Archive | May, 2014


Modi to rule India with 25-member Cabinet

Posted on 26 May 2014 by admin

Indian PM Narendra Modi with President Mahinda Rajapaksa


BY S VENKAT NARAYAN Our Special Correspondent – Courtesy: The Island.

Newly sworn Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy Narendra Modi is expected to appoint 25-member Cabinet and 20 State Ministers. The names of the Cabinet members and other ministers had not been released to the media until this edition went to press.

Meanwhile, Indo Asia News Service reported that Modi was on Monday set to take oath of office as 15th prime Minister along with some 45 Ministers, including key leaders Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, sources said, adding that the list has been dispatched to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The sources said about 25 of these Ministers were slated for Cabinet ranks and the remaining would figure in the list of those with the rank of Minister of State with Independent charge and Minister of State.

NEW DELHI, May 26: A one-time tea vendor from a poor family in Gujarat, the birthplace of India’s liberator Mahatma Gandhi and Pakistan’s founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah, tonight gatecrashed into history books.

Narendra Modi, destiny’s child out to change India’s own destiny, was sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy tonight by President Pranab Mukherjee in the forecourt of the majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of over four thousand specially invited guests.

The guests included three presidents and four prime ministers from neighbouring countries as well as Mauritius, Bollywood superstars, business tycoons, cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, and chief ministers, among others. Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi, and party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, outgoing Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh were present at the ceremony.

This is possibly the biggest ever event staged in India’s capital for a prime ministerial swearing in ceremony in the forecourt of the British-built Rashtrapati Bhavan since it began to be used since 1932. It did not exist during the Durbars of 1877, 1903 and 1911. All the three great events were held at Coronation Park beyond the Red Fort.

Construction of the Rashtrapati Bhavan began only after King George V announced the shifting of British India’s capital from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to New Delhi at his coronation as the Emperor of India in 1911.

From tonight for the next five years, the 63-year-old Modi will be in charge of the destiny of 1.25 billion Indians, who account for nearly a fifth of the human race. On May 16, the day he rode to power, he had said he will need 10 years to make the 21st century India’s century.

As such, what he does and what India does under his leadership may have a lasting impact in Asia in particular and the world at large.

Modi is the first man born in free India to lead the country. Since the country became free in 1947, he is also the first non-Congressman to win an absolute majority for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and come to power by single-handedly fighting a challenging parliamentary election.

And he happens to be the first prime minister from a backward community which is at the bottom of India’s oppressive social ladder. All the previous prime ministers have been either Brahmins or from other high castes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take oath along with 44 other ministers, comprising 23 ministers of Cabinet rank, 10 Ministers of State with Independent Charge and 11 Ministers of State.

He began the day with paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi at his samadhi at Rajghat, and went to ailing former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to seek his blessings. Vajpayee was India’s first BJP prime minister during 1998-2004.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, President Abdulla Gayoom of The Maldives, Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam of Mauritius, and President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai arrived here today to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

Bhutan Prime Minister Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay and Speaker of Bangladesh Shirin Chaudhry, who is representing her Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, arrived on Sunday. Sheikh Hasina is currently in Japan on a state visit.

Before leaving Islamabad, Nawaz Sharif said: "Pakistan wants good relations with India and I am going to New Delhi with a ‘message of peace.’ "

MDMK leader Vaiko, who held a demonstration at Jantar Mantar here to protest against President Rajapaksa attending the ceremony. He was detained and taken away. The MDMK is an ally of the BJP-led 30-party National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

By ignoring protests by his allies in Tamil Nadu as well as state Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa, Modi has made it known that he will not countenance interference from any regional parties in running the country’s foreign policy. Jayalalithaa is among a handful of regional leaders who stayed away from the swearing-in because of Rajapaksa’s presence at the event. OVER

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Five of the Best Places to Stay in Sri Lanka

Posted on 25 May 2014 by admin



Amanwella, Tangalle



Sri Lanka may just be the most beautiful place on earth (in my humble opinion), so staying at chic boutique properties only adds to an otherwise special experience.

We always seek out hotels that adopt sustainable and socially responsible practices, and if none are available in the area where we are travelling, we opt to stay at smaller properties that impose a lesser environmental impact than large hotels and mega-resorts.

These boutiques offer a luxury experience in some of Sri Lanka's most incredible destinations. The order in which they are listed can serve as the basis of an itinerary that covers the country's most beautiful regions and attractions.

