Andrew Fidel Fernando in ESPNcricinfo, 2 Septmber 2020
Sri Lanka Cricket has announced fresh dates for the Lanka Premier League (LPL), which has now been scheduled between November 14 and December 6. However, government approval for a shorter quarantine period for players, officials and broadcast staff is yet to be secured; it is this hurdle that had forced the postponement of the LPL, originally slated to begin in late August. The SLC officials have asked that the quarantine period for those arriving in the country for this tournament be reduced to seven days, from the present 14-day period.
There is no known community spread of Covid-19 in Sri Lanka at present, but quarantine protocols have been incredibly strict PA Photos/Getty Images
Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo 26 February 2020
Sri Lanka 345 for 8 (Fernando 127, Mendis 119, Cottrell 4-67, Joseph 3-57) beat West Indies 184 (Hope 51, Hasaranga 3-30, Sandakan 3-57) by 161 runs
Kusal Mendis and Avishka Fernando dovetailed beautifully through the middle overs, producing an effortless 239-run third-wicket partnership that became the bedrock of Sri Lanka’s 345 for 8, and by extension, their series-sealing 161-run victory over West Indies. Mendis hit a run-a-ball 119 and Fernando made 127 off 123 deliveries, as they punished West Indies’ indiscipline with the ball and sloppiness in the field, rescuing Sri Lanka from a scoreline of 9 for 2 in the third over.
Andrew Fidel Fernando talks to Mickey Arthur,ESPNcricinfo, 21 February 2020 – where the title is “
On Wednesday, ahead of his first ODI series as Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur spoke about players being handed down well-defined roles within the team. On Friday, on the eve of the first one-dayer against West Indies, he went into a little more detail about what those roles were.
Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, 20 December 2019, where the title runs thus: “Dinesh Chandimal condenses rollercoaster career into one innings”
Dinesh Chandimal plays a shot during the second day of the second Test cricket match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka –Photo by Asif HASSAN /AFP via Getty Images)
There is almost a novel here. A talented wicketkeeper from the southwest gets spotted by a big Colombo school in his teens. Goes on to lead that school to their best season ever. He quickly gets picked up by the national squad, and at first glimpse of this guy, the public is enchanted. He’s organised, but there’s also that manic fun of a schoolboy. He swings so hard at the ball his limbs could go flying off. By 23, he is Sri Lanka’s T20I captain – their youngest ever.
At least there were no unwanted records this time. At least the team total broke through to triple figures. And at least two batsmen made more than 20. Having been thumped by 134 runs on Sunday, these were the only minor improvements for Sri Lanka in the second T20I. Yet again, however, they were emphatically outplayed from the very beginning. A slow start, replete with regular wickets, coalesced into a total of 117 all out by the end of the 19th over. An imperious Australia then flew to their target with nine wickets in hand, and 42 balls remaining.
Australia 118 for 1 (Warner 60*, Smith 53*) beat Sri Lanka 117 (Kusal Perera 27, Zampa 2-20, Stanlake 2-23) by nine wickets
Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins celebrate Avishka Fernando’s wicket Getty Images
Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, where the title reads
I = The Test series win in South Africa
Kusal Perera, who had only made one previous century against Zimbabwe, produced one of the most spectacular Test innings of all time as Sri Lanka chased down 304 for victory. But as ridiculous as that innings from this player was, the remainder of that series was no less outlandish. Dimuth Karunaratne had been thrown the captaincy just days before the Durban Test, following Sri Lanka’s nightmare tour of Australia, in which a small hospital’s worth of Sri Lanka players were injured. Thanks to those injuries, Sri Lanka’s frontline attack consisted of a spinner on debut, and two fast bowlers who had played fewer than five Tests. Sri Lanka’s most reliable batsman, Angelo Mathews, was also missing thanks to injury. Continue reading →
Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, October 10 October 2019, with this title “
Sri Lanka 147 for 7 (Fernando 78*, Amir 3-27) beat Pakistan 134 for 6 (Sohail 52, Hasaranga 3-21) by 13 runs
Sri Lanka’s crazy 2019 got even weirder on Wednesday, when they made five changes to the team that had won the first two T20Is against Pakistan, but still managed to pull off a whitewash– debutant Oshada Fernando producing the defining innings, before legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga took three wickets in his second successive match. Oshada hit 78 not out off 48 balls, overseeing Sri Lanka’s recovery from 30 for 3 after five overs, then 58 for 4 after eight. Very much the talisman in the innings – no other batsman made even 15 – he guided Sri Lanka to 147 for 7 on a slow Lahore surface.
Andrew Fidel Fernando in ESPNcrciinfo, 30 September 2019, where the title runs“Babar Azam ton, Usman Shinwari five-for crush Sri Lanka”
Babar Azam struck an imperious first century on home soil to lead Pakistan to an imposing total, before Usman Shinwari and company had Sri Lanka five down inside 11 overs, to essentially seal a comfortable victory. Sri Lanka fought in patches, most notably through the record sixth-wicket stand worth 177 between Shehan Jayasuriya and Dasun Shanaka. But they lost too much ground in the rest of the match for even that partnership to mean anything. Chasing 306, they were all out for 238 in the 47th over.
Andrew Fidel Fernando in ESPNcricinfo, September 2019, with this title “Malinga’s hat-trick in magical 5 for 6 bamboozles New Zealand”
He’s 36 years of age, not nearly as quick as he once was, and almost everyone thought his career was done two years ago. But he’s still got it. That yorker, the late swing, the dip, the accuracy, that low-arm sling: the works – he’s still got it.
Back in the 2007 World Cup, Lasith Malinga became the first bowler to take four wickets in four balls in almost 120 years of international cricket. Three further international hat-tricks later, in defence of Sri Lanka’s modest 125 for 8, he ripped out four in four again, on an evening in which he claimed five wickets for six runs, and hauled Sri Lanka to a 37-run consolation victory against New Zealand. Continue reading →
Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, 30 August 2019, where the title is “The near-identical tales of Vishwa Fernando and Jack Leach taking their teams to epic wins”
On a warm weekend afternoon, a left-hand No. 5 batsman is on a fourth-innings warpath for the ages. There are fearsome quicks tearing in – bowlers who together form one of the most lethal attacks on the planet. They are breaking like waves but they can’t quench this inferno. The batsman is cutting, hacking, driving and reverse-bludgeoning his way through incredible odds. On the leg side, it’s open season. The area beyond the boundary is bombarded repeatedly. From the ground first, and later, thrillingly, from the air.
Heartbeats around the planet have quickened on his account. Shallow breaths are being drawn all through the stadium. But although he is batting better than he (or perhaps anyone) ever has, late in the piece, he must endure a moment of utter helplessness. Continue reading →