Gallant Kandamby knock fails to secure win

By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Thilina Kandamby played a lone hand scoring a career best innings of 93 not out off 129 balls (9 fours), but could not prevent India from winning the second one-day international by 15 runs and taking a 2-0 lead in the five-match series at the R Premadasa Stadium under lights yesterday.

Sri Lanka chasing an Indian total of 256-9 were eventually dismissed in the final over for 241 with the last three wickets falling to run outs. In fact after Chamara Kapugedera’s departure at 187 in the 43rd over, none of the late order batters could stay long enough to lend support to Kandamby. The last four wickets fell for 13 runs as the asking rate mounted steadily against tight Indian bowling and sharp fielding. The result of three run outs told the story how much pressure India exerted on the Lankan batting.

Sri Lanka got off to one of their worst starts chasing India’s total when they slumped to 36-3 by the eighth over. Each of India’s three seamers picked up a wicket in their opening spells or rather were presented with wickets as Dilshan, Jayasuriya and Sangakkara all perished playing extravagant shots. It was left to out of form skipper Mahela Jayawardene and Kandamby to ressurect the innings and put it back on track. Considering the situation the team was in they began rather cautiously picking up singles and twos. Cricket in this period was rather pedestrian but the pair made certain the scoreboard was kept ticking lest they fall way behind on the asking rate. The last boundary was hit in the 19th over and the next did not come till the 34th when Jayawardene snapped the shackles somewhat after 88 balls by hitting Raina for a six over midwicket. Sri Lanka needed more of that kind if they were to turn the game around in their favour. With a push to mid on Jayawardene brought up his 49th ODI half-century off 73 balls with a six and a four. It was a long overdue knock from the captain, going 13 innings without a single fifty. His half-century was also against India when he made 94 at the same venue in August last year. Unfortunately for Jayawardene he could not convert it into a big score attempting an inside out shot trying to go over extra cover but only succeeding in putting up a gentle catch. The Jayawardene-Kandamby stand realised exactly 100 runs off 161balls.

Kapugedera joined Kandamby and continued the run chase. Kandamby continuing to impress as a middle order batsman moved to his second ODI fifty off 93 balls (3 fours). Sri Lanka took their batting power play at the start of the 42nd over at 177-4 but lost Kapugedera for 31 off 29 balls when he gave Sharma the charge but only succeeded in edging a catch to Dhoni. Kapugedera helped Kandamby in a fifth wicket stand that realised 51 off 48 balls.

A well-paced out half-century from Yuvraj Singh saw India reach 256-9 after Dhoni had won his second toss of the series and decided to bat on a pitch that looked dry. Yuvraj top scored with an 88-ball knock off 66 which comprised seven fours and a six before being given out leg before wicket to Nuwan Kulasekera after inside edging the ball onto his pads. His departure at 180 in the 34th over saw Sri Lanka come back into the match which at one time seemed to be going India’s way following an 85-run stand off 74 balls between Yuvraj and Suresh Raina (29).

They picked up four wickets for 76 as the Indian innings lost momentum from there onwards with no batsmen able to make any major contributions although skipper Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan got into their twenties.

Sri Lanka began well by taking the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar for six in the third over. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir steadied the innings with a stand of 49 off 31 balls before Farveez Maharoof ended it by having Gambhir caught behind for 27. Sehwag followed three overs later when he was run out by a accurate throw from Jayasuriya from deep mid wicket as he attempted a third run. Sehwag who missed the first ODI won by India at Dambulla by six wickets hit an entertaining 42 off 26 balls with seven fours and looked in prime form to take the attack to the Lankan bowlers.

Although Kulasekera, Maharoof and Mendis picked up two wickets apiece Sri Lanka’s best bowler was off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan who was denied a wicket whilst conceding 32 runs off 10 overs. Muralitharan needs two more wickets to become the highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals surpassing Pakistani Wasim Akram who currently holds the world record with 502 wickets.
Ishant Sharma was chosen man of the match.


Royal outplays Dharmaraja by innings

Under 19 School Cricket

By Samiddha Rathnayake
Royal cruised to their 7th win of the season inflicting an innings and 13-run defeat on Dharmaraja at their 1st XI cricket fixture played at Reid Avenue yesterday. Having a 198 lead, Royal enforced the follow-on at the start of the second day. Though Buwanaka Ekanayake (31) and Rahula Ekanayake (70) showed some resistance to the wicket-to-wicket bowling of Royal pacie Lakshan Landewela (3/27) and leggy Maneesha Thantrigoda (4/71), the rest of the Dharmaraja batting didn’t show any improvement over their pathetic first innings display.

Royal 255
Dharmaraja 64 and 178 (59.5) (Buwanaka Ekanayake 31, Rahula Ekanayake 70, Prathap Silva 25, Lakshan Landewela 3/27, Maneesha Thantrigoda 4/71).

