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Sri Lanka look to stay alive after opening-day loss

After falling to a crushing 137-run defeat in the Asia Cup 2018 opener against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka will be keen to get a win under their belt in their final group-stage game against Afghanistan.


Sri Lanka v Afghanistan

Dubai International Cricket Stadium,

DubaiAsia Cup, Group BMonday,

17 September, 3.30pm local, 11.30am GMT

Angelo Mathews and his men will take on Afghanistan in a must-win fixture for them in Dubai – the five-time champions have not had the best start, and need their batting to step up against Ashgar Afghan's team, who have a number of quality spin-bowling options. 
Afghanistan, meanwhile, will look to start their campaign in the six-nation tournament with a victory. They have not defeated Sri Lanka in a one-day international yet, losing both their previous encounters, and will want to change that statistic. They enter the tournament on the back of series wins against Zimbabwe and Ireland, and will be bustling with self-confidence. 

While Sri Lanka bowled well to bowl Bangladesh out for 261 on Saturday, their batting could not rise to the occasion. Dilruwan Perera top-scored with a 44-ball 29 and the highest partnership (29) was put up by him and Suranga Lakmal for the eighth wicket. Mathews will expect his batsmen, himself included, to get it right.

Afghanistan, too, will be careful with the bat against Sri Lanka. The only loss they incurred in the ODI series against Ireland came because of a batting failure, when they capitulated for 182. The responsibility will fall on the likes of Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Shahzad and Najibullah Zadran, who have exhibited fine form in limited-overs cricket this season. In the other half, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman should make for a riveting spin-bowling trio, but they will need the cushion of runs on the board. 

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan will be the key to Afghanistan's success in the tournament 

For Sri Lanka, Lasith Malinga made a great comeback to the national team with a four-wicket haul against Bangladesh. The pacer looked fit and hungry, and dismissed Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, and Mosaddek Hossain in his 10-over spell. Dhananjaya de Silva, who picked up a brace with his off-spin, will also be an integral crux of the Sri Lankan bowling attack, as must Akila Dananjaya. 

Key players

Rashid Khan (Afghanistan): Khan, who is at No. 2 in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings for bowlers, will be the key to Afghanistan's success in the tournament. The 19-year-old bagged the Player of the Series award against Ireland last month and is expected to get assistance from the slow and dry pitches in the United Arab Emirates. How his spell against Sri Lanka goes will be a major factor in determining the result of the encounter.

Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka): The 35-year-old showed why he was once one of the most feared bowlers in world cricket in Sri Lanka's opener against Bangladesh. Malinga will be the key against Afghanistan's top-order and he might have to do it again at the death too. The four wickets he picked up against Bangladesh will give him self-assurance ahead of the Afghanistan clash.

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Navy rules the waves to secure a number of wins at Dunlop Bell Sailing Regatta

The Dunlop Bell Sailing Regatta organized by the Yachting Association of Sri Lanka was successfully conducted in the alluring waters of Bolgoda Lake on 22nd July 2018.
The event was contested by 52 sailors along with 40 yachts, representing a number of sailing clubs including the Navy Sailing Club, Colombo Motor Yacht Club, Royal Colombo Yacht Club and fledgling sailors from Royal College in Colombo and St. Thomas’ College in Mt. Lavinia. During a range of events held as part of the competition, the following yachtsmen of the Navy took major honours securing 1st, 2nd, 3rd places and several other positions.
Laser Standard
Chief Petty Officer               WAR Nishanta                      1st
Leading Seaman                   KGCUS Bandara                  2nd
Leading Seaman                   SWMJ Weerasekara            3rd
Laser Redial
Leading Seaman                   PDDS Rajapaksha                1st
Petty Officer                         JMPL Jayasooriya                3rd
Able Seaman                         PNPK Dissanayake             4th
Leading Seaman                   WAS Weerathunga             7th
Petty Officer                         KVN Dimal                           1st
Able Seaman                         DTS Perera
Petty Officer                         WPUS Kumara                      2nd
Leading Seaman                   AMJP Aththanayake
Leading Seaman                   KWGE Danushka                 3rd
Able Seaman                         KSK De Silva
Petty Officer                         DTSK Silva                           4th
Leading Seaman                   KAN Kithsiri
Leading Seaman                   WADR Kumara                    5th
Ordinary Seaman                 LACM Gunathilaka
Women Able Seaman          PLD Malkanthi                     6th
Women Ordinary Seaman   WPTL Karunarathna
GP 14
Petty Officer                         NGMU Ganawardana          1st
Able Seaman                         AC De Soyza
Leading Seaman                   WMC Marambe                    2nd
Able Seaman                         APSK Soyza
Leading Seaman                   DMRPH Dissanayake          4th
Petty Officer                         RMSL Rathnayake
Petty Officer                         NGMU Ganawardana          1st
Able Seaman                         AC De Soyza

