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83rd Battle of the Saints – Jehan Daniel, 124 n.o. saves the Josephians on day-1

Posted on 03 March 2017 by TSL

83rd Battle of the Saints : Jehan Daniel (124 n.o.) is Joes saviour

Saturday, March 4, 2017.

Indika Welagedara – Courtesy: Daily News.

Jehan Daniel exults after scoring a face-saving century for St Joseph’s College on the first day of the Battle of the Saints cricket match against St Peter’s College at the P Sara Oval yesterday.  Pic by Thilak Perera

Jehan Daniel exults after scoring a face-saving century for St Joseph’s College on the first day of the Battle of the Saints cricket match against St Peter’s College at the P Sara Oval yesterday. Pic by Thilak Perera

 Sri Lanka under 19 cricketer Jehan Daniel played the role of savior to rescue St Joseph’s College from dire straits at 10 for 5 to a respectable 205 on the opening day of the 83rd Battle of the Saints encounter against St Peter’s College at the P Sara Oval yesterday.

By the close the game was evenly poised with St Peter’s replying with 138 for five wickets.

Daniel’s magnificent century saved St. Joseph’s the blushes and enabled them to take the upper hand.

Daniel came to the crease with his side tottering at 10 for 5 after skipper Harin Cooray had won the toss and elected to bat first. However in the first session’s play things go the way the Joes would have planned.

Under 19 player cum Peterite vice-captain and right arm fast bowler Manelker de Silva and his new ball partner Santhush Gunathilake combined together to rip through the batting line up.

Gunathilake ran through the Joes top order by making the early breakthrough in his first two overs when he dismissed openers Cameron Duruge and took the prize wicket of Nipun Sumanasinghe who has scored 1000 runs this season.

Manelker De Silva added salt to the wound of the Josephians when he got rid of Dineth Madurawela for one as St. Joseph’s slid to 3 for 3.

To make matters worse for the Joes both Thashan Perera and Havin Perera were run out due to brilliant fielding and half the Joes side was out for 10.

A sixth wicket partnership of 56 between Daniel and wicket keeper Shevan Fonseka (26) addressed the slump. The stand was ended with another run out of Fonseka following a direct throw from Ranmith Jayasena, son of Panadura SC cricketer Mangala Jayasena.

Daniel and Jehan Fernandopulle son of former Benedictine cricketer Marlon Fernandopulle took the score to 95 before Jehan was run out for 14 by Manelker de Silva’s brilliant fielding.

Daniel counter attacked making use of three dropped chances to score an unbeaten 124 off 116 balls that included 12 boundaries and five sixes. He was involved in a face saving partnership of 93 runs for the eighth wicket with left hander Pahan Perera (25) that saw St. Joseph’s to their final total.

The eighth wicket partnership between the pair broke a 67-year old record for St. Joseph’s of 66 between Adolphus Silva and Milroy Brohier in 1950.

For the Peterites who batted after tea Shalith Fernando their number four batsman hit a fine 47 before being dismissed in the penultimate over of the day. However vice-captain Manelker de Silva hung around for a solid unbeaten 40 by the close. 

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83rd Battle of the Saints on March 3rd & 4th at Colombo Oval

Posted on 02 March 2017 by TSL

(Courtesy: The Nation)

Stalemated draws, negative tactics and a rare crowd invasion have embroiled cricket’s big match between St. Joseph’s College and St. Peter’s College to the point that 83 years down the line, the two schools have now realized it’s time to turn a new page.

When the match gets underway at the P Sara Oval in Colombo on March 3 and 4 all players, the two captains in particular, will come under intense scrutiny to play with a positive mindset while in the spectator stands a monitoring system will be in place to ensure nothing demonic will get in the way of the outcome of this year’s Battle of the Saints match which was disrupted last year by an unruly group to thwart a Peterite win. But despite the matter being spontaneously settled and the Peterites awarded victory by a no-nonsense St. Joseph’s College rector Fr Travis Gabriel, the hierarchy of both schools have decided to go a step further and appoint a former First Class cricketer Nalliah Devarajan as an independent match referee just in case a group attempts to pull the plug again.

