Will it be a hat-trick?
Althaf Nawaz reporting
The frustrated Sri Lankan cricket team is likely to make four changes when they
take on Pakistan in the third and final cricket test match at Asgiriya Stadium, today.
After the massive innings and 163 runs defeat in the second test at Galle, the Lankan
camp is likely to omit one down out of form batsman Russel Arnold, wicket keeper batsman
Romesh Kaluwitharana, left arm leg spinner Rangana Herath and right arm seamer Ravindra
Pushpakumara. They are likely to be replaced by left hand batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who
could make his debut, in test cricket, in front of his home crowd. If he gets an
opportunity, Sangakkara will be Sri Lankas test player, number 83. He will have to
occupy Russel Arnolds berth. Prasanna Jayawardena, who had an excellent series
against Zimbabwe A behind the wickets is likely to replace Kaluwitharana, who
is going through a bad patch. Nuwan Zoysa, sidelined due to injury in the second test,
will make a come back and will share the new ball with Chaminda Vaas.
Kumara Dharmasena, recalled after seventeen months, will share the old ball with
Although the Lankans have lost the series 2-0, they will be hoping to restore their
image at least with a draw. The second test defeat was the heaviest in Lankan cricket
The top order batsmen, including skipper Sanath Jayasuriya, have failed to pile up the
runs, which was one of the reasons for the downfall. Apart from deputy skipper, Marvan
Atapattu , the other top batsmen like Russel Arnold and Aravinda de Silva, will have to
score big if Sri Lanka are to succeed.
The middle order batting, spearheaded by former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and Mahela
Jayawardena were among runs. But they will have to maintain the consistency and carry on
with the good work they did in the second test.
The bowling department was not up to the mark. Muralitharan was the only bowler to
trouble the Pakistan top order, but was thrashed by the Pakistan tail. It seems that he is
being over bowled, and the team depends too much on him. If this continues,
Muralithans might be in real trouble, in the future. Dharmasena will need to support
The Sri Lankan seamers headed by Chaminda Vaas have failed to impress. Vaas went
wicketless in the second test but bowled accurately without giving away many runs. His new
partner Ravindra Pushpakumara was expensive and failed to maintain rhythm. With the
inclusion of Zoysa, the seam attack should have some sting.
Pakistan are expected to retain the same side which played in Galle. The pace duo of
Wasim Akram and Waqar Yoonus, prefer this venue as the climatic conditions suit them.
The conditions in Kandy are ideal for them.
Sri Lanka has played eight matches at Asgiriya. They have won two and lost four, while
two have ended in draws. They have lost to Pakistan by an innings on both occasions played
here. Lankas previous success was against Australia last year. They beat them by six
wickets, under the leadership of Jayasuriya. So far, under Jayasuriyas captaincy,
Sri Lanka has played eleven matches, winning four and losing three. There have been four
The wicket is likely to favour the batsmen, but sudden climatic changes might assist
the seam bowlers.
How Sri Lanka has fared at Asgiriya:
1982/83- Vs Australia lost by innings and 38 runs
1983/84- Vs New Zealand lost by 165 runs
1985/86- Vs India drawn
1985/86- Vs Pakistan lost by innings and 20 runs
1993/94- Vs India drawn
1994/95- Vs Pakistan lost by innings and 52 runs
1997/98- Vs Zimbabwe beat by 8 wkts.
1999/2000- Vs Australia beat by 6 wkts.
The teams will be picked from:
Sri Lanka- Sanath Jayasuriya (Capt.), Marvan Atapattu (V.Capt), Russel Arnold, Aravinda
de Silva, Mahela Jayawardena, Arjuna Ranatunga, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan
Zoysa, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumara Dharmasena, Kumar Sangakkara, Prasanna
Jayawardena,Upul Chandana and Avishka Gunawardena.
Pakistan- Moin Khan (Capt.), Inzamam-ul-Haq (V.Capt.), Saeed Anwar, Mohamed Wasim,
Yusuf Youhana, Younis Khan, Abdur Razzaq, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Azar Mehmood, Arshad
Khan, Imran Nazir, Mushtaq Ahamed, Shoaib Malik, Qaisar Abbas, Shabbir Ahamed.
Umpires: Peter Manual (SL), Steve Bucknor (West Indies)
T.V. Umpire: B.C.Cooray
Match Referee: John Reid (New Zealand)
burden on Muralis shoulders
by R. L. Fernando
Sri Lankas strike bowler Muttiah Muralitharan is undoubtedly being
overbowled which is the view of several cricket fans in the country. As a result, they say
that Murali may even breakdown and cause disaster to our national team which is at present
asking too much from him.