The Wallawwa (near Colombo Airport)

Just 15 minutes from the Colombo Airport, The Wallawwa qualifies as an airport hotel, but bears none of the typical qualities of its counterparts. The grounds are lush, serene and give guests the sense they are in a tropical paradise far from the crowds and blaring horns of the city. A stay here removes all symptoms of jet lag after one dinner (try any of the curries) and a night's sleep in the sumptuous Balinese-inspired poster beds. Rooms are beautifully appointed with large, airy bathrooms that offer luxurious rainshowers and natural bath products. The Wallawwa sits on five acres of tropical landscaped gardens with a pool and expansive organic garden that supplies many of the ingredients used in making the exquisite dishes on the menu.

Nearby attractions

Colombo City Center, Beaches and fish markets of Negombo, The Muthurajawela Wetlands, Millennium Elephant Foundation at Pinnawela

Ulagalla, Anuradhapura

If you've ever wondered what it might be like to live in a glass house among a pristine nature reserve, Ulagalla will give you a pretty good sense of such an experience. Twenty private ecologically-built chalets are peppered across 58 acres of land, providing guests with the opportunity to unplug and reconnect with nature. The chalets are airy and luxurious with plush king-sized beds, wooden floors, glass walls and views of verdant paddy fields, lush forest or a nearby lake. Guests are provided with bicycles so they can explore the expansive property during the quiet hours of dawn when all of nature's magnificence is stirring, or at their leisure throughout the day. Once the ancestral estate of local Anuradhapura nobility, the hotel features a 150-year-old mansion at its centre, which houses its excellent restaurant. Ulagalla's sustainable initiatives include organic farming, reverse osmosis water management and a solar farm that generates half of its own energy requirements.


Nearby attractions:

Rock Fortress of Sigiriya, sacred city of Anuradhapura, Minneriya National Park, Wilapattu National Park, Dambulla Cave Temple

The Bougainvillea Retreat (Near Kandy)

Upon entering the art deco styled great room of the BV Retreat, any uncomfortable moments during hours of travel melt away: you feel like you are home. Pi, the property manager will welcome you over a refreshing pressed juice and ask about everything from dietary needs to booking personalized tours of the surrounding area. After this brief introduction, the property is yours to indulge. Rooms are beautifully appointed, clean and have free wifi (just in case you need to download a new book on your e-reader).

Meals are often a surprise, incorporating delicious local ingredients that are either grown on site or sourced daily from local farms and fishermen. Perhaps the most stunning aspect of the property is the view of the Knuckles Mountain Range and Victoria Lake. In the evenings, Pi switches on sensual music as the sun dips behind the mountains spewing a magnificent warm glow that envelops the property. Built in 2002 by Ea Lind and Erik Logstrup, the Tuscan style villa was created with the utmost respect for the surrounding landscape: the garden paths twist past tamarind and palm trees and the infinity pool fuses with the rocky outcrops of the land while butterflies flicker between the bougainvilleas and spider lilies.


Nearby attractions:
Kandy, Victoria Golf and Country Resort
From here you can do a day trip to Tea Country or stay a few nights in this enchanting region.

The Bougainvillea Retreat

Amanwella, Tangalle

Situated on Sri Lanka's southern coast, Amanwella rests among a wild and pristine seascape of coconut groves and unspoiled beach. The stylish contemporary resort offers 30 suites, each with its own private plunge pool and terrace. The spacious bathrooms include a freestanding soaking tub with sensual bath salts and twin vanities for an added ounce of luxury (chic feature: the bathroom can be separated from the rest of the room with wall-to-wall sliding panels). Views of the restless cerulean ocean greet you on the terrace, appropriately adorned with long, plush loungers, perfect for staring at the sea for hours on end. The most attractive aspect of the hotel is its clean-lined open architecture. Ocean views are abounding from almost every corner of the property including the restaurant, which combines Asian and Mediterranean influences with an emphasis on fresh local seafood. Try any of the curry dishes and you'll be thankful for the experience. Staff is kind, attentive and helpful; if there is something you need they are happy to find a solution. Amanwella is situated close to. An early morning or evening stroll along the Wella Wathuara Village paths (a nearby village) that wind through the jungle provides interesting insight into daily village life. There's a strong chance you might encounter some local wildlife including monkeys, birds, mouse deer, monitor lizards, hares and mongooses.


Nearby attractions:
Mulgirigala Rock Temple, Bundala National Park, Udawalawe National Park, Yala National Park

Amangalla, Galle

As you drive through the Galle Fort and arrive at Amangalla, a glorious old-world charm meets you as you enter The Great Hall or 'Zaal' as it was known in colonial Dutch times. Laughter and cordial chatter echo from guests enjoying stiff cocktails, high tea and small bites as the sound of jazz from the Roaring Twenties plays in the background.

