Back to top gear imperious Mathews a trump card in World Cup campaign

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Having lost his ODI place following the disastrous one match exit from the 2018 Asia Cup to minnows Afghanistan, Angelo Mathews came back strongly on the back of some scintillating performances with the bat both on the Test match scenario as well as the recently concluded Super Provincial One-Day Tournament. It has re-insulated the 31-year old former Josephian and Colts CC product in Sri Lanka’s World Cup squad, and the power packed right-hander is key to the team’s fortunes in cricket’s showpiece event that unfolds in England from May 30 to July 14 as the most seasoned campaigner in the pack. Indeed, Mathews, manning the strategic lower middle order No.6 slot carries the inherent firepower middling the ball to mount… Read More →

Jeevan Mendis’ all-round value could be decisive to SL World Cup campaign

Jeevan Mendis

The reemergence of old stager, the 36-year old Jeevan Mendis in winning the national selectors confidence for a berth in the 15-man world cup squad is a significant comeback. It is so in view of the fact that the former Thomian all-rounder forced himself into contention to be regarded as Sri Lanka’s main spin bowler in the heat of competition in the field. Rising from the hitherto oblivion of having not represented Sri Lanka for over 4 years having made his last ODI appearance in the 2015 world cup on February 22 against Afghanistan therefore is a fairytale comeback. In that scenario, the onus of Mendis will be to come good with a compelling all-round performance with ball and bat…. Read More →

Pinch hitter Kusal Janith Perera’s return from injury reassuring

Kusal Perera

His return from injury to the big fold has been reassuring cheer up stuff to Sri Lanka’s world cup campaign. Indeed, the type of form displayed by the 28-year old in the last two years by some telling knocks has raised Kusal Janith Perera’s stocks. The high point of his batting has been his flair of translating the ODI savagery of bowlers to the Test match platform as well. This was aptly demonstrated by his magical match winning unbeaten knock of 153 in pulling his side out of the jaws of defeat to coming on top against South Africa at Kingsmead recently. The one-wicket margin of victory illustrates the pinch-hitting transition the left hander infused battling his way against wafer… Read More →

SLC’s Centre of Excellence at Pallekelle a boon to national cricket: Three more to be set up

  The mooting of Sri Lanka Cricket’s Centre of Excellence project, a far sighted vision during the presidency of Mr. Thilanga Sumathipala, is viewed as a big leap forward in the furtherance of the country’s cricket. The ambitious project envisaging the setting up of four centers of excellence in Sri Lanka found fruition with the first of its kind being established at Pallekelle in Kandy. It has been a boon to cricketers in further fine honing their skills. Under this project, steps have been taken to set up centers of excellence in Dambulla, Galle and Colombo as well in the near future as earmarked by Mr. Sumathipala during his tenure as SLC president. A centre of excellence is an indoor… Read More →

Thirimanne’s forceful comeback raises new hope

Lahiru Thirimanne

As Sri Lanka prepares for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, the forceful comeback of the experienced Lahiru Thirimanne has raised new hope. Thirimanne played his last ODI on December 13, 2017 against India at Mohali, and his return to the fold after over one year and four months from a form slump with glimpses of his former best is therefore significant. It is more the so in view of the fact that the 29-year old Cambrian and Ragama CC did figure in the last world cup in 2015. The high point of his performance in that tournament was the magnificent 139 he reeled off in steering Sri Lanka to a comprehensive 9 wicket triumph over England.  In a high… Read More →

Sri Lanka squad in grueling two-week workout ahead of World Cup

Sri Lanka Training Lasith Malinga_D3S2796x

Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign kicks off with the 15- member squad getting into the rhythm of preparing for cricket’s showpiece event that will get underway from May 30 to July 14 in England. With the squad due to take wing on May 7 a two phase workout is envisaged with a grueling seven day physical training course centering on optimum player fitness while this will be followed by an indoor training sessions for a further one week duration at Pallekelle. Sri Lanka will meet New Zealand in their opening match at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on June 1 at 3.00 P.M. Sri Lanka time in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in what will be the third match of… Read More →

Selectors place faith in new look squad for World Cup

Asantha de Mel_DSC_0750

The dice are cast with the much looked to 15-member Sri Lanka World Cup squad announced on Thursday in what interestingly takes on a rehashed outlook. In an apparent new draught of air infused by the national selectors right at the top in opting for virtual new look captaincy material in anointing left hand opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne to wear the leadership mantle, several players such as Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeewan Mendis, Avishka Fernando, Jeffrey Vandersay and Milinda Siriwardana have replaced regular campaigners such as wicket-keeper batsmen Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, and Upul Tharanga, Dhanushka Gunathilaka and Akila Dananjaya. Placing faith on Karunaratne’s  to lead carries the double edged success of bringing down the South Africans in the recent Test tour… Read More →

Appointment of Dimuth Karunaratne as ODI captain for World Cup a significant move

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The appointment of Dimuth Karunaratne as the Sri Lanka ODI captain for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England marks a significant turnaround as the country looks to change its one-day fortunes in the game’s showpiece event. The appointment, ratified by the Minister of Sports Harin Fernando, while signifying the need for new pastures opted by the national selectors headed by Chairman of Selectors, Asantha de Mel in giving the nod to Sri Lanka’s most consistent run getter in test cricket has also been influenced by Karunaratne’s magnificent leadership in registering a historic first ever 2-nil series triumph over South Africa in their own backyard. That apart, on a personal note it marks a new chapter in the career… Read More →

