2nd ‘Battle of the Golds’ encounter                                                                       Gayashan’s century puts DSS on top

The first centurion of the ‘Battle of the Golds’, Gayashan Weerasekara attempts a sweep shot on his way to 127 not out. (Pic By Pushpakumara Matugama)

M. Naushad Amit
Gayashan Weerasekara had the honour of scoring the first century of the ‘Battle of the Gold’s series when he compiled an unbeaten 127 off 173 balls (inclusive of 16 boundaries) to help DS Senanayake to a commanding position on the first day in the 2nd encounter played at the R. Premadasa Stadium yesterday.

Electing to field after winning the toss, the second and third bowling changes proved fruitful for Mahanama as the first three DS wickets were down for 82. Things came to a contrasting change when DS’ No. 4 batsman Nadun Pathirana and No. 5 batsman Weerasekara went in to the record books after sensibly composing a record partnership of 151 runs for the fourth wicket.

The elegant left-hander was much faster to score his fifty than his partner Pathirana who was cautious and was on 29 at the time. Pathirana was caught behind for 60 after tea, becoming the first cricketer to score a fifty in the series. Weerasekara who looked more matured in his batting gave no chances to become the first batsman to score a century in the annual encounter. DS were 249 for 6 when they lost their last wicket before declaring at 280 in 72 overs. Six bowlers were used by the Mahanama skipper Aruna Prasad and out of them only two bowlers came out with productive figures. Right-arm pacie Dhanushka Gunathilaka took 2 for 59 while the deputy skipper and left-arm spinner Ishan Abeysekara bagged 4 for 86.

Mahanama in reply suffered an early blow when they lost opener Sajith Nissanka for three. The DS opening pair bowled only one over each when their skipper Dimuthu Samarakkody introduced the spinners including himself and Naveen Kavikara who struck first. When bad light prevented further play Mahanama were 11 for 1 in 6.2 overs. The match was stopped 35 minutes before the scheduled time with six overs left in the game. The match will resume early today 9.30 am.


D.S. Senanayake 1st Innings
L. Weragala c A. Dias b D. Gunathilaka 12
H. Udugamawithana c Kaluarachchi
b I. Abeysekara 31
K. Sooriarachchi lbw b I. Abeysekara 3
G. Weerasekara not out 127
N. Pathirana c A. Dias b D. Gunathilaka 60
I. Udana c D. Dharmawardena
b I. Abeysekara 4
C. Jayampathi st A. Dias b I. Abeysekara 1
D. Samarakkody not out 10
Extra (b8, w1, lb6, nb16) 31
Total (6 wkts dec., 72 overs) 280
Fall of wickets 1-45, 2-72, 3-82, 4-233, 5-238, 6-249.
Bowling: T. Madhushanka 12-1-47-0, S. Samarasooriya 4-0-18-0, D. Gunathilaka 14-1-59-2, I. Abeysekara 22-4-86-4, D. Madhuranga 11-2-31-0, B. Sarinda 9-0-25-0.

Mahanama 1st Innings
S. Nissanka b N. Kavikara 3
S. Ruberu not out 2
I. Abeysekara not out 1
Extras (b5) 5
Total (one wkt at close, 6.2 overs) 11
Fall of wicket: 1-10.
Bowling: I. Udana 1-0-3-0, C. Jayampathi 1-0-0-0, N. Kavikara 2.2- 1-1-1, D. Samarakkody 2-1-2-0.


Thomians retain Mustang’s trophy in tense finish

By Samiddha Kalmith Rathnayake
S. Thomas’ retained the Mustang’s Trophy for the fourth consecutive year as they beat Royal by two wickets in the 33rd limited-over encounter played at the P. Sara Stadium yesterday.

After a pretty encouraging performance at the recently held ‘big match’, Royal was the favourites to regain the trophy but the Thomian captain Vishwa Weerawardene had other ideas. Winning the toss and electing to field first the Thomians struck at regular intervals to restrict Royal to 113-8 before last year’s captain Haroon Mowjood rescued them with a well composed half-century off 85 balls (2 fours, 1 six) that brought them to a respectable total of 190-9 at the end of 50 overs. Fast bowler Naveed Ghany did most of the damage with three wickets for 19 runs.

