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Sri Lanka 6th in ICC Test Team Rankings

Posted on 11 October 2017 by admin

Sri Lanka moves ahead of Pakistan in sixth place.

Thursday, October 12, 2017.

Trails fifth ranked Australia (97 points) by three points

Thirteen months after lifting the prestigious ICC Test Championship mace for topping the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings, Pakistan have plummeted to seventh in the latest Test team rankings, which were updated following the conclusion of its home series against Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka not only won the series 2-0 but handed Pakistan only its second whitewash in a home series (Pakistan lost all three Tests against Australia in 2002-03).

The result meant Sri Lanka has lifted from 90 points to 94 points, while Pakistan has dropped from 93 points to 88 points.

Sri Lanka now trails fifth-ranked Australia (97 points) by three points, while Pakistan is ahead of eighth-ranked Windies (75 points) by 13 points.

Sri Lanka’s next Test assignment is against number-one ranked India (125 points), when the two sides will go head to head in a three-Test series starting in Kolkata on 16 November. Pakistan’s next red-ball match is against Ireland in April, which will be followed by two away Tests in England.

Meanwhile, South Africa has gained one point while Bangladesh has conceded two points following the conclusion of their series, which Faf du Plessis’s side won by 2-0. South Africa is now second on 111 points (six points ahead of third-ranked England) while Bangladesh is ninth on 72 points (three points behind Windies).

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400 Wickets Taken…..by RypVanWinkle

Posted on 08 October 2017 by admin

(Courtesy: Sunday Times).

My dear Rangana ayya,


I thought I must write to you to congratulate you, because you have reached the magic number of four hundred test wickets – far more than all other Sri Lankan except for the legendary Murali. This came as a pleasant surprise, as did Sri Lanka snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against Pakistan.

Nowadays, seeing a Sri Lankan team win a cricket match is as rare as holding a provincial council or local government election, so I suppose when it does happen we should all be very happy about this and we are indeed. However, I am a bit sad about it as well and I will try to explain why.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Rangana aiya. That is not your fault. You have been a great servant of Sri Lankan cricket for many years, despite missing out on a lot of action because at the start of your career, you were always playing in Murali’s shadow and rarely got a chance to perform regularly.

You were also modest about your achievements. As the years passed, we saw grey hairs, not a frizzy hairdo with golden streaks. You didn’t consider yourself a ‘superstar’ who, when asked for a comment says ‘wedak balaagena yanawa manussayo yanna’ – or ‘go away and mind your business’.

Unlike some of your colleagues, you didn’t chase the riches doled out by IPL; nor did you go behind politicians to get international tours postponed, so they could play in the IPL, like some ‘legends’ did. Instead, you abandoned playing overseas and returned when your country suddenly needed you.

I cannot remember you being invited to deliver lectures to an audience of international cricketers, but even if you were, I doubt you would have used that opportunity to demean your own country in front of the rest of the cricketing community. What’s more, you don’t speak with a fake ‘posh’ accent!

You did have the good fortune of being appointed captain for a few tests, but that was only because someone else was injured. Even then, despite winning a couple of games under your leadership, you didn’t strut around making profound statements as some of our other skippers have done recently.

For all these reasons, Rangana aiya, I am happy you reached that milestone last week. It was a well-deserved reward for someone who does his work silently without the fanfare or the tantrums that we see from some of your team mates. Still, there is a reason to be sad about it and I will tell you why.

For the last few years cricket in Sri Lanka has been on a downhill trend. What began as the occasional lost game soon became the norm. Winning became the exception to the rule. When questions were asked, the answer always was that the team was in transition after the retirement of the ‘legends’.

We heard of how the number of clubs was increased to get more votes at Sri Lanka Cricket’s elections. It was said that players from some clubs got a free pass to the national team, that team selections were interfered with and that domestic matches were ‘fixed’ to accommodate certain teams.

We saw a procession of coaches take up the job and then leave it. Some resigned in frustration at the meddling in their work; others who didn’t agree were fired. Now, a coach worth his salt would be as enthusiastic about coaching Sri Lanka as much as the Bond Commission would be to reappoint Ravi!

