Island Cricket

Sunday, March 30, 2008

[Videos] Chaminda Vaas | This is Cricket

The Chaminda Vaas Montage
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Gayle and his struggle against Vaas

For a batsman of his ability, the manner in which Gayle has been dominated by Vaas is amazing - seven dismissals for ten runs in all. Writes S Rajesh for Cricinfo.

"It's no secret. Yes, he has got me out the majority of times in Test cricket whenever I play against Sri Lanka." This was Chris Gayle's honest admission after West Indies lost the first Test against Sri Lanka in Guyana. The bowler he was referring to was Chaminda Vaas, who won the Man-of-the-Match award in the game and was probably the reason why Gayle dropped down to No. 6 in the batting order in the second innings.

For a batsman of his ability, the manner in which Gayle has been dominated by Vaas is amazing. It isn't only the fact that he has fallen to Vaas seven times in six Tests; all seven dismissals have come about early in his innings, in Vaas' first spell. In those seven innings, Gayle has scored a grand total of ten runs, and the last five dismissals have all been for ducks, over three different series.

Thanks largely to Vaas, Gayle averages a paltry 16.30 against Sri Lanka, and his unbeaten 51 in the second innings in Guyana was his first 50-plus score against them in 11 innings. His early departures have also meant he has hardly faced Muttiah Muralitharan in Tests: in all he has played 92 deliveries from Murali, 76 of which were during the course of his defiant innings at the Providence Stadium.

Though Gayle has been all at sea against Vaas, he hasn't necessarily struggled against all left-arm seam-and-swing bowlers - his overall average against them since July 2001 is a fairly reasonable 29.37, though it's still a fair way lower than his career average.

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[Video] Sanath Jayasuriya 253 Vs Pakistan | 2004

Cricinfo: Jayasuriya tore the bowling apart on his way to his third double-hundred, a wonderful 243, and almost single-handedly boosted the lead to a daunting 418. Fernando then prised out Pakistan's top four with subtle cutters and Sri Lanka's fightback, after playing catch-up for one-and-a-half days, was all but complete.

Of the 154 runs that Sri Lanka added this morning, Jayasuriya made 123. But unlike yesterday, when he was uncharacteristically subdued, he was back to his devastating best. He lost partners at regular intervals, as a middle-order collapse reduced them to 337 for 8, but his whirlwind 101-run partnership with Fernando - of which Fernando made just 1 - left the bowlers bruised and Pakistan's morale dented.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

[Video] Sri Lanka vs West Indies 1st Test post match analysis

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Courtesy powen001
From The Line & Length Cricket show, Barbados.

The West Indian fans question the low turn out at Guyana and ponder on why the wickets were made to suit the opposition(SL). +/- Expand Post

Sri Lanka's tour game scrapped due to flight problems

Cricinfo: Sri Lanka will have no practice game ahead of the second Test in Port of Spain from April 3 after the cancellation of their scheduled fixture against West Indies A in Tobago. The match was to be a three-day affair, starting on March 29, but the West Indies board said "flight problems" had led to it being scrapped. The visitors will instead practice in the nets at Tobago's Shaw Park.

Sri Lanka lead the two-match series 1-0 after securing their first Test win in the West Indies at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Wednesday. It has been a disrupted trip for Sri Lanka after heavy rain led to the tourists' opening practice game, against a Guyana President's Select XI, being shifted from Bourda to the Providence Stadium.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

[Video] Classic Catches | Muttiah Muralidaran Vs West Indies | 1st Test Guyana 2008

Spectacular catch by Murali during the 5th days play of the 1st Test match Vs West Indies | 27 MAR 2008

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[Video] West Indies v Sri Lanka, 1st Test - Day 5 | Guyana 2008

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2nd Session

3rd Session

5th day
Bulletin - Sri Lanka create history in the Caribbean
Audio - Michael Holding: Windies were lackadaisical
Gallery - Sri Lanka overcome spirited Windies
Quotes - Vaas stands tall to seal tight success
Quotes - Gayle looks to regroup

Courtesy Cricinfo +/- Expand Post

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

[Video] West Indies v Sri Lanka, 1st Test - Day 4 | Guyana 2008

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1st and 2nd session highlights

4th day

Bulletin - Sri Lanka hold advantage over spirited Windies

Gallery - Windies make promising start chasing 437

Quotes - "History says that it is possible to get a total like that"

Courtesy Cricinfo

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Monday, March 24, 2008

[Video] West Indies v Sri Lanka, 1st Test - Day 3 | Guyana 2008

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2nd Session H/L

3rd Session H/L

West Indies 269 for 9 (Sarwan 80) trail Sri Lanka 476 for 8 by 207 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

3rd day
Bulletin - Efficient Sri Lanka maintain upper hand
Quotes - 'We would like more pace and bounce' - Sarwan

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[Video] Interview with Mahela | 1st test Sri Lanka Vs West Indies 2008

Tony Cozier chats with Mahela at the end of Day 2.
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

[Video] Hong Kong Cricket Sixes | Sri Lanka Vs All Stars

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Windies fans feel the absence of Lasith Malinga

Ceylon Daily News: Walking out of the National Stadium after the drawn game between Sri Lanka and a Guyana Cricket Board President’s Eleven team I was confronted by a group of Guyanese cricket enthusiasts who noticed me sporting a Sri Lanka Cricket tee shirt.

