CR in thumping win over Havies

By Dinesh Kulatunga
The CR and FC scored a resounding win over their traditional rivals Havelocks SC by 32 points to 5 in a Caltex ‘A’ division league tournament second round game played at Havelock Park yesterday. The winners collected their points from two goals, three tries and one penalty to the Havies’ solitary try. At ‘lemons’ the lads from Longden Place led 10-5.
With this fine win CR retained the Commander Eustace Mathysz trophy offered for the annual CR-Havies encounter for yet another year.

A thriller was on the cards before the commencement of the match and also a ‘surprise’ was expected from the Havies outfit to pull off the game. But it was the opposite. Havies fought like terriers in the first half giving no room for their opponents but collapsed in the final session after relentless pressure from the CR back division. Havies, who went down 9-13 in the first round game, could not show the same performance and caved in easily after CR used different ploys to penetrate their defence.

The man who made the difference was CR’s first in center Mohammed Sheriff. Sheriff normally plays as full back but in his new position his penetrative runs and booming kicks to touch was a class act.

CR broke the ‘ice’ in the 35th minute of the game when fly half Ashen de Costa touched down after a blind side move from a ten-meter scrum. Full back Reza Mubarak failed to add the extra points. Then Havelocks levelled the scores after wing three quarter Wasim Thajudeen sliced through to touch down. The reliable Samantha Lakshan failed with the conversion. CR took the lead again when Sheriff dummied his way to score unopposed. Mubarak failed with the conversion again but CR took a 10-5 lead at the breather.

In the beginning of second half CR was offered a penalty 35 meters out for an offence by a Havies player. Sheriff obliged and CR extended their lead to 13-5. Then CR’s wing three quarter Dinesh Kumar powered his way to touch down and Sheriff converted it with ease. With pressure mounting on Havies, CR added more peril on the Park club, when their second in center Niroshan Karunanayake made a dummy and covered good ground and passed to Sheriff when challenged. Sheriff effortlessly breezed past the Havies try line and in turn gave the ball to wing forward Danushka Perera to touch down. Mubarak converted to make it 27-5. During the closing stages of the game CR’s wing forward Pavithra Fernando crashed in to score an unconverted try from a maul. It was a resounding win for the CR outfit who are in quest to win the league title for the first time after many years.
Wasim Thajudeen was given a yellow card for unwarranted play in the second half. The match was controlled by Pradeep Fernando.

Next week CR and FC will be hosted by Army SC at Police Park and Havelocks meet the defending champions Kandy SC at Havelock Park.


Under 23 Division I Cricket                                           

Dasun sets the pace on opening day

Lankan CC batsman Dasun Ariyasinghe got the SLC under 23 division I cricket tournament off to a great start by making the highest individual score of 156 on a day where two other batsmen Angelo Mathews of Colts and Tharaka Tendanayake of Army SC also scored centuries.

Ariyasinghe smashed 23 fours and two sixes in his 216-ball innings which contributed to more than 72 percent of his team’s total of 246 against Ragama CC at BRC grounds yesterday. The rest of the batting however crumbled to the right-arm leg spin of Ranesh Perera who ended up with figures of 5 for 59. By stumps Ragama had replied with 85-2.

Mathews struck a 127-ball unbeaten 110 inclusive of 13 fours to give Colts the upperhand against Sebastianites at Havelock Park. After the right-arm medium-pace of Thisara Perera had claimed 5 wickets for 23 to rout Sebastianites cheaply for 111, Colts ended the first day strongly placed at 276-3.

Tendanayake’s undefeated 101 off 115 balls (11 fours, 2 sixes) supported by an equally good knock of 88 off 100 balls (14 fours) from Suren Jayawardene saw Army run up the highest total of the day – 354-8 declared against Police at Panagoda.
Kandy Youth CC opener Mohamed Safraz was unlucky to miss out on a hundred when he was dismissed for an attractive 93 scored off 92 balls inclusive of five sixes and seven fours. In a low scoring game played at St Anthony’s College grounds Katugastota Kandy YCC managed to sneak through a three-run first innings lead scoring 148 in reply to Seeduwa-Raddoluwa’s total of 145.

In another low scoring match played at the Panadura esplanade, Moratuwa SC gained a narrow six runs first innings lead against Panadura SC. Right-arm medium-pacer Charith Fernando recorded the best bowling figures for the day taking 6 for 40 to dismiss Panadura for 123. Moratuwa in their turn struggled against the left-arm leg spin of Iresh Pushpakumara who captured 5 for 31.