Despite this, no one- except Captain Cool – dared to say what was wrong with our cricket. He didn’t get far despite being a World Cup winning captain because the Sri Lanka Cricket boss seems to have everyone – including Maithri, the Green Man, Rilaasiri and even Mahinda maama – in his pocket.

With the recent defeats at the hands of India, Bangladesh and even Zimbabwe we hoped that, at last someone would act because, for the first time, there was public anger against our cricketers. We hoped that the way Sri Lanka Cricket was being run- and who was running it- will finally change.

Now though, with your match winning performance, there is every chance that the powers that be will say that all’s well, that ends well and carry on regardless. That is why, Rangana aiya, we are still sad, although we are very happy for you and what you have achieved for us. We hope you will understand.


Yours truly,
Punchi Putha

PS: They tell us that they can’t get rid of the bosses of Sri Lanka Cricket because of its Constitution. At a time when the country itself is considering a new Constitution, we feel there is a better chance of that succeeding than replacing Sri Lanka Cricket’s Constitution and getting rid of you-know-who!

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Sri Lanka secure World Cup berth after Windies defeat

Posted on 20 September 2017 by admin

Sri Lanka have become the eighth and final team to qualify automatically for the 2019 World Cup, following West Indies' seven-wicket defeat against England in the first ODI at Old Trafford.

With September 30 set as the cut-off date, West Indies (78 points) now cannot move ahead of Sri Lanka (86 points) in the ICC ODI rankings, irrespective of how their remaining matches against England pan out.

They had gone into the five-match series needing to win by either 4-0 or 5-0 to amass enough points to leapfrog Sri Lanka, but their fate was sealed in a 42-over-a-side contest in which a Jonny Bairstow century guided England past their victory target of 205 with more than 19 overs remaining.

Sri Lanka, World Champions in 1996, now join Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa as the confirmed participants in the 2019 event, which will be held in England between May 30 and July 15.

West Indies, two-times champions in 1975 and 1979, must now compete in a 10-team qualifier in 2018, where they will be joined by the bottom three sides in the ICC team rankings – Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Ireland – as well as the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and the top two sides from the ICC World Cricket League Division 2. The top two sides will complete the World Cup line-up.

"You always know there's the potential of that [not qualifying direct], we knew it was going to be a tough ask," said Toby Radford, West Indies' batting coach. "But we are very positive as a group and are trying to develop in all formats. If it means the qualifiers next year, it means the qualifiers next year and we'll build our way back up."

Upul Tharanga, Sri Lanka's ODI captain, was relieved to have avoided that fate: "It's no secret that we have been going through a tough time, but I want to say a big, big thank you to our fans who've kept faith with us when things looked bleak.

"ICC events have always brought out the magic in Sri Lanka cricket, and I look forward to proving that once again.

"We have a clear plan toward the World Cup, and we will work hard at achieving each step. As we say in the dressing room, – Little 'w's [wins] add up to make the big 'W' – so that's what we'll be focusing on and I know you will see Sri Lanka's special brand of cricket out there once again soon."

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Graham Labrooy heads five-member new selection panel – Sri Lanka Cricket

Posted on 19 September 2017 by admin


Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yesterday appointed five-member selection committee headed by former Sri Lanka seamer Graham Labrooy. The committee also includes Asanka Gurusinha,  Jeryl Woutersz, Gamini Wickremasinghe and Sajith Fernando. Mirrorcricket exclusively reported on Labrooy's appointment on Wednesday (13)

Their first assignment would be to finalize the 15-man squad for the forthcoming series against Pakistan in UAE.

 Sri Lanka will play two Tests, five ODIs, and three T20 internationals during their tour to UAE. 

Their appointments come weeks after  Jayasuriya-led committee resigned at the end of the disastrous home series against India where Sri Lanka lost all nine matches in the series (3 Tests, 5 ODIs, and a T20I).  Labrooy who is currently employed as an ICC match referee is expected to relieve his duties with the global body to take up the new appointment.

He represented Sri Lanka in 9 Tests and 44 ODIs during 1986-1992.  

