Caltex ‘A’ division league rugby
Havies edge out CR in a thriller

Havelock SC playing to their potential pulled off a close 25 points (1 goal, 3 tries, 1 penalty) to 24 (2 goals, 2 tries) win over arch rivals CR & FC in their Caltex ‘A’ division league rugby match played at Longden Place yesterday. At half time Havelocks led 17-10.
Havelocks dominated the first half to plant three tries and lead 17-0 in the first 32 minutes of play – the tries coming through centre Chamara Withanage, outside centre Anuruddha Wilvara and full back Sajith Bandara. Havies skipper Amjad Buksh converted one of them.
CR responded through tries from centre Ashan de Costa and winger Heshan Gunaratne to cut down the deficit to 17-10 at half time.
After the turnaround CR equalized through their skipper and No. 8 Dushanth Lewke with a try that was converted by full back Mohamed Sheriff. But Buksh retaliated with a penalty and an unconverted try to give back the lead to Havies 25-17. The Lewke-Sheriff combination fired once more for CR to edge them closer to within a point of Havies 25-24, but that was as far as they got before referee Priyantha Gunaratne’s final whistle.
Navy inflicts first defeat on Kandy SC
In another absorbing game of rugby played at Welisara yesterday, Navy inflicted on defending champions Kandy SC their first defeat of the season with a close 29 points (1 goal, 2 tries, 4 penalties) to 25 (1 goal, 3 tries, 1 penalty) in a Caltex ‘A’ division league rugby match played at Welisara yesterday. At half time Navy led 18-8.
The tries for Navy were scored by centre Dinusha Chaturanga, full back Dulip Methruwan and Namal Rajapaksa with fly half Dev Ananda converting one of them and putting over four penalties.
Kandy SC’s tries came from No. 8 Sajith Saranga, Gayan Weeraratne, Mohamed Jabbar and Sanjeewa Jayasinghe. Scrum half Roshan Weeraratne put over a penalty and a conversion.
Referee: Nizam Jamaldeen.


CPCA, KDCA to handle Aussies tour matches

By M. Minhaz in Kandy
Central Province CA and Kandy District CA along with the Sri Lanka Cricket Tour Organising committee will handle the match arrangements for the two T20Internationals, one One-Day International and the second Test match to be played between Sri Lanka and Australia at Pallakele Stadium in Kandy from next month.
CPCA secretary Janaka Pathirana stated that their objective will be to help SLC cut down costs for the tour and as a result they will be engaging over 100 volunteers who will perform an honorary job.
Two tons for Kandy CC
Centuries by Sashith Gunasekera (121 with 19 fours) and Keheliya Athugoda (114 with 17 fours) helped Kandy CC total 396 for 9 in their SLC U-23 cricket match against Saracens SC which began at the Asgiriya Stadium yesterday.
The two century makers were involved in a massive 233-run stand for the second wicket. Saracens SC left-arm spinner Eranga Shashan took 6 for 80.
The match will be continued today at 9.30 am.
Kandy CC 296- 9 (98.5) at close (Kavinda Jayasuriya 40, Sasith Gunasekera 121, Keheliya Athugoda 114, Lakshitha Dasanayake 44, Dinuk Wickremanayake 35 n.o., Eranga Sashan 6/80) v Saracens SC.
Old Zahirians win by mammoth margin
This match turned out to be of two extremes as a batsman from one side scored a double hundred (221) and there were no less than eight ducks when the other side batted as Old Zahirians SC Gampola registered a massive 404 runs win over Galhinna CC in their Kandy segment SLC Division III cricket match played at Zahira College grounds, Gampola yesterday.
Old Zahirians SC 439-9 (46) (TS Irudeen 221, M. Rizmy 34, MH Hassan 35, AK Asfan 42, PM Dilshan 22, M. Rizvan 4/90)
Galhinna CC 35 (10.4) (M. Thariq 18, M. Afnahir 3/18, I Irshard 7/12).
Trinity’s seventh successive win
Trinity Kandy scored a 65-run win over Dharmaraja, Kandy to record their seventh successive win and emerge Group champions in the schools under 17 Division I cricket tournament. The match was played at Police grounds, Kandy.
Trinity 221-9 (50) (Bhagya Palihawadana 50, Tharinda Makuldeniya 26, Arjuna Jayasinghe 36 n.o., Dinal Koswatta 36, Deneth Lanka 2/28, Aravinda Withanarachchi 3/34)
Dharmaraja 165 (45.3) (Deneth Lanka 34, B. Chandrasekera 36, Rajitha Jayatunga 2/40, Lakshan Jayasinghe 2/31, Madushan Supendra 3/23)