“Winning and losing is all part and parcel of the game, but what is more important is that the game is played in the true spirit of sportsmanship which has been a hallmark of this big match over the years”, said Fr Trevor Martin, the rector of St. Peter’s College as he launched a countdown to the match while addressing the media.

Last year’s crowd disruption, although claimed as an isolated incident by former players, is still fresh in the minds of match organisers who are determined to have the incident left where it can be best forgotten-in limbo.

Spearheading the drive to ensure nothing of the past returns to haunt the contest is an old Peterite Dr Nirmal de Silva who is rallying old boys of both schools in a joint organizing committee that was setup last year.

“The issue of security is still under discussion, and we want to make certain there won’t be a repeat of last year. We have already done the ground work for this. We like to think that what happened last year was an isolated event”, said Dr De Silva.

Sporting rivalry between two schools have on occasions reached boiling point in recent times in view of what is at stake in a highly volatile set-up in the country where nothing short of winning will fall in line with high expectations by followers.

But the two Christian academies also contend that despite last year’s disruption, they are still in the forefront of showcasing discipline and virtues that other youth institutions have come to admire.

“We have been teaching many lessons to non-Joes and non-Peterites and this is our tradition”, declared the vice rector of St. Joseph’s College Fr. Anton Ranjith while deputizing for Fr. Travis.

The match has also moved onto a new phase where a minimum of 15 overs will have to be bowled in an hour, while the umpires will be stern on negative or leg-side bowling in accordance with the changes.

But imposing the new changes may also be a tough call for match organisers who say they can only expect ethics and fair-play to have a big say in the match.

“We want these new methods to work and we leave it to the players, captains and coaches to believe in this system and the traditions of this match”, said Dr De Silva. Player-wise, the Peterites have more to prove than the Joes with skipper Lakshina Rodrigo (over 850), Manelker de Silva (over 600), Santhush Gunatilleke (over 850), Shalith Fernando (over 700) and Anishka Perera (over 500) being the leading run-getters and Mohamed Ameen (100 wickets) and Chathura Obesekera (over 70 wickets) as the pick of the bowlers that gave them five wins.

The Joes have had mixed fortunes with skipper Harin Cooray standing out as their only leading wicket-taker with over 75 scalps from 17 matches while a fortnight ago Nipun Samarasinghe (957 runs), Dineth Madurawela (794 runs) and Shevon Fonseka (638 runs) stood out as the best with the bat. Madurawela remains the pick with four hundreds.

The squads: St. Peter’s College: Lakshina Rodrigo (Captain), Manelker de Silva, Santhush Gunatilleke, Shalith Fernando, Vinul Gunawardena, Anishka Perera, Ranmith Jayasena, Sulakshan Fernando, Shivan Perera, Prabasara Herath, Nipunaka Fonseka, Chathura Obesekere, Sachin Silva, Dinith Anjula, Laseh Rodrigo, Ravindu Silva, Banuka de Silva, Mohammed Ameen.

St. Joseph’s College: Harin Cooray (Captain), Dario Dassanayake, Revan Kelley, Nipun Sumanasinghe, Dineth Madurawala, Jehan Daniel, Shevon Fonseka, Pahan Perera, Thashan Perera, Havin Perera, Ruchira Ekanayake, Jehan Fernandopulle, Dineth Jayakody, Sachitha Mahindasinhe, Kavindu Jayatissa, Cameron Durage, Lakshan Gamage, Sheran Rassool, Avishka Fernando, Sachitha de Silva.

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Australia v Sri Lanka: Asela Gunaratne powers tourists to final-ball victory to take T20 Series 2-0

Posted on 19 February 2017 by TSL

ASELA GUNARATNE – remember that name. A one-man Sri Lankan rescue effort turned Australia in to Twenty20 also-rans as Asela Gunarate smashed 37 runs in the final two overs to hand his team a miraculous victory in Geelong on Sunday. The right-hander, who was also the hero at the MCG on Friday night, took 22 off Moises Henriques in the penultimate over then 18 off AJ Tye as Sri Lanka took a 2-0 lead in the series.

Victory looked improbable for the tourists when Tye was on a hat-trick early and the Sri Lankan top order crumbled under the pace of 20-year-old West Australian Jhye Richardson, the first Jhye to play for Australia.