Sri Lanka team is expected to resume their training on September 18 and the team is expected to leave the shores on September 24, 2017.

 

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Situation much worse than 1999 – Wettimuny

Posted on 05 September 2017 by admin

September 4, 2017.

 

article_image

by Rex Clementine – Courtesy: The Island.

 

Ex-Test cricketer and former head of Sri Lanka Cricket Sidath Wettimuny says that the predicament country’s cricket team is facing is much worse than the team’s status in 1999. Sri Lanka’s disastrous World Cup campaign in 1999 prompted an angry response from then President Chandrika Kumaratunga who sacked Thilanga Sumathipala’s Executive Committee and brought in an Interim Committee of which Wettimuny was part of.

Defending champions Sri Lanka were knocked out from the first round itself in 1999 and Kumaratunga brought in reputed banker Rienzie Wijeytilleke as the new head of the cricket board.

Wijeytilleke, who was the Managing Director of Hatton National Bank had a solid team that comprised Michael Tissera, S. Skandakumar, Kushil Gunasekara and Wettimuny. The latter was made the Chairman of Selectors as well and sweeping changes were made to make the national team competitive again.

"The situation at present is definitely much worse than the situation that we were in 1999," Wettimuny told The Island when asked to compare the state of two eras.

"In 1999 it wasn’t that we didn’t have the talent. Some of our players needed a wake up call. They were being complacent. Plus we had so many cricketers waiting on the wings. I would say that 1999 was a piece of cake compared to the situation we are in at the moment," noted Wettimuny.

Although President Kumaratunga’s prompt action addressed the issue in 1999 and prevented the sport from declining further, the present government has backed the current administration to the hilt despite cricket hitting new lows. Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara recently ruled out the possibility of appointing an Interim Committee.

Prominent officials of SLC’s Executive Committee stand accused of interfering with the selection process. Some other Ex-Co members are alleged to have been involved in match fixing in domestic cricket to earn their respective clubs promotions to higher divisions or prevent relegation to lower divisions.

Wettimuny, a former opening batsman and one of the most respected voices in the sport, criticized Sri Lanka’s First Class structure. Sri Lanka had 14 teams competing in First Class cricket, but the current administration increased the number into 24.

"Thanks to a terrible First Class structure, we don’t have anyone waiting on the wings. Then, we could lose five players and bring a good combination, but not right now," noted Wettimuny.

Sri Lanka were completely outplayed in the ongoing bilateral series against India, where they were whitewashed 3-0 in Tests and 5-0 in ODIs. The first two Tests ended inside four days while the last Test lasted less than three days. During the ODI series, Sri Lanka were bowled out thrice without utilizing their full quota of 50 overs.

"The mindset of the players are in disarray. There’s lack of direction and confusion. I don’t think they are playing with same sort of positively."

Wettimuny also criticized some of the selections that have been made in recent times. Dinesh Chandimal has been Sri Lanka’s best batsman in ODI cricket in the last two years, but strangely he was left out of the Zimbabwe series and for the current series. He was only brought back into the squad as injury replacement. "Even very good players like Dinesh Chandimal are left out and I struggle to find reason as to why. There is erosion of confidence and that’s the biggest problem I see at the moment," noted Wettimuny.

 

 

 

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India continues winning streak against Sri Lanka – takes ODI series 5-0

Posted on 03 September 2017 by admin

Virat Kohli scored unbeaten 110 runs against Sri Lanka.


India 239 for 4 (Kohli 110*, Jadhav 63) beat Sri Lanka 238 (Thirimanne 67, Mathews 55, Tharanga 48, Bhuvneshwar 5-42) by six wickets.

Virat Kohli scored yet another century in a chase for India as they beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the fifth one-day international in Colombo. With the win, India clean-swept the series five-match series 5-0. 

The Indian skipper once again structured the chase for India with an unbeaten century and guided his team to a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the fifth and final one-day international in Colombo. The win gave India a 5-0 series sweep, the first time a country has won those many ODIs in a bilateral series. Chasing a target of 239 runs, India had a new opening pair at the crease with Ajinkya Rahane opening the batting with Rohit Sharma who has been in tremendous form with two centuries in this series. Rahane and Rohit could not make most the opportunity as both the openers were dismissed early. Manish Pandey rebuild the innings with Kohli and made 36 runs before getting out. Kedar Jadhav then scored an unbeaten half-century and took India on the verge of victory. He was dismissed with India needing only two runs. Kohli scored the winning runs with two overs remaining.