Nielsen backs search for consistent spinner
Coach Tim Nielsen has backed the selection of Nathan Lyon as one of two specialist spinners in Australia’s Test squad for their visit to Sri Lanka next month and insisted that Steven Smith’s snub is by no means a long-term move.
Earlier this week the Aussies named a 15-man touring party riddled with uncapped rookies, including off-spinner Lyon and seamers James Pattinson and Trent Copeland, and have since fetched criticism far and wide for their course of selection.
Nielsen, however, insisted the team’s brains trust saw great promise in the 23-year-old Lyon, who performed superbly for Australia A on their recent tour to Zimbabwe, and his graduation to the Test fold was not a mere stopgap choice but rather a view to the future.
The nation has rifled through a host of young spinners since the retirement of Shane Warne, with as many as 12 slow bowlers used and abused across five-day and one-day international cricket since the legendary leg-spinner called it quits in 2007.
“We are obviously looking for the spinner who can take us forward in all three forms of the game,” said Nielsen.
“To be honest, no-one has taken their opportunity and made it their own yet. No-one has made their spot their own.
“That is why we see some fluctuations in who is selected. Whether it be through injury or performance we haven’t seen one spinner really take the job on.
“If you are given a chance at domestic or Australia A level and do well the selectors will reward that.”
The 43-year-old Nielsen defended the choice to leave Smith out of the squad, with fellow spinner Michael Beer instead retained.
Right-armer Smith has been an inconsistent figure in the Test fold since his debut in mid-2010, while his ODI appearances have been somewhat more regular due to his ability with the bat.
“The selectors have been pretty consistent on what they have said about Steven,” added the coach.
“He has been identified from an early age as someone who can play for a long time for Australia. But at the moment he hasn’t had the consistency with either bat or ball to demand selection.
“I can promise you Steven Smith will play a lot more Test match cricket for Australia over the next 10 years.”
Meanwhile, Darren Berry - Lyon’s state coach at South Australia - has implored the selectors to stick with Lyon for the longer haul rather than cast him back to domestic cricket at the first sign of struggle at international level.
“I think that now they’ve shown their hand and they’ve been brave enough to pick him, they’ve got to give him every chance. Not one or two Test matches and then say he’s not ready,” said Berry. “We need to embrace this young spinner and give him an extended run.”
“He absolutely has the tools to be successful. He’s a very, very talented off-spin bowler. He does the rare thing that not many off-spinners do in the current day - he hangs the ball in the air and he has wonderful flight and variation. He has an exciting talent.
The tour kicks off with two T20Is on 6 and 8 August followed by five ODIs and three Tests. The first Test gets underway on 31 August.
– [Cricket365]


Praveen Kumar fined

NOTTINGHAM, (AFP): India’s Praveen Kumar was fined 20 percent of his match fee for dissent at an umpire’s decision during the first day of the second Test against England at Trent Bridge on Friday.
Kumar, who pleaded guilty at a post-play hearing, couldn’t hide his frustration after an lbw appeal against England’s Kevin Pietersen was turned down by South African umpire Marais Erasmus in the 18th over.
There are no lbw reviews this series because of Indian objections to ball-tracking technology.
But that didn’t stop an angry Kumar questioning Erasmus at the end of the over before being pulled away by team-mate Harbhajan Singh.
Kumar was found to have breached Article 2.1.3 of the International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct which relates to arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the umpire about his decision.
But because Kumar, who led India’s attack with three for 45, pleaded guilty and accepted Sri Lankan match referee Ranjan Madugalle’s verdict, there was no need for a formal hearing.
Pietersen was eventually dismissed for 22 in an England total of 221. India closed on 24 for one, a deficit of 197 runs, as they looked to level the four-match series 1-1.


