Dilshanís maiden home ODI century seesÖ

Sri Lanka crush India by 74 runs

DAMBULLA: A brilliant century by opener Tillakaratne Dilshan his first in a one-day international at home paved the way for a crushing 74-run win for Sri Lanka over India in the Micromax tri-series final played under lights at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium yesterday.

Dilshan smashed 12 fours and a six for 110 off 114 balls to help Sri Lanka to an imposing total of 299-8 after they chose to bat first.
India replied with 225 in 46.5 overs having lost the key wicket of Virender Sehwag for 28 in the sixth over when he was run out by a direct hit by Chamara Kapugedera trying to steal a leg bye run off an lbw appeal.

It was a final where everything went right for Sri Lanka. They won the toss and on a good batting track openers Mahela Jayawardene and Dilshan set the platform for a big total with a run-a-ball 121-run partnership. Jayawardene was content to play second fiddle to Dilshan and his share in the stand was 39, but it was enough for him to reach 9000 runs in ODIs Ė the third Sri Lankan to do so after Aravinda de Silva (the present chairman of selectors) and Sanath Jayasuriya. Upul Tharanga came and went rather quickly for six, but Dilshan perfected another important partnership with his captain Kumar Sangakkara that really put them on the driving seat.

With Sangakkara matching Dilshan stroke for stroke the pair raised the score by 85 runs off 96 balls. Dilshan went to his maiden one-day century at home after spending sometime in the nineties which was quite unusual for him. It was his eighth overall and seventh as an opener. His previous highest score at home was 97 run out also against India at the R Premadasa Stadium in 2009.

With Dilshan and Sangakkara going so well Sri Lanka took the batting power play in the 40th over. Although they lost Dilshan in the first over of the power play Sri Lanka managed to plunder 49 runs in the five overs losing a further two wickets.

Sangakkaraís classy knock of 71 off 62 balls ended in the final over of the power play. He hit seven fours and one six. Chamara Silva held back in the batting order came in at No. 7 and scored a quick 26 not out off 21 balls before the innings came to an end.
The Indian bowlers failed to show discipline with their line and conceded a dozen wides. Praveen Kumar and Ashish Nehra were the main offenders contributing to 10 of the wides and conceding a total of 132 runs in their 20 overs.

India got off to a poor start losing Dinesh Karthik for a duck in the first over to Lasith Malinga when he was caught down the leg side. But the biggest blow for India was the dismissal of Sehwag after he had made 28 with six fours. Then Thisara Perera struck twice to send the dangerous looking Yuvraj Singh for 26 edging a catch behind and Virat Kohli for 37 when he top edged a pull.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina did some repair work adding 49 for the fifth wicket, but off-spinner Suraj Randiv got into the act and dismissed Raina and Rohit Sharma in quick succession, leaving Dhoni without any frontline batsmen to mount a recovery. The Indian captain was left to fight a lone battle. He succeeded upto a point scoring 67 off 100 balls before being last out dragging a ball onto his stumps as he came down the track to hit Randiv. Perera and Randiv were the pick of the Sri Lanka bowlers sharing six wickets but overall it was a wonderful team performance that saw Sri Lanka win the final.
Dilshan was named Man of the Match and Virender Sehwag the Man of the Seires.


England eye series win after Pakistan slump

LONDON, (AFP) - Pakistan collapsed spectacularly yet again this series as England closed in on an innings victory in the fourth and final Test at Lordís on Saturday.
Pakistan, following-on, were 41 for four in their second innings when rain forced an early close on the third day, having been made to follow-on after they were dismissed for just 74 first time around.

That left them still 331 runs adrift of Englandís first innings 446 as the home team eyed a victory that would give them a 3-1 win in their last series before begin the defence of the Ashes in Australia in November.
Pakistanís three lowest totals against England have all been made during this series. They were skittled out for 80 in a 354-run first Test loss at Trent Bridge and dismissed for 72 in a nine-wicket second Test defeat at Edgbaston.

It appeared the damage at Lordís was done as much as anything by a world record eighth-wicket stand of 332 between Jonathan Trott (184) and Stuart Broad (169) which rescued England from the depths of 102 for seven.
Pakistan were playing their sixth Test in England in seven weeks, having previously drawn a two-match series against Australia 1-1, and there were signs that punishing schedule had finally caught up with them.
England captain Andrew Strauss enforced the follow-on with Pakistan -- 372 behind on first innings -- soon in further trouble at nine for two.

Earlier, Trott almost became the first player to score two Test double hundreds at Lordís, following his 226 against Bangladesh in May.
His innings of more than nine hours, featuring 19 boundaries, ended when he was caught behind off left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz.