In reply, Thomians were guided by their opener Thahir who hit a valuable 59 off 115 balls (2 fours). Ghany again came into the limelight with a knock of 52 off 83 balls (2 fours, 1 six) to hold the innings almost till the end. The match nearly went to the wire as Royal fought back strongly and the Thomians edging through with just four balls to spare.

Scores: Royal 190-9 (50) (Haroon Mowjood 50 n.o, Charith Fernando 38, Maneesha Tantrigoda 23, Naveed Ghany 3/19, Nilshan Fernando 2/17, Milan Fernando 2/33)

S.Thomas’ 191-8 (49.2) (Jehaan Thahir 59, Naveed Ghany 52, Thilina Nugawela 20, Kanishka Botheju 2/28, Dilan Nanayakkara 2/21, Charith Fernando 2/42


                                                                   Railways make winning VB debut                                                                     

Sri Lanka Railway taking part for the first time emerged champions in the National Volleyball Championship, which was held at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium yesterday in both the men’s and women’s category. In the women’s final Sri Lanka Railway beat Sri Lanka Air Force 25/17, 25/21, 25/23 and in the men’s final Railway beat Ports Authority 25/17, 25/18, 26/24. Pictures show the winning Sri Lanka Railway women’s team celebrating their success and the Railway men’s team in action in the final.
(Pix by Nissanka Wijerathne)


Premier League Cricket                                                                                                                      

SSC in sight of Tier A title

SSC led by Tharanga Paranavithane were virtually assured of the Premier League Tier A title when they dismissed CCC for 286 and took a handy 227-run lead on the first innings in their match continued at Maitland Crescent yesterday.

CCC resuming at 77-3 in reply to SSC’s mammoth first innings total of 513, could not make much headway despite half centuries from Anushka Polonowita (68) and Sri Lanka cricketer Chamara Kapugedera who made a top score of 96 off 158 balls (7 fours, 2 sixes).The batting was ruined by 23-year-old left-arm spinner Dunil Abeydeeera who went onto take his maiden five-for in an innings in his ninth first-class match. By stumps on the third day SSC had an overall lead of 300 with eight wickets in hand. They only need a draw to clinch the title.

Moors SC in their Centenary Year was well placed to occupy the runner-up spot when they took a vital first innings lead of 29 runs by dismissing Tamil Union for 367. By the close Moors had scored 134-4 in their second innings extending their overall lead to 163 with six wickets in hand going into the fourth and final day.

Sri Lanka all-rounder Farveez Maharoof showed that he had recovered fully from his side strain which kept him out of the Caribbean series when he scored his maiden first-class century for NCC in their match against Chilaw Marians at Maitland Place. Maharoof struck 12 fours and two sixes in his 187-ball knock for 104 which enabled NCC lift themselves from 249-6 to an imposing 405 in the second innings. Lasith Fernando also made a century (109 off 189 balls, 12 fours) as Chilaw Marians were set a target of 301 for victory.

Former Sri Lanka under 19 captain Angelo Mathews continued his excellent form with the bat by making a career best 157 for Colts against Badureliya SC. Mathews who faced 364 balls had nine fours and four sixes in his well-paced innings to give Colts a useful first innings lead of 279 runs. By the close Marians had wiped out 135 runs from the deficit losing three wickets.
Bloomfield was in the box seat against Ragama CC leading overall by 526 runs at the end of the third day.

Tier A third day scores:
* At Maitland Crescent: SSC 513 and 73-2 (24) (H Fernando 27, K Silva 20 n.o.)
CCC 77-3 contd 286 (73) (A Polonowita 68, C Kapugedera 96, A Weththasinghe 20, L Perera 28 n.o., S Senanayake 3/96, D Abeydeera 5/55).

