58th Battle of the Golds                                                                                                

Moratu Vidyalaya ends 39-year jinx

Moratu Vidyalaya led by Anuruddhaka Kalhara were home for tea as they ended a 39-year-old jinx by beating arch rivals Sri Sumangala, Panadura by an innings and 49 runs in their 58th Battle of the Gold cricket encounter which ended at De Soysa Stadium, Moratuwa yesterday.

The winners who had recorded their last victory in 1971 under the captaincy of Anura Weerasuriya were the clear favourites although the Sumangalians were expected to put up strong resistance as under dogs, but eventually was not the case as it turned out be.

Sumangala who started their second innings on the second day after being forced to follow-on 238 runs behind on the first innings managed to put up a much better display of batting, but their meager first innings total of 81always remained to their disadvantage.

Off-spinner Sudeepa Kelum did most of the damage taking four wickets for 58 runs in the second innings for match figures of 6 for 65 as Sumangala were dismissed for 189. Moratu Vidyalaya scored 319-9 declared in their first innings.

This is Moratu Vidyalaya’s seventh win in the series and they are a win away from equalling Sri Sumangala’s record of eight.
Moratu Vidyalaya 319-9;
Sri Sumangala 81 and 189 (49.3) (Chathura Nilaweera 55, Chaluka Nadeeshan 41, Madawa Chathuranga 35, Sudeepa Kelum 4/58, Sujeewa Liyanage 2/10)


10th Battle of Raigam Thalpiti Korala

Jayashanka match-winner for Piliyandala Central

Medium-pacer Oshada Jayashanka took a match bag of eight wickets for 117 runs to bowl Piliyandala Central to a six wickets win over Taxila Central, Horana in their 10th Battle of Raigam Thalpiti Korala which ended at Piliyandala yesterday.

Taxila Central who were in all sorts of trouble losing four top order batsmen for 27 runs at the end of the first day were eventually bowled out for 113 in their first innings with only Anushka Iroshan putting up some kind of resistance making a top score of 57. Opening bowler Oshada Jayashanka and Nuwan Wijesuriya caused the damage taking seven wickets between them. Forced to follow-on, 138 runs in deficit Taxila Central put up a better batting display with Supun Samudra and Kavishka Anukkumara putting up stern resistance and at one stage it seemed they could force a draw. However Jayashanka was once again broke through claiming a further four wickets as Taxila were dismissed for 205 leaving Piliyandala Central 12 overs to score 68 for victory. They won with two overs to spare losing four wickets to record their third win in the series and the second in succession.

Piliyandala Central 251-8 and 72-4 (10) (Sajith Meebindu 29 n.o., Tharindu Chathuranga 20)
Taxila Central 27-4 contd 113 (30.1) (Anushka Iroshan 57, Oshada Jayashanka 4/43, Nuwan Wijesuriya 3/33) and 205 (62.3) (Supun Samudra 72 n.o, Kavishka Anukkumara 47, Nuwan Nilantha 3/43, Oshadha Jayashanka 4/74, Sameera Chathuranga 2/42, Sajith Meebindu 2/3)


47th Battle of Pasdun Korala

Ananda Sastralaya falls to spin

Spinners did the job for St Mary’s, Matugama as they recorded a 10-wicket win over Ananda Sastralaya in their traditional 47th Battle of Pasdun Korala played at Matugama yesterday. It was after lapse of 12 years that the match ended in a result and incidentally it was also the Marians who won the last time in 1997 under Chandana Kumara Yapa.

Ananda Sastralaya who were 86-9 at the end of the first day was all out for a meager 99 in reply to St Mary’s first innings of 219. Off-spinner Chanaka Dushmantha was the chief wrecker with figures of 6/28. Following-on Ananda Sastralaya fared slightly better to avoid an innings defeat totaling 122 after being solidly placed at 83-3 at one stage. They lost their next seven wickets for just 39 runs with off-spinner Kasun Sameera taking 6 for 33. He ended with a match bag of eight wickets.