‘You playing for Sri Lanka’, asked one of them in the group. ‘My playing days were long over’, I said, laughing to myself.

‘Hey mann, where is that mann Malinga? asked another in the group. I said is it Malinga Bandara? ‘No, no mann. That guy with the weired hair do and the peculiar slinging action. Oh, is it Lasith Malinga? That de guy’, they all shouted.

‘He didn’t play in this game. Is he being rested for the Test match’, they queried.

I said: ‘No my friends, he has been emitted due to injury and is not in the squad’, I said much to their disappointment.

‘Mann, when Malinga was here he took 4 in 4, you remember’, they asked. I said I was at the scene of action that day and lapped up every moment of that 4 in 4 blast, in the World Cup game at this venue, against South Africa, and described it to my newspaper.

‘We were all waiting to see that mann in action. He has a big following here. We are all very disappointed mann’, they lamented.

While talking to the group, who were the very friendly type, some of them in the group were imitating Lasith Malinga’s bowling action and weren’t they enjoying it.

‘You know mann, we have some bowlers playing here, who are imitating Maligna’s action, hoping that we too can take 4 in 4. We are very upset that he is not here!.

‘When you get back, tell Malinga that we missed him and would be waiting to see him play here when Sri Lanka tours. Give him our regards and tell him we missed him’, they shouted in unison before wishing me and the Sri Lanka team good luck.

With Sri Lanka playing the first Digicel Test on the same venue The National stadium, where Lasith Malinga produced his heroics, it is worth recalling those magical moments to Sri Lankans.

It would not have been very many Sri Lankans who would have been awake watching that spell from Malinga, other than for the diehard supporters, because Malinga’s effort was in the wee hours of the morning in Sri Lanka.

This is how it went. With the South Africans cruising to victory, skipper Mahela Jayawardena tossed the ball to Malinga and probably said: ‘Make the ball talk’. And Malinga did not disappoint his skipper. he made the ball more than talk, as he performed a cricketing bowling miracle to send four South African batsmen hurring back to the pavilion and promising Sri Lanka a victory from the jaws of defeat.

Wicket number one was when he shattered Shaun Pollock’s stumps with a well disguised slow yorker. Wicket number two was Andrew Hall top edging a catch to Upul Tharanga, Wicket number three was Jacques Kallis who going for a big drive, snicked to Sangakkara who took a brilliant diving catch. Players gathered from everywhere to hug and congratulate Malinga on his hat-trick.

Malinga them kissed the ball and with the crowd urging him on, ran in and delivered a toe crushing yorker to Makaya Nitini who could do nothing but hear the rattle of his timber. Malinga would have had 5 in 5. But his next delivery to Robin Peterson missed the wicket by a coat of varnish. How that ball missed hitting the wicket only the ball and the wicket could tell.

With two runs for victory, Chaminda Vaas the ever reliable came on and bowled an excellent maiden over.

With many hearts skipping a beat and with spectators standing up and wildly cheering the bowler, Malinga let fly another of his famed yorkers. It looked another wicket taking delivery. But luck was with last man Pieterson as he jabbed down at the last moment for the ball to hit the bottom edge and fly to the third man boundary, to signal a victory for the Proteas and a travesty of justice defeat for the gutty Lankans.

Malinga’s 4 in 4 was the first in World Cup cricket and it will stay that way for a long, long time to come. Georgetown, Guyana, Thursday

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[Video] Basnahira North v Wayamba | 2008

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Basnahira North 298 for 6 (Dissanayake 88*, Peiris 77, Gunawardene 73, Mendis 4-50) beat Wayamba 198 (Mubarak 57, Pushpakumara 3-37, Vaas 2-22) by 100 runs

After raking up 298 in their alloted 50 overs, Basnahira North's bowlers dismissed Wayamba for 198 to complete a comprehensive 100-run win at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Chaminda Vaas, the Basnahira North captain, opted to bat, and his batsmen capitalised. Avishka Gunawardene's 73 off 62 deliveries set the tone at the top of the order, before Ruwin Peiris and Shanuka Dissanayake added 120 runs for the fifth wicket after Ajantha Mendis had struck three times to leave Basnahira North at 105 for 4 after 20.1 overs.

Peiris also perished to Mendis for 77, but Dissanayake stayed until the end as his team finished with 298 for 6. Dissanayake scored 88, while Mendis bagged 4 for 50. Farveez Maharoof was expensive, returning 0 for 74 runs off his ten overs.

Wayamba's chase came apart in the first over as Vaas struck twice to leave them struggling at 0 for 2. From then on Wayamba were never in the hunt. Jehan Mubarak top scored with 57, but the bowlers picked up wickets regularly to stifle the chase.

Gayan Wijekoon bagged two wickets while offspinner Muthumudalige Pushpakumara removed three late-order batsmen as Wayamba were bowled out for 198. The win put Basnahira North at the top of the points table, with a maximum of ten points from their two games.

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Ten Sports to bring Live telecast of Sri Lanka’s Caribbean tour

Cricket is back on the television menu, what with the ICL tournament underway and the upcoming IPL tournament, Future Cup, India-SA Test series and Sri Lanka-West Indies series. Whipping some more cricket fever, Taj TV’s Ten Sports will telecast Live Sri Lanka’s tour of the Caribbean this month. Sri Lanka and West Indies would play two Test matches and three ODIs.