Murali may have the ability to bowl long spells, and keep one end going, but it must be
remembered that he is human and could be subjected to shortcomings. It is also
understandable, that Murali will add to his tally of wickets when he over bowls. But is he
then performing to capture wickets or buy his wickets.
Let us accept the fact that the Pakistan, Indian and Australian batsmen are all
competent against good spin bowling and they have often shown that Murali although rated
as a spin bowler who can turn the ball on any strip, could be mastered and flogged.
On the other hand, Murali being used in short spells could also have a disadvantage to
our national team as during the time he is off the firing line, the score would have
mounted in leaps and bounds due to the inability of the other bowlers to contain the
What Sri Lanka badly needs is a good supporting bowler to Murali and "one"
who could bowl accurately and economically and close one end up (regardless of being
wicketless) while Murali attacks at the other end.
Most of the spin bowlers who have partnered Murali in recent times, have failed to make
the grade (their names, being too many to mention). Our national selectors seem to have
been experimenting in finding other spin bowlers and probably those who received their
national caps could be tagged as the "best of the worst lot."
Cricket fans, would recollect that great spin bowlers often performed in pairs. Among
them were Englands right arm off spinner, Jim Laker and left armer Tony Lock. Laker
took the wickets while Lock put up the shutters, at one end. The West Indies had the
famous duo right arm off spinner Sonny Ramadhin and left armer Alfred Valentine. Both of
them were equally dangerous but it was Ramadhin who did most of the damage. India were
boastful of the duos Bishen Singh Bede Chandrasekar and Venkatraghavan/ Prasanna
combinations who were all dangerous bowlers.
We would then talk of Sri Lankas best combination to date left arm spinner Ajit
de Silva and right armer Lalith Kaluperuma who excelled from our inception in test cricket
in 1982. Both of them enjoyed a harvest of wickets on their day.
Our national team today lacks that quality of bowlers and its time the national
selectors combed the country to find a partner for Murali as long as he continues to play.
BCCSL backs down
by Shirajiv Sirimane
The Cricket Board (BCCSL), has decided to write to the International Cricket
Council (ICC) requesting them to retain Ranjan Madugalle, on the ICC International Match
The BCCSL had earlier decided to nominate two former Test Captains Bandula Warnapura
and Duleep Mendis, along with Madugalles name, giving the option for the ICC to
select two members. The Board had strongly decided not to include Sri Lankas other
former international match referee Sidath Wettimuny.
The Board had said that they nominated Warnapura and Mendis as they felt that other
former test cricketers too should be given the honour of being on this exclusive panel.
But The Island understands that the Sports Minister S. B. Dissanayake had
insisted, amidst growing pressure from the public, that Madugalle at least not be axed
from this panel. Wettamuni served as the Chairman of the selectors and also member of the
Interim Cricket Board before the present BCCSL took over.
Meanwhile it had been also decided to appoint Malcolm Perera, Director, Coaching
Committee, to fill the void created by the removal of D. S. De Silva from the post of
Youth Cricket Coach last week. He will hold this post until Sri Lankan born Australian,
Owan Mottau arrives to take over this post.
Rain in the hills
can affect third Test match
by Hafiz Marikar in Kandy
The rainy weather in Kandy at present may have a say on the 3rd cricket test to
be played between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the Asgiriya Stadium, which starts today.
Both the Pakistan and Sri Lanka teams arrived here on Monday and the latter had a
workout at the grounds from 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
On Monday both teams were hosted to dinner by the Chief Minister of the Central
Province Nandimithra Ekanayake at the Le Kandyan Hotel where the teams are housed.
On Monday, the Pakistanis kept off training, and instead were seen playing billiards
and snooker at the hotel.
Pakistan coach Javed Miandad said that his boys were brimming with confidence after
winning the first and second tests. Miandad who last played at Asgiriya in 1987 under
Imran Khan recollected how Pakistan won by an innings with two days to spare.
The last test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was played in 1994 at Asgiriya.
Pakistan was led by Salim Malik and the Sri Lankans by Arjuna Ranatunga. That game too
went in favour of the Pakistanis, where Waqar Younis bowled superbly.
