Archive | June, 2014

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SriLankan Cares hopes for empowered future generation with the opening of Child Psychiatric Unit at LRH

Posted on 30 June 2014 by admin

 

Colombo June 26, 2014: The first state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary Child Psychiatric Unit in Sri Lanka, funded by SriLankan Cares, the community development arm of SriLankan Airlines, was declared open by First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, last Tuesday (June 24)  at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH), Colombo.

Making a commitment to the betterment of children, SriLankan Cares last year signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Health and the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH) to upgrade and convert Ward Five of the LRH, to a Child Psychiatric facility.

 SriLankan Airlines, Chairman, Mr. Nishantha Wickremasinghe said, “Children are the rightful owners of our future, and they should be given every support and care, that they require to grow into driven citizens who will take this country forward.  As the national carrier, SriLankan Airlines has been involved in a number of child and youth empowerment programmes to support many deserving children in their education and healthcare needs. I am pleased to be a part of this worthy cause and SriLankan will continue to care for and support the children through many empowerment initiatives.”

SriLankan Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kapila Chandrasena said, " We are delighted to support the establishment of the child psychiatric unit as the number of children requiring psychiatric treatment is surprisingly high and often overlooked. Our contribution towards this much-needed facility which promotes the wellbeing of the next generation gives us immense joy."

Though Sri Lanka’s national healthcare policy has a comprehensive strategy for infant and child physical healthcare, infant and child mental healthcare has not been equally prioritized. According to the statistics more than 20% of the children are suffering from some sort of mental disorder /deficiency and are prone to suffer from suicidal tendencies and acute mental disorders in their adulthood. Lack of awareness among parents and general public on mental healthcare and the prevailing social stigmas have hampered the children’s chances to obtain timely treatment. On the other hand, Sri Lanka at present is facing a dearth of trained staff specialized in providing child psychiatric services as the training of these officials need to be provided through proper teaching establishments and training units attached to a national child psychiatric ward.

Understanding the need to develop mental healthcare facilities for children, the project which was estimated at a cost around Rs. 9 million was funded by the SriLankan Cares Trust.  The renovated Unit consists of a Therapeutic Unit, Consultation Rooms, Observations Rooms and Resident Patients’ Ward. After handing over the facility to the hospital management, SriLankan Cares will continue to monitor its usage and progress.

The first phase of the project focussed on renovating and developing Ward Five in order to provide sufficient healthcare services to the patients. The second phase focuses on implementing a development plan for national psychiatry services with awareness campaigns, media support and series of conferences, while contributing to the development of infrastructure and supporting research and training.

 In addition, SriLankan Cares also assists and facilitates patients at airports with special seating arrangements, wheelchair and stretcher facility on-board, business class upgrades to ensure a comfortable and safe travel etc. Apart from air tickets, SriLankan Cares goes a step further and assists deserving children with monetary contributions for their surgeries in local hospitals.

In keeping with its endeavour to enhance the quality of healthcare and wellbeing of children, SriLankan Cares facilitated the visit of two separate paediatric cardiac teams from the Southampton University Hospital, UK, last year.

In recognition of its continuous efforts at developing and enhancing child healthcare across the country, SriLankan Cares was awarded the prestigious Corporate Social Responsibility Health Promotion Award for the Impactful Healthcare at the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards 2014.

 Ensuring the welfare of the differently-abled, SriLankan Cares also launched a CSR project ‘Disability is Possibility’, which is aimed at changing the attitudes of society towards those impaired at birth or later in life by circumstances beyond their control. As an initial step, SriLankan Cares started a series of staff awareness campaigns targeting its frontline and back-office staff. In December last year, it hosted a gala charity concert with celebrity vocalist, Emmanuel Kelly to create awareness and raise funds for the welfare of the differently-abled children in Sri Lanka.

Captions:

Main pic- First Lady, Shiranthi Rajapaksa, ceremoniously unveiling the plaque

Inset – SriLankan Airlines, Chairman, Mr. Nishantha Wickremasinghe, addressing the gathering

 

June 26, 2014

Corporate Communications Department

SriLankan Airlines

 

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An eventful year for SriLankan MICE

Posted on 30 June 2014 by admin

An eventful year for SriLankan MICE

SriLankan Airlines becomes the official carrier of more than 70 major events

 

Colombo June 27, 2014: At a time when Sri Lanka is progressively becoming a much sought-after destination for MICE (Meetings, Incentive, Conferences, and Exhibitions) events, SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka and the newest member of oneworld alliance, has become the official carrier of more than 70 MICE events this year. Participants of these prestigious events were offered special discounted air fares, thereby encouraging them to seek Sri Lanka as a venue for future events.