Ten Sports had recently renewed its partnership with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for another five years to distribute television coverage of all cricket sports that would be played in the West Indies between 2008 and 2012. Also, Ten Sports has the broadcasting right to the Middle-East and South-East Asia, and would also distribute the events worldwide, with the exception of the UK, Ireland and the Caribbean.

The first Test match would commence from March 22, while the ODI matches would commence from April 10.

Ten Sports is available in over 50 million cable and satellite homes worldwide. The channel broadcasts cricket from Sharjah, West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Indian Sub-continent and Asia, as well as to the US and Canada (Cricket Plus), the Middle-East and North Africa.

Ten Sports also owns the exclusive rights in its Sub-continent territories for the WWE, the UEFA Champions League, the US Open and Hockey World Cup.
© exchange4media 2008
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[Video] Line and Length Cricket Show | Barbados

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FLASHBACK: Sri Lanka Vs West Indies | June 20th 2003

Courtesy powen001

The Line and Length Cricket Show from Barbados, SL VS WI 1st Test preview.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why have the Windies humiliated Sri Lanka?

The Island (LK): Sri Lanka ‘s encounter with the West Indies is that of a rejected lover. For years, Sri Lankan fans have venerated the West Indian legends ranging from Constantine to Lara. In the pre-test years, cameo appearances in Ceylon by the West Indies were an integral part of the folklore. Old-timers such as Berty Wijesinghe spoke in superlatives when describing the six that Sir Frank Worrell hit out of the Colombo Oval during his monumental 285 in 1951. When Sir Gary Sobers was coaxed into coaching Sri Lanka in the early days of test cricket, his arrival was treated as though it was the second arrival of the messiah.

Sadly, the West Indies has treated Sri Lanka with arrogant disdain. In the 26 years of test cricket, Sri Lanka has played only four tests in the West Indies. In the same period, New Zealand a team that has consistenty ranked below Sri Lanka in the ICC rankings has played eight tests there. The West Indies have lost five tests in a row in Sri Lanka and can hardly afford such condescension. To add insult to injury, the West Indian board even took the hostile step of withdrawing from the 1996 World Cup matches in Sri Lanka on flimsy security considerations, possibly to curry favour with the Australian board.


The two visits that Sri Lanka has made to the Caribbean have been low-key affairs, where Sri Lanka was treated shabbily and subjected to the misnomer of a two-test series. On both occassions, Sri Lanka were the guinea pigs on debut venues – St. Vincent in 1997 and St. Lucia in 2003. Both these islands are specks in the Atlantic Ocean , with pathetic cricket facilities. It is a travesty that the World Cup runner-up that has the world’s highest ranked batsman (Sangakkara) and bowler (Muralitharan) has been given just two tests. Perhaps, the attitute of the West Indian board suffers from a post-colonial complex, where teams such as New Zealand , South Africa and England are higher in their pecking order. The callous approach of the Windies board is in contrast to the popularity that the Sri Lankan team enjoys throughout the islands. With the early exit of the home team in the 07 World Cup, Sri Lanka were without doubt the favored team. Apart from Jayasuriya’s cavalier hitting, Lasith Malinga’s freakish action and his unique feat of four wickets in four balls placed Sri Lanka on a pedestal in the Carribbean.

Aussie Debacle

This series will take place with Sri Lanka struggling to shrug off the indignities of the Australian tour. Mahela Jayawardene, who presided over one of the country’s worst ODI forays in recent years, will be anxious to bury the past. The scoreline of 2 wins, 5 losses and an abandoned game does not do justice to the meek manner in which the batsmen performed. At times, the batting was a throwback to the country’s dark days as a minnow. Sanath Jayasuriya, the patron saint of opening, failed repeatedly. The rest of the batting, except the ruling duo of Jayawardene and Sangakkara, was inept. The worst offender was Chamara Silva, a dynamic middle-order batsmen who starred in 2007 World Cup campaign. Silva failed to reach fifty in the tournament. While the bowling delivered, the fielding was timid and at times embarassing.

Murali looms Large

But the test tour of West Indies is not only in another continent, but also the cricket will be far removed from ODIs in Australia. As is the custom, the exalted Muttiah Muralitharan will loom large over his opponents.With 70 wickets against the West Indies at an awesome average of 17 a piece, the home side will fear Murali. They will face him without his nemesis Brian Lara for the first time in the West Indies. Ominously, the matches will be played in Georgetown and Port-of-Spain, venues where test cricket’s highest wicket-taker had robust success in the World Cup. Muralitharan will be touring the Windies as a geriatric in a youthful side. Mentally and tactically, he is as good a bowler as he has ever been. However, at almost 36 his shoulder is faltering. For the first time in his career, his famed accuracy seems to be deserting him when under pressure. This was apparent in the Australian test series, when he had meagre returns of 4 for 400. Nonetheless, the brittle West Indian batting should be wary of underestimating Murali. None of them have scored centuries against him. Murali will be heartened by the naming of left-armer Rangana Herath as his spin partner. The tiny Herath has a proud record of 555 first-class wickets, which places him head and shoulders above other Sri Lankan spin aspirants. Injuries to Lasith Malinga and Dilhara Fernando deprives Sri Lanka of their fastest and most penetrative seamers. However, the reserve strength of Ishara Amerasinghe and Thilan Thurshara Mirando are more than capable of aiding Vaas. Both Amerasinghe and Mirando have a long record of success in domestic cricket and will be anxious to reverse frustration of being neglected.