Due to the age and nature of this historic colonial building, five categories of accommodation are offered. Each room is appointed with a four-poster king-size bed, dining table, wardrobe and pettagama chest, all set on the original 300-year-old polished teak or jack wood floors. Most pieces of furniture are either original antiques from the original New Oriental Hotel or careful reproductions.

All rooms have lovely views of either the lush property and 200-year-old gardens, the nearby historic Groote Kerk (Great Church) or views through the ancient Para rubber trees, over the Fort and out to sea. Bathrooms feature a freestanding tub, twin vanities and a separate shower and toilet. The stylish modern pool is situated at the centre of the gardens and is flanked with five private rest pavilions and sun loungers for lazing away the sultry afternoon.

The Dining Room is beautifully appointed with Period furniture and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and provides a choice of Sri Lankan curries and home-cooked dishes.


Nearby attractions:

Galle Fort (Amangalla is situated within the walls of the fort), Hiyare Bio-Diversity Reserve, Rhummasala Trek

Courtesy: – By: Maria Russo






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George Harrison’s guitar fetches $657,000 at Beatles auction

Posted on 25 May 2014 by admin


US: An electric guitar played by George Harrison on British television before the Beatles' US "invasion" fetched $657,000 at auction on Saturday in New York, topping pre-sale estimates, Julien's Auctions said.

Also sold at the auction was a handwritten placard with doodles signed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono from their 1969 anti-war "bed-in" in Montreal, which fetched $187,000.

A Hofner bass rented by Paul McCartney in the mid-1960s sold for $125,000.

Other notable sales from the auction included a white jumpsuit worn by Elvis Presley during a 1971 concert that fetched $197,000, and 1990 red Rolls-Royce Corniche III convertible owned and used by Lady Gaga that sold for $125,000.

Harrison, who died in 2001 at age 58, played the black-and-white 1962 Rickenbacker 425 electric guitar on 1963 appearances on the British TV shows Ready Stead Go! and Thank Your Lucky Stars with the Beatles.

Harrison also played the guitar during the sessions when the Beatles recorded I Want to Hold Your Hand and This Boy in October 1963, months before they brought Beatlemania to the United States, launching the British Invasion of rock bands.

The guitar was estimated to sell between $400,000 and $600,000, Julien's said ahead of the auction.

Harrison bought the guitar in 1963 in Mount Vernon, Illinois, while visiting his sister in the United States, the auction house said.





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Sri Lanka and China hold bilateral talks

Posted on 25 May 2014 by admin

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday held bilateral talks in Shanghai and discussed the progress of ongoing collaborative projects as well as new areas of cooperation.

“I am happy that the development assistance granted by China to Sri Lanka has been very much in keeping with my policies for the country’s growth, which is much appreciated,” President Rajapaksa said. Noting that Sri Lanka is an important partner, President Xi said he was happy to see the relations between the two countries be elevated to one of “strategic cooperation” during the President’s last visit to China in May 2013. He further said that China looks to “step up mutually beneficial cooperation” with Sri Lanka, which will require the two countries to “maintain high-level engagement.”

“Under your leadership, Sri Lanka has achieved fast economic growth,” President Xi said.

The two Presidents also spoke about maritime cooperation.

“We strongly support the ‘Maritime Silk Route Economic Belt’ initiative of China and will cooperate in its implementation,” President Rajapaksa said.
President Xi, while appreciating Sri Lanka’s support, said the island is an important player in the initiative and “an important country in the Indian Ocean.”

Among other topics discussed were defence cooperation, tourism and cyber-security. Sri Lanka has identified China as a potential tourism market, President Rajapaksa noted, and hope to receive 275,000 Chinese tourists by 2016. With regard to cyber-security, President Rajapaksa said: “With the spread of cybercrime causing unrest in countries, Sri Lanka wishes to take precautions against such acts.”

While thanking China for its support at the UN Human Rights Council, President Rajapaksa assured China that Sri Lanka “continues to uphold the ‘One China Policy,’ which has been a consistent feature in our foreign policy.” He also pledged solidarity with the Chinese Government in the fight against terrorism.

President Rajapaksa also invited President Xi to visit Sri Lanka, which he said “would no doubt give you the opportunity to see the rapid development in Sri Lanka, undertaken particularly with the generous assistance provided by China,” noting that the last visit by a Chinese head of state to Sri Lanka was in 1986. President Xi, pointing out he felt the sincerity of President Rajapaksa’s request, said he will make it a priority to visit Sri Lanka as soon as possible, light-heartedly adding that he would gladly come today with the Sri Lankan delegation on the return flight if possible.

Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Kshenuka Senewiratne and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in China Ranjith Uyangoda were also present at the discussion.

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Condominium residents in Colombo sans title deeds soon to be granted relief

Posted on 25 May 2014 by admin


Condominium residents who have not been granted their title deeds, as the property developers failed to obtain the Certificate of Conformity (COC) approval for the buildings, will soon be granted relief, said a senior Condominium Management Authority (CMA) official.

CMA Chairman Kapila Gamage told the Sunday Times, an amendment will be introduced so that property developers can get “special approval” for their projects. The move by the Ministry of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities, follows a series of cases where property developers could not obtain the COC for the construction.

“When we get a complaint from residents, we call both parties and try to settle the issues.He said some of the developers have not constructed the building according to the original approved building plan, and therefore, not been able to obtain the COC.“As a result title deeds cannot be granted. Under the proposed amendment, the developer should apply for the registration of the property within two years from the date of coming into operation. This will be valid for constructions completed prior to December 31, 2009,” he added.

He explained that the owner should inform the CMA General Manager (GM) in writing, of any other unauthorised constructions or modifications made to the property, which did not exist in the approved building plan. The GM will take appropriate action in respect of the unauthorized construction within CMA law.
“The GM will issue a certificate specifically mentioning of having been satisfied by the availability of the building plan as certified by a surveyor. Thereafter, the GM will issue a “special condominium certificate” certifying that this is according to the condominium laws. Consequently, they can prepare the declaration for the title deeds,” he explained.

“We don’t have any responsibility towards maintenance, we function as a regulating authority,” he said regarding the internal problems within the apartments.
Meanwhile, residents of Seagull Residencies in Colombo, have complained to the CMA and the UDA that they have paid for the apartments with the assurance that the title deeds would follow within six months. However, some of them have not got their title deeds for several years.They claimed the developer has not received the COC, as he had submitted a plan to the Municipality which differed from the construction itself, thus causing a delay in getting their deeds.

They claimed that, as the building has not been handed over to the apartment dwellers, the developer has to maintain the building, but currently the apartment is not maintained properly. However the developer, Seagull Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd said that the apartment is constructed with an approved building plan.
“While Colombo Municipal Council came for COC inspection they indicated a few deviations and instructed us to submit an amended plan. We have submitted an amended building plan and are awaiting approval. As soon as we receive the approval from the CMC, we will prepare the deeds.”

“We have completed construction with all the facilities, and handed over to individual owners who are in possession and enjoying the facilities. (Some have even given it on rent and enjoying the rental income). But they are not paying the maintenance charges.” Responding to the allegations of poor maintenance of the building, the company said, “Some of the residents of the condominium have not paid the maintenance fee to the company, while some have given it on rent and they are not paying the maintenance charges.”

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2nd ODI: Dilshan & Senanayaka star in huge 157 run win for Sri Lanka

Posted on 25 May 2014 by admin

On a cold Sunday, Sri Lanka registered a crushing 157 run win against England played at Riverside Ground, Chester-Le-Street. England skipper Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to field. Sri Lanka opened with Lahiru Thirimanne, 10, and Tilekeratne Dilshan, 88. Tilekeratne Dilshan made his highest one-day score in England as Sri Lanka battled tricky conditions at Chester-le-Street to post a competitive 256 for 8. In reply

Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara laid a foundation by adding 96 for the second wicket before the innings lost direction, including Mahela Jayawardene's run out from third man as he laboured for a third run, but a fifth-wicket stand of 66 in nine overs between captain Angelo Mathews and the recalled Ashan Priyanjan gave the innings some energy.

England did not make the most of conditions having won the toss under stand-in captain Eoin Morgan who covered for the injured Alastair Cook which gave Michael Carberry a recall to open the batting. Although there was not a vast amount of swing there was seam movement on offer but the quick bowlers were not consistent enough; overall in the innings there were 15 wides – two-and-a-half overs extra for Sri Lanka.

James Anderson was the only bowler to strike in the first half of the innings when he had Lahriu Thirimanne caught at second slip. Thirimanne's innings was a curious one: for the majority of his 37-ball stay he could barely get the ball off the square but, out of nowhere, picked up a length delivery from Harry Gurney and launched it over midwicket for the day's first six before nicking to James Tredwell.

Dilshan was more confident, slotting two straight drives off Gurney's second over, and later collected another boundary when he perfectly bisected deep square-leg and long leg with a pull off Chris Jordan. Having passed 15,000 international runs during the innings – the fifth Sri Lankan to do so – he went to his half-century from 63 balls. He appeared set for his 18th ODI hundred before receiving an excellent delivery from Jordan which nipped back between bat and pad.

