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1st TEST DRAWN – rain and bad light a spoiler at Eden Gardens

Posted on 20 November 2017 by admin

Sri Lanka 294 (Herath 67, Mathews 52, Thirimanne 51, Bhuvneshwar 4-88, Shami 4-100) and 75 for 7 (Bhuvneshwar 4-8) drew with India 172 (Pujara 52, Lakmal 4-26) and 352 for 8 dec. (Kohli 104*, Dhawan 94, Rahul 79, Shanaka 3-76, Lakmal 3-93).

  IT IS A DRAW! A brilliant last session, but light saves the day for the Sri Lankans. Virat Kohli and boys manage to pick 7 wickets and the Lankans manage to stay afloat with 3 wickets in the bag. Sri Lanka ends on 75/7 as the umpires shake hands. HUNDRED NO.18 FOR KOHLI! Brings it up in style with a six over the covers. And the usual pump of the fist and the celebration. India also declare the innings at 352/8 and the Lankans now need 231 to win this game. This could be a good final few hours in the first Test. Kohli finishes unbeaten on 104.

 

Virat Kohli's 50th international century set up a fascinating conclusion to the Kolkata Test, helping India declare at 352 for 8, setting Sri Lanka 231 to win at Eden Gardens. India's seamers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, then found conventional seam movement and reverse swing to leave Sri Lanka's middle order battling for survival in rapidly-fading light in a dramatic fifth-day finish. Somehow, Sri Lanka huffed and puffed and prevented India from blowing their house down, with three wickets in hand.

After hours lost to rain over the first two days, the match came down to the final few minutes, with Shami and Bhuvneshwar hurrying back to their mark and Sri Lanka delaying the game to force a draw. Eventually, the light was deemed unfit at 4.28pm local, around the same time play was called off on the fourth day.

BHUVNESHWAR KUMAR is the Man of the Match. He says that as the surface was drier, it was difficult to bowl in the second innings than the first. There was reverse swing available, he states. On changing from being just a swing bowler to having those extra yards of pace, he opines that he always wanted to improve on that. Ends saying that the mindset was that of playing in overseas conditions and hence they could never afford to relax.

VIRAT KOHLI states that it was important to make a game of this in whatever time was available. Opines that although the conditions changed drastically after the first couple of days, it was important for them to not let the opposition get far ahead in the game. Towards the end, he says that more on Sri Lanka's batting collapses, he relied on his teams strengths as given the position that the opposition were in, mistakes from the batsmen would have been hard to come. Bowling in the right areas was the aim, he further states. About Bhuvneshwar Kumar, he says that with his abilities, he could be a regular starter in the coming games as he bowls in the right areas at a good pace. States that after Saha departed, he and Bhuvi decided to have some fun. The new ball made it easier to score runs quickly and with a positive intent, lucked too favoured them. Although it feels good to score 50 international tons even though the journey hasn't been a long one, he ends saying that his mindset isn't about personal milestones but to help his side win.

DINESH CHANDIMAL says that winning the toss helps in such conditions. States that they fought and played well till the very end as a team. He is happy as they competed well. States that Lakmal has been doing well for them in the past couple of years and is trustworthy at any point of time. Feels great for Herath who scored his third Test fifty although there was very little for him to do with the ball. Reckons that even in the series against Pakistan, batting in the second innings was the key and his side needs to learn how to do so and that is the key going forward.

 

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India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Day 4, Kolkata, full cricket score: IND 171/1 at stumps, lead by 49 runs

Posted on 19 November 2017 by admin

 

India were 171/1, leading Sri Lanka by 49 runs on the fourth day of the rain-hit opening Test in Kolkata on Sunday. Openers KL Rahul (73*) and Shikhar Dhawan (94) started strongly after the hosts conceded a 122-run first innings lead following Sri Lanka’s 294. Get India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Day 4, Kolkata full cricket score here.

India 171 for 1 (Dhawan 94, Rahul 73*) and 172 lead Sri Lanka 294 (Herath 67, Bhuvneshwar 4-88, Shami 4-100) by 49 runs.

Shikhar Dhawan (94) and KL Rahul (73*) restored India’s dominance with fifties as the hosts erased a 122-run lead to nose ahead in the opening Test against Sri Lanka on Sunday. Taking advantage of the improved conditions, Dhawan and Rahul put on a 166-run partnership which put India ahead by 49 runs at the end of the fourth day’s play. Earlier, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 294. 

KL Rahul reached his 10th Test half-century with a push to square-leg off Dilruwan Perera having got to 49 with a lemon cut off Suranga Lakmal in the second over after tea on the fourth day of first Test. He had hit Lakmal for a four earlier in that over too. Rahul got to his milestone in 65 balls, 95 minutes and with seven fours. India were 86/0 then in the second innings. (India vs Sri Lanka Day 4 Highlights)

Rahul began with aplomb hitting three fours off Lahiru Gamage’s first over. Dismissed off the first ball of this Test, Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan stripped off the tooth and claws from this Sri Lanka attack.