First day scores:
At Havelock Park (BRC): Lankan CC 246 (71.5) (S Maduranga 43, D Ariyasinghe 156, G Dilruk 2/42, Ranesh Perera 5/59)
Ragama CC 85-2 (16) at close (T Waduge 25, H Vithana 30 n.o.).
Havelock Park (Colts): Sebastianites 111 (38) (L Fernando 20, K Elvitigala 3/41, Thisara Perera 5/23)
Colts 276-3 (50) at close (T Attanayake 51, A Mathews 110 n.o., K Janitha 50, Roshane Silva 50 n.o.)
At Katugastota: Seeduwa-Raddoluwa CC 145 (46) (C Gayan 36, G Kumara 29, R Jayatissa 3/34, D Athauda 2/26) and 10-0 (2) at close.

Kandy Youth CC 148 (37) (M Safraz 93, R Jayatissa 26, C Ruwansiri 3/13, M Kumara 4/37, G Kumara 3/44)
At Panadura Esplanade: Panadura SC 123 (38) (T Thushara 50, Charith Fernando 6/40) and 36-0 (8) at close.
Moratuwa SC 129 (39.2) (A Sameera 20, T de Silva 26, P de Mel 21, Iresh Pushpakumara 5/31, M Fonseka 2/27).
At R Premadasa Stadium: Under 20 Schools 215 (62.3) (M Fernando 43, S Pathirana 54, M Peiris 30, JC Ratnayake 28, A Athulathmudali 2/37, M Gunatillake 2/29, I Sampath 2/34)
Chilaw Marians 121-6 (25) at close (A Athulathmudali 42, P Jansz 31 n.o., M Gunatillake 18, S Pathirana 2/36, H Illangaratne 2/38).

At Maitland Place: Air Force 249 (68.2) (A Iranga 58, V Dissanayake 78, V Pushpakumara 26, N Fernando 3/51, L Gamage 4/62, R Laksiri 2/46)
NCC 60-2 (19) at close (S Pussegolla 20, R Mendis 28 n.o.).
At Panagoda: Army SC 354-8 decl (75) (Tharaka Tendanayake 101 n.o., S Jayawardene 88, C Silva 55, P Jayawardene 42, S Fernando 28, P Dharmapala 4/79, R Kumara 2/50)
Police SC 46-1 (12) at close (E Harshaka 20).
At Sara Stadium: Moors SC 182 (66.4) (D Udugasuriya 50, S Weerasinghe 28, D Randika 22, C Keerthisinghe 23, M Lakmal 4/32, S Serasinghe 2/27)

Tamil Union 73-4 (23) at close (G de Silva 30 n.o., C Banda 2/9).
At Kandana: Kurunegala YCC 266-8 (92) at close (R Ratnayake 55, YS Kanumale 35, N Ranasinghe 57, V Perera 55, K Alwis 2/16, R Karunaratne 2/43, M Pushpakumara 3/86) v Saracens. – [ST]


Kandy takes on Police

By Hafiz Marikar
Police Sports Club will lock horns with defending champions and table leaders Kandy Sports Club in a second round interclub rugby game at the Police Park today, kick off at 4.30 pm.
In this game, the forwards of the two sides will have to play a vital role if they are to succeed. Policemen had a great weekend last week after bringing second placed CR & FC to their knees.

On the other hand, Kandy SC side possesses a heavy mobile pack which can outplay any opposition. Imran Bastamin as a top third row player had an excellent game with some tricky moves and will to repeat the same to see his team score a convincing victory.

Both the cops and the Nittawela boys are hoping to play their best sides possible. The cops are capable of upsetting the pattern of play of the Kandy boys. The Policemen’s trump card is their forwards, who have been doing their best in the matches played so far this season. They have done well and have given some of the top clubs food for thought. Though they lost some games, most of them were closely fought ones.

The table leaders’ strong point is their speedy three-quarters spearheaded by playmakers Saliya Kumara and Fazil Marija. Both these players are a shade faster to the breakdown point and feed their backline with good ball to phase out moves. The star studded back division with experienced Sajith Mallikarachchi, Pradeep Liyanage, Sameera Silva and Sanjeewa Jayasinghe has shown the ability to thrust themselves at the opportune moment. Full back Radika Hettiarachchi is in great form. The Police team’s forte will be their forwards in Nishantha Welagedera, Mohamed Nizam, Pradeep Wilson, Malith Hettiarachchi, GB Gonawela and Ashan Dias. These forwards will be under pressure more than they have experienced in the previous encounters. They have had mixed fortunes in the past and will need to produce their best to contain the opposition.