Earlier, three Sri Lanka players got off to decent starts but none of them converted it into a big one. After a solid stand between Thirimanne and Mathews, the hosts were looking good for a good total but India fought back well in the final overs and bundled them out for 238. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was pick of the bowlers for India as he returned with 5/42. Spinners Kuldeep and Yuzvendra did well in the middle overs to contain the flow of runs in the middle overs and picked one wicket each. For hosts, Tharanga (48), Thirmanne (67) and Mathews (55) played well but were not able to post a big score.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar's maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs and Virat Kohli's 30th hundred in the format led India to a clinical six-wicket win that consigned Sri Lanka to a first ever home-series whitewash. There was a sense of inevitability to it all, particularly to Kohli's innings, which swept him past 1000 runs for 2017 and moved him level with Ricky Ponting in second place among ODI century-makers.

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Denis Shapovalov announces himself with stunning US Open win v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Posted on 31 August 2017 by admin

Canada's Denis Shapovalov r

Denis Shapovalou………….remember that name. Only 18 now, he might one day be a super star in the tennis world.

It might be too soon to say he can win this US Open but after his utterly brilliant dismantling of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and considering his placement in a weak bottom half of the draw, the quarter-finals look a very real possibility and from there, who knows?

Light on his feet, with a booming serve, frighteningly unpredictable and dangerous off both wings, Shapovalov is the real deal. 

If back-to-back wins over Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal in Montreal didn’t provide a big enough warning to the ATP Tour, this comprehensive 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-3) defeat of the eighth seed surely will – the left-hander has everything to reach the top of the sport.

Currenty ranked at 69th in the world, the 18-year-old had only played three Tour-level matches – including an impressive win over Nick Kyrgios as a wildcard in Toronto – ahead of this year and his meeting with Tsonga was only his third Grand Slam main draw match.

And Tsonga suffered a similar fate as those who had gone before him as young Denis Shapovalov made sure his name will be the talk of the town in New York. 

Denis Shapovalov may only be 18 but boy oh boy he is a serious player.

 

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3rd ODI: India beat Sri Lanka, take unassailable 3-0 lead

Posted on 28 August 2017 by admin

PALLEKELE: Rohit Sharma once again showed his class in the limited overs format with a stylish unbeaten 124 as India took an unassailable 3-0 lead with a six-wicket victory in the third ODI, which was marred by unruly crowd behaviour. Sensing another meek surrender from the home team, the crowd went berserk as they started throwing water bottles at the end of the 44th over, forcing a 35-minute stoppage.

Rohit was assisted by former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (67 no), who again played the second fiddle to perfection in an unbroken 157-run stand with India reaching the victory target of 218 in 45.1 overs.

It was India's seventh successive bilateral series victory against Sri Lanka. India last lost a ODI series to island nation in 1997.

India's batting depth came to the fore for the second successive time after form-man Shikhar Dhawan (5), skipper Virat Kohli (3), KL Rahul (17) and Kedar Jadhav (0) were back in the pavilion.

However, Rohit did not gift his wicket away like the previous ODI as he played an innings contrary to his attacking nature of batsmanship. He faced 145 balls, hitting 16 boundaries and two huge sixes.

Dhoni's 65th ODI half-century effort saw him face 86 balls, hitting four boundaries and a six off left-arm spinner Milinda Siriwardana.

For Rohit, who hit his 12th ODI hundred, it was business as usual despite wickets falling at the other end. He peppered the off-side field with regularity hitting some lovely drives and cuts. When Vishwa Fernando dug one short, he was in a perfect position to hook it for a six.

Dhoni as usual ran his singles well, giving Rohit bulk of the strike and bringing in the necessary calm that is always expected of him.