Chasing Australia’s 173 all out Sri Lanka lost five wickets within five overs to put the slows on a run chase that was all brave and boorish at the same time.

The tourists tried to deal only in boundaries early and while it didn’t work then, it proved the path to victory.

Gunaratne was finding the rope regularly but his efforts seemed in vain when his team needed 36 off the final two overs to win.

But he would not be denied, smashing three sixes in a row off Henriques and three more boundaries in the final over to get to 84 not out, off just 46 balls, to guide his team home to a memorable maiden international game in Geelong.

“I thought we were playing nicely there but credit to Gararatne, he played a hell of an innings,” Australian captain Aaron Finch said.

“Geez he hit some clean … that’s as good a striking as you will see. For a guy to be able to hit over fine leg and mid-off, that’s a rare skill. He hasn’t mis-hit a ball in two games now.

“There were a couple of really short pockets and they exposed them really well. Full credit to the Sri Lankans but we feel like we slightly mis executed there.

“With the wicket I thought we had enough runs, but with the dimensions of the ground it was hard to know.

“When you have got a guy who is in like that it’s so hard to defend.”

It was a smidge over 13C, and about 11000 people were rugged up inside Simonds Stadium as local hero Finch strode out to open for the Aussies last night.

The lad from Colac, about 75kms down the road, was last in Geelong in November, playing just over the other side of the Ford stand when he knocked up 39 in club cricket.

This time he was the Australian skipper, and asserted his early authority by smacking the first boundary in international cricket on the ground, through cover to the shortish rope. Another came in the next over, but he was gone four balls later, which allowed big-hitting Ben Dunk to the crease.

Dunk, who outscored Finch, and everyone else in the Big Bash, got to take his belated place in the national line-up after initially being overlooked for the team. And he didn’t disappoint.

He’s been playing club cricket too, but was more recently, unable to get in to the Tasmanian Shield team. But Dunk (32 off 14 balls) showed little white-ball rustiness and went whack, whack, with back-to-back sixes off Sri Lankan off-spinner Munaweera. Dunk took 22 off the over, the bowler’s only one, as the Aussies powered to 1/60 off the power play.

But when Dunk was out to the, let’s say medium pace spinners of Gunaratne, he’s not quite the “fast medium” of his Cricinfo profile, the boundary onslaught went with him.

Opener Michael Klinger, still at the crease, and Moises Henriques couldn’t find the ropes for four overs. They could see them, so close, but couldn’t get the ball there.

They each hit a six in the 11th over, but it was the exception rather than the rule.

Only Henriques, who finished not out on 56, did any real damage after Dunk and then Klinger (43 off 37) went, as a muddling middle-order racked up a stack of single figure scores with wickets falling quickly, including three in a calamitous final over as Nulan Kulasekera cleaned up the tail.

The final seven Aussie batsmen scored just 22 between them and Australia just managed to better Friday night’s score, netting 173.

With boundaries that seemed reachable by a good sized throw in parts, it seemed short of enough, and so it was.

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Sri Lanka beat Australia in first T20I by five wickets: As it Happened

Posted on 17 February 2017 by TSL

Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st T20I, MelbourneFebruary 17, 2017

Sri Lanka sneak through after Gunaratne fifty.

Sri Lanka 5 for 172 (Gunaratne 52, Munaweera 44) beat Australia 6 for 168 (Finch 43, Malinga 2-29) by five wickets

Australia's "best of the Big Bash League" took Sri Lanka to the final ball. The hosts and their three debutants fought to the finish against the visitors in front of a raucous crowd at the MCG, but a win offered Sri Lanka the chance to wrap up the series at Kardinia Park on Sunday.

The Perth Scorchers' Andrew Tye was left with six runs to defend from the final over, and one from the final ball. Chamara Kapugedara surveyed the ring field then punched the winning boundary through the covers to secure the result. His composure ensured Sri Lanka finished in the ascendant after looking the more likely victors throughout their chase, largely due to a boundary count that outstripped the hosts, 21 to 13.

