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BRC dominate NCC as Bhanuka hits twin centuries



Seven matches of the Super 8s and Plate Championship of the Sri Lanka Cricket(SLC) Premier League Tier A Tournament concluded earlier this week. This was the second set of games after the Tournament resumed after a long break on the 10th of August due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Super 8s

Milinda Siriwardana fought a lone battle for Saracens SC, as he made sure his team secured vital first innings points over the favorites to win the tournament, CCC. After Kasun Rajitha’s five wicket burst restricted CCC to 142 in their 1st innings, Siriwardana Made 89 before following it up with 151 in the second innings as the match ended in a draw. Lasith Abeyratne made an unbeaten century for CCC in their second essay, while Rajitha finished with 9 wickets in the match.

Ragama CC who suffered an innings defeat a few days back at the hands of CCC, bounced back to beat Colts by 103 runs at the CCC ground in Colombo. Young left arm spinner Shashika Dulshan was the star of the game for Ragama CC, as he captured six first innings wickets to set up the game for his team. Akila Dananjaya bowling with a remodeled action captured 8 wickets in the match.

Two whirlwind knocks from BRC’s Bhanuka Rajapaksa against the formidable NCC, was the highlight of the drawn game in Katunayake. Rajapaksa hit 115 off just 82 balls in the 1st innings as BRC managed to secure 1st innings points, before following it up with a match saving century in the 2nd innings. Duvindu Tillakaratne, the tournament’s highest wicket taker with 56 scalps, also starred with a match bag of 13 wickets.

Ashan Randika hit a scintillating 133 off 84 balls, but it wasn’t enough as the soldiers were beaten by Chilaw Marians by 45 runs at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo. Nimesh Vimuthi’s 4/23 in the Army SC’s second innings sparked a dramatic collapse, as he also captured the key scalp of Randika.

Brief scores:

CCC vs Saracens SC

CCC 142 (40.4): Minod Bhanuka 92 (122), Kasun Rajitha 5/63, Saliya Saman 3/33 & 351/7d (81): Lasith Abeyratne 101* (170), Lahiru Madushanka 63 (81), Kasun Rajitha 4/84

Saracens SC 183 (49.3): Milinda Siriwardana 89 (88), Lahiru Gamage 5/29, Vishwa Fernando 3/37 & 283/6 (81): Milinda Siriwardena 151 (180), Pramod Maduwantha 54 (160), Vishwa Fernando 3/38

Ragama CC vs Colts CC

Ragama CC 258 (63): Saminda Fernando 73 (93), Nishan Madushka 57 (75), Akila Dhananjaya 4/24, Prabath Jayasuriya 3/76 & 220 (65.2): Roshen Silva 67 (111), Lahiru Thirimanne 63 (142), Prabath Jayasuriya 5/69, Akila Dhananjaya 4/44

Colts CC 163 (57.3): Santhush Gunathilaka 33 (80), Shashika Dulshan 6/45 & 212 (55.5): Sadeera Samarawickrama 69 (128), Avishka Fernando 44 (58), Kalhara Senaratne 3/28, Ishan Jayaratne 3/31, Amila Aponso 3/48


BRC 316 (86.3): Bhanuka Rajapaksa 115 (82), Duvindu Tillakaratne 53 (108), Ashian Daniel 4/63, Lahiru Kumara 2/63 & 240 (58.5): Bhanuka Rajapaksa 110 (98), Lahiru Kumara 4/76, Dilesh Gunaratne 2/21, Chamika Karunaratne 2/37

NCC 275 (65.2): Chamika Karunaratne 93, Lahiru Udara 90, Duvindu Tillakaratne 6/63 & 227/9 Lahiru Udara 93(64), Duvindu Tillakaratne 7/55

Chilaw Marians CC vs SL Army SC

Chilaw Marians CC 269 (82.3): Shehan Jayasuriya 95 (147), Asela Gunaratne 3/37, Dushan Vimukthi 3/90 & 241 (63): Kasun Vidura 73* (106),  Seekkuge Prasanne 6/101

SL Army SC 216 (70): Dinesh Chandimal 62 (99), Asela Gunaratne 43* (99), Asitha Fernando 4/71 & 249 (36.3): Ashan Randika 133 (84), Nimesh Vimukthi 4/23, Shehan Jayasuriya 4/66

Plate Championship

Praveen Jayawickrama’s 11 wickets in the match helped Moors SC topple a star studded Tamil Union side at Moratuwa. Sri Lanka all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva played out of his skin capturing 12 wickets in the match to go along with an unbeaten 95* in the 1st innings, but it was not enough to push his team to the finish line.