St Mary’s had the formality of scoring three runs for victory which they achieved quite comfortably.
St Mary’s 219 and 3-0 (1);
Ananda Sastralaya 86-9 contd 99 (32.4) (Suresh Rukmantha 17, Chanaka Dushmantha 6/28, Kasun Sameera 2/29, Nuwan Sameera 2/23) and 122 (41) (Ravidu Rasanaga 29, Tharaka Lakshitha 25, Sasindu Ishantha 32, Kasun Sameera 6/33)


105th Lovers’ Quarrel

Lacklustre draw at Galle

By M Naushad Amit in Galle
All-rounders Nisala Tharaka and Kaushalya Gajasinghe produced sterling performances for Mahinda as they dominated proceedings against arch rivals Richmond in the 105th Lovers’ Quarrel cricket encounter which ended in a dull draw at Galle International Stadium yesterday. The match loomed towards an obvious draw after the first day when Richmond who was put into bat, scored at a slow pace using up almost the entire day to score 127 off 91 overs.

Mahinda resuming from their overnight score of 18-1 replied with 170-5 declared after Tharaka and Gajasinghe had staged a rescue act to pull them out of trouble from 67-5 with an unbroken stand of 103 for the sixth wicket. Tharaka’s contribution was a patient 70 not out scored off 196 balls with five fours. Gajasinghe came up with an equally good performance striking an unbeaten 51 off 118 balls with three fours. Mahinda declared soon after Gajasinghe reached his half century. Off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva who caused Mahinda an early setback shared four wickets with his spin partner Dileepa Priyadarshana.

In the Richmond second innings Yasodha Lanka squared off his first inning’s failure by scoring 69 off 88 balls which included eight fours helping his team to reach 146-4 at stumps.
Richmond 127 (91.1) and 146-4 (40) at close (Pabasara Waduge 39, Yasodha Lanka 69, Dhananjaya de Silva 22, Udara Jayasanka 3/31)
Mahinda 18-1 contd 170-5 dec (69) (Nisala Tharaka 68 n.o., Kaushalya Gajasinghe 51 n.o., Rumesh Buddhika 19, Dhananjaya de Silva 2/42, Dileepa Priyadarshana 2/44)


Vidyartha fights back to force a draw

52nd Battle of the Babes

By M. Minhaz in Kandy
Vidyartha College fought back to hold St. Sylvester’s College to a draw in their 52nd Battle of the Babes cricket encounter concluded at Asgiriya Stadium yesterday.
Vidyartha who conceded a first innings lead of 77 runs, were struggling at 68 for 6 and a Sylvesterian victory appeared to be on the cards before the tail put up a back to the wall defence to thwart their opponents in their victory bid. At close Vidyartha had struggled their way to 138 for 8.

Earlier St. Sylvester’s from their overnight score of 65-2 were helped through a fine sixth wicket stand of 149 between Ruwantha Ekanayake 74 off 84 balls (10 fours) and Dilipa Gayashan 64 not out off 90 balls (10 fours) which lifted the total from 112-5 to 258. Off-spinner Ushan Wickremasinghe who came over from Kingswood for this match captured 4 for 97.

Vidyartha 101 and 138-8 (47) (Ruwan Bandara 11, Niluksha Galapitiya 23, Kasun Wijekoon 14, Keshan Gamage 34 n.o., Tilina Rupasena 19 n.o., Nuwan Nilantha 4/51, Dilipa Gayashan 2/3).
St Sylvester’s 65-2 contd 268-7 decl. (80.3) (Waruna Wijesinghe 43, Niluka Kandaderage 20, Nuwan Nilantha 15, Dilipa Gayashan 64 n.o., Ruantha Ekanayake 74, Ushan Wickremasinghe 4/97, Samitha Attanayake 3/42).


Royals register first IPL3 win

AHMEDABAD: Rajasthan Royals dished out an all-round performance to defeat Kolkata Knight Riders by 34 runs and register their first win in the third edition of the Indian Premier League on Saturday.
Battered and bruised in the last three matches, Rajasthan Royals were in desperate need of a win and Shane Warne’s men didn’t disappoint as they first posted a competitive target of 169 and then restricted Kolkata Knight Riders to 134 for five at the Sardar Patel stadium at Motera.

Chasing 169 to win, KKR started rather slowly as they scored at nearly six runs per over and once they lost opener Manoj Tiwary in the third over bowled by Yusuf Pathan things further slowed down.
Cheteshwar Pujara and opener Brad Hodge tried to keep the scoreboard ticking and put up a brilliant 50-run partnership for the second wicket before the former’s innings was cut shot by Siddharth Trivedi. Pujara’s inside edge off Trivedi hit the middle stump as the Knight Riders were reduced to 68 for two in the 11th over.
Skipper Sourav Ganguly then joined Hodge and they added 27 runs before Hodge was bowled by Pathan in the 15th over. With the required run-rate rising every moment, Ganguly and newman Owais Shah threw there bat at everything but without much success as the match slipped through their fingers.