Gayle’s Inept Leadership

Happily for Sri Lanka, captaincy is one of the many causes for turmoil in the host’s cricket. In the past few seasons, the West Indian administrators have conjured a merry-go-round of the captaincy between Chanderpaul, Sarwan, Gayle and Bravo. Gayle has been named captain for this series, but he is as indisciplined a captain as he is an attacking batsmen. There are dark rumours of his unpopularity, which may worsen with reports that he will prefer to skip the Australian tour in favour of the IPL. The feeble West Indian bowlers will find it hard to contain the Sangakkara-Jayawardene duo. The senior pair have outstanding shot selection and reserves of patience. Their form will determine the team’s fate. Above all, they should be aware that nothing short of a series win will erase the humiliation of a two test tour.
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Warnapura fires again in drawn tour match

Cricinfo: Sri Lankans 492 for 5 dec and 177 for 6 (Warnapura 50, Bishoo 3-25) drew with Guyana President's XI 248.

Malinda Warnapura enhanced his chances of opening in the first Test by adding a second-innings half-century to his first-innings 132 in Sri Lanka's tour match in Guyana. Sri Lanka reached 177 for 6, with an overall lead of 421 over the Guyana President's XI (GPS), when the captains agreed to end the match at tea on the third day.


Warnapura retired out for the second time in the game and his success means he has a strong chance of partnering Michael Vandort at the top of the Test order. His 93-ball innings featured seven fours but none of the other specialist batsmen made full use of the second innings.

Prasanna Jayawardene chipped in with 36 and Chaminda Vaas finished unbeaten on 40 as the legspinner Davendra Bishoo picked up three middle-order wickets. Bishoo, 22, has only one first-class match to his name, but he proved his worth with 3 for 25, including Mahela Jayawardene caught without scoring.

Bishoo was the only bowler to have success in the second session after the fast bowler Jason Dawes grabbed two victims before lunch. Vandort did not have the ideal lead-up to the Test, bowled by Dawes for 1 to add to his first-innings 29.

Dawes, who was a member of West Indies' Under-19 World Cup side last month, had struggled with a leg strain in the first innings and bowled only 13 balls. However, he powered through 15 overs on the third day to finish with 2 for 36 after having Kumar Sangakkara (17) caught at sip.

GPS were without their captain Patrick Browne, who was resting a sore knee, and Kemar Roach, who had an upset stomach. Rajindra Chandrika and Sharmarh Brooks shared the duties behind the stumps in Browne's absence and Brooks even registered a stumping when Prasanna Jayawardene was caught short off Bishoo.

The first Test between Sri Lanka and West Indies starts at Guyana's Providence Stadium on Saturday. A further tour match against West Indies A follows, ahead of the second Test in Trinidad.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pakistan urge Sri Lanka to fill Australia gap

Khaleej Times Online: Pakistan are appealing to Sri Lanka to help fill their scheduling gap after Australia shelved a planned tour over security fears, an official said on Wednesday.

Pakistan want Sri Lanka to visit in the second half of April after Bangladesh agreed to play earlier in the month. Australia were due to tour from March 29 to April 29.

“Sri Lankan Board’s president Arjuna Ranatunga is coming to Pakistan on Thursday and I hope that he will agree to send his team for a one-day series,” Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf told AFP.

Bangladesh will play five one-day matches next month here, Ashraf added. Sri Lanka are touring the West Indies until April 15.

Ashraf also brushed off doubts over Pakistan’s hosting of the ICC Champions Trophy in September and the Asia Cup in June and July.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday confirmed Pakistan will host the elite Champions Trophy from September 11-28. But it named Sri Lanka as an alternative venue in case Pakistan is not cleared on security issues.

“ICC is sending an advanced party to Pakistan on Thursday which will assess facilities and security in Pakistan and we hope to host the event in a befitting manner,” Ashraf said.

Separately, an Asian Cricket Council delegation is in Pakistan and will announce the dates and venues for the Asian Cup in Lahore on Thursday.

“We have unequivocal confirmation from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong to come for the Asia Cup,” said Ashraf.

Ashraf also said he held meetings with Cricket Australia (CA) chief Creagh O’Conner in Dubai and hoped that the postponed Australia series will be rescheduled very soon.

CA has invited the PCB chairman to visit Australia to fix new dates for the tour. Australia’s tour had been in doubt for months amid questions about security following a series of major blasts and serious political upheaval.

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Sri Lanka batsmen blast Guyana attack

Ceylon Daily News: Sri Lanka began their tour of the Caribbean with an impressive note as they amassed a commanding 343 for 5 at close on day one of their three-day tour opener against Guyana President's Select XI at Providence Stadium here yesterday.

Sri Lanka in search of a permanent opener in the absence of Sanath Jayasuriya, has some early prospects as Malintha Warnapura made a great start with an unbeaten century.

Opener Warnapura who made 132 before he was forced to retire hurt, showed signs of a matured batsman as he occupied the crease for 242 minutes during his 184-ball knock which included one six and 14 boundaries. Writes Elmo from Guyana for The Ceylon Daily news.