Among the line-up of events in the MICE calendar of SriLankan Airlines, ‘‘Futurex International Glass Expo-2014’’, to be held in October is expected to attract many participants from the world over. Having received 868 overseas participants, with the biggest contingent from India numbering to 640, this year’s event is expected see an increase of participants.

SriLankan Airlines Regional Manager- Sri Lanka and the Maldives Mr. Saminda Perera said, “Sri Lanka is strategically positioned between the two regions where the highest tourism growth is projected, and at a time when the country is experiencing a massive development drive and many investors seeking business opportunities, Sri Lanka’s potential as a MICE destination has certainly improved. We see a gradual growth of tourist arrivals in the country and as the national carrier, we will exploit every opportunity to the best of our advantage to attract more high-end tourists and corporate travellers.”

SriLankan Airlines in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau is implementing a long-term plan to uplift Sri Lanka’s profile as a MICE destination in order to achieve the ultimate goal of becoming a premier tourist hub in the Indian ocean in the near future. On its way to achieving this target, the second international airport in Sri Lanka, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) was opened last year in the southern coastal town of Hambantota. With many international hotel chains such as Shangri-La and Sheraton planning to make their presence in the island and the flurry of development activities taking place in the region, SriLankan MICE offers a wide variety of products and services to choose from. From idyllic settings amidst salubrious central hills and beachside meeting places overlooking the mesmerising Indian ocean to trendy cosmopolitan conference locations and convention centres, Sri Lanka is a place that has a setting for any kind of an event.

SriLankan Airlines, MICE Promotions Manager, Ms. Chantal Samarasinghe said, “SriLankan Airlines has been involved in many MICE tourism activities, through which, we have been able to attract many corporate travellers from Asian, Middle Eastern, European and Far Eastern markets. With our entry into the oneworld alliance, SriLankan is looking for greater expansion opportunities and as the national carrier, we view this as a vital opportunity to promote Sri Lanka as a destination for business travel with fully-fledged meeting places, luxury accommodation and a wide variety of excursions.”

SriLankan Airlines is the official carrier of the 2nd Sri Lanka Intervention Meeting that was held in April, organised by the Sri Lanka Heart Association. This was the official event that focused on the subject of Interventional Cardiology held with over 200 international delegates in attendance. It included lectures, panel discussions, symposiums, audio-visual presentation of cases, workshops and live case demonstrations.

In addition, INTRAD/AROGYA EXPO 2014 held in May this year, received over 275 overseas visitors and the 12th Congress of the South Asian Academy of Ophthalmology to be held in October this year, is expected to attract more than 400 overseas participants.

SriLankan Airlines was also the official carrier of the Commonwealth Business Forum last year.

 

June 27, 2014

Corporate Communications Department

SriLankan Airlines

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Wife, 34, charged with murder of Geraldton doctor Dinendra Athukorala

Posted on 27 June 2014 by admin

In a domestic dispute. A 34-year-old woman has been charged with the murder of a doctor in the West Australian Mid West town of Geraldton.

Major Crime Squad detectives last night charged a Sri Lankan lady doctor with the murder of Dr Dinendra Athukorala on June 24, at a house in Shenton Street, Geraldton.

The 34-year-old woman, Chamari Rasika Denuwanthe Gunathilaka Liyanage, was remanded in custody to appear in Geraldton Magistrates Court today.

In court, she did not enter a plea and there was no application for bail.

She was remanded in custody to appear in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court in Perth on July 16.

The family of Dr Athukorala, who live in Sri Lanka, have been notified.

Detecitves and Consul officials are offering the family all available assistance.

The Major Crime Squad is also investigating a second homicide in the Midwest town, after the discovery of a man’s body in a home in Wonthella yesterday.

The 51-year-old’s body was found in a home in Seventh Street and forensic investigators declared four separate crime scenes, including the car park of Geraldton Regional Hospital.