None of Australia's batsmen were able to go on to substantial scores after Upul Tharanga sent them in to bat, as a spongy pitch and disciplined Sri Lankan bowling denied them the ability to find a domineering rhythm. Sri Lanka's pursuit was then given the desired fast start by Dilshan Munaweera after Tharanga was dismissed in the first over, and Asela Gunaratne's nimble half-century guided the tourists to within sight of victory in front of 42,511 spectators, many of them barracking for Sri Lanka.

Gunaratne also made a brief but notable contribution with the ball, goading the captain Aaron Finch into a skier after he had appeared the man most likely to produce a truly damaging tally for Australia. The dismissal came two balls after Finch had hammered the biggest six of the night, and 10 runs after Michael Klinger's long delayed international debut was ended.

Lasith Malinga, making his own return from a long absence, bowled tidily and scooped a couple of late wickets, while Seekkuge Prasanna gave up a mere 23 runs from four overs that featured 10 dot balls and should have been rewarded with the wicket of Travis Head – dropped badly by Tharanga at point.

Sri Lanka probably could have won it in much easier circumstances than this. They were cruising when Asela Gunaratne was calling the shots but his wicket was an obvious stop gap for the flow of runs. But, they were taken over the line in the end by Kapugedara. It will be something special for Sri lanka despite the knowledge that they were facing only a second string Australian side with the majority of the first team in Mumbai playing India A.


Toss Report: Sri Lanka's new skipper Upul Tharanga won the toss and chose to bowl in the opening Twenty20 international against Australia in Melbourne on Friday.

Sri Lanka's Asela Gunaratne. AFP

Sri Lanka's Asela Gunaratne. AFP

Australia, with their leading players embarking on a Test series in India, named three T20I debutants, Michael Klinger, Billy Stanlake and Ashton Turner.

Vikum Sanjaya, who captured three wickets in the lead-up tour game against the Prime Minister's XI in Canberra, was selected to make his international debut for Sri Lanka.

Paceman Lasith Malinga, who last played an international a year ago because of injury, was also in the Sri Lankan line-up.


Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), Michael Klinger, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Ashton Turner, Tim Paine, James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, Billy Stanlake.

Sri Lanka: Niroshan Dickwella, Upul Tharanga (capt), Dilshan Munaweera, Asela Gunaratne, Milinda Siriwardana, Chamara Kapugedera, Seekkugge Prasanna, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Vikum Sanjaya, Lakshan Sandakan.

Umpires: Mick Martell (AUS), Paul Wilson (AUS)



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South Africa seals 5-0 ODI series win against Sri Lanka

Posted on 10 February 2017 by TSL

South Africa v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, CenturionFebruary 10, 2017

Amla, de Kock tons lead SA to 5-0 and No. 1

South Africa 384 for 6 (Amla 154, de Kock 109) beat Sri Lanka 296 for 8 (Gunaratne 114*, Pathirana 56, Morris 4-31) by 88 runs

Brilliant centuries from Quinton de Kock (109) and Hashim Amla (154) helped South Africa defeat Sri Lanka by 88 runs in the fifth and final ODI here at the SuperSport Park here on Friday.

With the win, the Proteas clinched the five-match series 5-0 and also reclaim their number one ODI ranking.

Chasing a target of 385, the Upul Tharanga-led side never seemed to be in the hunt despite a valiant effort from Asela Gunaratne, who remained not out on 114 and Sachith Pathirana (56). The visitors could manage 296 runs for the loss of eight wickets in their stipulated quota of 50 overs.

For the hosts, Chris Morris was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up four wickets giving just 31 runs in his 10 overs.

Earlier, the AB de Villiers-led side rode on a roaring 187-run first-wicket stand, between Amla and de Kock, to post their second monumental total in as many matches.

Sri Lanka did not perform well in any of the departments as they had some poor catching, wayward bowling, and a general lack of menace in their attack. For the visitors Suranga Lakmal took three wickets for 71 runs while Lahiru Madushanka scalped two wickets, giving away 70 runs in his eight overs.

Amla, who scored his second-highest ODI score, was adjudged Man of the Match while Faf du Plessis was declared the Man of the Series.

These two sides will next face each other in the Champions Trophy which is not far away.

