58th ‘Battle of the Golds’                                                                            

Thirimanne’s ton - only spark in Moratuwa gloom

St. Sebastian’s skipper Janitha Jayawardena clean bowled by Cambrian off-spinner Chamesh Fernando (not in picture) for 18 at their annual ‘big match’ at De Soysa Stadium, Moratuwa yesterday (Pic by Pushpakumara Matugama)

By M. Naushad Amit
The hoodoo of draws continued for the 31st consecutive year as the 58th annual ‘Battle of the Golds’ between Prince of Wales’ and St. Sebastian’s ended in a tame draw at the De Soysa Stadium in Moratuwa, yesterday with bad weather playing a major role in the final result.

The only bright spark was the unbeaten century scored by Sri Lanka under 19 cricketer Lahiru Thirimanne for Prince of Wales who held the upperhand in the match.

The Cambrians continuing from their overnight score of 170 for 4 declared before lunch at 257-6 soon after Thirimanne had completed his century. They lost night-watchman Sanka Peiris for a duck before adding to the total in the morning. Lahiru Sri Lakmal who replaced him also went cheaply for nine.

Thirimanne, not out on 69 overnight put together a flourishing unbeaten partnership of 73 for the seventh wicket with Chamath Kariyawasam before the declaration. Thirimanne remained unbeaten on 100 scored off 171 balls with six fours and a six while his partner Kariyawasam hit a quick-fire 43 off 45 balls. Anuk de Alwis and Sanjaya Fernando bowled well for St. Sebastian’s to take three wickets each.

Batting in their first innings St. Sebastian’s faced an early blow when they lost dashing opener Rajitha Mendis for two. Mendis’ opening partner Trevin Fernando was the only batsman who resisted the Cambrian bowling attack. Fernando hardly received any support from other batsmen who failed to impress with the bat. He was dismissed for 56 as the sixth wicket being caught at point by Thirimanne off the bowling of Shivantha Kumara when the total was on 107. Skipper Janitha Jayawardena and Charith Fernando batted sensibly for almost an hour but failed to add much runs to the total. Eventually the Sebastianites were bundled out for a mere 153 forcing a follow on. For Prince of Wales’ Shivantha Kumara had 3 wickets for 26 while Sanka Peiris, Chamesh Fernando and Yohan Silva bagged 2 wickets each.

The Sebastianites faced only two balls in their follow on as poor light conditions halted any possible play around 5.00p.m. Soggy ground conditions hampered by heavy rains took a larger portion of the match allowing only 42 overs of play on the first day.


Prince of Wales’ 1st Innings
(overnight 170-4)

N. Priyanjana c C. Fernando b S. Fernando 24
M. Fernando c & b A. de Alwis 16
R. Thirimanne not out 100
S. Silva b A. de Alwis 41
C. Fernando c I. Fernando b S. Fernando 0
S. Peiris c I. Fernando b A. de Alwis 0
L. Sri Lakmal st R. Dilhara b S. Fernando 9
C. Kariyawasam not out 43
Extras (b5, lb2, nb17) 24
Total (6 wkts decl., 78 overs) 257
Fall of wickets: 1-49, 2-49, 3-165, 4-169, 5-170, 6-184
Bowling: S. Ferdinando 6-2-10-0, T. Fernando 10-4-16-0, C. Fernando 5-1-16-0, A. de Alwis 21-1-75-3, S. Fernando 28-3-102-3, J. Jayawardena 8-1-31-3.