Investigation of the carpark crime scene finished yesterday and the area is now open to the public.

The wife of a doctor found dead in his home in Geraldton on Tuesday has been charged with his murder.

Chamari Rasika Denuwanthe Gunathilaka Liyanage appeared in Geraldton Magistrate’s Court today charged with the murder of Dinedra Athukorala.

The 34-year-old was not required to enter a plea and did not apply for bail.

Dr Athukorala’s body was found at the couple’s unit in the Bowling Green Villas complex on Shenton Street.

His wife, who is also a doctor, called emergency services to the unit at about 6.15am.

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Milos Raonic & Eugenie Bouchard through to the 3rd round at Wimbledon

Posted on 26 June 2014 by admin

Milos Raonic moved into the third round at Wimbledon for the first time in his career on Thursday, while fellow Canadian Eugenie Bouchard also advanced on the women's side.

Raonic, the No. 8 seed from Thornhill, Ont., needed only 90 minutes to win his match against unseeded American Jack Sock 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on the grass at the All England Club.

His next opponent will be another unseeded player — Lukasz Kubot of Poland.

"I've improved a lot on grass since I first played here and my confidence on the surface is higher," Raonic said. "I don't think about my movement, I can concentrate on how I want to play."

Bouchard, the Montrealer ranked 13th in the women's draw, defeated unseeded Spaniard Silvia Soler-Espinosa 7-5, 6-1 to reach the third round for the second straight year.

Her next opponent is No. 20 Andrea Petkovic of Germany.

Bouchard is looking to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the third consecutive time after doing it at the Australian Open and the French Open this season.

Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., was eliminated Thursday when he dropped his second-round match to Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.

Dancevic said he was battling a sore hip during the match.

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Angelo Mathews has tremendous willpower and confidence – Marvan Atapattu

Posted on 26 June 2014 by admin

 

Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga with Marvan Atapattu

Sri Lanka cricket coach Marvan Atapattu praised captains Angelo Mathews (Test and ODIs) and Lasith Malinga (Twenty20) for the leadership they provided to outplay England in all three formats of the games in the difficult early summer.

"Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga are two different characters. Lasith's game plans and executions are as good as Kumar Sangakkara's batting."

"Mathews has tremendous willpower and confidence. It will be very hard to find anybody who copes with pressure compared to Angelo here these days. The biggest challenge for us is to keep this going and getting our rankings up in the ICC rankings. That is a common goal we have," Atapattu said at a press briefing along with Mathews and Malinga at the SLC yesterday.

Sri Lanka won one off the Twenty20 and five-match ODI series 3-2 before winning the two-Test series 1-0 with nail biting finishes.

"The main secret of this victory was our preparation. We prepared for the tour from Sri Lanka. We started practicing early in the morning as the ball moves in the morning. We also played in Ireland before the England series."

"We adapted to the cold conditions and greentop wickets," said Mathews, the only batsman to score two centuries in both Test matches.

During the fourth ODI at Edgbaston, Lankan spinner Sachithra Senanayake was reported for his bowling action as he was a threat for the English batsmen. Senanayake had his career best ODI figures.

"We never lost confidence. We kept our mental strength. We played as one family. That was the key for this historic victory. We played as a united team," said Mathews.

Atapattu said keeping the mind free of burdens was the key.

"We supported them relieving their pressure to play freely. It's a privilege to me to be the coach of the Sri Lanka team. I am very fortunate to have the staff like Ruwan (Kalpage) and Vaasy (Chaminda Vaas) with me. Coaching staff at the Khettarama Cricket Academy headed by Jerome Jayaratne should also be praised ."

Mathews speaking about the argument with Joe Root said: "We are generally not an aggressive team in the field. There was a bit of a heated moment. It was all solved after the game.

"You need to strike a balance as a player. I think all in it was in the rule book. I think you can't judge a team or a captain for that. Because it is in the Rule Book," Mathews said on Jos Buttler run out incident.

"If it is a problem for people making those decisions I think it should not be in the rule book. It should be allowed to the umpires to handle it rather than the captain making the decision. We had to fight it all out. The team was criticised. We need to keep our heads high. It is only then that we can perform."