(This article has not been edited by DNA's editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

South Africa rode a roaring 187-run first-wicket stand and two effortless centuries from their openers to a monumental 384 for 6 and, eventually, the No. 1 ODI ranking. Their reward for winning an 11th ODI on the trot was the unseating of Australia – whom they had also thrashed 5-0 at home last year – and moving one point clear at the top of the table.

South Africa's dominance of Sri Lanka in this series has been complete. They outbatted, outbowled and outfielded the visitors again, and this win – an 88-run thumping – was a fitting finish. The only consolations for Sri Lanka were Asela Gunaratne's hard-earned-but-inconsequential maiden century, as well as having batted 50 overs for the first time in the series.


If Quinton de Kock was the early aggressor, taking the innings by the collar inside the Powerplay, Hashim Amla bided his time, and only later fashioned violence from timing and grace. Amla embraced all-out attack only after reaching triple figures, but even at his most belligerent, did not lose the characteristic zen. The head stayed steady and the wrists whipped through the ball at the point of contact. His 154 from 134 deliveries was his second-highest ODI score, and again helped showcase the awesome might of this South Africa top order. Even on days when AB de Villiers does not fire, they can still make insurmountable scores.

It was thanks to more poor catching, more wayward bowling, and the general lack of menace in their attack that Sri Lanka found themselves stuck chasing the biggest score of the series. Though they had made something of the pursuit of 368 in Cape Town on Tuesday, they did not manage to stay in the game beyond the early stages of their innings this time.

Niroshan Dickwella flashed attractively for a 19-ball 39, but the rest of the top order fell around him. They were 82 for 5 in the 14th over, their fate virtually sealed, but Gunaratne and Sachith Pathirana sought to make the best of a bad situation by putting on a 93-run sixth-wicket stand. After Pathirana departed, the tail made it their mission to get Gunaratne to his hundred. He wound up with 114 off 117 balls, and Sri Lanka made their way to a somewhat respectable 296 for 8.

Sri Lanka had in fact asked South Africa to bat at the toss, and though Suranga Lakmal bothered Amla's outside edge in the early overs, de Kock quickly set about lighting the thrusters under the innings. He collared a pair of boundaries in each of the eighth, ninth and tenth overs. By the time the fielding restrictions ended, South Africa had sped to 71 for no loss, and de Kock to 47 from 35 balls.

When slip fielder Upul Tharanga failed to lay a hand on a catchable outside edge from Amla in the 15th over, South Africa were allowed to continue progressing at their hectic pace.

Tharanga did change his bowlers up regularly, in attempts to prevent batsmen from establishing a rhythm, but save for that edge from the offspin of Dhananjaya de Silva, chances failed to come. Both batsmen were severe on errors of line from the spinners, who collectively bowled quickly through the air. With little turn on offer, de Kock and Amla were plundering runs into the outfield off most deliveries, and rarely failing to seize boundary opportunities.

At the halfway stage of the innings, no bowler had managed to concede less than a run a ball and South Africa, at 180 for 0, were almost certainly heading for a mammoth score. It was in the 25th over that de Kock struck his 15th four of the innings – a powerful sweep to beat backward square leg – and went to triple figures for the 12th time in his ODI career. Few of his other hundreds would have come so easily. He holed out to deep cover soon after, though, finishing with 109 off 87 deliveries.

Perhaps in an innings like this, it is the likes of de Villiers, JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien who are expected to take control of the death overs, but in fact it was Amla himself who led the final charge. Having timed the ball beautifully for the first 40 overs, he seamlessly incorporated power into his game after completing his 24th hundred in the 41st.

He carved sixes over point, slammed the short balls over deep square leg, and even struck cleanly down the ground – launching successive Lahiru Madushanka balls over the rope between long-on and cow corner in the 47th over. Having scored his hundred at slower than a run-a-ball, Amla smoked his next 54 runs in 22 deliveries. Each of his five sixes came in that period.

Sri Lanka's top order came out attempting to get ahead of their taxing required rate early, but wound up making too many fatal mistakes. Tharanga sent an outside edge to third man in the fourth over; Kusal Mendis picked out mid-off with a lofted drive in the sixth; Dickwella, after slapping and scooping merrily, was caught at mid-off as well. Sandun Weerakkody and de Silva did not last long either – the latter's modest tour of South Africa ended by a Tahir googly, which bowled him through the gate.