Wayne Parnell converts to Islam

JOHANNESBURG: South African fast bowler Wayne Parnell has converted to Islam after a period of personal study and reflection and will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Friday as a Muslim.
Parnell confirmed in a statement on Thursday that he converted to Islamic faith in January this year and is considering to change his name to Waleed, which means ‘Newborn Son’.
“While I have not yet decided on an Islamic name I have considered the name Waleed which means Newborn Son, but for now my name remains Wayne Dillon Parnell. I will continue to respect the team’s endorsement of alcoholic beverages. I am playing cricket in Sussex and this is my immediate focus,” said Port Elizabeth-born Parnell.
“As I am approaching my first period of fasting, I ask that this special time is treated with respect. I am a young man, a professional cricketer by trade, and while I can appreciate and am grateful for the public interest in my personal life, my faith choice is a matter which I would like to keep private,” said the promising Warriors left-arm seam bowler.
Proteas team manager Mohamed Moosajee, himself a Muslim, said Parnell’s Muslim teammates Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir had not influenced his decision to convert from Christianity.
“Wayne already decided a few months ago to follow Islam,” Moosajee said of the cricketer, who excelled during the ICC World Cup on the subcontinent.
“The decision to convert was his own decision, but I know nothing of the name change,” added Moosajee.
Fellow players, preferring to remain anonymous, said they believed Parnell was very serious about his choice of religion and that he had not touched a drop of alcohol, forbidden to Muslims, since the recent Indian Premier League series.
Supporting Moosajee’s denial of influence by Amla, the players said he had never attempted to convert them to his religion, although they had all been very impressed by the discipline and strict adherence that Amla showed to his religion, by refusing to participate in celebrations with them that involved liquor, staying steadfast in his daily prayers even while on tour, and refusing to wear the kit sponsored by South African beer brand Castle Lager.
In his first two years after making his debut for the Proteas in 2009, Parnell developed a hard-living reputation.
In October 2009, he was kicked out of the provincial side Warriors following an incident in a night club in the city of Port Elizabeth in the early hours of the morning.
He came to limelight when he captained South African Under-19 team in the U-19 World Cup in 2008. He was the youngest player to get a central contract in 2009 at the age of 20 years.
He is the second Christian to have reverted to Islam after Pakistan’s Yousuf Yohana (now Mohammad Yousuf) in 2006. – [PTI]