Sangakkara, who had a brief stint with Durham before this series began, was largely kept quiet by the England attack until he advanced at Tredwell and lofted him over mid-on but Tredwell held his nerve in the contest and lured Sangakkara into a slog sweep which he top-edged.

Jayawardene gifted England his wicket when he dawdled over a third run after edging the ball towards third man. Gary Ballance chased hard, but his throw was more optimistic than anything and England were pleasantly surprised when Jayawardene was shown to be a few inches short.

When Dilshan was cleaned up by Jordan, England had a grip on proceedings, helped by the fact that Morgan had been able to hustle through some relatively cheap overs from Tredwell and Ravi Bopara. But England's fielding let them down as Priyanjan was dropped at third man by Gurney on 2 and Mathews was also given a much simpler life by Bopara on 24.

Priyanjan cashed in against Tredwell when he was brought back for his last over having previously bowled nine in a row. The over cost 16 included two sixes for Priyanjan – one straight driven and one of midwicket – and that sparked him into a very handy contribution which also included a reverse lap off Jordan before he spliced to midwicket.

The chance to Mathews did not proved overly cost as he carved to cover and Dinesh Chandimal departed in similar fashion, both to Gurney who finished with 3 for 59, while the last over of the innings from Jordan only cost seven.

What is Eoin Morgan going to make of this: "Abysmal really, we lacked partnerships and never really got anything going. I can't explain it. It did a little bit. We talked about a partnership of substance but it wasn't there. We talked about getting through the first 10 overs but lost wickets consistently and underperformed massively. We've been outplayed in conditions we normally thrive on. We don't drop too many catches in training but again we were a little bit sloppy in the field."

Angelo Mathews: "It was a pleasing performance on a sporty wicket. The batters had to work really hard but Dilshan played outstandingly well. We were not really sure at half-time but the bowlers were great, very aggressive. The conditions were a challenge for our team, it was cold out there. Kulasekera is unplayable in these conditions and Senanayake has a lot of confidence and was outstanding once again."

Tillakaratne Dilshan is Man of the Match not for his ear-warmers when fielding but for his fine 88 that set the match up for Sri Lanka.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo


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1st ODI: England win by 81 runs D/L method

Posted on 24 May 2014 by admin

England 247 for 6 (Ballance 64, Bell 50, Root 45, Jordan 38*, Senanayake 3-30) beat Sri Lanka 144 (Jayawardene 35, Dilshan 33, Jordan 3-25, Tredwell 3-38) by 81 runs (D/L method).

For Sri Lanka, this was a one-day international that will not live long in the memory, a match ruined by rain. But that is only half the story. For England, it was much more than that. It was a match worth remembering: a match that uplifted spirits, created smiles and brought hopes that after a tormented tour of Australia all was not lost. And it was a match that insisted, not for the first time, that England had a new entertainer in their midst.

England won not just because of the rain – although the second interruption, during Sri Lanka's innings, came along at a convenient time – but because of Chris Jordan. His unbeaten 38 from 13 balls at the end of England's innings swung the game in England's favour. His three wickets confirmed that Sri Lanka would not remedy what had become an impossible situation. His fielding was pretty spritely, too.

Several rain interruptions wrecked the game – just utter the words Duckworth-Lewis and people lose interest, the only thing worth analysing being the bottom of a warm pint of beer – but Jordan made a celebration of it all the same.

With all the talk of a new start in place, with a new coach, Peter Moores, talking of encouraging individuality, Jordan was just what England needed: a blithe spirit. He ran riot in the closing overs and much later after another stoppage he browbeat Sri Lanka with three wickets. England, living off his positive mood, felt powerful again.

Jordan's ebullience has made him one of the most appealing faces in England's new order. Sixty runs spilled from the last four overs as he smashed an unbeaten 38 from 13 balls, finishing with a length-ball six over long on against Lasith Malinga and a meaningful tuck of bat under arm, job done. As many as 93 came from the last seven overs. Malinga, so often England's tormentor, had never conceded as many against them in an ODI: 71 from eight wicketless overs.

Sri Lanka's chase of what started as 259 in 39 overs – before that became something else – foundered from the outset. Lahiru Thirimanne, back as opener after Sri Lanka dropped Kusal Perera to find room for Dinesh Chandimal, fell lbw for nought to an inswinger from James Anderson in the first over; Kumar Sangakkara was not the first to work out the cranky bowling style of England's left-armer Harry Gurney and dragged on.