 

 

 

 

 

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Sri Lanka-Born Hollywood Conman Jailed in United Kingdom

Posted on 26 June 2014 by admin

 

A Sri Lanka-born conman, claiming to be a Hollywood film producer, has been jailed for over three years after stealing 1.6 million pounds from United Kingdom taxpayers while living a life of luxury in the United States.

Damita Nikapota, 47, is believed to have spent the proceeds of his crime on a Hollywood lifestyle which included a Spanish-style villa in Malibu, California, and extensive travel to places such as the Cannes Film Festival and Sri Lanka.

Nikapota made a number of fraudulent Value Added Tax or VAT repayment claims beginning in 2006 via his Los Angeles-based film company, AS Productions Limited, for film production costs totalling more than 11 million pounds.

He claimed to be involved in, among other film projects, the production and filming of a movie called "The Flying Scotsman" in Britain.

Nikapota claimed his production costs included the employment of famous Hollywood actors and work on adaptations of books by well-known authors.

He also impersonated other Hollywood producers, some of them dead, when he contacted HM Revenue and Customs, in order to validate and progress his claims.

However, an HMRC investigation discovered that Nikapota had been removed from The Flying Scotsman film project and several of his companies linked to it were already in administration by 2005.

Nikapota was arrested by HMRC in April 2014, when he came to the UK for a short visit from Canada. He has been sent to jail for three years and eight months.

Joe Rawbone, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said, "As we delved deeper into these VAT claims, the stories Nikapota had told us began to unravel and the plot began to thicken. Every single claim and shred of paperwork submitted by this man was fictitious.

"Not only will he spend significant time behind bars, but he faces full confiscation proceedings to recover the money he stole from UK taxpayers. HMRC will continue to pursue fraudsters wherever they may be and make them face justice for perpetrating damaging attacks on the nation's finances."

Courtesy: World | Press Trust of India | Updated: June 25, 2014 17:15 IST
 

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Milos Raonic, Eugenie Bouchard post straight set wins at Wimbledon

Posted on 24 June 2014 by admin

Canadians Milos Raonic, Eugenie Bouchard and Frank Dancevic all posted wins at Wimbledon on Tuesday without dropping a set.

Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., fired 30 aces — compared to two for his opponent — in a comfortable 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win over Australia's Matthew Ebden that took little more than 90 minutes.

It was a two-hour victory for the 107th-ranked Dancevic, who won his first Wimbledon match since 2011 as he upset 27th-seeded Croatian Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 7-6(5), 7-6(4).

Raonic, who lost his only grass tuneup match this month at Halle, Germany, is into the Wimbledon second round for the fourth consecutive year, but hopes to go farther after never winning two matches in a row at the event.

The 23-year-old was never in trouble from Ebden, with the Canadian claiming the first two sets and breaking for a lead in the third.

Eugenie Bouchard

 

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada plays a return to Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia during their match at All England Club. (Pavel Golovkin/The Associated Press)

Raonic sent over a service winner for three match points, but needed only one as he put a volley into the far corner out of Ebden's reach.

"I feel really good about this win, I played a lot better than I expected to," said Raonic. "I showed that I can adjust my game on this surface," said the right-hander with a 10-10 career record on grass.

"I did what was necessary to win. I think my Roland Garros quarter-final gave me confidence and showed me that I know what I need to do to win in these situations and eventually get into the second week of slams."

Bouchard of Westmount, Que., got a test against Slovakian veteran Daniela Hantuchova before prevailing 7-5, 7-5.

Bouchard had a tougher first match, coming from 3-1 down in the first set, which she won on a correct line call challenge.

Milos Raonic

 

Canadian Milos Raonic plays a shot against Matthew Ebden of Australia in Tuesday's opening round match. (Max Rossi/The Associated Press)

"I expected a tough match, and it was a tough one," said Bouchard, who advanced to the semifinals of the season's previous two Grand Slams. "I definitely feel like I didn't play my best most of the match, but competed when it counted, raised my level at some big points.

"I felt like I was a bit inconsistent. I didn't take the ball as early as I would have liked to. I felt myself more on defence more often than I'd like to be. The first match of a tournament, especially a Grand Slam, is always a bit nervy. I think there was a bit of nervous tennis out there."

Bouchard, who is seeded 13th, often struggled with her serve.

She was the only woman to reach the semifinals of this year's Australian Open and French Open, and is looking to take the next step for a first ever Grand Slam final.