Lanka ‘A’ lose to Durham in tight contest

CHESTER-LE-STREET: A 112-run stand for the eight wicket dragged Durham over the line in a tight contest against Sri Lanka A at Chester-le-Street on Friday.
Entering the third and final day with Sri Lanka ‘A’ 184 for 4, Durham did well to force a result but on a day when 14 wickets fell, they will be relieved it was the result they wanted. Some gutsy lower-order batting Sachithra Senanayake and Shaminda Eranga pulled the visitors up from 192 for 6 with a 75-run stand. Both batsmen were positive, striking at over a run a ball and Senanayake was unlucky not to reach a deserved half-century, being bowled by Scott Borthwick for 48. Eranga ran out of partners and was left high and dry on 45.
That left Durham needing 220 for victory which looked plenty more when they lost their openers with just 30 on the board. A half-century for Ben Stokes, on his return from injury helped set the foundations and will be pleasing for Durham fans who have missed his hard-hitting in the middle order. He made 51 from 64 balls with five fours and a six.
While he was progressing, though, Durham lost much of their middle order and looked in real trouble when Stokes departed leaving the score at 104 for 7. That’s when the eighth wicket pair of Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood took over and produced a match-winning effort.
Plunkett finished unbeaten on 65 from 79, stroking six fours and a six while Wood made a more patient 48 from 82 before being run out near the end. Plunkett and Chris Rushworth ensured no further slip ups as the home side edged a good tussle.
Scores: Sri Lanka A 203 (51.4) (B Rajapaksa 20, S Serasinghe 44, S Eranga 50 n.o., R Brathwaite 3/35, C Rushworth 2/15, M Wood 2/64, C Borthwick 2/17) and 319 (75.3) (M Warnapura 35, L Thirimanne 42, D Karunaratne 42, B Rajapaksa 36, S Serasinghe 26, K Kulasekara 26, S Senanayake 48, S Eranga 45 n.o., L Plunkett 3/70, S Borthwick 2/63)
Durham 303 (79.5) (M Stoneman 56, S Borthwick 101, G Muchall 71, G Breese 38, S Senanayake 3/60, S Eranga 4/55) and 222-8 (58.4) (G Muchall 23, B Stokes 51, L Plunkett 65 n.o., M Wood 48, K Kulasekara 2/49, S Eranga 3/54, S Senanayake 2/49)


Former football player/coach seeks a kidney donor

Farideen Samath a former national football player, coach and official is critically ill and has been diagnosed in the final stages of renal disease and is in need of a voluntary donor of a kidney to undergo a kidney transplant.
His blood group is O positive. Dr. Surjit Somiah who treats him at Lanka Hospitals states that Samath has to undergo a renal transplant and is presently undergoing dialysis twice a week as a life saving measure.
Samath resides at 3/4, Salawatta Road, Wellampitiya and can be contacted on 011-2531115 and 077-2491362.
Samath, 63 was a product of Zahira College, Colombo and played football at national level. He was also one time coach of the national football team. He is presently the Assistant Director of the Youth Development section of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka.


Zara and rugby star marry in Britain’s second royal wedding

EDINBURGH, (AFP) - Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest granddaughter Zara Phillips married England rugby star Mike Tindall on Saturday, in a low-key event far removed from the spectacle of this year’s other British royal wedding.
The couple, both world-beating sports stars, wed in a private ceremony at Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirk attended by all the senior royals, including Prince William and Catherine, and some of the biggest names in English rugby.
Phillips, a former equestrian eventing world champion, wore an ivory silk gown by British designer Stewart Parvin.
Tindall, who played in England’s 2003 World Cup-winning team and captained the side in their victorious 2011 Six Nations campaign, looked smart in a formal tailcoat.


Badminton boost

Ravindu Ranatunga, (right) an up and coming badminton player from Nalanda College who is in the national under-16 pool received a boost to uplift his career when he was donated badminton equipment by Pacific Sports (Pvt) Ltd of Singapore managing director Ahmad Bakar.

Picture shows Ranatunga receiving the Ashway badminton equipment from local agent Rakita Jayathilaka


Schools VB finals on August 19-20

The finals of the DSI Super Sports Schools Volleyball tournament will be held on August 19 and 20 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium.
According to a senior official of the Volleyball Federation, the top teams of each age group in the National level tournament have qualified to play in the finals.
Earlier the district level and provincial level tournaments were completed with more teams competing in comparison to the previous year.
The matches on August 19 will commence at 12.30 pm and on August 20 from 8 am. Live coverage of the finals will be shown to viewers. - [DR]


Emphatic All Blacks win over South Africa

WELLINGTON, (AFP) - The All Blacks carved up an under-strength Springbok side to open their Tri-Nations account with an emphatic 40-7 victory at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday.
They scored six tries to one in the runaway win as they exposed the inexperience of the South African line-up.
A week after being humbled 39-20 by Australia, the Springboks slumped even further as they found themselves comprehensively outplayed in the forwards and could not cope with the speed and width of the All Black backs.
The New Zealanders stepped up several levels with a far more controlled performance from the decidedly rusty shake-down against Fiji last week.