Then came the rain; then came Jordan. Three balls after the resumption, Tillakaratne Dilshan flung the bat at a wide one and perished to a neat catch by Gurney at third man. Chandimal and Kulasekara, promoted in desperation, both followed to catches at the wicket.

There was a big wicket, too, for James Tredwell, so bereft of first-class form for the past year that he has been left out by Kent, but shrewd enough to sneak out Mahela Jayawardene at midwicket. He, too, finished with three wickets, but without the same pzazz. Such is his lot. "Poor effort by the whole team," said Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka's captain.

Three wickets for Sachithra Senanayake, an offspinner with the additional sleight of hand rarely seen in the English game, had kept England in check until Jordan took charger. His variations were subtle, but certainly effective as he dismissed Eoin Morgan, Gary Ballance and Ravi Bopara to record 3 for 30, his best return in 30 ODIs.


Ballance acquitted himself well at No. 3 with a punchy 64 from 72 balls, surviving the rain interruption midway through his innings. He is not the most elegant batsman in the world, but his impressive first-class form has suggested a good business brain and he exhibited that here.


Ian Bell's orderly half century brought tranquillity and a sense of organisation to England's top order in the first of these five ODIs. He was dismissed to the last ball before rain intervened for the first time. Deceived by Mathews' slower ball, he helped it to Malinga at short fine leg. He had survived a Sri Lankan review earlier in Mathews' over: Mathews' lbw decision refused both by umpire Rob Bailey and the TV adjudicator.


Bell, whose most authoritative blow was an easeful straight six in Thisara Perera's first over, was again the emollient figure at the heart of this England side: England's favourite moisturiser to help them through a dry, sore phase in their history. Alastair Cook's form needs more moisturiser than most: his awkward stay ended when he edged a wide one from Kulasekera to the wicketkeeper, Sangakkara and he was also dropped on 1 in Kulasekera's first over, a tough chance to Dilshan, diving high to his right at backward point.


Morgan was promoted to No. 4 after the skies cleared, but he fell third ball to Senanayake, chopping on a ball flicked out of the front of the hand. Ballance holed out at deep midwicket and Ravi Bopara, who was playing despite dislocating a finger just before the toss, fell lbw sweeping.


A jaunty contribution from Joe Root, England thought, might only bring 225. At the end of the game, the discussion might be of Senanayake and of England's frailties against unconventional spin. A lusty burst of rain, and an even lustier bout of hitting by Jordan soon put paid to that notion.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo



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Sri Lanka V. England: 1st of five ODIs begin today

Posted on 22 May 2014 by admin

The Sri Lankan cricketers who heaped agony on the struggling England cricketers beating them by 9 runs in the Twenty20 on Tuesday, will take the field confident that they could heap ignominy on the hosts.

The two teams meet in the first of five one-day internationals at the Kennington Oval, the scene where the Lankan Lions made the British Lions look hapless in the one and only Twenty20 game.

In the Twenty20 victory, while the whole team played as one demolition squad the stand outs were Captain Lasith Malinga who led cleverly and bowled brilliantly to take three wickets and the hurly, burly Thisara Perera who blitzed 49 in 20 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes.

Mathews back to lead

All rounder Angelo Mathews puts on his captaincy cap and will be at the helm directing operations and showing his team mates with his all round abilities how to rattle and slap defeat on Alastair Cook's Englishmen. Fifty over cricket is a different ball game to that of Twenty20. While there are restrictions in both games, the 50-over game gives the players more freedom to unleash.

Now that the Lankans are on top of the Brits after the Twenty20 victory, there should be no letting up. From ball one they must fire, because the homesters are in disarray what with changing, chopping and pinching coaches.

Life without the dazzler

It will be life without that dazzler with the bat former captain and South African born Kevin Pietersen whose fondness to dabble in controversy has made him pay a heavy price. His England career is ended.

With Pietersen out, England's middle order batting looks vulnerable. Pietersen was one batsman who could take the attack to the opponents and turn defeat into victory with his punishing stroke play. It is an exercise in futility to even guess as to who the two teams will put out on the park. The final playing elevens will be decided only after a look at the conditions and the wicket.

At the time of writing the fickle English weather is holding with the sun shining brightly, yet cold when it blows, but the weather here could change quickly and turn cloudy and overcast with rain.

Advantage of batting first

In the limited over formats, it is advantages for the team winning the toss to strike first. A formidable score could put pressure on the side chasing, because they will have to maintain a run rate which prompts batsmen to take risks.

Sri Lanka will again open with Kusal Janith Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Perera must be disappointed that he has not been able to get his bat to do the talking. But he will come good.