Dancevic, a 29-year-old from Niagara Falls, Ont. has played in the main draw at the All England Club seven times and earned his third Wimbledon win as he overcame 32 Karlovic aces. Dancevic never faced a break point and broke the Croatian once.

Dancevic advanced with 47 winners and just four unforced errors.

"I had to serve really well, it was my main focus," said Dancevic. "But returning was a lottery, I was just guessing.

"From the first point I had to pick sides. I returned amazing, From the first ten serves in a row I got ten returns back. It was basically a guessing game, when I got into the point, I had the advantage. It came down to a coin toss, I returned a little bit better on the key points."

He entered the field as a lucky loser from qualifying round and won his first match at the ATP level since the U.S. open fist round over Robin Haase last August.

"It feels great, I haven't been on this grass while," Dancevic said. "I felt motivated by the whole atmosphere and being given a chance to be alive here at Winmbledon. I tried to play relaxed and go for my shots.

"I'm really, really happy I got through."

In women's action Swiss Timea Bacsinszky beat Toronto's Sharon Fichman 6-1, 6-3, with the 85th-ranked Canadian admitting she was outplayed.

"I'm starting to like the grass," said the 23-year-old who was making her main draw debut at the All England Club. "Unfortunately I didn't plays as well as I could have.

"It didn't help that my opponent was playing very well, It's disappointing. I felt like I didn't bring a good enough level for most of the match and she did. It was pretty straightforward — she played well and went for it, I tried and it just didn't work for me today."

Elsewhere, top-seeded and five-time champion Serena Williams beat 113th-ranked Anna Tatishvili 6-1, 6-2 to begin her 15th appearance at the All England Club. Williams served 16 aces and had 31 winners to overwhelm the 24-year-old American.

Former champs victorious

In other results, Roger Federer defeated Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 to begin his quest for a record eighth Wimbledon title.

Federer, also attempting to win his 18th Grand Slam title, lost in the second round here last year, his earliest defeat at Wimbledon since 2002. He finished Tuesday's match with his ninth ace. It is Federer's 16th consecutive appearance at Wimbledon and his 59th Grand Slam event in a row, extending his record for the longest streak of consecutive majors in the Open Era.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal rallied from one set down before beating hard-hitting Martin Klizan of Slovakia.

The top-ranked Nadal battled for nearly three hours to erase memories of his loss in the first round last year, prevailing 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion, who won his ninth French Open title earlier this month, will next face Lukas Rosol, who beat him here two years ago in the second round.

Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Joao Sousa of Portugal.

Wawrinka, who served 18 aces, lost in the first round at the French Open in his first Grand Slam since winning his inaugural major at Melbourne in January.

The Swiss player had had lost five times in the first round at Wimbledon, including the past two years.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed just four points and two minutes to complete a five-set victory over Jurgen Melzer.

The 14th-seeded Frenchman was set to serve for the match at 5-4 in the deciding set when rain forced a suspension and eventually a postponement of the first-round match Monday.

Tsonga, a two-time semifinalist at Wimbledon, came back out Tuesday and held serve at love, finishing with his 20th ace, to complete a 6-1, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win.

French Open champion Maria Sharapova defeated British wild-card entry Samantha Murray 6-1, 6-0.

The fifth-seeded Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title at the All England club 10 years ago as a 17-year-old and added her fifth last month in a three-set win over Simona Halep at Roland Garros.

On Tuesday, Sharapova was perfect in converting all five of her break-point opportunities, while Murray failed to break the Russian's serve in the 58-minute match. Murray also had six double-faults.

Last year's runner-up, Sabine Lisicki of Germany, advanced to the second round at Wimbledon on Tuesday with a 6-2 6-1 win in less than hour over Julia Glushko of Israel.

No. 20 women's seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany advanced past Poland's Katarzyna Piter, 6-1, 6-4.