Gunaratne was slow to begin with but sped up after the departure of Pathirana, who had been the aggressor in their association. Having seen off the quicks, Gunaratne picked out the spinners to attack, sweeping and reverse-sweeping especially well, while the likes of Jeffrey Vandersay and Lakmal gave him company. He reached triple-figures in the 48th over – his second fifty having come off 25 balls.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Mathews, Stokes top draws at IPL auction

Posted on 07 February 2017 by TSL


Wednesday, February 8, 2017.

Angelo Mathews

Angelo Mathews

England allrounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes and their limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan are among the seven players who have listed themselves at the highest base price of INR 2 crore (approx US $298,000) for the IPL player auction scheduled in Bangalore on February 20. India seamer Ishant Sharma, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews, and the Australian fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Pat Cummins are the rest of the players in this set.

Considering they will have to put a majority of their players back into the auction in 2018, some franchise officials said they would not be too aggressive in buying players this season. However, they did agree that there would be considerable interest in the English players.A total of 799 players were part of the initial roster which would be pruned once the franchises submit their choices before the deadline this weekend. There were 160 capped players from eight countries – leaving out Bangladesh and Pakistan – and 639 from India, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and West Indies. Of the 24 capped Indian cricketers, everyone barring Ishant has listed their base price at INR 30 lakh.

Although the IPL is yet to decide on the retention rules, franchises expect the right-to-match option to be available. This allows franchises to buy back a specific number of the players they have released for the auction, by matching the highest bid those players attract; if they match the bid they win the player.

With the impressive all-round skills he showed during England's recent tour of India, Stokes tops the list of marquee players that several franchises have said they would like to have.

After Andrew Strauss took over as the ECB director of cricket last year, he has allowed England players the freedom to play in domestic T20 leagues like the IPL to gain wider exposure. Morgan, who has played for three different teams, Jos Butler (Mumbai Indians), Sam Billings (Delhi Daredevils), Chris Jordan (Royal Challengers Bangalore) have all commented on the positive influence of playing the IPL. 

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Proteas wrap up innings victory and seal series 3-0

Posted on 14 January 2017 by TSL


Courtesy: Khanyiso Tshwaku, At The Wanderers | 14 January, 2017 18:08

South African players celebrate a dismissal of a Sri Lankan batsman during the second test at Newlands Cricket Stadium in Cape Town this week. 
Image by: AFP

Sri Lanka was skittled for 177 all out in 42.1 overs to fall to a heavy innings and 118-run defeat inside three days.

It was always going to be a case of how quickly the last rites were going to be administered after Sri Lanka tottered to tea at 124/6.

There was plenty of defiance from Upul Tharanga, Suranga Lakmal and Rangana Herath but with the top order missing in action, it was a case of entertaining the big third day crowd.

While the dummy was already spat in the afternoon session when Kusal Mendis (24), Angelo Mathews (10) and Dinesh Chandimal (10) all failed the tests the South African bowlers set for them, it was left to the tail enders to throw caution to the wind.

Through Lakmal, who was the last man to fall for a freewheeling 26-ball 31 to Wayne Parnell, Sri Lanka batted with a tempo that will suit the following limited overs leg that starts on Friday with the first T20 at SuperSport Park.

It was a case of fighting against the wind when Herath (10) holed out to Parnell (4/51), hastening the innings end.

Tharanga (26) and Lakmal combined for a 43-run ninth wicket stand which delayed the white flag but highlighting the lack of tactical awareness that has dogged Tharanga's career, he chose to slash wildly at Parnell, from where JP Duminy took a superb catch running from gully with the ball coming from the back.

Kumara only lasted two balls before an Olivier short ball was the end of him. Lakmal chanced his arm one more time before picking out Philander. It was a fitting end to a day where Sri Lanka lost 16 wickets for 228 runs.