Dilshan, now that his reflexes are slowing will do well to curb his impetuosity. If he stays longer at the wicket can make a big score. He is also over doing the 'Dilscoop'.

Master class players back

Padding up for Sri Lanka will be their two master class performers and former captains Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. They will certainly add the muscle to the batting and their presence on the field will be invaluable.

Batsmen following Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimesh Chandmal and Angelo Mathews must endeavor to make big runs. They are all capable and must apply themselves. Bowling will be in the capable hands of Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Angelo Mathews and the spin of either Sachitra Senanayake or Ajantha Mendis or both depending on the selectors.

Must tighten their fielding

The Lankans must tighten their fielding, especially their catching. There were dropped catches in the first game. Dropped catches would not necessarily mean losing, but it could make winning that much more difficult.

As for England they will be determined to come good and prove their critics wrong. They have some gutty performers and not wanting to comment, because it is too early, lets watch how they go under the captaincy of Alastair Cook. A win could do their game a world of good and will help to silence their critics and bring back the supporters who have begun to desert them following their 5-nil drubbing in the Ashes series in Australia. Kennington Oval, London, Wednesday.

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England v Sri Lanka, Twenty20 international: match report by The Telegraph

Posted on 21 May 2014 by admin


Sri Lanka (183/7) beat (England (174/7) by nine runs.

England might have picked an easier team than the World T20 champions to begin their renaissance but they have never done things the easy way, as was reflected in their close defeat by nine runs. With 28 needed off two overs and 14 off the last, Ravi Bopara got them close after he struck Suranga Lakmal’s second and third balls of the final for six and four.

But Lakmal gathered himself and turned the fifth into a decent enough yorker to see his team through. It was a very different story the last time these two met in this format on a steamy night in Chittagong. Then it was all hail Alex Hales as his pyrotechnic hundred saw England to a rare victory and Sri Lanka to an ever rarer defeat. This time Hales again top scored, with 66 off 31 balls, but there was no support to speak of the next best score being Bopara’s 28.



Hales was sixth man out in the 17th over when 45 were still needed off 20 balls.

For some reason his technique is deemed too frail for 50-over cricket but he has a fine eye, and nose, for which ball to hit.

During his innings he passed 1,000 runs, the joint quickest England player to reach the milestone, equalling the 36 innings it took Kevin Pietersen.

Hales’s 39-run partnership with Jos Buttler off 24 balls gave England timely impetus, but with Lasith Malinga holding himself back for two of the last four overs, they needed to be closer to their target.

Either that or hope Malinga had a rare off day, which he did not, bowling Hales with a slower ball and then causing Chris Jordan to play on soon after.

Even without the retired Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka bat so deep that their batsmen do not come to the crease thinking about pinching a few singles to get the blood moving. Instead, a four seems to be their minimum ambition.

Sri Lanka’s total was built on three innings, all played by left-handers. Lahiru Thirimanne played the sensible one of the three while Kithuruwan Vithanage and Thisara Perera provided the muscle.

Vithanage’s hitting destroyed Sussex on Sunday and he took the same approach here, swinging fearlessly against spin and seam.

Perera looks a brute and does not need a second invitation to cause mayhem, something England handed him when Michael Carberry, making his T20 debut, dropped him off Harry Gurney after a mix-up in calling with Eoin Morgan.

Perera was on 15 at the time though not for long as he took a heavy toll on anything just short of perfection – which most of the deliveries were as the nerves of bowling at the death jangled.

A six, then four and four off the usually excellent Jordan gave the score crucial impetus. His 49 off 20 balls sprinkled stardust on Sri Lanka’s innings.

Without Tim Bresnan, who was left out, there were new faces in the attack. Gurney graced his T20 debut with England’s best bowling figures.

The team have been looking for a left-arm pace bowler to offer variety for a while and Gurney’s lanky arms and legs action has provided them not just with that but a calm demeanour as well.

When asked afterwards about his two for 26 and the last ball run-out, which required good presence of mind as well as a knowledge of the laws, after Perera’s drive had all but demolished the stumps, he said it had just “been like bowling in front of a full house on a Friday at Trent Bridge”.

T20 can be the cruellest format for bowlers as Jordan discovered.

Having bowled his first three overs with impressive precision for 21 runs, his last six balls saw the runs conceded more than double as 22 were taken off them.

Bowling theories come and go in the white-ball form of the game.

At the moment, England appear to target the area between the stumps and the wide line outside off stump, presumably with the idea that batsmen stretching for the ball will not hit it with as much power.

But edges are hard to set a field to and England must have conceded at least 40 runs in boundaries to third man.