 

 

With files from The Associated Press

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Sri Lanka win 2nd Test by 100 runs at Headingly and take series 1-0

Posted on 24 June 2014 by admin

The Sri Lankans spray the champagne and you would imagine the celebrations will go on for a long time. What a fantastic result for them. They now head home to prepare to host South Africa for an ODI series starting a week on Sunday, July 6 with Tests to follow too and a series against Pakistan to come later in the summer. What confidence they will take from this. For England, they have a week off before India arrive for a marquee five-match series beginning on July 9. That's when the team here will be back, so see you then…

The winning captain Angelo Mathews: "We play a lot of cricket in the subcontinent and people don't expect us to do it in England but we've played some great cricket. We kept trying, I threw the ball to Eranga saying you've got tot do it and I had faith in him, England also played some great cricket, batting like that on a final day wicket. I had to keep changing the bowlers. We played some great cricket, a lot of hard work and dedication, our bowlers are quite inexperienced but they played so well. Mahela and Kumar contributed a hell of a lot in this series and the ODI series and this is a fitting send off. I've had a good six months with bat and ball and hopefully I can continue that into the future. I think this has cemented my captaincy but you have to keep performing."

Sri Lanka 257 & 457

England 365 & 249 (116.5 ov)
Sri Lanka won by 100 runs

 

Up come the England players to receive their medals and here's Alastair Cook: "Moeen played an outstanding innings, to get a hundred like that is amazing and bodes well for the future. He's a brave cricketer and the way he constructed that innings today, he didn't deserve to be on the losing side. For Jimmy to survive 80 minutes was a great effort but credit to Sri Lanka, they've just won the crucial moments. For eight days of this series we've probably had the better of it but we've lost the crucial moments and you can't let opportunities slip. Here, were didn't bowl as we would have liked to in the second innings. I thought Mahela's comments were harsh, we've won big series in the past and I think after today he would change his words. My own form is tough, I have to go back to basics, work hard and I've got 10 days to get prepared for India. If I keep losing form and matches I won't be asked to captain for much longer but I'm determined to make it right."

Presentation time. Dickie Bird is handing out the medals to the umpires first of all. Man of the Match for his outstanding second-innings hundred, and wickets, goes to Angelo Mathews. Player of the Series for England is Jimmy Anderson, perhaps a surprising choice. Anderson is very upset in the interview and can't finish his answer to Michael Atherton's first question. Very emotional indeed. Sri Lanka's Player of the series is also Mathews for his runs and leadership and handy work with the ball too.

For England, this is a complete disaster. Their new era under coach Peter Moores has began with an embarrassing defeat to a side they were widely tipped to beat comfortably. They looked set to do that in this match after five sessions but an awful second half has seen them lose the series. Today it was despite Moeen Ali's maiden Test match century, what an effort from him. Calm, cool and comfortable today, almost leading England to a battling draw. Plenty for Moeen to take from this match considering his wickets too earlier in the match suggesting what he could be capable of in the future. But little consolation really for England, whose captain Alastair Cook will now face a world of questions over his captaincy.

What a comeback in this match from Sri Lanka, they were staring down a huge first-innings deficit on Saturday before staging a fine comeback to limit England's lead to little over 100. But then, their batting in third innings, particularly that of their captain Angelo Mathews, was an outstanding effort to eventually set England 350 to win. The turnaround was complete with five wickets yesterday evening but then the game took another twist today, going right down to the wire.

So with the penultimate ball of the Test, Sri Lanka have won by 100 runs and pull off the most dramatic of victories to give them a 1-0 series victory which is their first multi-Test series win in England. Their players are ecstatic. For so long it looked as if Sri Lanka were going to win comfortably with just five wickets needed on the final day but they were made to fight tooth and nail but just in the nick of time they have pulled it off.

The Sri Lankans spray the champagne and you would imagine the celebrations will go on for a long time. What a fantastic result for them. They now head home to prepare to host South Africa for an ODI series starting a week on Sunday, July 6 with Tests to follow too and a series against Pakistan to come later in the summer. What confidence they will take from this. For England, they have a week off before India arrive for a marquee five-match series beginning on July 9. That's when the team here will be back, so see you then…

The winning captain Angelo Mathews: "We play a lot of cricket in the subcontinent and people don't expect us to do it in England but we've played some great cricket. We kept trying, I threw the ball to Eranga saying you've got tot do it and I had faith in him, England also played some great cricket, batting like that on a final day wicket. I had to keep changing the bowlers. We played some great cricket, a lot of hard work and dedication, our bowlers are quite inexperienced but they played so well. Mahela and Kumar contributed a hell of a lot in this series and the ODI series and this is a fitting send off. I've had a good six months with bat and ball and hopefully I can continue that into the future. I think this has cemented my captaincy but you have to keep performing."