In pursuit of runs, Ganguly perished in deep mid-wicket, caught by Adam Voges in the last over off Munaf Patel. Angelo Mathews coming at number six also ran himself out in the last over, while Shah was left unbeaten at 19.
Earlier, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala top scored with a 36-ball 45 to guide Rajasthan Royal to a modest 168 for seven after skipper Warne won the toss and decided to bat.
Rajasthan found themselves in a spot of bother when they lost their opener Michael Lumb in the first ball but Naman Ojha (27), Faiz Fazal (31 off 23), Jhunjhunwala and Adam Voges (37 off 22) fired in unison to lift Rajasthan bowlers to a competitive total.

Challengers defeat Mumbai

NEW DELHI: Jacques Kallis (66 not out) continued his amazing form to lead Royal Challengers Bangalore to a comprehensive 7-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in their IPL encounter at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai on Saturday.
Jacques Kallis hit ten fours in his 55-ball innings. Kallis is yet to be dismissed in four innings played so far in the third edition of IPL.
Mumbai could not recover from the triple blow by Vinay Kumar (3-25) in the 11th over as wickets keep on tumbling. Some late hitting by Zaheer Khan (23 off 9 balls) helped Mumbai piled up a modest 152-run target to defend.
Royal Challengers started their run chase aggressively as Jacques Kallis and Manish Pandey (40 off 27 balls) put up another brilliant opening partnership of 85.


Exclude Jayasuriya for Chennai game – TN politician
Issuing a veiled threat to Indian Premier League (IPL) team Mumbai Indians of possible disruption of its Twenty20 match with Chennai Super Kings on April 6, Puthiya Tamizhagam leader Dr K Krishnaswamy on Thursday advised them to not include Sanath Jayasuriya in the playing eleven since he is a candidate of Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse’s political party in the forthcoming parliamentary elections there.

Speaking to reporters here at his party office, Dr Krishnaswamy said, “We advise Mumbai Indians to keep Rajapakse’s candidate out of Tamil Nadu. If they are adamant and allow Jayasuriya to play in Chennai, we would resort to a strong protest at the Chepauk Stadium the same day.”

Describing the IPL as a purely commercial venture with star power, the PT leader said, “Organising such events during the examination season amounts to hurting the future of crores of students.” Wondering how the Union government allowed such a commercial tournament during the exam season, he sought a total ban on the game. – [Indian Express]


22nd l/o clash for Winston Hoole Memorial Trophy

Rajans go out favourites

Dharmaraja College, Kandy will go out favourites to win the Winston Hoole Memorial Trophy in their 22nd limited-over clash against Kingswood College at the Asgiriya Stadium, Kandy today play commencing at 9.30 am.
Of the 21 matches played to-date, the Kingswoodians are in the lead having won 10 matches against 8 by the Rajans while three matches including that of last year have ended in draw due to interference by the weather.
Rajans who came out with the honours in the big clash last week have a better season’s record and their hard hitting batsmen will hold the key to this clash. The Kingswoodians on the other hand have gone through a lean season and they will have to come up with something extraordinary if they are to cause an upset. – [MM]


110th Ruhunu Battle of the Blues

Slow progress at Matara

St. Servatius were 120-5 in reply to St. Thomas’ first innings of 220 at close of the second day of the 3-day 110th Ruhunu Battle of the Blues played at the Uyanwatte Stadium in Matara yesterday.
Play proceeded at a slow pace as St. Thomas’ who batted for 122 overs ended their first innings at 220 after resuming from their overnight score of 186-6. Right-arm pacie Kasun Rajitha claimed a five-wicket haul while S Nisal (56) and D Thilina (52) came up with fighting half-centuries. Gihan Bimsara was unbeaten on 45 in St. Servatius’ reply. The match will continue today.

St. Thomas’ 186-6 contd 220 (122) (S Nisal 56, D Thilina 52, Kasun Rajitha 5/33)
St. Servatius 120-5 (67) at close (Gihan Bimsara 45n.o., Nimantha Madushanka 27) – [MNA]