Warnapura shared a 115-run first wicket partnership with Michael Vandort, who made 29. Their fruitful alliance came to an end when Vandort bowled by leg spinner Davendra Bishop. The visitors lost the second wicket with the total on 174 when vice captain Kumar Sangakkara was bowled by another leg break, this time by Sharmarh Brooks.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene was unfortunate to miss his century by a mere one run as he was dismissed at nervous 99 - bowled by off spinner Steven Jacobs. Jayawardene hit 12 boundaries during his 110-ball quick knock which came off 127 minutes.

Middle order bat Thilan Samaraweera had a patient 115-minute innings before he was needlessly run out for 34. At the wicket were Tillakaratne Dilshan (9 n.o) and Prasanna Jayawardena, yet to open his account.

It was Guyana's spinners who accounted for all three Lankan wickets to fall as the home team made a desperate attempt to stop the Lankan run feast.

It was nice to see the Lankan batsmen showing some early from, ahead of the all-important Tests against the West Indies.

On completion of the three-day tour opener in Guyana today (19), Sri Lanka team will move to the first Test against the West Indies which is due to commence at the same venue here on Saturday (22).

Sri Lanka will play only a two-Test series against the West Indies. After the second Test to be played in Port of Spain from April 3 to 7, the visitors will play a three-match one day international series against the West Indies. GUYANA, Tuesday.
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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Asia Cup to be shifted to Sri Lanka

When Arjuna Ranatunga made the suggestion of hosting the Asia Cup in the event Pakistan could not, the PCB retaliated stating they were unsure why Ranatunga would make such comments. Now the volatile conditions in Pakistan have ensured the event can no longer take place there.

The once rescheduled Asia Cup cricket tournament which is down to be played in Pakistan from June 24 to July 6 is to be shifted to Sri Lanka owing to the present turbulent political situation in that country.

The Asia Cup which was originally scheduled for April this year was rescheduled for July, but now the other participating nations – Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh are concerned about the situation. Writes S.R. Pathiravithana for The Sunday Times (LK)

Now the Lankan cricket administration has notified their Pakistani counterparts about their willingness to host the tournament.
Sri Lankan cricket chief Arjuna Ranatunga will visit Pakistan on March 20 for cricket related discussion with Pakistan’s cricket head Niyaz Ahmed and the Asia Cup will also be one of the main topics.

Earlier Australia indefinitely postponed their scheduled tour of Pakistan later this month.

Meanwhile the Sri Lankan team which took wing to the Caribbean got on board with only a tour contract. The central contracts of the Lankan players expired end of February 2008.

According to the Chef Executive Officer Sri Lanka Cricket – Duleep Mendis said “They left for the West Indies with only a tour contract, but, upon their return they would be signing a central contract from March 1 2008.”

Also according to a highly placed cricket source Sri Lankan cricketers on this occasion will be slapped with a performance based central contract similar to what is prevailing in India and Pakistan. Here the contract signed by the Lankan cricketers will only mature according to their performances and consistency. The source also added that former skipper Sanath Jayasuriya who was dropped from the ODI leg of the West Indian tour and one of the highest paid contract cricketers will not be afforded a central contract and will only be considered for payment if and when he is selected to play for the country.

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Sri Lanka off and running in Guyana

Nation News (Barbados): Malinda Warnapura stroked a century and captain Mahela Jayawardene fell just short of another, as Sri Lanka's batting warmed up for the first Test against the West Indies with a solid display against the Guyana Cricket Board President's XI yesterday.

The left-handed Warnapura hit an accomplished 132, while Jayawardene fell on 99 as Sri Lanka closed the first day of their three-day warm-up match on 343 for five.

Warnapura reached the boundary 14 times and cleared it once in his 184-ball and 242-minute innings and shared in strong partnerships with Michael Vandort (29) and Jayawardene.

The captain, meanwhile, stroked 12 fours in his knock which came from just 110 balls in 122 minutes, before he was bowled on the brink of three figures.

Both openers should have been dismissed before lunch but Krishna Deosarran at gully, floored Vandort on four at 16 without loss, and Shemroy Barrington at bat-pad dropped Warnapura on 63 off leg-spinner Davendra Bishoo at 97 without loss, six minutes before the interval.

Watched by a handful of spectators, Sri Lanka reached 102 without loss by lunch with Warnapura (65) and Vandort (25) having things their own way on a flat track and fast outfield.

Thirteen minutes after lunch, the 22-year-old Bishoo made the breakthrough.

The left-handed Vandort missed a drive at a flighted delivery and was bowled for a patient 29 from 95 balls and 133 minutes, to facilitate the arrival of the experienced Kumar Sangakkara.

Warnapura, who reached his 50 from 102 minutes and 87 balls with seven boundaries, got to the three-figure score from 133 balls, 172 minutes decorated with 13 fours and a six off Bishop.

West Indies Under-19 skipper Shamarah Brooks struck in his first over when Sangakkara, dropped by Chris Barnwell off his own bowling on 22 at 170 for one, missed a lazy paddle sweep and was bowled behind his back for 22 to leave the score 174 for two.

Jayawardane, lucky to survive a chance to Kemar Roach at deep mid-wicket off Steven Jacobs when six at 181 for two, executed an array of elegant strokes to reach his 50 just before tea off 47 balls.

By tea, Sri Lanka had reached 253 for two with Warnapura on 132 and Jayawardane on 50, with the partnership already worth 79.