Trottís methodical approach was just what England needed after the rest of the top-order were undone by superb swing bowling, mainly from Mohammad Aamer (six for 84) on Friday.
His partnership with Broad surpassed the previous eighth-wicket Test-best of 313 shared by Wasim Akram (257 not out) and Saqlain Mushtaq (79) for Pakistan against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura in 1996/97.
Broad was just shy of the world record score by a Test No 9 of 173 made by New Zealandís Ian Smith against India in Auckland in 1990.

Scores: England 346-7 contd 446 (139.2) (J Trott 184, S Broad 169, Extras 42, Mohammad Aamer 6/84)
Pakistan 74 (33) (Salman Butt 26, S Broad 2/10, S Finn 3/38, G Swann 4/12) and 41-4 (15.3) at close (Salman Butt 21)


DMCC makes grand rugby comeback

Dickoya Maskeliya CC made a grand come back to rugby when they trounced their traditional rivals Dimbula Athletic CC by 34 points (2 goals, 4 tries) to nil to win the PHAN Dias trophy in their annual rugby encounter played at the Radella grounds, Radella on Friday. At half time Dickoya led 17-0.
This match was revived after a lapse of three years and the Dickoya team fielding a very youthful side guided by their veteran player Dushan Ratwatte who has played for Upcountry and Trinity as a flanker has over 20 years of rugby playing experience behind. The power play put up by the Dickoya ruggerites was too much for their opponents and they simply crumbled.
Scoring the tries for Dickoya was Old Thomian and centre Nilakshan Muththetugama (3), winger Kasun Wijesuriya (2) and winger Nuwan Perera (1). Skipper Nilakshan Muththtugama added the extra points to two of the tries. Gerald Rasiah refereed. - [MM]


Inter Defence Services rugby

Army upsets Air Force

Sri Lanka Army recorded a major upset by edging out fancied Air Force SC by 8-3 in an Inter Defence Services rugby encounter played at Welisara yesterday.
Sri Lanka Army who held on to a narrow lead of 3-0 in the first half spoiled the chances of the Airmen who took all initiatives to score points. However their effort was paid off by a solitary penalty which came in the second half through fly half Gayan Iddamalgoda. Fly half Prasanna Kumara who gave Sri Lanka Army the early points through a penalty scored the solitary try of the game in the second half. - [MNA]


Under-20 Youth Rugby Asiad

Sri Lanka 3rd in Asia

Sri Lanka edged out hosts Thailand by 29-23 to secure the third place in the Under-20 Youth Rugby Asiad in a play-off match at the Thai-Japanese Sports Complex in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday. Sri Lanka scored their points through five tries and two conversions against Thailandís four tries and a penalty. For the Sri Lankan youth forwards Shehan Muthuthanthri, Prabath Jayalath, Shehan Pathirana and three-quarters Anuruddha Wilwara, Tharindu Chanaka scored a try each. Deputy skipper Rajitha Sansoni and Mushin Faleel converted two tries.
Asian heavyweights Japan beat Hong Kong by 48-3 to win the Asian championship. Sri Lanka who went a rank up was earlier placed at No. 4 in the Youth Asiad rankings before this yearís tournament in Bangkok. In the play-off for the fifth and sixth places South Korea beat Chinese Taipei by 19-15. Malaysia rampaged Singapore by 61-19 to secure the seventh place in the Asian rankings.


95th National Tennis Championships

Unseeded Guyanga and Vimuktha in upset win

By Dilanka Mannakkara
The unseeded duo of Guyanga Weerasekara and Vimuktha de Alwis created shock waves as they defeated fancied second seed doubles pair of Sanka Athukorala and Rukmal Cooray 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 5-7, 9-7 in a thrilling second round game at the 95th National Tennis Championships at SLTA courts yesterday.
Guyanga and Vimuktha won the first two sets easily but the more experienced Sanka and Rukmal came back strongly to win the third and fourth sets with some delightful cross court forehands and powerful smashes to level the tie. They engaged in several rallies and attacked at the right moment. The deciding set was an absolute cliff-hanger as both pairs played their hearts out and the pendulum swung both ways. Guyanga and Vimuktha played some near perfect net shots and drop shots to emerge victorious in a gruelling encounter finally to win 9-7 and qualify for the semi-finals.
Top seed Amritha Muththiah bulldozed her way through to the womenís semi-finals by thrashing Indeewarie Wijesekara 6-0, 6-0 in straight sets in a second round match. The championship continues today.