View the embedded image gallery online at:

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Navy wins Defense Services Women's Hockey Championship 2018

Sri Lanka Navy won the Defense Services Women's Hockey Championship 2018, beating its Army counterparts during the final match held at the Torrington hockey turf, Colombo yesterday (14th September). The Navy women took the full control of the game to come away with a 2-0 win.

Meanwhile, Woman Able Seaman WMPV Wijesuriya of the Navy was adjudged the best player of the final and Woman Able Seaman GGG Damayanthi won the award for the player of the series.

Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka Army, Major General Dampath Fernando presided over the prize awarding ceremony as the Chief Guest. The Chief of Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Piyal De Silva, President of Sri Lanka Navy Hockey, Captain Aruna Tennakoon and a host of senior officers from the tri-services were also present on this occasion.

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World Cup 2022: Qatar bid team accused of secret campaign to sabotage rivals

The Qatar 2022 World Cup bid team ran a secret campaign in 2010 to sabotage competing host bids, according to a report published by the Sunday Times.

The paper claims to have seen leaked documents that show the Qatari bid team employed a US PR firm and ex-CIA agents to smear its rivals - mainly the United States and Australia. The alleged aim was to create propaganda to give the impression that a World Cup would not be supported domestically. The Qatar tournament organisers deny the allegations.

Such a campaign alleged by the Sunday Times would have broken Fifa's bidding rules.

Qatar beat rival bids from the United States, Australia, South Korea and Japan to the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

Fifa's rules say World Cup bidders should not make "any written or oral statements of any kind, whether adverse or otherwise, about the bids or candidatures of any other member association".

The Qatar bid team has been previously accused of corruption, but was cleared following a two-year Fifa inquiry.

Some of the alleged aspects of the smear campaign:A respected academic was paid $9,000 to write a negative report on the huge economic cost of an American World Cup, which was then distributed to news media around the world.

Journalists, bloggers and high-profile figures were recruited in each country to hype up negative aspects of their respective bids.
A group of American physical education teachers were recruited to ask their US Congressmen to oppose a US World Cup on the grounds that the money would be better used on high school sports.

Grassroots protests were organised at rugby games in Australia opposing the country's bid.

Intelligence reports were compiled on individuals involved in rival bids.

The documents seen by the Sunday Times - which the paper says were leaked by a whistleblower who worked on the 2022 bid team - were apparently unavailable during the Fifa inquiry.

The Qatar bid team is alleged to have employed the New York office of communications company Brown Lloyd Jones, which is now BLJ Worldwide, along with a team of former intelligence officers to run a campaign aimed at undermining one of Fifa's key criteria in the bidding process - that each bid should have strong backing at home.

In a statement Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said it "rejects each and every allegation put forward by the Sunday Times".

"We have been thoroughly investigated and have been forthcoming with all information related to our bid, including the official investigation led by US attorney Michael Garcia," it said.

"We have strictly adhered to all FIFA's rules and regulations for the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process."

A Fifa statement said "a thorough investigation was conducted by Michael Garcia and his conclusions are available in the report", referring to the completed two-year inquiry.

BLJ Worldwide did not respond to a request for comment from The Sunday Times.

Qatar won the right to stage the tournament in December 2010. Russia was awarded the 2018 World Cup at the same time, beating three other bids including England.

Source : BBC

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Sri Lanka prove too strong for Singapore as they triumph 69-50 in Asian Championship final

A rampant Sri Lanka outplayed Singapore 69-50 on Sunday in the final of the M1 Asian Netball Championship held at the OCBC Arena to win their first Asian title since 2009.