St. Sebastian’s 1st Innings
T. Fernando c R. Thirimanne b S. Kumara 56
R. Mendis bowled C. Kariyawasam 2
P. Dilshan c S. Peiris b S. Kumara 16
I. Fernando c S. Peiris b C. Fernando 10
A. Perera c S. Peiris b Y. Silva 8
S. Fernando lbw Y. Silva 0
J. Jayawardena bowled C. Fernando 18
C. Fernando bowled Kumara 13
R. Dilhara lbw S. Peiris 17
A. de Alwis not out 3
S. Ferdinando lbw S. Peiris 0
Extras (5b, 5n) 10
Total (all out, 75.2 overs) 153
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-27, 3-60, 4-84, 5-97, 6-107, 7-130, 8-136, 9-152
Bowling: C. Kariyawasam 5-1-13-1, R. Thirimanne 5-2-9-0, S. Kumara 24-10-26-3, S. Peiris 7.2-1-9-2, L. Sri Lakmal 2-1-7-0, S. Silva 2-0-4-0, C. Fernando 16-5-29-2, Y. Silva 13-0-51-2.

St. Sebastian’s 2nd Innings

T. Fernando not out 0
R. Mendis not out 0
Extras 0
Total (for no loss, 0.2 overs) 0
Bowling: S. Kumara 0.2-0-0-0.


Thomians edge out Anthonians 14-10

A Thomian player is well tackled by the Anthonian defence. (Pic by Pushpakumara Mathugama)

S. Thomas’, Mt. Lavinia beat St. Anthony’s by 14 points (two goals) to 10 (two tries) to win back the Rev. Fr. Anjelo Rosetti trophy after a lapse of three years in their rugby encounter played at Mt Lavinia yesterday. It was not a fantastic game of rugby that one would have loved to see where both teams displayed poor skills in making moves and in ball handling.

Both teams were on par considering their strengths and from the first blow of the whistle they tried hard to cover as much ground as they could. Anthonians grabbed the first chance to put their name in the scoreboard in the form of scrum half Imad Riyal who opened the scoring with an unconverted try. The Thomians didn’t stay in the back seat for long. Janic Jayasuriya, their prop forward made a canny move to cross the opposition’s goal line. Heshan Gunarathne made the conversion quite easily. At the short whistle the hosts the Thomians led 7-5.

In the second half Thomian skipper Rohitha Rajapakse managed to penetrate the Anthonian defence and score by the left corner flag. Gunarathne put the finishing touches to the conversion making a difficult one look easy. During injury time Anthonian center Amila Weligampitiya managed a try (which went unconverted) to narrow the deficit to 14-10 before the final whistle.
Referee: Pradeep Fernando. – [SKR]


Chennai go to the top

Kumar Sangakkara who hit a classy 94 for Kings XI Punjab against Mumbai Indians at Mohali on Friday receiving the man-of-the-match award.

Chennai Super Kings went on top of the table after an efficient performance from the bowlers - reckoned to be the team’s weak link - set up a convincing nine-wicket victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders at Chepauk on Saturday. After Kolkata were restricted to 147, Matthew Hayden’s superb unbeaten 70 ensured there were no hiccups in making it three wins out of three.

Jacob Oram and Muttiah Muralitharan were the stand-out bowlers for Chennai, but the Indian bowling contingent backed them up well. Oram nailed the explosive pair of Bendon McCullum and Ricky Ponting early to give the huge home crowd something to shout about. Muralitharan’s restrictive spell - he finished with figures of none for 12 from four overs - then frustrated the visitors and ensured Oram’s good work wasn’t wasted.

In the other game for the day Rajasthan Royals defeated Royal Challengers by – wickets at Bangalore under lights with Graeme Smith and Shane Watson sharing a century partnership.

* At Chepauk: Chennai Super Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 9 wkts.
Kolkata Knight Riders 147-9 (20) (B McCullum 24, P Saha 27, L Shukla 42, J Oram 3/32, M Gony 2/40, P Amarnath 2/29)
Chennai Super Kings 152-1 (17) (P Patel 21, M Hayden 70 n.o., MS Dhoni 43 n.o.).

* At Bangalore: Rajasthan Royals beat Bangalore Royal Challengers by 7 wkts.
Bangalore Royal Challengers 135-8 (20) (R Taylor 44, P Kumar 34, S Watson 2/20, M Patel 2/20)
Rajasthan Royals 138-3 (17.1) (G Smith 49, Y Pathan 21, S Watson 61 n.o.)


