in the face of the… Read More →

Sri Lanka will have to mount out of the box effort vs India

Asela Gunaratne

In a type of musical cushions scenario of when one ace sits out and is back in the pack, the other ace sits out, indeed would be bleeding highly decimating factor going in to the crunch win or drop out contest against high riding India, the reigning champions tomorrow Thursday at the Oval. Regular skipper Angelo Mathews is back in the pack for the crucial match having been injury sidelined in he opener versus South Africa. But in the return of the side’s most tried and tested campaigner, that the inform opening batsman Upul Tharanga, who held the reins in the lost match to South Africa, being a conspicuous sit out  against India tomorrow penalized for slow overate against South… Read More →

Australia face must win reality vs. England after rain off

The ICC Champions Trophy take off sees England and India topping Groups A and B, having gained victories in the opening games against Bangladesh and Pakistan respectively. With Monday’s game against Bangladesh abandoned due to rain intervening, Australia is second in Group A with 2 points in their championship thrust to dominating Group A, and rain has threatened their stakes. Defeat to England in the next encounter would end their championship hopes. And, certainly skipper Steve Smith could well be the biggest spike having conceded four successive dot balls with Australia within sight of the minimum 20 overs having to negotiate 4 overs more. That was after Mitchell Starc, with 4 for 29,  had ripped through Bangladesh who were bowled out… Read More →

Sri Lanka lose despite superb start by Dickwella-Tharanga

Kusal Perera

Two mistakes – a half hearted lollypop stroke by  Kusal Mendis, and a poor judgment rush for a run by Dinesh Chandimal – cost Sri Lanka the opening match by 96 runs against South Africa at the Oval on Saturday. That it put back South Africa in the game after a whirlwind 69-run opening partnership off 8.2 overs fronted by the lusty improvising by Niroshan Dickwella’s 41 off 33 balls had offset the balance of the South African fast bowling quartet to a point of despair is the sad saga of what had up to that point put Sri Lanka in the driving seat. Mendis, having cracked two boundaries, played a half hearted stroke towards mid wicket. South African skipper… Read More →

Minus Mathews, 25/1 Sri Lanka take on 7/2 hoodoo haunted South Africa

UPUL THARANGA: The onus will be on him as stand in captain to lewad from the front. KUSAL MENDIS: Has been previewed by experts in England as the player to watch in SL team. A chip on the shoulder highly fresher laden Sri Lanka with a few old horses launch their big stakes campaign for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in their opening Group B match against South Africa, the ODI No.1 team in the world tomorrow Saturday at the Oval. Outsiders at 25/1 odds Sri Lanka face the championship that puts hosts England and reigning champions India as tournament favourites along with Australia and South Africa. The downsizing takes a further blow by the news that skipper Angelo Mathews… Read More →

Sri Lanka’s high scoring effort evaporated by bludgeoning New Zealand

Sri Lanka’s high scoring 356-run warmth was put to evaporation by New Zealand in a 6-wicket overhauling that once again showed up the bowling department wanting in their final warm iup match at Edgbaston, Birmingham. That New Zealand effort orchestrated by a 76-ball 116 and fine edged by a 157-run second wicket alliance with skipper Kane Williamson contributing 88 and retiring was salt rubbing to the wounds inflicted on the Sri Lankan bowlers as New Zealand finished on 359 for 4 wickets to win with 23 balls to spare. Of the recognized bowlers only star performer Lasith Malinga did not feature in yesterday’s game, and it was the second time Sri Lanka’s 300-plus efforts were overhauled, the Aussies having done… Read More →

Indomitable Sangakkara takes county cricket by storm in final record fling

Sri Lanka’s indomitable Kumar Sangakkara, whose passion from the game has seen the former Sri Lankan captain and superstar batsman continue the canter playing county cricket following his retirement from international cricket, is now ready to pack his bags from playing county cricket. In a thick run vein for Surrey in the ongoing County Cricket Championship having reeled five centuries on the trot oiled by a double century and twin centuries, Sangakkara, has announced that it will be ‘enough is enough’ as he touches 40 years this year. The mercurial Sri Lankan professional, who has succeeded in influencing the cricket world by a rare trait of a perfectionist not only as a player, but also his oratory intellectual capacity, and … Read More →

Sri Lanka batting begins to gel: Has edge over Kiwis

The trophy hype has begun to spin full circle with the warm up matches gaining momentum. Of course, the build up focus is on tomorrow’s game between Sri Lanka and New Zealand at Warwickshire. While for the record, both sides have lost the first of two games, from a Sri Lankan point of view, the loss to Australia being in a very tight finish, Angelo Mathews’ team would thus not be dented when they take on the Kiwis at The Oval on June 3 . Comparatively, Sri Lanka has the edge having also won handsomely over Scotland the second of two games though they suffered a shock defeat in the first game. New Zealand has failed to touch wood recently…. Read More →