Gopallawa Shield second leg not played

By Samiddha Rathnayake
The second leg of the 41st William Gopallawa Shield rugby encounter between Ananda College and Vidyartha College which was scheduled to be played at the CR&FC grounds yesterday has been postponed indefinitely.
When contacted by The Nation, master in charge for rugby at Ananda College, Kumara Rodrigo, told that the decision was taken due to their President’s trophy match against St. Anthony’s being played on Friday. “We thought of not risking players playing back to back matches. The second leg will be played as soon as possible,” he said.
Ananda won the first leg encounter played at Nittawela with a convincing 21 points to 6. They are also hoping to win back the Shield after a lapse of four years.


86th National Athletic Championships

No records on day two

By Dhammika Ratnaweera
Hambantota District’s upcoming athlete Nimali Liyanarachchi who set up a women’s 3000m steeplechase national record on the first day of the 86th National Athletic Championships once again came to the limelight yesterday when she finished first in the women’s 5000m event at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. There were no records on day two but three meet records and a national record was set up on day one.

Nimali (19) who established a new national record with a timing of 11 minutes 25.42 seconds at the recently concluded women’s athletic championships at the same venue bettered her performance by 5.52 seconds to set up a new Sri Lanka record. She finished first place with a time of 18 minutes 05.67 seconds in the 5000m while two women soldiers HMH Gunaratna and DA Inoka finished in second and third places with a timing of 18 minutes 12.48 secs and 18 minutes 22.60 secs.
National women’s high jump record holder Priyangika Maduwanthi of Kurunegala DAA cleared a distance of 1.77 meters to finish first followed by LGHT Vonodini of Army and Sajani Madushika of Lanka Lions SC.

Meanwhile Premila Priyadharshani who was not in good form in the recently concluded Grand Prix meet finished in first place in the women’s 200m with a time of 24.76 secs followed by PDNP Wickramasinghe and Chamoda Jayampathi.

Nadeeka Lakmali of Sri Lanka Army who has already qualified for the Beijing Olympics set up new meet record in the women’s javelin throw when she cleared a distance of 55.07 meters. But it was not her best performance in the event. Two other meet records were established on day one. Nadeeka Muthunayaka cleared a distance of 14.24 meters in the women’s shot putt and Ishara Udayangani cleared a height of 2.80 metres in the women’s pole vault.

The National Athletic Championship is the last chance for the Sri Lankan athletes to earn their Olympic qualifying standards. Manjula Kumara the US based athlete returned home with the hope of earning Olympic qualification but he was able to clear only a height of 2.18 meters in the men’s high jump event which was a disappointing 11 centimeters lower than the qualifying standard. But he managed to get first place.

The event is sponsored by Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel and conducted by the National Athletic Association. Hemasiri Fernando, chairman of the National Olympic Committee will be the chief guest today while Telecom chairman Leesha de Silva Chandrasena will be the special guest.


Quad bike racing champ

Indika Liyanage performs at the Quad Bike Racing Fiesta 2008 held at ATV Ride Track yesterday. It was organized by OBA and IT committees of DS Senanayake College. Liyanage went on to clinch the over 16 championship.
(Pic by Rukshan Chandika)


All Blacks down world champs

New Zealand opened their Tri-Nations campaign with a bruising victory over world champions South Africa. Daniel Carter’s superb delayed pass saw Jerome Kaino cross over in the corner on 46 minutes, with the fly-half adding the conversion from the touchline. The All Blacks had led 9-3 in the first half before Bryan Habana reduced the deficit to a point after finishing off a fine break on 38 minutes. The Test was the first to be played under the IRB’s new experimental laws.
The defeat - South Africa’s first in almost a year - sees the All Blacks extend their unbeaten home run to 30 Tests.


Devastating Aussies
A Matt Giteau-inspired Australia produced a devastating performance to crush an impotent France 40-10 in Brisbane.
The fly-half set up a score for Peter Hynes before a superb break and reverse offload saw lock James Horwill touch down for a 26-3 half-time lead. The onslaught continued in the second half as replacement centre Ryan Cross touched down twice, with Giteau adding the extras to finish with 20 points.
Fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc scored a late consolation try for France. Although coach Marc Lievremont rung the changes after last week’s 34-13 defeat in Sydney, France were once again outclassed by an expansive Australia side brilliantly marshalled by Giteau. – [BBC]