SSC continued to fall into deep waters as they were this time beaten by Lankan CC, who were well led by their in-form skipper Chanaka Ruwansiri. Following on from his century in the previous round against Negombo CC, Ruwansiri hit 165 overshadowing Dasun Shanaka’s century, as Lankan CC collected 1st innings points.

Table toppers in the Plate Championship after the previous round Negombo CC were pushed to 2nd place in the table, but not before they secured another comfortable 1st innings win over Baduraliya SC. Dilshan Munaweera was the star with the bat for Negombo top scoring with 91, while Upul Indrasiri captured 10 wickets in the match. Dushan Hemantha also hit a 2nd innings century for Baduraliya, as he made sure they avoided an outright loss.

Moors SC vs Tamil Union CAC

Moors SC 206 (71.2) Nipun Karunanayake 44 (100), Dinuka Dilshan 43 (108), Dhananjaya de Silva 7/59 & 171 (46.1)Pabasara Waduge 44 (43), Kavishka Anjula 43 (69), Ayana Siriwardena 42 (38), Dhanajaya de Silva 5/50

Tamil Union C&AC 178 (52) Dhananjaya de Silva 95* (104), Praveen Jayawickrama 5/53, Ramesh Mendis 3/39 & 155 (36.3) Suranga Lakmal 40 (20), Praveen Jayawickrama 6/91

SSC vs Lankan CC

SSC 332 (76.2) Dasun Shanaka 112 (144), Sammu Ashan 54 (86), Chanaka Ruwansiri 3/53, Keshan Wijerathne 3/93, Dunith Wellalage 3/97 & 226/4 (48) Sandun Weerakkody 67 (55), Nuwanindu Fernando 45 (71), Geeth Kumara 3/49

Lankan CC 375 Chanaka Ruwansiri 165(201), Geeth Kumara 60 (193), Kalana Perera 3/54, Jeffry Vandersay 5/117

Badureliya SC vs Negombo CC

Badureliya SC 267 (84.5) Dunith Jayathunga 57, Salinda Ushan 51, Damith Perera 43, Upul Indrasiri 5/65, Lakshitha Rasanjana 3/65 & 276 (69.1) Dushan Hemantha 115 (112), Dunith Jayathunga 48 (60), Upul Indrasiri 5/85, Lakshitha Rasanjana 5/97

Negombo CC 381 (105.2)

Dilshan Munaweera 91 (144), Madawa Warnapura 87 (141), Angelo Jayasinghe 66 (96), Roscoe Thattil 33(80), Dushan Hemantha 4/82, Buddika Sanjeewa 2/84


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Imran steals the show!



(This article by The Island’s respected cricket columnist Rohan Wijeyaratne first appeared in these pages 16 years ago; on the 11th of June 2005. As World Cup winning former captain and current Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has just visited the island, we reproduce this article in today’s edition)

In my youth – which is to say, quite a long time ago – I would often go to the YMCA canteen for a snack and a tea after whatever business that brought me to the Fort. Doing the same recently more for old times sake than anything else, I saw a familiar figure ahead of me heading in the same direction. Quickening my step and drawing abreast, I introduced myself to the gentleman concerned. He was none other than my old school English teacher, V. Thanabalasingham.


Not just a teacher, but an Institution

Those of you who may have passed through the portals of Ananda College during the 1960s and the early 70s and no doubt been well rounded in many ways, will admit to a man that when it came to the teaching of English, the name Thanabalasingham held no peer. In his prime, he was not just a brilliant teacher but an Institution. And volumes wouldn’t suffice to do him justice – such was the impact he made on all whom he touched, be it with the brilliance of Thackeray, Dickens, Chaucer or the Direct Method English Course that served as our bread and butter in English education at the time.