Warnapura retired "out" during the tea break and Jayawardane and Thilann Samaraweera put together 68 for the fourth wicket in the final session before the skipper was bowled behind his back by a straight ball from Jacobs at 321 for four.

Samaraweera, who hit two fours from 101 balls and 115 minutes in his 34, was run out three minutes before the close.
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'Young Sri Lankans' more experienced than appears

Caribbean Net News: Upon his arrival to the Caribbean, when asked about his team’s batting relying heavily on himself and senior team mate Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene agreed but said that his team includes “some exciting youngsters who have come through the system”.

It was a comment that was taken by the gathered media on face value but scrutiny of the Sri Lanka squad leads one to believe that in ‘young players’ Jayawardene did not necessarily mean players who are now crawling out of the Under 19 leagues. Neither did he mean players who have a handful of First Class matches under their belt. So who exactly are these ‘youngsters’ Jayawardene is referring to?

The 15 man squad’s youngest player is 25 year old fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara. There is also a 26 year old (Chanaka Welegedara), a 27 year old (Thilan Thushara) and four 28 year olds (Chamara Silva, Michael Vandort, Prasanna Jayawardene and Malinda Warnapura).

Left arm spinner Rangana Herath who turns 30 three days before the first Test joins seven others in the squad who are 30 years old or older. The average age of the Sri Lanka Test squad is 29 years.

Contrast that to the average age of the West Indies squad for the first Test being 26 years. There is only one player (Shivnarine Chanderpaul) in the home side’s squad who is over 30. Of the other 13 there are two 23 year olds (Denesh Ramdin and Jerome Taylor), two 24 year olds (Dwayne Bravo and Amit Jaggernauth) and four 26 year olds (Fidel Edwards, Devon Smith, Sewnarine Chattergoon and Sulieman Benn).

Four of the Sri Lankans are yet to play 100 first class matches. Four of the West Indians have played in 100 first class matches or more. They are Shivnarine Chanderpaul (214), Ramnaresh Sarwan (166), Chris Gayle (144) and Devon Smith (100).

Apart from Jayawardene and Sangakkara the newer cadre of Sri Lankan batsmen have a total of 863 First Class matches and a staggering 42,818 First Class runs. That includes 88 centuries and 211 fifties among them.

It speaks to the emerging culture of Sri Lankan cricket when the captain refers to players who have such First Class stats as the young ones. It is a particularly stark contrast in the West Indies where the newer batsmen in the current Test squad (obviously excluding Chanderpaul, Sarwan and Gayle) have put together 24,158 runs from 473 matches.

This does not necessarily expose the quality of the various batsmen but the figures do show that the Sri Lankans are more experienced both in number of matches played and runs scored.

While the current crop of ‘young’ Sri Lankan batsmen, following the retirement of long serving batsmen Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Attapattu, may now be fighting to establish themselves in international cricket, they are coming into the fray with solid First Class records. And it is not that they are now arriving either, Tillakaratne Dilshan made his Test debut since 1999, wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene in 2000 and Thilan Samaraweera and Michael Vandort in 2001.

Despite initial appearances the Digicel Test Series will be quite a bit of the experienced Sri Lankans versus the youthful and exuberant West Indians but with the home boys playing in familiar stadiums with the advantage of local crowd support. The mix should make for a competitive series as the West Indies seeks to prevent the visitors from racking up their first win in this part of the world.

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[Video] Russell Arnold stars as Chennai Superstars win

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Chennai Superstars beat the Kolkata Tigers by 4 wickets in the the Edelweiss 20s Challenge match that went down to the last over at the Lal Bahadur Stadium, Hyderabad on Monday. Russel Arnold was declared the man of the match for his magnificent unbeaten knock of 66 runs.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Caribbean tour opens against inexperienced side

PROVIDENCE, Guyana (AFP) — Sri Lanka open their tour of the Caribbean on Monday against an inexperienced West Indies Select XI at the Guyana National Stadium.

The three-day tour match will be the visitors' only chance for match practice ahead of the first Test of two against West Indies, starting next Saturday at the same venue.

"It's going to be an exciting tour, and I'm looking forward to it," said Mahela Jayawardene on arrival in Guyana.

"We've got some youngsters coming through the set-up now so it's going to be a very good experience for those guys and West Indies is a very good side so we're definitely looking forward to the challenge."

Jayawardene indicated that the key objective for his side is to win their first Test series in the Caribbean.

"We're very good at home," he said. "In our conditions, we dominate, but away from home we've been winning a lot (recently).

"We beat England in England, New Zealand and we came close in Australia, so we're headed in the right direction, if we can keep competing away from home, challenging ourselves to be better cricketers every day that's the way forward.

"It's going to be a great challenge and hopefully we can win the first (Test( series in the West Indies."

Bearing in mind that the sixth round of the West Indies first-class championship will come to a close on Monday, the home team selectors have picked a young, inexperienced side to face the Sri Lankans.

Wicketkeeper/batsman Patrick Browne, who played three One-day International for West Indies during their recent One-day International series in South Africa, will captain the Select XI.

Four members of the Young West Indies side that won the Plate Championship at the ICC Youth World Cup in Malaysia are also in the squad.

They are Young West Indies captain Shamarh Brooks, his deputy Steven Jacobs, opener Kieran Powell, and fast bowler Jason Dawes.