Niroshan Dickwella and Chandimal began the fourth morning under sunny skies by counterattacking India's seamers. But like Sadeera Samarawickrama found out on the third day, hitting through the line can be fraught with risk against the moving ball because it threatens both edges. Their approach worked for the first half hour, taking Sri Lanka to 200, a handy lead of 28, but just when it seemed like Sri Lanka wrested control, India hit back. Sri Lanka's middle order tried to make contact with the ball, as opposed to allowing themselves to be beaten by playing the line. It was a ploy to move the Test along, and on a seaming surface like this, it wasn't a bad one.

Dickwella had punched, cut and pulled merrily, but was also beaten repeatedly. Shami got one to seam in from his around-the-wicket angle, then bounce and jag away – enough to find the outside edge, but not exaggerated movement to beat the edge.

Bhuvneshwar, in the next over, set up Dasun Shanaka with an outswinger well outside off. He started the next ball on a similar line, but it hooped back prodigiously to hit Shanaka, offering no shot with an intent to leave as many as he could, on the back pad. Only James Anderson is more adept at using this tactic with the swinging ball in Tests currently.

Five balls later, Chandimal was caught fishing outside his off stump against Shami. Again, the ball did just enough to find the outside edge. Suddenly, Sri Lanka had slipped to 201 for 7.

It got worse for Sri Lanka when Dilruwan Perera was given out lbw off a sharp inducker from Shami that beat his inside edge. Dilruwan, it appeared, accepted the decision and turned around to walk towards the dressing room, but asked for a review moments later. Replays showed the ball hit Dilruwan outside the line of off stump.

Herath was particularly effective with cross-batted strokes on either side of the wicket. He would frequently perch on the back foot, and depending on the line, either cut through point or pull past midwicket. Considering deliveries on a good or short length were routinely beating him with a straight bat, it was a rewarding strategy. He had moved to 67 before slicing a catch to deep backward point off Bhuvneshwar.

 

1st TEST – Day-3: Sri Lanka fights back with Thirimanne & Mathews

Sri Lanka well placed to take first-innings lead

3:00 AM ET

  • Courtesy of The Report by Nikhil Kalro – ESPN News (CricInfo).

Stumps Sri Lanka 165 for 4 (Mathews 52, Thirimanne 51, Dickwella 14*, Chandimal 13*) trail India 172 (Pujara 52, Lakmal 4-26) by 7 runs.

 

Lahiru Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews compiled contrasting fifties and shared a 99-run partnership that put Sri Lanka in the ascendancy of the Kolkata Test, cutting their deficit to just 7 by stumps on the third day. They were united with the score on 34 for 2 but neither batsman chose to counterattack considering the plausibility of one delivery beating their defenses. They left well and allowed themselves to be beaten several times by playing the line, not pushing their hands too far in front of them. Soon, India's seamers erred, looking for more than was required, with half-volleys and short and wide offerings and the boundaries flowed.

Just like for Sri Lanka, India's seamers generated lateral movement from the outset. Bhuvneshwar Kumar produced swing both ways, while Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav used seam off the pitch.

Despite sufficient movement, Sadeera Samarawickrama, promoted to open, batted fluently. Displaying a compact technique and languid elegance, he struck three fours on either side of the wicket in his 23. But continuing to hit through the line with the ball hooping just enough was an approach fraught with risk. Bhuvneshwar duly found his outside edge as he played away from his body.

Thirimanne and Mathews then swung the game in Sri Lanka's favour. Still on this surface, they needed luck. Bhuvneshwar kept penetrating Mathews' inside edge, hitting him on both pads. A shorter length, though, meant he survived lbw shouts due to the extra bounce. Umesh even found Thirimanne's outside edge, but Shikhar Dhawan spilled a simple catch at first slip.

Just after tea though, Umesh found not only his rhythm, but pace too. An inswinger from around the wicket held its line, found Thirimanne's outside edge and carried low to Virat Kohli's left at second slip, who hung onto a sharp chance. Then, Mathews lost his concentration. He chipped a catch to cover, his balance thrown off completely by a transfer of weight on the back foot, anticipating a shorter length.

With the light fading and the ball continuing to move, Dinesh Chandimal was repeatedly beaten on both edges during his 33-ball scrap. His battle was temporarily halted shortly after 4pm local when bad light forced early stumps for the third straight day.

It was Sri Lanka's seamers that had earlier given the visitors a chance. Without any cloud cover, swing ceased. But on a grassy pitch, Lahiru Gamage and Suranga Lakmal used the prevailing seaming conditions to bowl India out for 172 by lunch. Dilruwan Perera chipped in with a double-wicket over to remove Ravindra Jadeja and Wriddhiman Saha, India's only set batsmen on the third day.