Another, from a different mould

Another teacher from an entirely different mould was Upali Ratnayake, now the Executive Director of CIMA. At the time he was introduced to us at the ‘A’ level stage, he appeared to our free spirits a cut above the rest. He acquired this status by doing exactly the opposite of what he was expected to do, which was to teach us English as a preparatory step towards an easier passage through University. Upali Ratnayake actually taught us nothing. Yet we learnt a good deal off him, discussing almost everything other than the subject he was paid for! His most endearing virtue was that he never spoke to us from a great height. And in that process, he taught us one of the most lasting lessons in life.

Several decades later, I nearly fell off my chair to receive a phone call from him inviting me to the BMICH on the 28th of May where Imran Khan and Kumar Sangakkara were due to speak at the CIMA Global Leaders Summit. The topics for discussion were “Passion for Perfection” and “Ordinary people in extraordinary acts.” The topics and the speakers seemed irresistible. And so I went.


What a speech!

I wasn’t disappointed. Neither were hundreds of others present. And predictably, Imran stole the show. Blessed with a presence that would have put any Grecian god to second class status, this tall, elegant and immensely handsome man spoke with such brilliance, clarity and articulation, the end result was as gripping as it was inspiring. In his wake, those who followed appeared cumbersome and dreary, almost like how Kenny Mackay would appear after the brilliance of a vintage Sobers or a Dexter! Kumar Sangakkara having to make do with less time than was his rightful share went largely unheard, tending to speak more to his fellow panelists than his audience. He will learn. As a probable hot contender to the top post after Atapattu, there will be many more occasions where he will be required to speak in public.


“Ambition must be upgraded, never downgraded”

Imran was of the view that all humans were endowed with limitless potential. Their limits if any, were often self imposed. Those who achieved extraordinary heights were those who dared to go beyond their self imposed limits. They thought big, dreamed big and did not allow their limitations to get in the way of achieving their dreams. He drew parallels from his own experiences in cricket, his cancer hospital project and his involvement in national politics to establish the point.


The four secrets

Starting with cricket, and drawing parallels with other legends including Zaheer Abbas, Imran stressed the need for a clear vision, the hunger to succeed, the willingness to sacrifice and self belief as being the four secrets to achieve one’s vision. Self belief was a factor which Abbas, despite all his God given gifts, had in very short supply. Imran, on the other hand, was full of it (sometimes foolishly!), because he never thought he ever could lose a game each time he stepped on to a cricket field. He gave many examples of it, including the victories against the might of the ‘invincible’ West Indians in 1986 against all odds. And that, despite having requested and got, ‘neutral’ umpires in a home series in Pakistan! He just wanted to make sure that when they won, there would be none to say that the umpires had anything to do with it!

Drawing from examples of his own life, Imran said that in all one’s life, one would hear others say why something cannot be done. That if accepted, would be the start of everyone’s downward spiral. Ambition he said, must be upgraded, never downgraded. And the more you pit your mind against the winds that resist you from reaching your ambition, the stronger your mind will become. Therefore, ambition must take precedence over everything. And towards achieving that, one should be willing to sacrifice anything. “Compromise” said Imran “for your vision, but never ever on your vision.” Great words!


Why the 3rd world is the 3rd world!

Relating what made him take to politics, Imran said that the problem with the third world was that the ruling elite would put itself above the law and deprive the ordinary folk of any justice. Hence his political movement was primarily meant to establish the rule of law in his country, where the weak and the strong were equal in the eyes of the law. “No society in the history of mankind has ever progressed without the rule of the law. The reason why the third world remained the third world was because it had very poor rule of the law. The elitist types did whatever they wished and got away with it, while the common man and the small and medium industrialist were all deprived of justice.” None could have spoken a truer word!