Brooks and Jacobs have already played at the first-class level for their native Barbados and Guyana respectively.

Former West Indies fast bowler Reon King, who was recently appointed Guyana's assistant coach for the team's home matches in the West Indies first-class championship, has been appointed coach of the team.

The match had been scheduled for Bourda Oval in the Guyana capital of Georgetown, but heavy rain left the ground waterlogged, forcing the Guyana Cricket Board to shift the game to the National Stadium, which will become the 10th Test venue in the Caribbean.

The second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka will be from April 3 to 7 at Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad.

The first two of three ODIs will be on April 10 and 12 at Queen's Park Oval; and the third ODI will be a day/night affair at the Beausejour Stadium in St. Lucia on April 15.

West Indies Select XI (from): Patrick Browne (captain), Christopher Barnwell, Shemroy Barrington, Davendra Bishoo, Shamarh Brooks, Rajendra Chandrika, Jason Dawes, Krishna Deosarran, Jason Haynes, Steven Jacobs, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach.

Sri Lanka (from): Mahela Jayawardane (captain), Ishara Amarashinghe, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Rangan Herath, Prasanna Jayawardane, Nuwan Kulasekara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Thilan Samaraweera, Kumar Sangakkara, Chamara Silva, Thilan Thushara, Chaminda Vaas, Michael Vandort, Malinda Warnapura, Chanaka Welegadara.
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[Video] Cricket | 250/0 in the 26th over...

Jayasuriya and Tharanga send the English bowlers on a leather hunt chasing 322 to win.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jayasuriya faces axe for West Indies series

Sanath Jayasuriya faces being dropped from Sri Lanka's one-day squad for the three-match series against West Indies, starting next month. Cricinfo has learned the side has been picked - without Jayasuriya - and is awaiting ratification by the sports minister. Writes Sa'adi Thawfeeq for Cricinfo.
The squad is also likely to be without Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga. While Murali is being rested, Malinga is believed to have suffered a knee injury that will require rest for about three to four weeks. He will be replaced by fellow pace bowler Nuwan Kulasekara for the Test and ODI series.

Jayasuriya, 38, the most experienced player in the team with 411 ODI appearances, will make way for Mahela Udawatte, the hard-hitting opener who is being spoken of as his future successor. Udawatte, 21, plays for Chilaw Marians.

Since his 63 in the World Cup final against Australia last year, Jayasuriya has had a poor run of form. He has failed to pass 50 even once in his last 20 ODI innings, scoring 305 runs at an average of 15.25. His decision to retire from Tests and focus on ODIs hasn't helped his batting either.

The selectors are believed to have picked the uncapped Ajantha Mendis, of Army SC, in Murali's place. Mendis, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Tuesday, is also an offspinner and, with 54 wickets at an average of ten, the leading wicket-taker in the current Premier League season. He will operate alongside legspinner Malinga Bandara.

Sources in the selection committee said the decision was aimed at preserving Murali, who turns 36 next month, for the 2011 World Cup. He will appear only in important ODI tournaments.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Out of form top order kicks back into gear

Sri Lanka's top-order batsmen, blamed for the team's dismal showing in the recently-concluded Commonwealth Bank Series, showed outstanding form ahead of their tour of the Caribbean in the Premier League competition matches played over the weekend. Writes Sa'adi Thawfeeq for Cricinfo.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

No need to panic, says Sri Lanka captain

COLOMBO (AFP): Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said Monday there was no need to panic following the team's repeated batting failures in recent one-day internationals.

"What we have to remember is that all these guys have made a lot of runs in the past," said Jayawardene.

"Everyone takes responsibility for the failure and it is now a question of making right decisions."

World Cup runners-up Sri Lanka lost 3-2 to England in a home one-day series in October, and last month failed to qualify for the finals of a triangular tournament in Australia won by India.

Jayawardene said the batsmen had been working hard to regain form and there was no need to make major changes ahead of the upcoming tour of the West Indies.

Sri Lanka will play two Tests and three one-day internationals on the tour starting on March 17.

Sri Lanka Cricket chief Arjuna Ranatunga echoed those sentiments, saying the he was not "too much worried" about the team's performance in Australia.

"We should move on and have the team ready for the next World Cup," said Ranatunga, captain of the 1996 World Cup-winning squad.

The next World Cup will be jointly hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2011.
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[Video] 200/0 in the 24th Over..

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Tharanga and Jayasuriya in full flight..

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Gayle warns of Sri Lanka

Cricinfo: Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, has warned his team-mates to be on their guard against Sri Lanka when the two-Test and five-match ODI tour starts later this month. Both sides are coming off a run of indifferent form - West Indies struggled on tour in South Africa and Sri Lanka won just two matches in the CB Series - and Gayle says the visitors boast a strong core of senior players.

He picked out the batting of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara and the bowling of Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas as major challenges for West Indies to overcome. Although Sri Lanka have struggled of late in ODIs, they won their most recent Test series - against England in December - and played some impressive cricket.

"Those two guys [Muralitharan and Vaas] have been their [main] wicket-takers in Test cricket," Gayle told CMC Sports. "You have the likes of [Lasith] Malinga, those guys are playing international cricket now and getting a feel and getting more experienced and so forth playing overseas.

"The batting line-up as well, Jayawardene and Sangakkara are in terrific form," he said. "You have to work really hard to score runs and actually get wickets against them. We are looking forward to the challenge and hopefully the preparation can be good going in against Sri Lanka as well."