Resuming on 47, Cheteshwar Pujara swept a wayward delivery from Rangana Herath to move to one of his toughest Test fifties at home. The sun came out soon after, and India's overall outlook seemed brighter.

That was when Pujara erred for the first time this Test, mentally more than in technique. Overhead conditions had improved drastically, but underfoot it remained treacherous. Pujara poked at a full delivery from Gamage, with bat away from pad as opposed to his bat-close-to-body approach over the first two days, possibly aware that swing had ceased. It created a big bat-pad gap. The ball jagged back prodigiously after pitching and uprooted off stump.

 

Saha, at the other end, displayed terrific awareness of which deliveries to play. He routinely let full, wide balls go, but went after fuller, wider deliveries, hitting six fours in his 29. Along with Jadeja, who also picked only either full or wide deliveries to attack, carried India past 100, their first landmark of the day in a 48-run stand, the highest of the innings.

Dilruwan, introduced in the 44th over, began with non-turning offbreaks on a grassy pitch. He quickly adjusted, under-cutting his offbreaks to generate drift, not spin, to open up the outside edge.

He was successful immediately. He had Jadeja lbw to a ball that slid on to strike his pad before bat. Umpire Joel Wilson's not-out verdict was overturned on review. Three balls later, Saha top-edged an attempted sweep onto his forearm, which lobbed to slip.

India's tail swung freely, carrying them from 128 for 8 to 172, but as Sri Lanka's middle order showed, it may be under-par.

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1st Test, India v Sri Lanka: Day-2 washed out by rain – India struggle 74/5 at close

Posted on 17 November 2017 by admin

India wobble against seam before rain washes out second day.

Stumps India 74 for 5 (Pujara 47*, Saha 6*, Lakmal 3-5, Shanaka 2-23) v Sri Lanka

Heavy rain yet again played spoilsport as Day 2 of the first Test between India and Sri Lanka was called off early at the Eden Gardens. The first day saw India reeling at 17/3 at stumps.

Day 2 was no better for the hosts as the Lankans remained on top. Barring Cheteshwar Pujara's gritty 47, Ajinkya Rahane and R Ashwin fell cheaply as India could only reach 74 for 5 when play had to be abandoned after just a couple of hours of match action. Dasun Shanaka took both the wickets of Rahane and Ashwin. The pitch also favoured the bowlers as the visitors focused on their line and length giving no chance to the Indian batsmen to score runs. Pujara is nearing a half-century and he will have to bat well if India are to stay in the game.1st Test, India v Sri Lanka: Suranga Lakmal stars on rain-curtailed day. 

Persistent rain dominated another day in Kolkata, allowing just 21 overs on the second morning. In all, just 32.5 overs have been bowled over two days. Sri Lanka's seamers had earlier capitalised on a dry, bowling-friendly morning at Eden Gardens, as Dasun Shanaka picked up two wickets with his gentle medium pace under gloomy skies offering sufficient lateral movement. Cheteshwar Pujara displayed impeccable defensive technique again, picking only the errant deliveries to score during his unbeaten 47, carrying India to 74 for 5 before a drizzle that became gradually heavier at 11.00 am forced an early lunch.

The rain had relented for a short period around noon, but returned heavier and forced the officials to call off the second day at 2.30pm local, more than two hours before the scheduled close of play.

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Nov 16, 2017.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Due to rain and bad light, just 11.5 overs were possible on the opening day
  • Suranga Lakmal wreaked havoc, picking three wickets in six overs – all maiden
  • Play was called off early due to bad light

NEW DELHI: Seldom there are conditions and surfaces on offer in India which are pacer friendly and a batsman's worst nightmare. Eden Gardens dished out just the kind of track for the first Test of a three-match series between India and Sri Lanka that would have left a fast bowler licking his fingers. Alas, the weather gods weren't so kind as the opening day of the Test petered out to a sorry 71-ball affair. Out of the 11.5 overs bowled on Day 1, Suranga Lakmal bowled six – all maiden and for three wickets, leaving India tottering at 17/3 when bad light stopped the play.

The toss was delayed by four hours due to light drizzle and then Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal called it correctly, opting to bowl first. Just as when the play was about to get underway, the rain returned with the players walking back. When it recommenced, Lakmal gave the hosts an early jolt with a ripper off a delivery that kissed the edge of KL Rahul's bat and settled nicely in to the hands of the 'keeper. India had lost their opener for a first-ball duck.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Due to rain and bad light, just 11.5 overs were possible on the opening day
  • Suranga Lakmal wreaked havoc, picking three wickets in six overs – all maiden
  • Play was called off early due to bad light

NEW DELHI: Seldom there are conditions and surfaces on offer in India which are pacer friendly and a batsman's worst nightmare. Eden Gardens dished out just the kind of track for the first Test of a three-match series between India and Sri Lanka that would have left a fast bowler licking his fingers. Alas, the weather gods weren't so kind as the opening day of the Test petered out to a sorry 71-ball affair.