The young Sri Lankan side showed that they had the depth to complement their 2.08m goal-shooter Tharjini Sivalingam with three other players in the starting XI standing over 1.8m.

"I'm so proud of my team now and I'm very happy," said a jubilant Sri Lankan captain Chaturangi Jayasooriya after the game as her team-mates waved back joyously and blew air kisses.

"Without all of you, I would not be able to achieve this goal (as captain). I would like to thank our coaches as well, and of course the Sri Lankan fans here today."

The two teams were tied at 16-16 after the first quarter with goal-attack Charmaine Soh and goal-shooter Sivalingam in fine fettle for Singapore and Sri Lanka respectively.

But, with the game finely balanced, it was Singapore who blinked first.

Netball 1Singapore's GK Chen Lili (2nd left) and GD Melody Teo (4th left) attempt to intercept a pass to Sri Lanka's GS Tharjini Sivalingam. Sivalingam. ST PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI 

Momentum appeared to have swung the way of the hosts at 20-18 with 12 minutes left in the first half when goal-shooter Lee Pei Shan had the opportunity from point-blank range to put Singapore up by three after Sri Lanka had botched a pass to Sivalingam at the other end.

But Lee, 18, missed to let the opponents off the hook as Sri Lanka regrouped to score seven unanswered goals and take a 26-21 half-time lead. It was a lead they never relinquished as Singapore struggled against Sivalingam on one end, and 1.83m Jayasooriya and 1.86m Gayani Dissanayake (the goal-defence and goal- keeper) at the other.

In an earlier match, Malaysia had beaten Hong Kong 52-46 to claim third place.

As the top two teams, Singapore and Sri Lanka have automatically qualified for the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.

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Dimuth K. carries bat to leave Sri Lanka, South Africa Test evenly poised

Sri Lanka opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne struck a defiant unbeaten hundred on his return to the side to give the hosts a fighting first innings total in the opening Test against South Africa.The 30-year-old carried his bat through the Sri Lankan innings to remain unbeaten on 158 as the hosts finished on 287 after stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal won the toss and chose to bat in the first of the two-Test series.

dimuth k
Sri Lankan opening bastman Dimuth Karunaratne, right, celebrates scoring a century. Photo: AP 

South Africa lost opener Aiden Markram to veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath to reach four for one at stumps. Dean Elgar and nightwatchman Keshav Maharaj were at the crease.

The hosts' regular captain Dinesh Chandimal has pleaded guilty to a disciplinary breach during the side's second Test against West Indies last month and has opted to sit out of the series against South Africa.

The International Cricket Council, the world governing body of the sport, is due to announce a verdict in the case soon.

On a turning surface at Galle, it was fast bowler Kagiso Rabada who did the maximum damage for the touring side with four wickets for 50.
Left-arm wristspinner Tabraiz Shamsi, playing only his second Test, returned figures of 3-91.

Former pace spearhead Dale Steyn, returning to the South African team from injury having last played a Test in January, picked up the wicket of Kusal Mendis for 24 to trigger a mini collapse.

Rabada removed former captain Angelo Mathews and Roshen Silva in the same over as the hosts lost three wickets for four runs to be left reeling at 119-5.

Experienced Karunaratne, back to open the batting for the hosts after missing the West Indies tour due to injury, stitched together meaningful stands with Niroshan Dickwella, who made 18, and Lakshan Sandakan, the duo adding 63 for the last wicket.

The left-handed batsman hit 13 fours and one six during his 222-ball unbeaten knock.

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Cricketer’s Wife Accuses Him of Torture Over Dowry

Bangladeshi cricketer Mosaddek Hossain Saikat's wife has accused him of driving her out of their home and torturing her over dowry, a media report said today.

Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, 22, who married his cousin Sharmin Samira Usha six years ago, has been included in the Bangladesh squad for the upcoming 50-over cricket tournament Asia Cup to be held from September 13-28 in the UAE.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Rosina Khan admitted the charges brought by Usha against the middle-order batsman yesterday and ordered the Sadar Upazila executive officer to investigate the case, bdnews24 reported. Mosaddek Hossain Saikat has been torturing Usha for dowry for a long time, her lawyer Rezaul Karim Dulal alleged. "He (Mosaddek) tortured her and drove her out of home for 1 million taka (USD 12,003) in dowry on August 15," he claimed.