If the weather keeps fine todays match should provide good cricket, where the
cricket loving fans of the hills are expecting an improved performance from Sanath
Jayasuriya, Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva, Marvan Atapattu, Romesh Kaluwitharane,
Kandys Muttiah Muralitharan. There is also news that Kandys Kumar Sangakkara
will win his test cap.
The organisers, Kandy District Cricket Association have finalised all arrangements
according to Secretary, Janaka Pathirana.
Have your say
Reflections on the 100th Test match defeat
It was with disappointment that we watched victory in the first test match slowly but
surely slip into Pakistans hands. What was discouraging was that Sri Lanka could
easily have won the match. Alas! One man stood in the way, the hero - Wasim Akram.
We should learn a thing or two from Pakistan. Firstly, the patience with which Akram
and Arshad Khan batted was magnificent. Our bowlers just couldnt get the last wicket
and paid the penalty. The Pakistanis are fully aware that our batsmen dont like
being tied down and that they either hit out or get out. However, in test cricket
especially, as our cricketers are aware, the most important factor is building
partnerships and for this a great deal of patience and application are required.
Our bowlers also must improve their performance. They must take a leaf out of the
Pakistanis book - Wasim and Waqar always make the opposition batsman play. They often get
the initial breakthrough for the team. It is very important that the batsmen are made to
play instead of leave the ball, especially when the new ball is taken. Unfortunately our
bowlers dont make the batsman play enough. Further, time and again our bowlers have
failed to go through the tail. Here too, it was marvellous to watch the
Pakistanis persist to the very end.
Our fielding also requires much improvement. Catches win matches. Herein lies the
advantage of having young agile fielders.
We look forward to a more professional and improved all round performance from our team
in the next two games. We have the talent - all it takes is more commitment, application
and belief in oneself that we are as strong as our opponents. With these simple things in
mind, great results could be achieved.
Cricket Fans Wattala
5th Outstation Novices Meet on July 8
The Fifth Outstation Novices Swimming Meet conducted by the National Amateur Aquatic
Sports Union (NAASU) will be held on July 8, (Saturday) at the Royal College pool from
This years meet will be conducted in five age groups Under 10, 12, 14, 16 and 19
for both girls and boys.
According to NAASU, all the entries for this meet should be registered under their
respective union. No finalists from the outstation swimming championships upto 1999 nor
any swimmer who was placed first, second or third at any NAASU - registered meet
(including previous outstation novices meets) could participate in this meet.
This would be a big occasion for talented swimmers outside Colombo to prove their
Inter-School Squash 2000
Musaeus squash them all!
Musaeus College and Royal College, Colombo dominated the schools squash tournament, as
they emerged overall champs in the girls and boys divisions respectively, in the All
Island Inter School Squash Championships held recently, at S. Thomas Courts, Mt.
The Girls team Cship too was won by Musaeus and their girls took away four
major trophies out of five age group divisions. S. Thomas College, Mt. Lavinia won
the boys team title.
Here are the names of winners of champion trophies:
Girls Musaeus College
Boys Royal College
Girls Musaeus College
Boys S. Thomas College, Mt. Lavinia
Under 19 Champion:
Nisanga Mayadunne (Musaeus College), Runners-up: Souri Wijesinghe (Visakha Vidyalaya)
Under 17 Champion:
Ransi Lankage (Asian International), Runners-up: Randika Dissanayake (Musaeus College)
Under 15 Champion:
Madara Dayasiri (Musaeus College), Runners-up: Menusha Hettiarachchi (H.F.C.
Under 13 Champion:
Tehani Guruge (Musaeus College), Runners-up: Vajira Karunaratne (Visakha Vidyalaya)
Under 11 Champion:
Tasha Guruge (H.F.C. Bambalapitiya), Runners-up: Sara Fernando (St. Bridgets Convent)
Under 19 Champion:
Navin Samarasinghe (Stafford International), Runners-up: Eranjan Kempitiya (Royal
Under 17 Champion:
Malinda Sugatapala (S.T.C., Mt. Lavina), Runners-up: Kavin Jayawardena (S.T.C., Mt.
Under 15 Champion:
Harin Perera (Royal College), Runners-up: Zashan Zaheer (Royal College)
Under 13 Champion:
Eranga Alwis (S.T.C. Mt. Lavinia), Runners-up: Akitha Gunasekera (Royal College)
Under 11 Champion;
Prawin Perera (Royal College), Runners-up: S. Wijeweera (S.T.C. Mt. Lavinia).