SL World Cup Squad to be named sooner, Kusal Janith declares fit and ready

Kusal Perera vs Bangladesh

SL World Cup Squad to be named on April 18; Kusal Janith declares fit and ready With the dust settled down on the local big stage performance platform for prospective stakeholders and Sri Lanka’s World Cup countdown reaching a climax with the days closing in on the squad to be announced to the players and a nation in anticipation, the Chairman of Selectors, Asantha de Mel has given notice that it would be named on April 18. The ICC deadline is April 23 for member countries to officially announce the respective squads that would compete in cricket’s greatest of spectacles to be staged in England from May 30 to June 14. Given the tough guessing game of whom the national… Read More →

SL World Cup selection hype heats up for places

Lasith Malinga and Team_D3S4029x

The sky high hype for world cup selections has left the national selectors with the taxing task of penciling out the best mix following the completion of the Super Provincial Tournament that was looked to by the Sri Lanka Cricket think tanks as the final platform to earmark the contenders for the ICC’s 2019 showpiece event. On the batting front, veteran Angelo Mathews carrying loads of captaincy experience in the limited overs and Test cricket came good with the bat with consistent scores of 101, 78 and 47 while Dhananjaya de Silva powered his way to top contention with the most impressive all-round performance striking 89, 34 and 32 and a match haul of 3 for 57. Similarly, good batting… Read More →

Galle and Colombo Joint Champs in rain hit final

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Thirimanne 115, Hasaranga de Silva 87 in Galle’337/7 Lahiru Thirimanne reeled off a brilliant century 115 off 128 balls in what was literally the innings of his life while Hasaranga de Silva struck a whirlwind 87 off 53 in Galle’s mammoth total of 337 for 7 against Colombo in the rain marred final of the Sri Lanka Cricket Super Provincial Tournament 2019 that ended in a no result at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on Thursday. Both sides were accordingly declared joint champions and shared an equal quantum of the prize money. The day particularly belonged to the left handed Thirimanne for his stroke filled defining century in staking a strong claim for a berth in Sri Lanka’s World Cup… Read More →

Angelo Mathews 101, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 95 as Dambulla thrash Kandy

Bhanuka Rajapaksa in super provincial

Skipper Angelo Mathews struck a timely century 101 off 106 balls and Bhanuka Rajapaksa a quick fire 95 off 87 balls sharing in a 150-run alliance for the fourth wicket as Dambulla posted a massive 325 for 5 wickets off 50 overs to crush Kandy by 94 runs in the third place play off of the Sri Lanka Cricket Super Provincial Limited Over Tournament 2019 at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on Wednesday. Mathews’ knock was studded with 9 boundaries and 2 sixes signaling his preparedness for the world cup while Rajapaksa hit 11 boundaries and 2 sixes in displaying the type of form that made him a schoolboy batting sensation at Royal College. Having come together with Dambulla reduced… Read More →

High stakes Galle vs. Colombo final tomorrow

Akila Dananjaya in Super Provincial_D3S4652x

MOMENTUM FOR WORLD CUP PLACES HOTS UP As the countdown to the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup reaches its climax with the Sri Lanka squad to be shortly finalised, the battle of the heavyweights between Galle and Colombo in the final of the Sri Lanka Cricket Super Provincial Limited Over Tournament 2019 that gets underway tomorrow Thursday April 11 at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium will generate tremendous interest. It will be more the so as the second round match between the two sides having been rained off as a no result last Monday at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium. The four cornered mega tournament of the country’s cream of talent has seen Galle and Colombo emerge as the… Read More →

Bruce Yardley – His contribution to the game will endure him to posterity

Bruce Yardley, the former Australian spin bowler, coach and commentator, who departed this world on March 27 this year after a long illness at the age of 71, was an affable, large hearted character. Yardley, who played against Sri Lanka in two test matches and an ODI series in 1983, went on to coach the Sri Lankan team having replaced compatriot Dav Whatmore in 1997. In fact Yardley carried many fond memories of Sri Lanka. He brought down the curtain on his Test and ODI career in Sri Lanka in 1983. He played his last Test against Sri Lanka at Kandy from April 22 to 26 in 1983 as well as his last ODI versus Sri Lanka on April 30… Read More →

Galle vs. Colombo no result as bad weather intervenes

Akila Dananjaya catches Milanda Siriwardana off his own bowling for 8 runs

The much looked to Galle versus Colombo game between the two frontrunners in the ongoing Sri Lanka Cricket Super Provincial Limited Over Tournament 2019 was soured by bad weather with the game ending as a no result at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium on Monday. When stumps were drawn Colombo were on 55 for no loss off 7.1 overs in reply to Galle’s 258 for 9 wickets off 50 overs. Galle’s innings revolved around a top score of 56 by Hasaranga de Silva off 60 balls inclusive of 6 hits to the ropes while L.D. Madushanka struck a late order next best score of 42 not out off 33 balls inclusive of 2 sixes and boundaries apiece. Other notable contributions… Read More →