Up come the England players to receive their medals and here's Alastair Cook: "Moeen played an outstanding innings, to get a hundred like that is amazing and bodes well for the future. He's a brave cricketer and the way he constructed that innings today, he didn't deserve to be on the losing side. For Jimmy to survive 80 minutes was a great effort but credit to Sri Lanka, they've just won the crucial moments. For eight days of this series we've probably had the better of it but we've lost the crucial moments and you can't let opportunities slip. Here, were didn't bowl as we would have liked to in the second innings. I thought Mahela's comments were harsh, we've won big series in the past and I think after today he would change his words. My own form is tough, I have to go back to basics, work hard and I've got 10 days to get prepared for India. If I keep losing form and matches I won't be asked to captain for much longer but I'm determined to make it right."

Presentation time. Dickie Bird is handing out the medals to the umpires first of all. Man of the Match for his outstanding second-innings hundred, and wickets, goes to Angelo Mathews. Player of the Series for England is Jimmy Anderson, perhaps a surprising choice. Anderson is very upset in the interview and can't finish his answer to Michael Atherton's first question. Very emotional indeed. Sri Lanka's Player of the series is also Mathews for his runs and leadership and handy work with the ball too.

For England, this is a complete disaster. Their new era under coach Peter Moores has began with an embarrassing defeat to a side they were widely tipped to beat comfortably. They looked set to do that in this match after five sessions but an awful second half has seen them lose the series. Today it was despite Moeen Ali's maiden Test match century, what an effort from him. Calm, cool and comfortable today, almost leading England to a battling draw. Plenty for Moeen to take from this match considering his wickets too earlier in the match suggesting what he could be capable of in the future. But little consolation really for England, whose captain Alastair Cook will now face a world of questions over his captaincy.

What a comeback in this match from Sri Lanka, they were staring down a huge first-innings deficit on Saturday before staging a fine comeback to limit England's lead to little over 100. But then, their batting in third innings, particularly that of their captain Angelo Mathews, was an outstanding effort to eventually set England 350 to win. The turnaround was complete with five wickets yesterday evening but then the game took another twist today, going right down to the wire.

So with the penultimate ball of the Test, Sri Lanka have won by 100 runs and pull off the most dramatic of victories to give them a 1-0 series victory which is their first multi-Test series win in England. Their players are ecstatic. For so long it looked as if Sri Lanka were going to win comfortably with just five wickets needed on the final day but they were made to fight tooth and nail but just in the nick of time they have pulled it off.

 

Eranga to Anderson, OUT, short ball, Anderson fends it off and loops a catch to backward square!!! Can you believe it! Eranga has pulled it off, a snorter that Anderson couldn't keep down for once and popped up a simple catch, what a disaster for Anderson after all that effort and what jubilation for Sri Lanka

JM Anderson c Herath b Eranga 0 (81m 55b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

 

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Sri Lanka’s captain Angelo Mathews has a day to remember at Headingley

Posted on 23 June 2014 by admin

Mathews’s innings of 160 was up there with Graham Gooch’s famous knock against West Indies in 1991 for determination.

Angelo Mathews produced one of the great Headingley innings. It probably does not qualify as the greatest – through no fault of his own. The blandness of the bowling and the soporific nature of the pitch once the ball grew soft with the sun beaming down on a surface which had acquired the reassuring colour of a Rich Tea biscuit, denies the Sri Lanka captain top billing.

Runs were much harder to come by when Graham Gooch was defying the West Indies in 1991 with an extraordinary unbeaten 154 out of 252 all out, an innings which ensured victory. But Mathews could not have done much more.

He arrived at the crease when Sri Lanka’s lead was a modest 64; by the time he departed after clipping a Jimmy Anderson full toss to midwicket, it was 329 and there would still be a mischievous last wicket partnership of 20.

Mathews, 27 and Sri Lanka’s youngest ever captain, exhibited a magnificent calm throughout his innings with two brief aberrations. When Dhammika Prasad sliced his first ball from Liam Plunkett for a catch to third man the 27-year-old briefly lost his cool. He threw his bat down on the turf in disgust at the shot. At that stage – the lead was only 169 – his team needed more.