15th Singer-MCA Premier League Knockout Final                                                                                  
Sampath Bank’s hopes dashed by Ceylinco SC

Ceylinco SC opener Sanjeewa Weerasinghe who scored 55 hits a six on the offside off Sampath Bank bowler Hasantha Fernando (not in the picture) in the final played at the Colts grounds yesterday.
(Pic by Pushpakumara Mathugama)

Sampath Bank’s hopes of repeating their double of last year was spoilt by Ceylinco SC ‘A’ who beat them by two wickets in a closely contested final of the 15th Singer-MCA Premier League Knockout tournament played at the Colts grounds yesterday.

Sampath Bank who had already won the league title for 2008, were looking to add the knockout also to their silverware, but choosing to bat first after winning the toss their batting failed to click and they were bowled out for 198 in the 44th over. Ceylinco SC ‘A’ replied with 199-8 off 47.1 overs.

Hard-hitting all-rounder Dilhara Lokuhettige lived upto his reputation by top scoring for Sampath Bank with a half-century off 51 balls inclusive of three sixes and as many fours. Only Hasantha Fernando of the other batsmen batted with any confidence scoring 40 off 38 balls (no fours).

Paceman Chanaka Welagedera caused the Sampath Bank collapse by creaming off the top order taking the wickets of Dilruwan Perera, Kaushal Silva and skipper Jeevan Mendis to finish with figures of 3 for 24. He had good support from Chaminda Vidanapathirana, Thilan Thushara and Sachithra Senanayake.

Ceylinco SC lost wickets at regular intervals in their run chase but half-centuries from opener Sanjeewa Weerasinghe (55 off 66 balls, 3 sixes, 5 fours) and Malintha Gajanayake (60 off 70 balls, 1 six, 3 fours) and a timely unbeaten 21 off 34 balls from Senanayake ensured they did not lose the advantage gained by their bowlers. Ceylinco pair Gajanayake took the man-of-the-match award and Anil Rideegammanagedera, the man-of-the-series award. Ruwin Peiris (Ceylinco) won the Best Batsman’s award for the second year while the Best Bowler’s award went to Sajeewa Weerakoon of Hatton National Bank.

Singer Sri Lanka Human Resources Director Chitral Perera was the chief guest with Singer Sri Lanka Director Commerce and MCA vice-president Mahesh Wijewardene as the guest of honour.

Scores: Sampath Bank ‘A’ 198 (43.5) (Charith Sylvester 22, Hasantha Fernando 40, Jeevan Mendis 31, Dilhara Lokuhettige 50, Chanaka Welagedera 3/24, Chaminda Vidanapathirana 2/39, Thilan Thusara 2/58, Sachitra Senanayake 2/31)
Ceylinco SC ‘A’ 199-8 (47.1) (Marvan Atapattu 20, Sanjeewa Weerasinghe 55, Malintha Gajanayake 60, Sachithra Senanayake 21 n.o., Rangana Herath 2/43, Jeevan Mendis 2/33, Dilruwan Perera 2/33).  – [MNA]


Chelsea in dramatic win over United

Chelsea’s German player Michael Ballack celebrates after scoring the first goal of the match during their Premiership match against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge football stadium on Saturday. AFP

LONDON, (AFP) - Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack breathed new life into the Premier League title race as his late penalty clinched a dramatic 2-1 win over Manchester United on Saturday.

Avram Grant’s side are now level on points with leaders United on 81 with two games to play after Ballack’s double strike settled a thrilling clash at Stamford Bridge. Ballack opened the scoring in the first half before Wayne Rooney punished a horrendous mistake by Ricardo Carvalho to equalise after the break.

United had one hand on the title at that stage but Michael Carrick gifted Chelsea a lifeline when he handled in the penalty area with four minutes left and Ballack took full advantage.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s reigning champions still hold the advantage thanks to their vastly superior goal difference and wins at home to West Ham and at Wigan will guarantee them a 17th English league crown. But Chelsea have at least ensured the battle will go down to the wire thanks to Ballack’s heroics.