Out of the 11.5 overs bowled on Day 1, Suranga Lakmal bowled six – all maiden and for three wickets, leaving India tottering at 17/3 when bad light stopped the play.

The toss was delayed by four hours due to light drizzle and then Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal called it correctly, opting to bowl first. Just as when the play was about to get underway, the rain returned with the players walking back. When it recommenced, Lakmal gave the hosts an early jolt with a ripper off a delivery that kissed the edge of KL Rahul's bat and settled nicely in to the hands of the 'keeper. India had lost their opener for a first-ball duck.

The ball was doing the tricks – prodigious swing and bounce – a phenomenon almost alien to the subcontinent conditions. But it was the reality and after Shikhar Dhawan seemed to settle the nerves with a boundary, Lakmal struck again – an inside edge crashing on the stumps. He scored eight. Out came Virat Kohli and his stay lasted 11 deliveries before the man of the moment Lakmal, spitting venom, catching the India captain right in front of the wickets. Even the DRS couldn't help Kohli who also settled inside the dressing room without disturbing the score.

Cheteshwar Pujara (8*) missed a full delivery from Lahiru Gamage before signalling that he could not spot the ball. It was then that the umpire took out the light meter and the players walked back to the dressing room. The match was again stopped due to bad light and this time for good.

TOP COMMENT

 

It will be an early start of the play on Day 2.

Brief Scores: India 17/3 (Cheteshwar Pujara 8*, Suranga Lakmal 3/0) vs Sri Lanka

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Time for Mathews to put past troubles behind him

Posted on 14 November 2017 by admin

  • Karthik Krishnaswamy in Kolkata – Courtesy: ESPN Cricinfo.

Angelo Mathews

It has been four months since Angelo Mathews stepped down from the role, but it's hard not to look at him with the feeling in the back of your mind that you're watching Sri Lanka's captain do his thing. There's Sri Lanka's captain, pulling an underarm throw-down (flick-up?) from a crouched member of the support staff. Here he is now, in the nets, defending off the back foot, looking like a captain, looking burdened by everything that ails Sri Lankan cricket.

It's all in your head, of course, the transposition of a careworn expression onto a helmeted face that's at least 60 yards from you and facing the wrong way. But it comes from having watched him all these years: the shuffle across to off stump, the stoic face behind the sunglasses while setting fields, the guarded post-match interviews.

This feeling is also born of not having watched too much of Mathews since he gave up the captaincy. He has been out of action for the last few months, and has only just recovered from his umpteenth injury of the last couple of years.

This tour of India, then, comes at an important juncture in his career. He seems to have been around forever, but he's only 30, a year and four days older than Ajinkya Rahane. The early 30s are widely reckoned to be the best time in a batsman's life, and it's the perfect time for Mathews to put behind him the turmoil of his last few months of captaincy, and focus anew on becoming the best batsman he can be and the towering batsman he hasn't been for a while. He hasn't made a Test hundred since August 2015, and in that time has scored 917 runs in 32 innings at an average of 28.65. His average, in that time, has slipped from 52.06 to 44.93.

The dip in Mathews' run-making powers has coincided with his becoming the senior-most member of Sri Lanka's batting group: he scored his last hundred in the first Test after Kumar Sangakkara's retirement.

Which is all the more reason why the Tests against India are so important to Mathews. He's one of only two survivors from Sri Lanka's last proper visit (Rangana Herath is the other), and on that 2009 tour he was a 22-year-old with four Tests behind him. In those early years, he batted at No. 6, impressing by dint of his own class but also benefiting from the cushion of the runs scored by Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera batting above and alongside him.

There are some good young batsmen in Sri Lanka's squad on this tour – and at least three outside it, in Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne and Kusal Perera – but they haven't quite grown up with the same cushion. But they aren't too far from having a solid core of experienced batsmen to bat around. Dimuth Karunaratne has had a breakthrough year as a Test batsman, and together with Dinesh Chandimal built the batting foundations of Sri Lanka's 2-0 series win in the UAE a few weeks ago. Add a fully fit, fully firing, post-captaincy and non-careworn Mathews to that mix, and Sri Lanka suddenly look like a pretty handy batting side. Make it happen, Angelo.

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SRI LANKA STILL LOOKING FOR ELUSIVE TEST WIN IN INDIA

Posted on 12 November 2017 by admin

 

12 November, 2017.

by Ranjan Anandappa – Courtesy: Sunday Observer.

Michael Tissera and Nawab of Pataudi

Michael Tissera (left) and Nawab of Pataudi during the toss at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahemadabad.