Angelo, Chathura star for St. Peter’s
St. Peter’s pacie Chathura Peiris grabbed a match bag of 9-56, which included a second innings hat-trick, which helped St. Peter’s to a 110-run win over Maris Stella, Negombo in the cricket encounter at Bambalapitiya yesterday. This is also the seventh win of the season for Peterites. Earlier Angelo Perera added a mammoth 155 not out in just 103 balls which included 4 massive sixes and 17 fours.

St.Peter’s 143-3 contd 368-7 dec (70) (Angelo Perera 155 n.o., Akshu Fernando 49 n.o., Isuru Peiris 32, Vimukthi Dassanayake 3/93, Dushmantha Chameera 2/100)

Maris Stella 166 and 92 (34.1) (Ashen Silva 28 n.o., Chathura Peiris 4/26, Vinod Perera 2/18, Angelo Perera 2/13).

Sameera foxes S. Thomas’
Immaculate leg-spin by Sameera Weerasinghe who grabbed a match bag of 13 for 55 took St. Joseph’s to an innings and 24-run win over S.Thomas’ at a match played at Darly Road yesterday. This was also the third win of the season for the Josephians.

St. Joseph’s 248
S. Thomas’ 29-2 contd 105 (48.3) (Chulaka Kumarasinghe 21, Chamod Pathirana 29, Sameera Weerasinghe 6/28, Rosco 2/15) and 117 (55.3) (Ashen Fernando 32, Fahim Saleem 21, Sameera 7/27).

Draw at Katugastota
Batsmen from both sides dominated the high scoring draw between Ananda and St. Anthony’s which ended at Katugastota yesterday.

Ananda 283-8 dec and 24-1 (6) (Dinesh Chandimal 18 n.o., Adil Reyel 1/3)
St. Anthony’s 34-1 contd 335 (106.1) (Yohan Woods 72, Dulash Kumarasinghe 25, Jerome Siegertsz 41, Kasun Ekanayake 30, Adil Reyel 55, Bandara Ranaraja 54, Sachithra Perera 4/58, Ruchira Herath 3/58).
Maduka impresses for President’s College

President’s college off-spinner Maduka Liyanapathirana’s match bag of 11-120 was the only highlight at the drawn game between Zahira and President’s, Rajagiriya played at Maradana yesterday.

Zahira 274 and 131 (37.5) (Mohamed Irshad 26, Imras Rasy 21, Isham Ghouse 21, Mohamed Hilam 21 n.o., Maduka Liyanapathirana 6/46, Sagara Vimukthi 3/31)

President’s 129-3 contd 230 (76) (Sagara Wimukthi 50, Chathura Wanniarachchi 43, Chamath Silva 49, Isham Ghouse 3/50, Mohamed Shadeer 2/30, Isham Mohamed3/65).

Thisaru ton swells P.O.W. total
Prince of Wales is on top at the end of the first day’s play in the match between Prince of Wales and Richmond started at Moratuwa yesterday. Richmond was 7-0 at close of play.

Prince of Wales 297-8 dec (86) (Thisaru de Mel 102 (14 fours), Buddhika de Alvis 43, Shehan Jayasuriya 57, Malshan Mendis 29, T Nadeera 3/92, Dananjaya de Silva 2/64)
Richmond 7-0 (7) at close.


Serena regains Aussie Open crown

Serena Williams swept aside Dinara Safina 6-0 6-3 to claim a fourth Australian Open crown and the 10th Grand Slam singles title of her career.
The American second seed, 27, stormed to the first set in just 22 minutes as the Russian crumbled under the pressure of her second Grand Slam final.

Safina, seeded three, did break at the start of the second set but Williams broke back and soon wrapped up victory.
The win in Melbourne also saw Williams become the new world number one.

She collected her second trophy in Melbourne this year after she and sister Venus took the women’s doubles title on Friday.
Williams went into the final with a 5-1 record and huge edge in Grand Slam experience over Safina, and it showed.
The Russian had disappointed in her first major final in Paris last year and it was a similar story this time as a relaxed and confident Williams powered to victory.

Three double faults in Safina’s first service game gave a sign of things to come and some heavy forehands took Serena to a double break at 4-0.
The first set was over in 22 minutes when two more Safina errors handed over a third break of serve and a thrashing looked inevitable.

There was a brief glimpse of a competitive encounter when Safina broke at the start of the second set, hammering a backhand return past the American.
But, despite one very wayward volley, Williams broke back immediately and a couple more Safina double faults two games later made it 3-1.

The rest of the set went with serve, with no apparent danger of a Safina comeback and one air-shot providing an especially embarrassing moment for the Russian.

Williams clenched her fist as she fired an ace for 30-0 when serving for the match and two points later Safina sent a backhand wide to end the match after just 58 minutes.

“Not much to say as I didn’t spend one hour on the court,” Safina admitted afterwards.
“Serena Williams played just too good - I was just the ball boy on the court today.”
Williams said: “Dinara will have a great future - she is hitting so hard I just had to go for broke against her.” (BBC)