Sri Lanka kept a slip in place, even after the powerplay, to combat just such an eventuality and it would have paid off had Thirimanne been able to catch the chance Ian Bell sent his way.

Not that Bell made them pay for their error, his return to T20 cricket ending when he wafted a catch off Malinga to extra cover just two balls later.

By Derek Pringle, Cricket Correspondent, at the Kia Oval – Courtesy: The Telegraph.


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Sri Lanka beat England by 9 runs in only tour T20 game at the Oval

Posted on 20 May 2014 by admin

In an exciting finish Sri Lanka held on to a total of 183 for the loss of 7 wickets to edge England out by 9 runs in the only T20 game of the tour played at the Oval on May 20. Skipper Lasith Malinga continues his winning streak taking Sri Lanka to a brilliant win. Malinga last over and 19th of the game yielded only 4 singles and 1 wicket. This over was really the match winner.

Match Scores – click on link below

Sri Lanka avenged their T20 World Cup defeat at the hands of England. Alex Hales, 66, top scored for England and would have been the danger man if Malinga has not bowled in his 3rd over and 17th over of the game. England scored 174 for 7 wickets with Ravi Bopara unbeaten with 28 runs in 15 balls. Malinga had a match bag of 3 for 28. Thisara Perera shone again with a blistering 49 runs in 20 runs and unfortunate to miss his half century when he was run out on the last ball of the innings. Perera won the Man of the Match award for his splendid all round performance with bat and ball (1 for 24 in 3 overs).

Elmo Rodrigopulle reporting from London, England (Courtesy: Daily News)

Sri Lanka playing their first Twenty20 International after being crowned kings in Bangladesh, made a massive score of 183 for 7 in their 20 overs thanks to a belligerent knock of 49 in 20 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes by match and cup winner in Bangladesh Thisara Perera. Going for a single that would have brought him his well deserved 50 he was run out off the last ball. Openers Dilshan and Perera were off to a grand start putting on 24 in 16 balls with Dilshan pulling the first ball bowled by off spinner Joe Root to the square leg fence. Dilshan continued to amaze with his ‘Dilscoop’ bringing him boundaries. But on 14 and the score on 24 he was bowed by left arm bowler Gurney with 3 fours. At the same score Perera went pulling Chris Jordan to Ravi Bopara at short fine leg for 10. The two lefties Vithanage and Thirmanne got together and batting aggressively and scoring freely put on a stand of 54 in 38 balls. Vithanage looked set for a big score, cut trying an upper cut holed out to Jordan off Woakes at deep point for 38 in 26 with 7 fours at 78. Dinesh Chandimal the in-form batsman walked in lofted a six and attempting a big shot was held by Hales at mid on off Root for 7. He was out at 85. Angelo Mathews joined Thirimanne and took the score to 122 when Mathews after lofting a six over mid on, tried a repeat over long off and was held by Root off Tredwell for 13. Thirimanne was joined by Thisara Perera and they took the score to 141. Perera loftd a six and 4 and Thirimanne on 40 with 3 fours and a six in 32 balls and going well lofted to Hales at mid wicket off Gurney. 141 for 6. The sun was shining brightly in London in the past few days and so it was in Hove where the Sri Lankan openers Tillekeratne Dilshan and Kithruwan Vithanage hammered the daylights out of the Sussex bowlers. But here in London after a bright morning, it got cold and it was gloomy and overcast when the two Captains Lasith Malinga and Eoin Morgan captaining England for the first time in the absence of Stuart Broad walked out to toss. The Kennington Oval as usual looked a picture and the wicket looked good for, both the batsmen and bowlers and when Morgan captaining England for the first time won the toss asked Sri Lanka to bat. Morgan would have been prompted to bowl first considering the overcast conditions where the ball was likely to wobble and similarly Sri Lanka benched Ajantha Mendis and slotted in Suranga Lakmal. For Sri Lanka Kithruwan Vithnage was making his debut and for England Harry Gurney a nippy left arm bowler and Michael Carberry were making their debut. Incidentally it was on the Oval square that some of the England players were spied doing a pee, after a victory celebration after beating Australia in the Ashes series, which made big, but ugly news.

England 1 Alex Hales, 2 Michael Carberry, 3 Ian Bell, 4 Joe Root, 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Jos Buttler (wk) 7 Ravi Bopara, 8 Chris Jordan 9 Chris Woakes 10 James Tredwell 11 Harry Gurney

Sri Lanka 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Lahiru Thirimanne, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Kithuruwan Vithanage, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Sachithra Senanayake, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 11 Lasith Malinga

Sri Lanka 183/7 (20/20 ov)

England 174/7 (20/20 ov)

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