Sri Lanka who are looking for that elusive Test win in India, which they have never achieved since gaining full Test status in 1981 will have to undergo very stiff opposition against Virat Kohli and & C0. in all three formats of the game in the current series between the two countries.

It is certain that the Lankans will come across a gigantic task to avoid another ‘whitewash’ a familiar term these days with Sri Lanka’s dismal performances although winning a Test series against Pakistan in the UAE recently.

Sri Lanka has never beaten India in a Test match on Indian soil, the only occasion they did was in 1965 ,52 years hence when Micheal Tissera led a side and beat a fully fledged Indian team led by Mansur Ali Khan (Nawab Of Pattaudi) by 4 wickets in a three Test unofficial series.

It was Tissera’s astute leadership that gave this empathic victory in a low scoring four day game match effected by rain.

The first day was completely washed out by rain and the the second day began around 3.30pm at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad and the Indian captain Nawab Of Pataudi winning the toss elected to bat first surprising everyone on a rain effected wicket and were 51 for 3 after ninety minutes of batting.

On the third day India were restricted to 189 due to some fine fast bowling by Norton Frederick ( 4 for 85) and the off cutters by Stanley Jayasinghe (6 for 38 ) who broke the backbone of the Indian batting. Only Ramesh Saxena 63 n.o and skipper Pataudi 28 and Hanumant Singh 30 did something noteworthy while batting for India.

India hit back strongly through their pace bowlers during Ceylon’s first innings. Umesh Kulkarni ( 4 for 43) and C.K.Bhaskar ( 2 for 35) sent the bulk of the Ceylon batting reeling (6 for 57). But skipper Michael Tissera (28) , Dr. H.I.K.Fernando 38 n.o) and Anurudha Polonowita (53) stood firm bringing the score to 144 for 7 before Tissera closed the Ceylon Innings with a deficit of 45 runs. A shrewed move on a drying pitch. Indian batsmen were all at sea as the Ceylon bowlers stuck to their job admirably reducing India to 66 all out. Norton Fredrick , Stanley Jayasinghe the Leicestershire professional and Anurudha Plonowita took three wickets apiece with only two Indian batsmen entering double figures.

Ceylon was left to get 112 runs to win with ample time left. Abu Fuard and Mano Ponniah gave a reasonable start putting on 41 runs for the first wicket before Ponniah was stumped by Farookh Engineer off Venkatraghavan for 22.

Then a middle order collapse saw Ceylon losing five wickets for 98 runs with left arm leg spinner Rajinder Goel claiming the wickets of Abu Fuard, Jayasinghe, Neil Chanmugam, and wicket keeper H.I.K.Fernando with the score at 6 for 98. But sensible batting by Michael Tissera and Polonowita gave Ceylon their first ever win against India in India. The official Test series between India and Sri Lanka began in 1982/83 with a one off Test at Chepauk Stadium, Madras which ended in an exciting draw ,the sides were captained by Bandula Warnapura and Sunil Gavaskar. Sri Lanka last toured India in 2009 and lost the three Test series 0-2. In 1985 Sri Lanka beat India in Colombo under Duleep Mendis while Kapil Dev was the Indian captain. The countries have met in 40 Test matches and India has won 16 to Sri Lanka’s 5. 

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Match Drawn: Sri Lanka V. Indian Board Presidents XI

Posted on 12 November 2017 by admin

Sanju Samson's 128 frustrates Sri Lanka, tour match ends in draw. Samson anchored the Board innings with three useful partnerships of 68, 71 and 85 runs with Jiwanjot Singh (35), Rohan Prem (39) and Bavanaka Sandeep (33) respectively. 

Indian Board President's XI 287 for 5 (Samson 128, Prem 39, Thirimanne 2-22) drew with Sri Lankans 411 for 9 dec (Samarawickrama 74, Dickwella 73*, Mathews 54, Karunaratne 50).

Kolkata: Skipper Sanju Samson stood out with a sublime 128 to lead Board President's XI fightback against visiting Sri Lanka as their two-day tour match ended in a draw.

In reply to Sri Lanka's 411/9 declared, the Board President's XI were struggling at 31/2 after lunch on the second day, but Samson patiently built his innings and helped his side reach 287/5 when both captains agreed on a stalemate after 75 overs.

During his 143-ball knock, Samson hit 19 fours and one six.

Appointed skipper on the eve of the match after Naman Ojha was ruled out with an injury, the Kerala youngster showed big match temperament as he took on the Sri Lankan Test attack with ease.

Samson anchored the Board innings with three useful partnerships of 68, 71 and 85 runs with Jiwanjot Singh (35), Rohan Prem (39) and Bavanaka Sandeep (33) respectively.

On a track that offered little help to bowlers, Sri Lanka ended up using 10 bowlers, including regular wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella, who bowled the last over of the match.

Ace all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who is recovering from a calf injury that forced him out of the entire Pakistan series, however, was not seen bowling his medium pacers.

Bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake said Mathews would not bowl in the upcoming three-Test series beginning at Eden Gardens on November 16.

"He will not be used as a bowler as we have enough options for the bowling allrounders' slot," Ratnayake said.

On a frustrating day for the Lankan attack, it was their new-ball bowler Lahiru Gamage, who was most effective en route to his 2/41.

The medium pacer dismissed Tanmay Agarwal (16) and Anmolpreet Singh (3) in successive overs to give them a promising start before Samson seized the momentum and completed his fifty from 63 balls.

Samson completed his century in 123 balls, driving off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva cover for two runs and charged him next ball over deep midwicket for the innings' only six.

He tried to play an uppercut against a bouncer by Vishwa Fernando but the ball kissed his bat before going into the safe hands of Sadeera Samarawickrama, who took over wicket-keeping duty from Dickwella before the tea break.

Earlier, Board's openers Tanmay Agarwal and Jiwanjot Singh started the proceedings on a watchful note as Lankan pacers Lakmal and Gamage kept probing an off-stump line looking for an outside edge.

It took the Lankans eight oves to get the first breakthrough as Gamage struck in successive overs to dismiss Agarwal (16) and in-form Anmolpreet Singh (3).

Credit should go to Gamage for setting up Agarwal with a short ball that was dispatched to the boundary and he followed that up with a quick fuller ball that trapped the Board's batsman.

Fresh from his impressive 267 and 113 in the last two Ranji outings, Punjab youngster Anmolpreet got out in Gamage's next over off a stunning catch at point from Danus Shanaka.

Anmolpreet played a half-hearted square cut as Sri Lanka reduced the Board's team to 31/2 in the first hour.

But before the Lankans could make a further inroad, Samson steadied the ship with Jiwanjot giving him company.

Sri Lanka brought in Rangana Herath in the 15th over but the experienced spinner got little help from the placid wicket in his spell of 6-0-15-0.

Samson and Jiwanjot went about their tasks, cutting and playing sweep against the 39-year-old, as they remained unbroken till lunch with 89/2 on board.

It was in the fourth over after lunch when off-spinner Perera dismissed Jiwanjot, but Samson stood firm. 

 

 

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SL V. INDIA: As underdogs we are not under pressure — Chandimal

Posted on 05 November 2017 by admin

 

By Champika Fernando – Courtesy: Daily News.

Given the strength of their formidable opposition and the fragility of the tourists, one may argue that Sri Lanka are walking into the lion’s den when the tour of India kicks off next week. But Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal says his charges are brimming with confidence following their recent 2-0 win against Pakistan to take on the mighty Indians.

The first Test will begin on November 16 in Calcutta, followed by the second Test in Nagpur (Nov. 24-28) and third in Delhi from December 2-6.

Sri Lanka have endured difficult times in recent months, losing almost everything across all formats but a 2-0 surprise win against Pakistan last month has given some confidence to a young team who is desperate to turn the tide.

“We have had a very good series with Pakistan and that certainly has given the players lot more confidence to play to their potential,” Chandimal insists. “True that India beat us 3-0 in Sri Lanka a few months ago, but I think we still can approach the series with much more confidence that we approached the Pakistan series.”

In seven previous series on Indian soil, Sri Lanka have conceded defeats in 11 matches with the remaining six ending in draws. Their best performances to date remain in the 1997/98 series where the three-match tour ended in a nil-all draw.

Sri Lanka last played a Test series there in the 2009/2010 season where India comprehensively beat a star-studded side 2-0 after Kumar Sangakkara’s men managed to draw the first match in Ahmedabad hammering a mammoth 760 for 7 declared on the back of Mahela Jayewardene’s 275.

“Playing India in their own backyard has not been easy and we are well aware of the challenge before us,” he continued.

“We are not under pressure, though we have historically struggled to perform in India. It’s a big challenge but I know if we go out and express ourselves with confidence, we can certainly challenge them.”

However, Chandimal is among several other players who are visiting India for the first time for a Test series. Only former skipper Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath have played a Test in India.

Herath was Sri Lanka’s top wicket-taker during the series in 2009, ahead of Muttiah Muralitharan, while Mathews missed his maiden ton, having got out for 99 in the third Test.

“I will depend a lot on these two players, especially Mathews who is one of the best players in world cricket today. Their experience playing in Indian conditions will boost the team’s performance during the series,” Chandimal said, optimistically.

While Chandimal refused to comment on the final squad, which is yet to be released, he hinted at some changes to the top order composition. With reports suggesting the axing of misfiring batting duo Kusal Mendis and Kaushal Silva from the squad after poor form in UAE, Sri Lanka may look to Dhananjaya de Silva to open the batting with Dimuth Karunaratne.