The report said that the cricketer did not immediately respond for comments on the case.

"They have been in disagreement since they married," the cricketer's brother Mosabber Hossain Moon said. Mosaddek Hossain Saikat sent her a divorce letter on August 15 but she demanded more money than mentioned in the marriage documents, the brother claimed. "She has started the case after spreading false and misleading information as she did not get the money," Mosabber Hossain alleged.


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Proteas to face spin test in Galle

It’s unfair to suggest that the South Africans are ill-equipped to deal with conditions in Sri Lanka based on their 3-0 defeat in India – when they just couldn’t handle Ravichandran Ashwin (31 wickets) and Ravindra Jadeja (23 wickets) – in the four-Test series in late 2015.

They are a team more used to playing in seam- and swing-friendly conditions, but the last time they made the trip across to the island nation, in 2014, they did win the two-Test series 1-0. Not to forget, they have won three and lost only four of their 12 Tests in Sri Lanka over the years. So it might not be loaded as much in favour of Sri Lanka as many might expect.

The big talking point in the lead-up to the match has been about Dale Steyn’s impending return to Test cricket and South Africa’s playing XI.
Popular wisdom will suggest two spinners and two pacers, but Ottis Gibson, the South Africa coach, has suggested South Africa will stick to their strength – fast bowling. In 2014, while Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath picked up 16 and 12 wickets respectively, Dale Steyn (13) and Morne Morkel (12) were seriously effective too.

Should Steyn make the final cut, and join two others out of Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi, South Africa might still be tempted to field two of their three spinners – Keshav Maharaj, the first choice in Tests, Tabraiz Shamsi and Shaun von Berg.

In the only warm-up game, a two-day affair against a Sri Lanka Board XI, a lot of the South Africans showed good form: Shamsi (5/45) and von Berg (2/82) got wickets, while Hashim Amla (78), Temba Bavuma (58) and Faf du Plessis (79) scored half-centuries.

With much of the batsmen pretty obvious selections, South Africa know where they stand, and Sri Lanka also know what to expect, at least in terms of the personnel they are faced with.

Importantly, both teams are coming off positive results in Test cricket. If South Africa beat a troubled Australia 3-1 at home, Sri Lanka got a good result in the Caribbean, drawing their three-Test series 1-1 after winning the final game by four wickets in Barbados.

There is the question mark over the immediate future of Dinesh Chandimal, their captain who scored 119* and 39 in a match-saving effort in the second Test in the West Indies before being banned.

But Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella were among the runs there, and the pace trio of Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal and Kasun Rajitha in good wicket-taking form. With the pitches at home likely to favour the likes of Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera as well as Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan and the part-timers, Sri Lanka will be hopeful of getting a good result. 


Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Suranga Lakmal, Akila Dananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Rangana Herath, Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Kusal Perera, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Roshen Silva.

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Shaun von Berg.

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Visiting South Africa announce two captains

The five-match ODI series between Sri Lanka and South Africa is currently underway and the visiting team has already taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series. The fourth match is a mere dead rubber and will be played tomorrow at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. 

After a pretty disappointing Test series, the Proteas would be more or less satisfied by their show in the limited-overs fixtures.

In the meantime, all is not well in the South African camp as Faf du Plessis, their ODI and T20I skipper, has been ruled out of the remainder of the Lankan tour owing to a shoulder injury. 

As per ICC’s official website, Quinton de Kock has been announced as the captain for the remaining two ODIs while JP Duminy will lead the team in the one-off T20I in Colombo on August 14.

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Steyn is 'super impressed' with Colombo

South African pace bowler Dale Steyn, who is currently on tour in Sri Lanka with the South African national team, said that he's 'super impressed' on how the city of Colombo is today as opposed to his last visit to the city in 2006.

In a twitter message, Steyn praised the clean roads and the well maintained parks in Colombo calling it a 'massive difference'.

