Category Archives: tower of strength

Vale: Dean Jones, A Straight-Talking, Hard-Hitting Aussie

Rex Clementine

The Aussies were in Galle for the first Test of the series in 2004 and Dean Jones joked in commentary. He said that it took him less than four hours from Singapore to Katunayake but five hours to get to Galle from Katunayake! He was driving home some pertinent points. Travel in Sri Lanka before the highway days was a nightmare. Sri Lanka Cricket did not raise objections with the television company that employed Jones nor did the Sports Ministry. His criticism was well taken by all and sundry. Jones didn’t mince any words. He was a bold critic. As The Island’s former Editor Mr. Gamini Weerakoon used to say, ‘A good journalist works with his resignation letter in the pocket.’

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Filed under Australian cricket, cricket and life, cricket in India, cricket tamashas, cricketing icons, memorable moments, performance, Sri Lanka Cricket, tower of strength

An Appreciation of PI Pieris …. Ian to Some, “PI” to Others

Mevan Pieris of S. Thomas College & SSC

Dear Michael, ……  Read with interest Gerry Suraweera’s appreciation of Ian Pieris. Indeed when Arpico beat Lever Brothers in the Mercantile A Division cricket Final in 1976, PI was really happy. I still carry happy memories of this match having captained the Arpico team that year. The whole team ended up at my home that night for drinks and to share a simple meal of bread, butter and meat curry.

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A Love Affair with the Colombo Oval

S. Skandakumar, in The Sunday Island, 30 August 2020 where his chosen title is “The Colombo Oval and I”

The majestic Oval scoreboard clock showed ten minutes to three on a Sunday afternoon when our final wicket fell. We had conceded first innings points by a small margin to Moors in a P. Sara Trophy encounter. The year was 1973 and it was my first game for the club. The many Moors supporters hugged each other and left the venue to return to Braybrook Place to celebrate. With just half an hour left to tea, and two hours thereafter to the end of the game, their optimism was justified.

In our dressing room our skipper Benedictine Tony Appathurai had other ideas. “I want five by tea,” he thundered as he briskly led us back on to the field for that half an hour. I admired his arrogance!

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Filed under Australian cricket, cricket and life, cricketing icons, memorable moments, performance, player selections, politics and cricket, sportsmanship, The Oval in Colombo, tower of strength, unusual people, work ethic

Chandimal scores 354 runs in 390 balls

Dinesh Chandimal enjoyed a marathon innings of 354 runs in 390 balls [run rate being 90.53] as the SL Army cricket team piled up  642 runs dfor 8 wkts vs Saracens at the Katunayake grounds before declaring.

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“A Sri Lankan XI To Die For in My Time” — THILAN

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

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The Fighting Irish down England in High-Scoring ODI

Matt Roller, in ESPNCricinfo, August 2020, with this title “Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie set up famous chase as Ireland hunt down 329″

Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie shared a second-wicket partnership worth more than 200 runs PA Photos via Getty images

ireland 329 for 3 (Stirling 142, Balbirnie 113) beat England 328 (Morgan 106, Banton 58, Willey 51, Young 3-53) by seven wickets

Ireland pulled off their second win against England and their first ODI victory against major opposition since the 2015 World Cup, with Kevin O’Brien, the hero of Bangalore, hitting the winning run after centuries from Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie had laid the foundations.

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Partnership Kings in Test Matches: Sanga among the Elite

Bharath Seervi, in ESPNcricinfo, 10 July 2020, where the title is  Which batsman has been involved in the most partnerships in Test history?”

32,039 The total number of partnership runs Rahul Dravid was part of in his 286 innings, the most by a batsman. Sachin Tendulkar is next with 31,245 runs in 329 innings. Steven Smith has the highest average partnership runs per innings – 115.90 (15,185 runs in 131 innings). Partnerships involving Ricky Ponting have had the highest average runs – 52.83 (27,105 runs in 513 partnerships).

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Remembering Everton Weekes: Cozier and Chappell Speak

ONE:  Tony Cozier in 2015: “Ninety years of Everton Weekes,” 26 Feb 2015

Of all the numbers stacked against the name Everton de Courcy Weekes in scorebooks the world over, 90 carries an unfortunate significance.

   

It was his score in West Indies’ first innings of the fourth Testagainst India in Chepauk, Madras, now Chennai, in January 1949. Ten more runs would have extended his overall record of five successive Test hundreds that has never been surpassed; he was cut short by a run-out decision by the square-leg umpire that Weekes now euphemistically describes as “rather doubtful”.

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Some Assessments of Muralitharan as Cricketer … and Philanthropist

ONE = Simon Barnes: Muttiah Muralitharan as Cricketer of the Year 2006″

writing in 2007 on the year 2006 =  https://www.espncricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/350915.html

The time has come to grasp the nettle, to remove the mental and†, to reject the frown, the shrug, the pursed lips and the quizzical look. Muttiah Muralitharan was, without qualification, the finest cricketer on the planet last year and, by implication, is one of the best cricketers that have ever played the game.

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Stanley Jayasinghe: Nalandian Schoolboy Prodigy and Outstanding Cricketing Man

Mahinda Wijesinghe, in Sunday Times, 14 June 2020, with this title “A Schoolboy who made the grade and played for the National team”

Stanley Jayasinghe (born 1931) was a household name in cricket in the 1950’s. Educated at Nalanda College Colombo, he captained his school in 1951. He was an outstanding right-hand batsman and a part-time off-spinner as well. He had the distinction of playing for Ceylon – whilst in school.

Stanley playing for Leicester

Two of his team-mates, opening batsmen Carl Obeyesekera and Ashley de Silva were also national players, the latter being a twelfth man. What an honour for the school. Just imagine having three schoolboys who were simultaneously national players. This indicates the standard of school cricket in that era. No wonder there were spectators galore including many a schoolboy who used to ‘cut’ school to watch their heroes in action.

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