The ways of the mafia

Imran went on to say that when fighting for the rule of Law, one would be pitted against entrenched vested interests; the most powerful elite in the country. These were those who could buy justice. In Imran’s case, these were men who were also his good friends. Yet he preferred to take on the mantle of a social pariah instead, preferring to stand steadfast to his vision. The mafia usually reacts in such situations in either of two ways. They would either eliminate you or make you join the system. Just five months after his party was formed, he was offered 30 seats in Parliament out of 270. Imran refused, because he realized he had no chance of winning against entrenched political families that controlled his country. He knew the moment he joined them, he would need to compromise with his vision. So he refused, and got wiped out at the elections.


Refusing the Prime Ministership of Pakistan

When General Musharaff took over with Pakistan’s fourth military dictatorship in its brief history, he made all the right noises such as ridding the country of “sham” democracy and so on. No sooner Musharaff formed his own party, Imran was yet again invited, this time to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan. “But when I discovered that joining his coalition meant joining the biggest crooks in the country,” he had no difficulty in refusing. He was chided for his decision by many who argued that he could have joined and then fixed things up. But Imran said the decision was easy to make, as his vision was very clear. And it was one’s vision that decided when to compromise and when not to.



Imran’s vision

Imran’s vision was an independent and credible judicial system in Pakistan. So he asked himself the question, could General Musharaff afford an independent judiciary? The answer to him was obvious. If such a judicial system prevailed, most of the powerful men in his country would be tried for treason under article six of the country’s constitution. The sentence for treason was death. And he was therefore convinced that neither Musharaff, nor those around him could afford an independent and credible judicial system. And so, with his firm “No” Imran watched his party being destroyed yet again, to one seat, in parliament. This time it was by General Musharaff himself.

(To be continued tomorrow)

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Spinners give India early advantage in third Test



Indian spinners shot England out for just 112 inside two sessions with Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel sharing the spoils after pacer Ishant Sharma opened the floodgates in his milestone 100th match on the opening day of the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad yesterday.

England were all out for 112 in 48.4 overs in the second session on a spin-friendly Motera pitch with Patel (21.4-6-38-6) grabbing his second five-for in his second Test while Ashwin (16-6-26-3) took three.

Openers Rohit Sharma (5) and Shubman Gill (0 ) negotiated five overs to take India to five for no loss at the dinner break.

Gill, however, survived after TV umpire ruled him not out in the third over after England claimed for a catch.

Ishant, only the second Indian fast bowler after Kapil Dev to play in 100 Tests, fittingly took India’s first wicket in the third over as he dismissed opener Dominic Sibley for nought.

Thereafter, it was all an Ashwin and Patel show as the duo bamboozled the England batsmen to complete the submission, except for the other opener Zak Crawley, who hit an eminently delectable half-century. Six English wickets fell in the second session.

England did not have any substantial partnership with the 47-run stand for the third wicket being the highest. They lost their last seven wickets for just 38 runs.

Crawley’s brilliance was, however, neutralised by the Indian spinners as England were left reeling at 81 for four going into tea after an exciting opening session in the pink ball Test.

Two wickets fell in as many overs after the resumption of the second session, with Ashwin and Patel taking one each, to reduce England to 81 for 6.

Ashwin sent Ollie Pope’s (1) off-stump cart-wheeling with a beauty of a delivery, bowling round the wicket, before Patel trapped Ben Stokes (6) LBW in the next over with a ball that spun in.

Jofra Archer (11) did a tad better as he hit a four in the second ball he faced and another boundary off Ashwin. But, Patel had him soon, cleaning up his off-stump to send England innings into a mess.

England’s rapid slide continued with Jack Leach edging one to the gully where Cheteshwar Pujara took a low catch off Ashwin, though the TV umpire took time to confirm the decision.

Crawley’s effort was the only silver lining for England. Having missed the first two Tests due to a freak wrist injury, the stylish right-hander’s driving was elegance personified as he hit ten boundaries during his 84-ball 53.

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Top players secure third round places 



SSC Open Ranking Tennis


Thehan Wijemanne, Kavisha Ratnayake, Vibuda Wijebandara, Savith Weerasinghe, Kiran Viravanathan, Archana Lokuge advanced to the men’s singles third round at the SSC Open Ranking tennis tournament on Tuesday.

Some of the leading players fighting to improve on their impressive performances produced at the Tennis  Nationals and the Colombo Championships during recent weeks knocked out their opponents easily to secure third round places.


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