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 →

Sri Lanka well ingrained in rebuilding drive: Lifted biggest chunk of gold off Aussies

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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

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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 →

Kusal Mendis the backbone; Heralds new order

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His small made disposition that gives a boyish air being the baby of the side is so conspicuous in the action in the middle. The opposing big made Australians is comparatively dwarfing when you pitch the young Sri Lankan against them. But in a matter of minutes when he clicks as he swishes the ball around the connoisseur realizes just exactly why Kusal Mendis is in business, an expert in his chosen trade. Indeed, the 21-year old find from Moratuwa belies both age and size. The wonderment about him is the dexterous stroke play the lad reels out in consummate ease. The challenge ahead as he strolls to the crease more often than not looks enormous coming in at the… Read More →

The Reincarnation of Dinesh Chandimal

Sri Lanka cricketer Dinesh Chandimal celebrates his century (100 runs) during the second day of the third and final Test match between Sri Lanka and Australia at The Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) Ground in Colombo on August 14, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ISHARA S.KODIKARA

From racing to firecracker knocks to attaining the maturity of Test match temperament is the message derived by the Sri Lankan Vice Captain Dinesh Chandimal’s 356-ball back to the wall 132-run redeeming knock. After a low key series with the bat, Chandimal cut out the brazen that stands out true test batsman ship in pulling the team out of the rut of 5 for 29 in that first lease play out of the third test at the SSC. Standing there in a misty lonely looking scenario joined by newcomer Dhananjaya de Silva after the frontline had crumbled was certainly meek hearted making a setting; the demoralizing type of match situation where the realization is that dependence rested squarely on his… Read More →

Sri Lanka’s historic clean sweep over Aussies marks New Order

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The historic 3-nil clean sweep of Australia in the Murali-Warner home Test series in bouncing back from a recent holocaust rounded off by a 163-run win by Sri Lanka in the third Test at the SSC significantly marked the advent of a new order; a new order that has taken over the torch putting the retirements of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara into the good old past. The SSC triumph breathed a new fragrance to Sri Lankan cricket; the arrival of the new generation from 21-year old Kusal Mendis to 24-year old Dhananjaya de Silva, 21-year old Lakshan Sandakan in what was a telling mixture of youth and experience with several trump ups in the ranks. If skipper Angelo Mathews… Read More →

Heroic Dhananjaya de Silva the Yul Brynner of cricket

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Coming tops in 5 wickets down for 26 dire situations that would usually simply devour a greenhorn are the type of heroics on which stars are born; What is more in such middle order situations that had progressively been Sri Lanka’s bogey in recent years. Walking to the middle with the cream of the batting back in the pavilion, it took some cricket savvy and guts to do what ton up young Dananjaya de Silva did. The 24-year old lad, who just over a fortnight ago told me with a laugh here and there that it was softball cricket that led him on a cricket career, indeed carved out an incredible innings; an innings importantly built on sheer confidence of… Read More →

The Team will go all out for a historic clean sweep

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Aussies are no pushovers; we played better cricket than them – Mathews As history beckons Sri Lanka for a 3-nil Test series clean sweep of Australia, Sri Lankan Skipper Angelo Mathews, addressing the Media on the eve of Saturday’s final Test at the SSC, the team did step up the accelerator sounding that the course of the match would revolve around spin. “Although the SSC has been traditionally known to favour batsmen, in recent times it has proved to be spin friendly in a departure from the past,” he announced. Mathews was spot on the task ahead echoing none other than Sri Lanka’s 1996 world cup hero Aravinda De Silva’s sentiments that this was a ‘now or never’ opportunity for… Read More →

Sri Lanka Walk the Talk – Thrash Aussies

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Coming out of the woods from a recent holocaust of series losses including away in England, in cleaning up the world No. 1 Test nation Australia in the first two tests, the second at Galle in a record two and a half days by a mammoth 229 runs, has signaled Sri Lanka walking the talk. Indeed, for the Sri Lankan cricket hierarchy headed by incumbent President, Thilanga Sumathipala, Sri Lanka beginning to sing in an ominous stroll to already clinching the 3-Test series against Australia is a reflection of the goods delivered in a short time. The selection policy courtesy chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya in mainly a mixture of youth with a few available experienced players like skipper Angelo Mathews,… Read More →

Sandakan New Murali in the Bag: The colts formed a Magnificent Eleven

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In many ways it was a historic win beating the might of the world – the Australians at Pallekelle in the first Test match given the heavy odds Sri Lanka braved.  That the young colts or the young ones played a significant role in the 106-run triumph with the 25-year old Lakshan Sandakan  with his match figures of 7 for emerged as a new Murali in the bag for Sri Lanka was fantastic. Putting the efforts of Sandakan, the discovery from Ragama and batsman Kusal Mendis for his 176 run marathon effort into one basket together with Dananjaya de Silva’s utility effort of 32 runs and a vital breakthrough was magnificent stuff. Enter the Trojan Rangana Herath’s 9 wicket match… Read More →