Sri Lanka started the day on 80/4 but due to a wicked combination of pace, seam and swing, capitulated to 131 all out minutes before lunch. On winning the toss, South Africa collected 426 on the back of hundreds from JP Duminy (155) and Hashim Amla (134).

  – TMG Digital

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South Africa beat Sri Lanka convincingly by 282 runs in 2nd Test

Posted on 05 January 2017 by TSL

South Africa v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 4th dayJanuary 5, 2017.

Kagiso Rabada takes ten in 282-run triumph


South Africa 392 (Elgar 129, de Kock 101, Kumara 6 for 122) and 224 for 7 dec (Elgar 55, Lakmal 4-69) beat Sri Lanka 110 (Philander 4-27, Rabada 4-37) and 224 (Rabada 6-55, Philander 3-48) by 282 runs.


South Africa took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Test series by claiming the last six wickets before lunch on the fourth morning at Newlands as Sri Lanka continued their ill-disciplined ways, a Test side irredeemably trapped in limited-overs mode. On the evidence of their tour of England last summer, and now here, in a changing cricketing world their appetite for the Test game cannot entirely be taken for granted.

The chief beneficiary of Sri Lanka's faulty mind-set was fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, who took four more wickets to finish with 6 for 55 and ten in the match for next to nothing.

Rabada's graceful fast bowling has been one of the delights of the past year. That said, he is too talented and level headed to become over-excited about the praise that will fall upon him. A gentle shake of the head at a gimme wicket after Dinesh Chandimal chipped a stray delivery to square leg served as the perfect image of a morning when several gifts were bestowed upon him. His realism did him great credit.

Sri Lanka had anticipated a possible Test return to South Africa next year, but suggestions are growing that they might be jilted in favour of India. A 206-run win in Port Elizabeth has been followed by a 282-run margin in Cape Town. Big countries like to win; they also like to feel they have been in a fight.

Far from being a surface that was unfairly doctored to home team demands, this Newlands pitch possessed enough pace and bounce to provide captivating cricket and reward good batsmen and bowlers alike. Vibrant cricket is interesting cricket. Concentration needed other companions, not least cricketing nous and bloody-mindedness. Sri Lanka, overly given to limited-overs habits, were not up to it.

Rabada has looked a grand fast bowler in the making ever since he made his mark in Test cricket in South Africa's home series against England, his action smooth, his development fast and his demeanour underlining that successful fast bowling does not necessarily have to come with glares and curses.

Sri Lanka, resuming on 130 for 4, retained three specialist batsmen as they sought to delay South Africa's victory. All tossed their wickets aside like picture cards on top of a trump. Within 40 minutes, Rabada had dismissed not only Chandimal, but Upul Tharanga and the captain Angelo Mathews.

If anybody still wondered why Tharanga, a one-day opener, is carded in a Test to follow a group of ingénues and bat at No 7, his innings provided the answer. Met by a posse of close fielders, Tharanga struck three of his first balls for four with the air of a man who had no intention of hanging around. His downfall came in Rabada's next over when he cut at a wide one which did not get up and under-edged to the keeper.

Rabada's next two wickets did have intrinsic worth. Mathews' attempt to drive a back-of-a-length ball of the back foot was exposed by challenging pace and bounce. And the dismissal of Suranga Lakmal was excellent: two hostile short balls in a row, the first of them fended uncertainly to short leg, the second deflecting off the glove to the wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock. Even then, with four wickets in a spell, Rabada's response was gentle.

Amid all this mayhem, Kyle Abbott's final Test could hardly have been more commonplace. Abbott pounded a challenging line, but to no avail: wicketless in the match, the only figures that mattered being the financial ones variously on offer from Hampshire and Cricket South Africa.

Rangana Herath collected an unbeaten 35 while South Africa awaited the kill. It came with de Kock's stumping of Lahiru Kumara as he made room to drive Keshav Maharaj through the off side and, finally, the splaying of Nuwan Pradeep's stumps by Vernon Philander. And Johannesburg is next, the most demanding test of all.