While Akila Dananjaya (2/38 in 10 overs) again had an impressive outing, the Indian pair decided to not take any undue risks against the mystery spinner.

Rohit on his part was decided to step out and disturb the length of the spinners, something that Rahul and Jadhav did not do during their brief stay at the wicket.

Sri Lanka will now have to win their last two games in order to remain in contention for an automatic qualification.

Earlier, pacer Jasprit Bumrah took his maiden five-wicket haul, enabling India restrict a struggling Sri Lanka to 217 for nine after Kohli lost the toss for the first time.

Bumrah was brilliant both upfront and in the death overs to end with figures of five for 27, surpassing his previous best of four for 22.

Sri Lanka, trailing 0-2 in the series, once again put up an ordinary show with the bat, barring a gritty 80 off 105 balls from Lahiru Thirimanne.

His 72-run stand for the third wicket alongsiside Dinesh Chandimal (36) was the lone bright spot in the innings after stand-in-captain Chamara Kapugedera opted to bat.

The hosts made two changes with Thirimanne and Chandimal coming in place of the injured Danushka Gunathilaka and suspended Upul Tharanga. India, expectedly, didn't make any changes.

After winning the toss for the first time in the series, Lanka surprisingly sent Chandimal to open with Niroshan Dickwella (13).

The former had only opened twice in his ODI career before, back in 2012 against New Zealand, and he watchfully added 18 runs for the opening wicket.

Dickwella survived an LBW via DRS in the fourth over, but four balls later Bumrah got his man in the same manner, LBW via DRS again.

Due to Dickwella's dismissal, Lanka didn't make a flying start and were reduced to 28 for two in the eighth over, with Kusal Mendis (1) caught at second slip. Rohit Sharma took a great diving catch to his right, plucking his 100th catch in international cricket.

Chandimal and Thirimanne then calmed things down and put on a solid partnership in the middle overs for a change. They didn't score quickly though, as Lanka only reached 37 for two in the first ten overs.

Later they brought up their 50-stand off 72 balls as Sri Lanka crossed the 100-mark in the 26th over. Chandimal was hit on his right thumb fending a short delivery off Hardik Pandya (1/42) in the 17th over, and that incident partly hampered his ability to shift gears.

Looking for some attacking shots, Chandimal then holed out in the deep off Pandya in the 26th over itself.

India had a poor day in the field with a lot of missed chances and barring Rohit's attempt, they looked far from a great fielding unit.

Thirimanne used this to his advantage and reached his 17th ODI half-century off 69 balls, inclusive of four fours. In total, he collected five fours and a six.

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Sri Lanka needs two wins for direct WC 2019 qualification

Posted on 18 August 2017 by admin

Sri Lanka needs two wins for direct WC 2019 qualification.

Saturday, August 19, 2017 – Courtesy: Daily News.

Sri Lanka's Nuwan Pradeep (C) celebrates with his teammates after he dismissed Zimbabwe's Solomon Mire during the second one-day internationals (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on July 2. AFP

Sri Lanka's Nuwan Pradeep (C) celebrates with his teammates after he dismissed Zimbabwe's Solomon Mire during the second one-day internationals (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on July

Five-match series against India:

Sri Lanka will be eyeing the chance to seal direct qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in an upcoming five-match home series against India which commences in Dambulla on Sunday.

The 1996 World champions will have to win at least two matches to secure a place in the pinnacle 50-over competition by staving off the challenge from the West Indies. The cut-off date for direct qualification is 30 September.

Sri Lanka is currently placed eighth with 88 points, 10 points more than the West Indies, which has an unenviable task in its aim of being among the seven top-ranked sides apart from host England to gain direct qualification.

The bottom four sides on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings will need to play a Qualifying event also featuring the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and top two sides from the ICC World Cricket League. The top two teams from this event will get to play in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Winning two matches will take Sri Lanka to 90 points while the Windies side will at best reach 88 points even if it wins its one-off ODI against Ireland on 13 September as well as all five matches of its series in England from 19-29 September.

However, a 4-1 win for India will see Sri Lanka finish at 88 points and the Windies could edge it on decimal points if it wins all its upcoming six matches.