In Test cricket, the opening pair is one of the keys and their success is really important for a team to make an impact. Dhananjaya has opened batting at domestic level and he is in contention for an opening slot with Sadeera Samarawickrema who batted at number 3 in his maiden Test in Dubai.

Mendis, one of Sri Lanka’s brighter prospects, with three centuries and four half-centuries under his belt in as many as 22 matches, was a pale shadow of himself during the recent Pakistan series, scoring just 58 runs in four innings—a major contribution towards his axing from the side. Kaushal, who is Karunaratne’s opening partner, has for a while struggled for runs at the top of the order and his axing was no surprise.

But Mendis’s exclusion has surprised former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene who questioned the wisdom of the selectors. “Don’t understand how Kusal Mendis is not in the squad to India? Even if he is not playing, he should be in India. That’s how young players learn,” Mahela tweeted.

Against India at home, Mendis smashed a century (110) in the second Test. The selectors have also retained Lakshan Sandakan in the side ahead of Malinda Pushpakumara—the left arm spinner who is in great form. Pushpakumara, who made his debut against India in August, had picked up 23 wickets in six innings as Sri Lanka A put up a spirited effort to record a 2-1 win in the unofficial Test series. With all-rounder Asela Gunaratne yet to regain complete match fitness after a long injury-lay-off, the selectors have recalled Dasun Shanaka into the side. Shanaka scored an unbeaten 102 and 60 in the second unofficial Test match against West Indies A.

The Test tour will be succeeded by three ODIs and three T20 Internationals.

Probable Sri Lanka squad: Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Lahiru Thirimanna (Vice Captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrema, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Rangana Herath, Lakshan Sandakan, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Gamage and Dasun Shanaka.

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Chris Gayle wins Australia masseuse court case

Posted on 30 October 2017 by admin

Tuesday, October 31, 2017.

Sydney: West Indies cricket star Chris Gayle Monday won a defamation case against an Australian media group which claimed he exposed his genitals to a massage therapist. The lurid accusations were made by Fairfax Media newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times in a series of stories in January last year.

They claimed the all-rounder exposed himself to team masseuse Leanne Russell in a dressing room at the 2015 World Cup in Sydney and “indecently propositioned” her.

Gayle denied the allegations, saying the journalists behind the story wanted to “destroy him”.

His teammate Dwayne Smith, who was in the changing room at the time, also denied the incident took place.

A NSW Supreme Court jury ruled in Gayle’s favour, finding Fairfax was motivated by malice.

The media group had defended the articles on the basis the allegations were substantially true and in the public interest. “At the end of the day I’m very, very happy,” Gayle said after the verdict, according to the Herald, adding that coming to court had been “very emotional”.

“I’m a good man. I’m not guilty,” he said.

The publication of the stories followed an uproar after Gayle attempted to flirt with an Australian presenter on live TV, asking her out for a drink and telling her: “Don’t blush, baby.”

During the week-long hearing, a tearful Russell stood by the allegations, saying she had gone to the room looking for a towel and came across Gayle.

She alleged he lowered the towel he was wearing and asked: “Are you looking for this?”

Gayle’s close friend Donovan Miller told the hearing that since the allegations the West Indian had become “scared, especially (around) females and he always feels someone is out to get him”. A hearing on damages will be held at a later date. AFP

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PAKISTAN win, clinch series 3-0 against SRI LANKA

Posted on 30 October 2017 by admin

Pakistan scored 180/3 in 20 overs against Sri Lanka in the third T20I of a three-match series in Lahore on Sunday. In reply, the Lankans could score only 144/9 in 20 overs. Pakistan notched 180 for three wickets in 20 overs against Sri Lanka in the third T20I of a three-game series in Lahore on Sunday. Umar Amin (45) was the top-scorer. In reply, the Lankans could score only 144/9 in 20 overs.

Pakistan 180 for 3 (Malik 51, Amin 45) beat Sri Lanka 144 for 9 (Shanaka 54, Amir 4-13) by 36 runs.

The win saw Pakistan winning the series 3-0. The match in Lahore’s significance will last far longer – convincing major nations that it is safe to tour the country again. Sri Lanka are the first top eight team to visit Pakistan, eight years after they were the last – caught up in a deadly attack by militant gunmen outside Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The attack sent Pakistan into sporting isolation, with Sri Lanka abandoning an agreed tour in 2011 after attacks on a naval base in Karachi. But the same Gaddafi stadium will be buzzing with noise as a capacity 23,000 crowd is expected to watch the match under huge security arrangements. Get full cricket score of third Pakistan vs Sri Lanka T20I in Lahore here. 

 

Pakistan marked the return of Sri Lanka with a 3-0 Twenty20 series whitewash on Sunday, as officials hoped the match will help re-establish the country's reputation for hosting international cricket.

The third and final Twenty20 match, which Pakistan comfortably won by 36 runs at Gaddafi stadium in Lahore, was Sri Lanka's first since their team bus was attacked near the same venue in March 2009.