David Hopps is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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1st Test: South Africa beats Sri Lanka by 206-runs

Posted on 30 December 2016 by TSL

South Africa v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Port Elizabeth, 5th dayDecember 30, 2016




Abbott hastens South Africa's crushing win


South Africa 286 (Duminy 63, Elgar 59, Lakmal 5-63) and 406 for 6 dec (Cook 117, de Kock 69, du Plessis 67*, Elgar 52) beat Sri Lanka 205 (Philander 5-45) and 281 (Mathews 59, Mendis 58, Rabada 3-77, Maharaj 3-86) by 206 runs.

South Africa made full use of the second new ball to rip through Sri Lanka's last five wickets and complete a 206-run win in Port Elizabeth, an hour and 10 minutes into day five. Once Kyle Abbott broke through early to dismiss Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva, there was little Sri Lanka's lower order could do. The margin of Sri Lanka's defeat belied how comfortable their top-order batsmen had looked on day four, and reflected how so many of them had thrown their wickets away.

Chasing 488, Sri Lanka started the final day 248 adrift with five wickets in hand and their last two recognised batsmen at the crease, one of them batting on 58. That man, Mathews, had added only one run to his score when Abbott nipped one in sharply and had a loud lbw shout upheld. Mathews had taken guard on off stump right through the Test match, and this probably played a major role in his dismissal. Jumping back and across, Mathews had to open up to access the ball that was jagging back into the stumps, and before his bat could come across to meet it, the ball had struck his retreating front pad, right in front. He reviewed more in desperation than hope.

A near-replay, down to the failed review, sent de Silva on his way 3.5 overs later. Again the batsman was standing on off stump, and again was forced to play across the line. Again the review returned an umpire's call verdict on height.

In between, Abbott had also dealt Rangana Herath a blow with a sharp lifter that struck him on the bottom hand. Having strapped up his fingers, Herath lasted a further nine balls before Vernon Philander had him caught and bowled, diving across the pitch to catch it low to his left, landing painfully on his arm, after getting the ball to stop on the batsman.

Kagiso Rabada got into the act next, finding away seam movement and extra bounce in the corridor to catch the shoulder of Dushmantha Chameera's bat. The last wicket went to Keshav Maharaj, who finished with a three-wicket haul that was reward for some skillful, tight bowling while getting through 29 overs on day four. He only needed to bowl nine balls on day five, the ninth an absolute ripper, turning past the outside edge of Nuwan Pradeep's defensive bat to knock back off stump.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd


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1st Test: Sri Lanka has advantage on day-1 against South Africa

Posted on 26 December 2016 by TSL

South Africa v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Port Elizabeth, 1st day December 26, 2016 Advantage Sri Lanka as Lakmal grabs four.

South Africa 267 for 6 (Duminy 63, Cook 59, Lakmal 4-61) v Sri Lanka.

South Africa v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Port Elizabeth, 1st dayDecember 26, 2016

Advantage Sri Lanka as Lakmal grabs four

South Africa 267 for 6 (Duminy 63, Cook 59, Lakmal 4-62) v Sri Lanka

Well, that was a fascinating first day's play. South Africa won a good toss, made a good start, and – at 104 for 0 at lunch – looked ready to rack up a 300-2 sort of scoreline. But Sri Lanka battled back with two wickets after lunch and four more after tea, to keep their hosts very much in check. Don't forget to read Karthik's match report, which will be updated here shortly, and tune in later for Firdose Moonda and Andrew Fernando's news from the front line. Bye for now.

Right-arm seamer Suranga Lakmal produced his best bowling performance to help Sri Lanka’s resurgence against South Africa in their first Test match which started on Boxing Day at St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth.

Impeccable line and length together with excellent consistency by the 29-year old fast bowler got him 4 scalps for 62 runs on a tough day as the Proteas reached 267 for 6 at stumps.

After opting to bat first, the South African opening duo, Dean Elgar and Stephen Cook had no troubles in putting away the Lankan bowlers in the opening session to reach 92 but after lunch, Lakmal and Mathews dried up the runs which eventually led to Cook’s dismissal.

Lakmal induced the off-side edge with a peach of a delivery to break the 104-run opening stand. Cook slammed 59 to mark his 2nd Test half-ton. After a couple of overs, Lakmal struck again when he got the outside edge of Elgar and Chandimal held onto a brilliant diving catch as both openers were dismissed inside one run.


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