Mohamed Isam with Thilan Samaraweera, in ESPNcricinfo and its CRICKET MONTHLY, August 2020, where the title is “My Best XI: The Lords of Sri Lanka’s Golden Age”
Thilan SamarawThe lords of Sri Lanka’s golden age”eera, who played 81 Tests with 12 centuries and two double-hundreds, was one of Sri Lanka’s middle-order mainstays. In a career spanning 12 years, he played alongside two generations of his country’s finest cricketers in five-day cricket – from among whom he picks an all-time XI.
Jayawardene, Sangakarra, Atapattu: that’s just short of 30,000 Test runs right there
Champika Fernando, in Sunday Times, 5 April 2020, with this title ‘Continuity’ – De Mel’s mantra
Chief cricket selector Ashantha De Mel often speaks of ‘continuity’ to give players a fair run in the team. The strategy seems to be bearing fruit. Sri Lanka’s 3-0 triumph against West Indies in the ODIs came against the backdrop of resolute selection, something that will be adhered to again as the team prepares for the World T20 qualifiers in Australia later this year.
Rex Clementine, in Sunday Island, 2 February 2020, where the title is “Mendis on the verge of crucial milestone”
Young Kusal Mendis, who turned 25 today (Sunday) is on the brink of a crucial milestone. He is just five runs short to complete 3000 Test runs, a feat achieved by only 13 other Sri Lankans. He will also become the second youngest Sri Lankan to reach the milestone when England visit the island later next month. Mahela Jayawardene, who achieved the landmark at the age of 24 is the youngest and quickest Sri Lankan to get there (65 innings). If Kusal keeps his appetite for big runs like Mahela, there is little doubt that he would join the 10,000 club of which Mahela and Kumar Sangakkara are members.
The national cricket team has got a hectic schedule in 2020 where they will play nine Test matches, 12 ODIs and at least 16 T-20s. They will be playing more T-20s than the other two formats for the obvious reason that this year the World T-20 will be staged in Australia in late October. This is apart form the Asia Cup, also a T-20 tournament to be played in Pakistan.
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, 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 →
WIA Fernando…. b Astle …..6 ………..Over 6.4 bowled’m with a wrong’un! Avishka didn’t pick that up at all. It pitched around length outside off, turned in a fair bit and Avishka was on the back foot to steer it away after it turned away but it went the other way to knock over off stump 39/2
MD Gunathilaka ….. b Astle ………..30 …….Over 8.5 another wrong’un and another one beaten! ……This time it’s the well-set Gunathilaka. He pitched it nicely and slow with some flight on leg stump, Gunathilaka went back to defend it but the ball turned away and knocked over the stumps 50/3
On any other working Friday, the toss wouldn’t have held much significance. But this was different. Lasith Malinga was playing his final ODI, and had Bangladesh batted first, which Tamim Iqbal later said they were certain to do had they won the toss, Malinga’s final 10 overs may have played out in front of a half-empty R Premadasa Stadium. Not a disaster, but certainly anti-climactic.
However, as it turned out, Bangladesh didn’t win the toss, they didn’t bat first, and as the Sri Lankan innings started to wind to a close, the fans filtering in late were even treated to a rare a Malinga batting excursion.
Sri Lanka exceeded my expectations at the 2019 World Cup — a winless exit was a strong possibility. Dimuth Karunaratne’s men overcame the challenges set by their own camp to end the tournament with three wins. There is no criticism of this team for not making the semis. Not losing to Afghanistan is a praiseworthy accomplishment today for a nation that once won the ODI world title and were for many years considered strong contenders to enter the final stages of any ICC tourney.