* At Maitland Place: NCC 135 and 179-3 contd 405 (120.1) (L Fernando 109, C Wijesinghe 53, F Maharoof 104, H Silva 3/67)

Chilaw Marians 240 and 16-1 (6) at close.
* Havelock Park: Badureliya SC 225 and 135-3 (29.4) at close (D Hunukumbura 60, K Vasudevadas 38)
Colts 291-4 contd. 504 (155.4) (A Mathews 157, S Weerakoon 83, J Kulatunga 56, L Dias 5/152, H Wickremaratne 3/62).

* Reid Avenue: Bloomfield 431 and 303-9 (70.3) at close (S Jayasuriya 79, T Masmulla 25, Y de Silva 35, S Dissanayake 57, S Mendis 24, T Lakshitha 20 n.o., M Ranasinghe 26, S Jeewantha 2/27)
Ragama CC 185-8 contd 208 (74.3) (A Perera 24, S Dissanayake 6/83).

* At Sara Stadium: Moors SC 396 and 134-4 (39) at close (D Sudarshana 28, B Perera 40, D Boteju 23 n.o, A Rideegamannagedera 36 n.o.)
Tamil Union 262-4 contd 367 (120) (L de Silva 59, M Pushpakumara 30, M Fernando 49 n.o., D Lokuhettige 3/69, C Mudalige 4/100). – [ST]


Proteas keep India at bay

CHENNAI (AFP) - A spirited fightback by South Africa after Virender Sehwag’s brutal assault the previous day left the first cricket Test against India headed for a draw on Saturday.

India, resuming at the overnight 468-1 in reply to South Africa’s first innings total of 540, failed to maintain the momentum and were all out for 627 by tea on the fourth day.

The tourists easily wiped out the 87-run deficit and closed the day at 131-1 in their second knock with opener Neil McKenzie following his 94 in the first innings with an unbeaten 59. Hashim Amla, the first innings hero with 159, was the other batsman at the crease on a fluent 35.

Sehwag, who resumed at his overnight score of 309, was dismissed for 319 within the first 30 minutes of play and only Rahul Dravid’s 111 ensured India a first innings lead. Dravid reached the 10,000-run mark on way to his 25th Test century, but the only other notable contribution for the Indians was Venkatsai Laxman’s 39.

South African fast bowler Dale Steyn claimed four of the last five wickets to finish with 4-103. Left-arm spinner Paul Harris was the most expensive with 3-203, while Makhaya Ntini ended with 3-128.

Scores: South Africa 540 and 131-1 (33) (N McKenzie 59 n.o., G Smith 35, H Amla 35 n.o.)
India 468-1 contd. 627 (115.1) (V Sehwag 319, R Dravid 111, S Ganguly 24, V Laxman 39, Extras 38, D Steyn 4/103, M Ntini 3/128, P Harris 3/203).


Sports Minister orders SLBA to postpone AGM

By Dhammika Ratnaweera
Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge has ordered the postponement of the AGM of Sri Lanka Badminton Association which was scheduled for today (March 30). A senior official of SLBA said that Sports Director-General B.D Dahanayaka has sent a letter to SLBA to that effect.

When nominations closed Christo Gonawala and Rajpal Salgado were uncontested for the posts of president and secretary.
According to the Sports Director-General the Sports Minister has taken this decision not only with regard to the SLBA, but also with other sports associations liked the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) who’s AGM has also been postponed.

The Minister has taken this decision because he wants to investigate certain issues pending within the associations. The Sports Director-General also pointed out that an interim committee would be appointed to run the affairs of the bodies until such time the investigations are complete and a final decision taken.

“I don’t think it will be for a very long period. Maybe within the next few months there will be an AGM for the SLBA. My personal view is that interim committees are not suitable for any sports bodies,” said the Sports Director-General.


Amunugama heads Squash

Air Vice Marshall Asoka Amunugama was elected uncontested as president of the Sri Lanka Squash Federation at the AGM held at the Sports Ministry Auditorium on Friday. Amunugama who was promoted to Air Vice Marshall rank recently said that all office-bearers were elected uncontested at the AGM and he was confident that, with his team of officials, they could continue their promotion of the sport.