The first two matches, which Pakistan won by seven and two wickets respectively, were played in Abu Dhabi before Sri Lanka flew to Lahore in a 24-hour fly-in, fly-out arrangement.

 

Shoaib Malik scorched his way to a 23-ball fifty, Mohammad Amir scythed through Sri Lanka's chase to claim his best T20 figures, and Pakistan gave a raucous home crowd an evening to remember, as they trounced Sri Lanka by 36 runs, and swept the series 3-0.

Although Friday's match had been tense, this was yet another limited-overs mismatch in a tour that has been full of them. On a smoggy Lahore evening, Pakistan's 180 for 3 always seemed beyond Sri Lanka's thin batting order. Dasun Shanaka's 54 off 36 balls was valiant, but even while he was at the crease, Sri Lanka were too far behind the rate – none of the other batsmen having found their range. Amir, who had taken the first wicket, also knocked out the lower middle order, taking 4 for 13. At times in the final over, he bowled with three slips in place, as Sri Lanka limped to 144 for 9.

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Pakistan wins 3rd ODI by 7 wkts and takes series 3-0 against Sri Lanka

Posted on 18 October 2017 by admin

Imam, Hasan guide historic Pakistan. A century on debut and a five-wicket haul that erased Waqar Younis from the record-books highlighted a stunning Pakistan performance.

Young opener Imam-ul-Haq, nephew of Pakistan great Inzamam-ul-Haq, smashed a century on debut to guide his side to a seven-wicket win in the third one-day international against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

Seamer Hasan Ali became the quickest bowler to reach 50 ODI wickets for Pakistan as his 5-34 saw Sri Lanka bowled out for 208 in 48.2 overs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Imam, whose uncle Inzamam is now a Pakistan selector, became only the second batsman from his country and 13th overall to score a hundred on ODI debut before he finally fell for 100 off 125 balls. 

The 21-year-old hit two sixes and five fours as the nominal hosts wrapped up the series with two matches to spare.

 

Imam-ul-Haq salutes his ODI debut century // Getty
Imam-ul-Haq salutes his ODI debut century // Getty

Saleem Elahi was the only other Pakistani to hit a debut hundred, also against Sri Lanka at Gujranwala in 1995.

But Imam could have missed that milestone as he was reprieved on 89, having been given out caught behind by Niroshan Dickwella off Lahiru Gamage.

As he was walking back, television umpire Richard Kettleborough found the ball had touched the ground before reaching wicketkeeper Dickwella's gloves.

A relieved Imam returned to the crease and completed his hundred.

Mohammad Hafeez remained not out on 34, scoring the winning single.

Imam said his heart was in his mouth when he was given out.

 

"I thought I had missed a great chance of scoring a hundred," said Imam, who was also Pakistan's top run-scorer when they reached the 2014 Under-19 World Cup final in the United Arab Emirates.

"But Hafeez told me to wait as the ball had touched the ground, so I am lucky and proud to have scored a hundred on my debut and that too with a record."

Pakistan hold an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series after winning the first match by 83 runs in Dubai and a 32-run victory in the second in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

The remaining games are in Sharjah on Friday and Monday.

 

With a low target to chase, Imam made a solid start alongside Fakhar Zaman in an opening stand of 78.

Zaman fell for 29, stumped by Dickwella off spinner Jeffrey Vandersay while Babar Zaman was bowled by Gamage for 30.

Sri Lanka, who suffered their ninth straight ODI defeat, were loose with the bat.

 

Hasan Ali celebrates another Sri Lanka wicket // Getty

Hasan Ali celebrates another Sri Lanka wicket // Getty

Hasan, 23, was ably assisted by leg-spinner Shadab Khan (2-37) as Sri Lanka, who won the toss and batted, lost their last nine wickets for only 106 runs.

Sri Lanka skipper Upul Tharanga (61) and Dickwella (18) put on 59 for the first wicket, but from 102-1 in the 26th over their innings was derailed by Pakistan's bowlers.

Shadab, man-of-the-match for his 52 not out and 3-47 in the second game on Monday, had Dinesh Chandimal (19) leg-before and Tharanga caught in the deep.

Tharanga, who hit a brilliant 112 not out in the previous match, hit five boundaries during his 80-ball knock.

Hasan, who had given Pakistan the early breakthrough with Dickwella's wicket, removed Chamara Kapugedera (18), Milinda Siriwardana (two) and Vandersay (nought) to complete 50 wickets in his 24th ODI.

The previous record was held by legendary paceman Waqar Younis, who took 27 ODIs to reach the mark. Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis holds the overall record of 19 matches.

Hasan's previous best bowling figures were 5-38 against the West Indies in Guyana earlier this year.

Lahiru Thirimanne (28) and Thisara Perera (38) took Sri Lanka past the 200 mark.

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