Harbhajan six gives India
HAMILTON, (AFP) - India
broke a 33-year drought when a six-wicket haul by Harbhajan
Singh spun them to a 10-wicket victory over New Zealand in the
first Test here Saturday.
Harbhajan’s 6-63 wizardry, following an iconic 160 by Sachin
Tendulkar, formed the cornerstone of India’s first Test success
in New Zealand since 1976.
They wrapped the game up with more than a day to spare after New
Zealand were all out in their second innings for 279, and India
knocked off the required 39 runs in 5.2 overs.
Brendon McCullum kept the Test alive longer than expected with a
fighting 84 at the New Zealand tail, but it had been a lopsided
match from day one when the hosts’ top order crashed to 60-6 on
a benign wicket.
That highlighted the huge gulf in Test experience between the
sides where India’s top six batsmen boast a combined 502 Tests
between them, compared to 54 for New Zealand.
The hosts went into the fourth day at 75-3, fighting for
survival after India had posted 520 in their first innings for a
241 run lead.
On a pitch which offered minimal turn, Harbhajan had India on
the verge of victory midway through the middle session when New
Zealand was seven for 161.
However, McCullum had other ideas, delaying the inevitable with
a 38-run partnership with Daniel Vettori for the eighth wicket
and 76 with Iain O’Brien for the ninth.
In doing so he ensured India would have to bat again and spared
New Zealand the embarrassment of an innings defeat.
In his second over Harbhajan had Ryder trapped leg before wicket
for 21 and he followed with the dismissals of Franklin (14),
Flynn, Vettori (21) and O’Brien (14).
It was the 23rd time the 28-year-old off-spinner had claimed a
But it was Yuvraj Singh who ended the New Zealand innings with a
quicker ball to McCullum which was top-edged to VVS Laxman at
short fine-leg and his defiant 168-minute stand was over.
Gambhir, not out 30, and Rahul Dravid with eight then wasted no
time wrapping up the match.
Scores: New Zealand 279 and 75-3 contd 279 (102.3) (D
Flynn 67, J Ryder 21, B McCullum 84, D Vettori 21, M Patel 2/60,
Harbhajan Singh 6/63)
India 520 and 39-0 (5.2) (G Gambhir 30 n.o.).
Run crawl at Galle
in a draw
The 104th ‘Battle of the Lovers’ cricket encounter
played between Richmond and Mahinda ended in a drab
draw at the Galle International Stadium yesterday.
In a low scoring match replying to Richmond’s first
innings total of 143 Mahinda resuming at 30-1
declared their innings at 148-6. Vice-captain
Denuwan Rajakaruna hit an unbeaten half-century off
124 balls inclusive of four fours on a slow pitch
where batting was not easy. By stumps Richmond were
reeling at 44-6 when the match ended with only two
innings completed in the two days.
Richmond 143 and 44-6 (39) (Yashoda Lanka 12, Nisala
Tharaka 3/13, Kaushalya Gajasinghe 2/2)
Mahinda 30-1 contd 148-6 dec (78.5) (Denuwan
Rajakaruna 55 n.o., Tharaka Nimesh 23 no, Irosh
of the Blues in Kandy
A draw at
Trinity’s Akila Jayasundara came up with a fine bowling
performance to reach the one hundred wicket mark when he picked
up four wickets for 64 on the second day of the 93rd annual
‘Battle of the Blues’ cricket encounter against St Anthony’s
College which ended in a draw at Katugastota yesterday.
Three declarations failed to produce a winning result in the
match which was highlighted by Trinitian Shameera Wijesooriya’s
maiden century in the first innings.
Trinity 296-7 decl and 71-6 decl. (24) (Kithmal Wimalaweera 19,
Shameera Wijesooriya 27, Adil Reyal 3/34, Sahan Palihakkara
St Anthony’s 5-1 contd 197-9 decl (80.3) (Hiram Wickramasekara
45, Jerome Siegertz 41, Yohan Woods 12, Kasun Ekanayake 37,
Akila Jayasundara 4/64, Rushan Jaleel 2/41, Suresh Wickrama
2/33) and 43-1 (9) (Adil Reyal 20, Hiran Wickramasekara 19 n.o.,
Rushan Jaleel 1/19)
four-year drought - regains Mustang trophy
led by Yasith Abeykoon recorded a comfortable five-wicket win to
regain the ‘Mustangs Trophy’ for the 17th time in their annual
limited overs encounter against arch rival S. Thomas’ at the SSC
grounds yesterday. Best batsman at the 130th ‘Battle of the
Blues’ encounter Kusal Perera hit a match-winning knock of 55
off 52 balls (4 fours and 1 six) to steer Royal to the winning
post. Opener Sahan Hettiarachchi contributed 32 and hard hitting
batsman Bhanuka Rajapakse scored a run-a-ball 28 helping Royal
with timely knocks. Faahim Saleem was the only successful
Thomian bowler taking 3 for 32 with his off breaks.
Earlier S. Thomas’ were in tatters when they struggled to build
a substantial total after being put into bat. Rajapakse caused
the batsmen to struggle grabbing four Thomian scalps for 32 with
his off breaks. Regular spinner Maneesha Thantrigoda took 2 for
33 as the Thomians were restricted to a score of 158-9. Opener
Saleem resisted to top score with 26. Royal reached their
victory target of 159 in the 34th over losing half the side.
The last occasion Royal won the ‘Mustangs Trophy’ was in 2004
under Tharaka Kottehewa. S. Thomas’ have won the limited overs
encounter on 16 occasions, one less than Royal while one ended
in a tie. Kusal Perera won the Man-of-the-Match award for his
innings of 55.