Following are the office bearers of the Sri Lanka Squash Federation for 2008.
President: Air Vice Marshall Asoka Amunugama. Vice Presidents: Commodore Palitha Weerasinghe, Colonel Tissa Jayasuriya, Wing Commander Ranjan Samarasinghe, Jeff Jacotine, Rohantha Pieris. Secretary: Nandana Diyabalange. Treasurer: Squadron Leader R. Jayawardena. Assistant Treasurer: Deegayu Abeynayaka. Asst Secretary: Squadron Leader Upali Wijeweera.


Palitha, Prema elected uncontested at athletics AGM

Major General Palitha Fernando and Prema Pinnawala were elected uncontested as president and secretary at the Amateur Athletics Association (AAA) held on Friday at their headquarters. Both Fernando and Pinnawala retained their posts for the second year.

However there was a contest for the vice-presidents and assistant treasurer’s posts. Six vice-presidents were elected out of 13 which included two newcomers - Colonel Sudath Madugalle and Anil Weerasinghe. Brigadier Parry Liyanage, PHD Waidyatilleka, TM Devendra and Sunil Jayaweera retained their vice-president posts with majority votes. There was a contest between Oliver Fernando and H.A Upali for the assistant treasurer’s post. Fernando was elected with a majority.

Following are the office bearers for the AAA 2008:
President: Major General Palitha Fernando (uncontested).
Vice Presidents: Brig Parry Liyanage, Colonal Sudath Madugalla, Anil Weerasinghe, TM Devendran, PHD Waidyatilleka, Sunil Jayaweera. Secretary: Prema Pinnawala (uncontested), Assistant Secretary: Yasarohana de Silva (uncontested). Treasurer: Shantha de Silva. Assistant Treasurer: Oliver Fernando. Official Recorder: G.G.U Saman Kumara.


Q-finalists in Colombo District Rugby 7s

With the participation of 23 teams Colombo District Schools Rugby Sevens got underway at CR&FC grounds yesterday. At the end of the first day the quarter-finalists were found for the Cup tournament. The tournament will be televised on Channel Eye from 9 am onwards today.

The Cup quarterfinal line up: St. Joseph’s vs Royal Panadura, Nalanda vs Mahanama, Piliyandala Central vs S. Thomas’, Mt Lavinia, Ananda vs Isipathana.


Rain ruins Trinity’s chances

Mariks from Kandy
A heavy downpour at around 4.00 pm ruined the chances of Trinity College recording a victory over traditional rivals St. Anthony’s College in their limited-over encounter played at Katugastota yesterday.

Chasing a modest target of 116 runs for victory in 41 overs, the Lions were well poised after reaching 55-3 in the 11th over. Earlier the Trinitians inspired by a mesmerizing spell of spin bowling by Wasika Munasinghe (4/17) set the platform for an unlikely win. The match got underway only at 11.30 a.m. due to overnight showers.

Scores: St. Anthony’s 116 (39.4) (Kasun Ekanayake 25, Gimhan Dissanayake 17, Adil Reyal 16, D. Kumarasinghe 14, Wasika Munasinghe 4/17)
Trinity 55-3 (11) (Dilan Gangoda 22, Wasika Munasinghe 21 retired hurt).


‘Battle of Golds’ on April 24, 25

The much awaited 58th ‘Battle of the Golds’ encounter between Prince of Wales College and St. Sebastian’s College will be played on April 24 and 25 at the De Soyza Stadium, Moratuwa. The limited overs encounter is to be played on April 26 at the same venue.

Meanwhile the 57th encounter between Moratu Vidyalaya and Sri Sumangala, Panadura which is scheduled to be played on April 5 and 6 at the Moratu Vidyalaya grounds is facing a probable postponement according to reliable sources. It is learnt that one of the schools is not happy with the venue. The De Soyza Stadium which is the usual venue for the encounter is presently under construction. However officials of both schools would have a final discussion tomorrow to have the encounter going at a neutral venue on the fixed dates. (MNA)