Gayle was reappointed as captain after impressing as a stand-in for Ramnaresh Sarwan on the tour of South Africa and previously in England last year. However, he was also injured in South Africa and was forced to miss the final Test plus the one-day series.

"The build-up was very good in South Africa but unfortunately a lot of injuries came into play and then guys had to sit out for whatever reason as well including myself, I sat out a number of games overseas.

"It's a new series now so hopefully we'll be strong and ready to go against Sri Lanka. We'll see what the selectors can come up with, [hopefully] the best possible 13 and see how well we can have the right combination going in."

The first Test starts on March 22 in Guyana and the second match is in Trinidad from April 3.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

[Video] Sri Lanka Vs Australia | 12th match | CB Series 2008 | 1st Session

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Direct Link

February 29, 2008

Australia v Sri Lanka, 12th ODI, CB Series, Melbourne

Sri Lanka 221 (Dilshan 62, Jayawardene 50, Bracken 4-29) beat Australia 208 (Gilchrist 83, Amerasinghe 3-44) by 13 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Match package
Bulletin - Australia jolt Sri Lanka top order
Quotes - Build-up to final not ideal - Ponting

(Courtesy Cricinfo)

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[Video] Auction ends at $9,75,000 for Sanath Jayasuriya | REUTERS

The Hindu Times: The Reliance Industries-owned Mumbai franchisee had gone to last month's IPL players' auction armed with a strategy and wish-list outlined by master batsman Sachin Tendulkar and executed them to a large extent, according to the chief representative of the franchisee.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Vaas sets it straight

I am also aware that there have been allegations of player misbehaviour on tour. Strangely, such allegations surface only when the team performs poorly. I can recall similar allegations made against our team when we were knocked out of the Champion’s trophy semi-finals. Writes Chaminda Vaas for The Sunday Times (LK)

Being on tour is not easy. We have to be focused on our game, we have to be in touch with our families despite time differences and we have to attend the many functions organized on our behalf. In Canberra, where there was a reception in our honour, we stood for 45 minutes signing autographs and posing for photographs without even having a soft drink-yet there were Sri Lankans who complained that we were rude and arrogant!

So, there will always be allegations, especially at a time when the team is under performing. But they will remain allegations and nothing more unless they can be proved.

I believe the Cricket Board will examine these accusations and the facts before them before deciding whether anything needs to be done about it. The boys are all aware that they are fifteen cricketers representing twenty million people and that the spotlight is on them and I am sure they have acted with a sense of responsibility.

As far as we are concerned, our next focus of attention is the tour to the West Indies where we play two tests and three one day internationals within a month. We carry happy memories of the West Indies, having reached the World Cup finals there-and we are certainly confident that we can improve on our performances Down Under.
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Kookaburra Sports Wallpaper | Sangakkara & Jayasuriya

Found this beauty on the Kookaburra (Pronounced Cook-uh-bar-ra) website both Sanath and Kumar have endorsed Kookaburra's range of products throughout their illustrious careers.

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Images courtesy Kookaburra

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

[Video] Guard of honour for Jayasuriya courtesy Team Australia

What a moment for Sanath Jayasuriya. It must be an incredible feeling to have opposition such as Australia honour you in such an unplanned manner. It was great sportsmanship from the Aussies. The Sri Lankans too returned the favour for Gilly who also bid farewell to the MCG.

Greeted with an honour guard by his opponents, Sanath Jayasuriya played his final innings on this continent. His footwork had been sluggish all summer. His reflexes had slowed. Determined to rouse himself for one final fling, the buccaneer clouted a couple of boundaries over cover that brought back memories of his halcyon days. In full flight he was quite a sight, bashing the ball about, dispatching presentable deliveries to unlikely places. Just for a moment it seemed that Jayasuriya might produce one last hurrah. It was not to be. Before long he was late on his shot, whereupon he trudged from the field looking about as happy as a News Corporation journalist. Where have the years gone?

Brad Hogg's retirement was unexpected. Speculation has been rife that he will sign for an Indian league. Perhaps he just wants to spend more time at home.

It has been an uneasy summer and players have responded in their own ways. The looming Pakistan tour has been the hidden factor in many of this summer's complications.

Hogg might not play in the finals. Maybe his chance came too late in his career. Although he did not take many wickets this season, he did bat splendidly in the Sydney Test match. But he stepped aside. Who knows the workings of another man's mind?

His family had come to watch his last stand. As usual, the earnest, energetic, slightly eccentric tweaker took a vital wicket. As always he served to the best of his ability.

After that it was just a matter of waiting for Gilchrist to play his last innings on a ground he has graced. Returning the compliment, the Lankans welcomed him. He promptly produced numerous thrilling drives and pulls that sent the score rushing along. Murali was mauled and the pacemen were dispatched with elan. He charged past 50 and kept playing brilliant strokes till the end came. He reached 83 in 50 balls and not a swipe was essayed. His bat was a flashing blade. It was a chivalrous, generous innings, as exhilarating to watch as it must have been to play.

A small crowd was given a rare treat, something to savour long after the final curtain has fallen. No tears need be shed for the gloveman. Rather let us celebrate a happy ending. Gilchrist is going on his own terms, and in style. Writes Peter Roebuck for The SMH.

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