Then just before tea, when Sri Lanka were 318 ahead and Mathews was on 149, he summoned his gallant partner Rangana Herath for a single but then changed his mind. Now Herath has many qualities – he showed great determination to stay with his captain throughout a steamy afternoon – but turning quickly is not one of them.

Herath was stranded two short of a half-century as Joe Root’s throw broke the stumps. Once again Mathews was distraught but this time at himself. His partner had deserved more. Herath gathered himself for the journey back to the pavilion but before setting off he put a consoling arm around his captain. He knew that their partnership of 149 had upturned the balance of a glorious game – if you happen to hail from Colombo.

Mathews produced a captain’s innings par excellence and this should be no surprise. We are accustomed to sizing up the threat of the Sri Lankan batting line-up and concluding that it starts and ends with Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. These are two great players and they have both demonstrated why in this series – Monday there were glimpses of Jayawardene wristily dismissing the ball to the boundary in a manner that had even the non-romantics purring with pleasure. But since his elevation to the captaincy Mathews has never been outshone by this venerable pair.

This is Mathews’ ninth Test match in charge and, if he were to win it, this might be considered Sri Lanka’s finest hour in this country. The tourists have won two Tests in England – the one-off match at the Oval in 1998 and at Trent Bridge in 2006, but never a series. As captain Mathews has become a more formidable cricketer. Since taking over the captaincy he has scored 946 runs at an average of 78. In that time Sri Lanka have won three and lost one – to Pakistan in Sharjah. By Tuesday afternoon it may well be won four.

For good measure, at Headingley Mathews has produced career-best performances in both disciplines: his 160, the third century since his appointment, and his 4-44. Once more we can see how captaincy can enhance a cricketer, at least in the early period of leadership.

Courtesy: The Guardian – U.K.

Beyond the figures there is now an unruffled majesty to his batting. He has always been able to hit the ball hard, which was obvious from his early one-day appearances. But now there is a certainty in his stroke-play. He stands still, defends when necessary but when the right ball arrives he hits it with easy, uncomplicated power. On one occasion on Monday Plunkett was genuinely gobsmacked when an innocent delivery was deposited over the midwicket boundary.

Mathews’ partnership with Herath tormented a lost and weary England team terribly. Either Mathews monopolised the strike expertly or in the last two balls of the over he could be guaranteed to strike a minimum of one boundary once the field came in. Yet barely a risk needed to be taken, a testament to Mathews’ wonderful sureness of touch and the barrenness of the England bowling.

The captain’s drives sizzled past despairing, diving fielders; or he made room to glide the ball to a non-existent third man. At Lord’s he had batted heroically, for over six hours in two innings to help save the game; his efforts here had all the hallmarks of a match-winning performance.

Mathews needed some help and soon Herath became more than a passive partner. He looked fragile to begin with as Plunkett hurtled in from around the wicket doing his best imitation of the backyard bully. But after an hour Herath appeared to be doing his own impressions. Had he suddenly become Brian Lara, or Alvin Kallicharran? Mathews the batsman looked on admiringly. Then for the last two hours Mathews the captain did his stuff rather well.

It was not so tricky. He simply tossed the ball to the man he had brought into the side rather shrewdly after Lord’s in place of Nuwan Kulasekara.

The very same Prasad, who had driven Mathews to distraction a few hours earlier and had caused him to throw his bat in anguish, now sent the Sri Lankan captain into transports of delight.

 

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Seylan Bank appoints Upali Dharmadasa to its Board

Posted on 23 June 2014 by admin

 

Seylan Bank PLC announced the appointment of Upali Dharmadasa as a Director of the Bank with effect from June 9, 2014. A high-profile industrialist, with strong leadership qualities, proven strategic abilities and an inherent and abiding interest in all matters concerning business and cricket, Dharmadasa counts over 32 years of experience in corporate management. Dharmadasa is the Managing Director of Nawaloka Group of Companies which consists of Nawaloka Piling (Pvt) Ltd., Nawaloka Timber Stores (Pvt) Ltd., Nawaloka Polysacks (Pvt) Ltd., Nawaloka Industries (Pvt) Ltd., New Nawaloka Trading Co. (Pvt) Ltd., Nawaloka Developments (Pvt) Ltd., and Nawaloka Restaurant (Pvt) Ltd.

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