S. Thomas’ 158-9 (50) (Faahim Saleem 26, Pasan Wijewardena 16,
Ashen Fernando 17, Bhanuka Rajapakse 4/32, Maneesha Thantrigoda
Royal 159-5 (33.3) (Kusal Perera 55, Sahan Hettiarachchi 32,
Banuka Rajapakse 28, Faahim Saleem 3/32) - (MNA)
Sameera steer Piliyandala to victory
A resurrecting innings of 91 off 161 balls from
Tharindu Madushanka followed by an excellent bowling performance
from off-spinner Sameera Chathuranga (6/48) saw Piliyandala
Central turn tables on Taxila Central and record a three-wicket
win in their 9th ‘Battle of Centrals’ cricket encounter
concluded at Horana yesterday.
Batting first Taxila scored 213 in their first innings and
Piliyandala Central replied with 199 courtesy of Madushanka’s
hard fought innings which comprised three sixes and 13 fours.
Chathuranga then devastated the Taxila batting in the second
innings routing them for 117. His six wickets in the second
innings gave him a match bag of 10/101. Piliyandala Central had
a challenging task of chasing 132 to win off 18 overs. The match
went to the wire as they reached the target with a ball and
three wickets to spare. This is Piliyandala Central’s second win
in the series. Their last win came in three years ago. They lead
the ‘Big Match’ tally 2-0 with the rest ending in draws.
Taxila Central 213 and 117 (44) (Nirosha Harshana 28, Sameera
Chathuranga 6/48) Piliyandala Central 138-4 contd 199 (62) (Tharindu
Madushanka 91, Sujith Meebindu 38, P Chathuranga 23, Pasidu
Saranga 5/11) and 132-7 (17.5) (Chanaka Ruwansiri 38, Tharindu
Madushanka 24, Oshada Jayasekara 22, Pasidu Saranga 3/40)
Mathews fashion out Basnahira North triumph
All rounder Muthumudalige Pushpakumara took four
top order wickets for 49 runs to help Basnahira North clinch
their first ever Inter-Provincial league title when they beat
Wayamba by a comfortable margin of ten wickets with a day and
two sessions to spare in the four-day final concluded at the R.
Premadasa Stadium yesterday. Wayamba resuming their second
innings at 39-0 on day three were shot out for 181. This left
Basnahira North an easy target of 16 runs for victory which they
achieved in two overs just before tea.
Pushpakumara ended a steady partnership of 66 runs by taking the
wicket of Wayamba opener Mahela Udawatte for 28. Udawatte’s
partner Michael Vandort soon followed top scoring with a valiant
50. Kaushal Lokuarachchi and skipper Jehan Mubarak stalled the
innings for some time but could not hold out for too long both
being dismissed in their twenties.
Jeevantha Kulatunga delayed the inevitable defeat with a plucky
knock of 37 before the innings was terminated.
Earlier Basnahira North made 389 in reply to Wayamba’s score of
223 to enjoy a first innings lead of 166 runs. Basnahira North
all rounder Pushpakumara slammed his third first class century
with an elegant 103 and in-form batsman Angelo Mathews scored
his fourth century in the tournament with a stylish 152.
Wayamba 223 and 39-0 contd 181 (57.2) (Michael Vandort 50,
Mahela Udawatte 28, Kaushal Lokuarachchi 20, Jehan Mubarak 20,
Jeevantha Kulatunga 37, Muthumudalige Pushpakumara 4/49, Nuwan
Basnahira North 389 and 16-0 (2) (Ian Daniel 10 n.o.) - (MNA)
Sri Lanka’s fielding coach Manoj Abeywickrema
who was unceremoniously dumped by the former interim
administration headed by Arjuna Ranatunga is tipped to be
reinstated to his former position. The Nation learns that a
request for a fielding coach has been made by the newly
appointed captain and vice captain of the team following Sri
Lanka’s poor fielding display during the recent one-day series
against India at home which they lost by a margin of 4-1.
Employees of Sri Lanka Cricket headquarters are perturbed by the
sudden appearance of an individual who has started questioning
their credentials and work and taken important files from
various departments. This individual Suraj Dandeniya who happens
to be a relative of SLC’s interim committee chairman DS de Silva
has no official status at SLC but has been a regular visitor to
the headquarters of cricket since the appointment of the new
interim committee. He is a former UNP organizer and is alleged
to have a dubious bribery record.
SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga told The Nation that as far as
he is aware Dandeniya is not an employee of SLC but is helping
de Silva in an advisory capacity. Any official appointment made
by SLC has to be ratified by the Minister of Sports.
The suspension of SLC employee BH Perera may take longer than
expected. With the appointment of a new interim committee fresh
sub committees have to be formed and one of them is the
disciplinary committee which will inquire into the incident that
led to Perera’s suspension. SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga
said that it would take about 2-3 weeks before they can get
together a list of persons to serve in the disciplinary
committee. Perera has been issued a letter of suspension from
all duties related to Sri Lanka Cricket pending the inquiry.
Only the tournament and umpires committees appointed by the
previous interim administration are functioning at the moment
because of the ongoing domestic cricket season. All the other
sub committees will be reappointed.
India third in
Women’s World Cup
India recorded its second successive victory
over Australia when it defeated the dethroned world champions by
three wickets in the third-fourth play-off at the ICC Women’s
World Cup 2009 at Bankstown Oval on Saturday.
In a match reduced to 46-over-a-side, due to rain, Australia was
all out for 142 in 44.4 overs. India reached the victory target
with 13 balls and three wickets to spare.