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Sri Lanka hope for a sweeter ODI display in Kandy on Sunday

Sri Lanka will hope that the shambolic displays produced in the first and second One-Day Internationals against South Africa won’t be repeated as they attempt to stay in the series when the two teams clash at the Pallekelle International Stadium in Kandy on Sunday. 
However, judging by their recent record in ODIs, it may be a hope in vain for the Sri Lankans, whose awful play stretches back further than the opening two matches of this current series. 

Since the start of 2017, Sri Lanka has won just eight out of  36 ODIs - six of those victories coming against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe - while losing 27 times. 

Watching the batting display in the first match and then the fielding performance in the second it’s easy to see why they’ve done so poorly in the last 20 months. The top order in both games have seemed incapable of dealing with the new ball, while the fielding performance on Wednesday left stand-in skipper Angelo Mathews comparing them to a bunch of school kids.

The Sri Lankans have not been helped by the bans dished out to their long-term captain Dinesh Chandimal and head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, which have sidelined them for this series. Add to that  the suspension handed done to Danushka Gunathilaka by the Sri Lankan Cricket Board, for breaching the body’s code of conduct during the second Test against South Africa. '

cric 1
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews compared his team's fielding so far to a bunch of school kids. Photo: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

However the absence of Chandimal and Hathurusingha didn’t stop the hosts from handing out a pair of crushing defeats to the South Africans in the Tests, so can’t really be used as an excuse for how poorly they’ve played in the ODIs. 

Normally, the horrible fielding would be indicative of a side with low morale, but that really shouldn’t be the case with the Sri Lankans following the success in the Test matches. No one in their camp seems sure what the cause is for the most recent performances and given that is not something new, you’d have to say something is horribly amiss with their entire ODI strategy. This is very strange for a side with such a wonderful history in the 50-over format.

It’s not as if there aren’t a few fragile areas in the Proteas line-up that they can’t target either. They have managed to keep Aiden Markram quiet, but through their calamitous fielding on Wednesday, they may just have helped rebuild Hashim Amla’s confidence. 
South Africa’s middle and lower order batting has still not been properly put under pressure bu that will only happen if Sri Lanka can somehow right themselves.

They need look no further than their opponents for how to do that. The Proteas were understandably down in the dumps after being pounded in the Tests, but have utilised conditions that have been slightly more balanced than was the case in the Test matches, to restore their self-belief.

The new ball has been used very well by Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, while Tabraiz Shamsi has been outstanding in both matches so far. The two seam-bowling all-rounders; Andile Phehlukwayo and Wiaan Mulder, righted their wrongs from the first match in the second to help the Proteas produce a more rounded performance with the ball. 

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Kagiso Rabada (centre) celebrates with captain Faf du Plessis (18) , David Miller (10), Tabraiz Shamsi (left) and Aiden Markram (3rd right) after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Shehan Jayasuriya (right). Photo: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

The momentum is certainly with the South Africans and they are as Phehlukwayo mentioned Friday, very keen to wrap up the series in Kandy, where history suggests chasing is the better option, with the team batting second having won 13 of the 20 matches played there. 
However Sunday’s match is only the second time the venue will host a day game, with the previous one in 2014, ending in victory for the side which batted first. Sunday’s match starts at 6.30am SA time. 

The squads for Sunday are:

South Africa: 

Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis (capt), Aiden Markram, JP Duminy, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Reeza Hendricks, Junior Dala
Sri Lanka: 

Niroshan Dickwella, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dhananjaya  de Silva, Angelo Mathews (capt), Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Prabath Jayasuriya, Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, Kusan Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Dusan Shanaka, Upul Tharanga.

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SLC elections soon: AG informs Court of Appeal

The secretary to the Ministry of Sports through the Attorney General informed the Court of Appeal yesterday (04), that authorities have made arrangements to conduct the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) election under the prevailing laws.

Senior Deputy Solicitor General Sumathi Dharmawardena appearing for the Sports Ministry Secretary stated that the election of office bearers will be held after appointing a new election committee. The Court of Appeal previously decided to vacate its interim order dated May 31, 2018 staying the holding of the election scheduled to be held on May 31 to elect Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) office bearers.

Justice Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Arjuna Obeysekara had made this order pursuant to a writ petition filed by former Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga. 

Meanwhile, the Court was informed by President’s Counsel Ali Sabry that the International Cricket Council had announced that it will take a decision regarding SLC membership unless it did not hold the election within six months.

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