The Windies side will go out of contention if it loses to Ireland as from there it will at best reach 86 points and remain behind Sri Lanka on decimal points, even if Sri Lanka loses 5-0 to India.

As for India, which is in third position with 114 points, only a 4-1 series win will ensure it stays ahead of England. Even a 3-2 win for India will mean it will slip to 113 points and behind England on decimal points owing to Sri Lanka’s low ranking.


Series scenarios:

India wins 5-0 – India 117 points; Sri Lanka 86 points.

India wins 4-1 – India 115 points, Sri Lanka 88 points.

India wins 3-2 – India 113 points, Sri Lanka 90 points.

Sri Lanka wins 3-2 – India 111 points, Sri Lanka 91 points.

Sri Lanka wins 4-1 – India 109 points, Sri Lanka 93 points.

Sri Lanka wins 5-0 – India 106 points, Sri Lanka 94 points.

As for the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings, India captain Virat Kohli goes into the series as the world’s top-ranked ODI batsman with 873 points and a chance to increase his 12-point lead over Australia’s David Warner.

Former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (12th), Shikhar Dhawan (13th) and vice-captain Rohit Sharma (14th) are the other leading India batsmen while pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar (13th), left-arm spinner Akshar Patel (20th) and Jasprit Bumrah (31st) are the leading bowlers in the side.

For Sri Lanka, all-rounder Angelo Mathews is the leading player among batsmen (27th) as well as bowlers (53rd) and the only all-rounder in the series among the top-five. Kusal Mendis (30th), Niroshan Dickwella (38th) and captain Upul Tharanga (64th) are its other leading batsmen.


India v Sri Lanka series schedule:

20 Aug – 1st ODI, Dambulla

24 Aug – 2nd ODI, Pallekele

27 Aug – 3rd ODI, Pallekele

31 Aug – 4th ODI, Colombo

3 Sep – 5th ODI, Colombo


MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings (as on 18 August):

Rank Team Points

1. South Africa 119

2. Australia 117

3. India 114

4. England 113

5. New Zealand 111

6. Pakistan 95

7. Bangladesh 94

8. Sri Lanka 88

9. West Indies 78

10. Afghanistan 54

11. Zimbabwe 52

12. Ireland 41 

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20-year old Alexander Zverev beats Roger Federer to win 2017 Rogers Cup final

Posted on 14 August 2017 by admin


  • Twenty-year-old wins 10th match in row after victory in Washington.
  • German and Swiss now have five tournament titles this year.

Alexander Zverev kept his winning streak alive with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Roger Federer in the Rogers Cup final on Sunday.

The 20-year-old Zverev, the winner last week in Washington, posted a 10th straight match victory and ended the 36-year-old Federer’s own winning streak at 16. The German also tied Federer with a fifth tournament victory this year, although Federer’s haul includes two major titles. Zverev also got even for a loss to Federer at Halle in June and leveled their career head-to-head record at two wins each.

Zverev used some sharp groundstrokes to keep Federer from taking control early and got the only service break he needed to win the first set. Zverev escaped a break point at 1-0 in the second set with consecutive aces, then broke a mistake-prone Federerfor a 4-3 lead and served out the match.

Zverev, the youngest Rogers Cup finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2007, was coming off an emotional victory over Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov in the semi-finals. Federer missed a chance to tie Ivan Lendl for second place all time with 94 tournament wins. Jimmy Connors leads with 109.

In the doubles final, fifth-seeded Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut beat seventh-seeded Rohan Bopanna of India and Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-4, 3-6, 10-6.

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina beat Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets to win her fifth title of the year and condemn the Dane to a sixth final loss in 2017.

Fifth seed Svitolina won 6-4 6-0 at the Rogers Cup to become the first woman to win three events at the elite Premier 5 level in the same year.

The 22-year-old could become world number one if results go her way at next week's Cincinnati Open.

Wozniacki, seeded sixth, has lost all six finals she has played this year.

"It was a tough day," said the Dane. "She played well. She mixed up the pace and made it uncomfortable for me out there.

"Today, probably I could have used some more pace, but she played really smart today and used my pace to her advantage."

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