Lankan racing driver in international meet
Sri Lanka's only internationally known racing driver Dilantha Malagamuwa is making an unprecedented attempt to bring glory to his motherland.Malagamuwa will be taking part in the gruelling international challenge Bathurst 24hour race in New South Wales, Australia on November 16 and 17 as part of the very strong British racing team Rollcentre Racing on highly powered Mosler MT900R car.

However Japan based Malagamuwa who was in Sri Lanka last week to seek sponsors for his campaign which is expected to cost 30,000 US Dollars has been disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm both by Sri Lanka's government and corporate sectors. Malagamuwa's request for a sponsorship has been turned down point blank by the Sports ministry officials and the skeptical corporate sector companies were hesitant to make a commitment.

Malagamuwa is the only Sri Lankan to possess an international racing licence. Malagamuwa has graduated into Japan's Formula 3000 circuit which is considered the gateway to Formula circuit.

Malagamuwa has raced in both F3000 and GT circuits in Japan under the name of Sri Lanka. He was the first non-Japanese to win the licence for both these circuits and he estimates 10 million US Dollars and atleast eight years for a driver to graduate into that level. Malagamuwa's racing team has already been tagged as one of the favourites to clinch the title and Malagamuwa believes there is tremendous potential for promoting the country through his car in the race as there will be live telecast of the proceedings right throughout the world.

One of the United States' most striking and powerful sportscars which Malagamuwa will be driving is expected to be an outright contender for the inaugural Bathurst 24 Hour race, when an ambitious British assault on the event pitches the machine against the likes of Ferrari and Porsche.

Although built in Florida, the mid-engined, 500 horsepower, Mosler MT900R is the weapon of choice of British team Rollcentre Racing, whose lead driver Martin Short debuted the car in the final round of the British GT Championship alongside his more usual TVR Tuscan R . The car is described by its manufacturer as 'faster than a Ferrari 360 Modena' - a rival that it can expect to face on the 6.3km Bathurst circuit, where speeds will reach almost 300kph - and runs a Chevrolet Corvette 5.7 litre V8 engine in a purpose-built chassis and body.

First innings win for S. Thomas'
By M. Shamil Amit
An unbeaten 77 by Thomian Isuru Warnakulasuriya was the feature of the second days play in the Under 19 inter-school cricket match between S. Thomas' and St Sebastian's which concluded at Mt Lavinia yesterday. The match ending in a first innings win for the Thomians.

St Sebastian's resuming their innings on 29 for 1 had difficulty in reading the bowling of Tharindu Fernando who captured 5 for 40 and were bundled out for 148 in reply to the Thomians score of 233. The Thomians in their second essay were 148 for 3 when stumps were drawn.

S. Thomas' - 233 (Damitha Waruswithana 66, Nalin Perera 31, Kaushal Silva 89 n.o.; Nuwan Perera 5 for 70, N. Silva 2 for 57, Dunil Abeydeera 2 for 37) and 148 for 3 at close (Sumith Perera 33, Isuru Warnakulasuriya 77 n.o.; Nuwan Perera 2 for 38)

St Sebastian's -148 (N. Fernando 33, D. Perera 36, N. Silva 27; Tharindu Fernando 5 for 40, S. Mendis 2 for 41, P. Rodrigo 2 for 40)

Peterites overcome Thurstan
Thurstan could manage only 179 in reply to St Peter's score of 305 for 7 declared in the Under 19 inter-school cricket match concluded at De Soysa Stadium in Moratuwa yesterday. The wrecker of the Thurstan batting was skipper Nadhula de S Wijeyaratne who cpatured 6 for 18. Made to follow on Thurstan were 71 for 2 when bad light stopped play.

St Peter's -305 for 7 declared (Gihan de Silva 117, Prajeev Jansz 50, Samidha Gallage 47, Hans Fernando 29; G. Amarasinghe 3 for 48)

Thurstan -179 (Damith Indika 89, D. Gunaratne 37; Nadhula de S. Wijeyaratne 6 for 18) and 71 for 2 (Thilina Massmulla 30; Samidha Gallage 2 for 21)

Sahan and Srimal prop Cambrians
Two good knocks by Sahan Wijeratne (79) and Srimal Peiris (80) who also put on a second wicket partnership of 163 runs helped Prince of Wales to score 195 for 5 declared against Dharmasoka in the Under 19 inter-school cricket encounter which ended at Mratuwa yesterday. Earlier Dharmasoka batting first made 140 and batting the second time were 68 for 2 at close.

Dharmasoka - 140 and 68 for 2 (Upul Tharanga 21 n.o.) Prince of Wales - 185 for 5 declared (Sahan Wijeratne 79, Srimal Peiris 80; C. Sampath 3 for 46)

Indians dominate at Nationalised Badminton tourney
Indian shuttlers dominated the proceedings at the Nationalised Services International Invitation Open Baminton tournament which concluded at the S. Thomas's Gymnasium in Mt Lavinia yesterday. The Indians bagged the the men's and women's singles and doubles titles. Sri Lanka were able to win only the mixed doubles title through Duminda Jayakody and Chandrika de Silva.

Four countries India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka participated in this tournament which was sponsored by the Commercial Bank of Ceylon. In the men's singles final Ravindra Singh of India beat another Indian Anuk Sridhar 5/15, 15/10, 15/3. In the women's final Pooja Patel beat Sri Lanka's Chandrika de Silva 11/13, 11/5, 11/8. In the men's doubles Indians V.U. Kiran and D.K. Deka were the winners and the women's doubles two sisters from India A. Priya and A. Deepiya emerged the winners. The mixed doubles went to Duminda Jayakody and Chandrika de Silva.

In the other finals that were worked off. The Under 17 boys singles title went to Diluka Karunaratne of Royal while the girl's title was won by Vimali Amarasinghe of Visaka Vidyala. The Under 17 boy's doubles title went to brothers Diluka and Dinuka Karunaratne of Royal with the girl's doubles going to Prathibani Bambarage and Sulochana Ariyadasa of Visaka. The over 35 veterans mens title was won by former national champion Niroshan Wijekoon while another former national winner Sriyani Deepika took the womens veteran title.-MSA

Old Rajans topple Kandy cricket club
By Aubrey Kuruppu
Kandy's long-awaited inter club six-a-side tournament was dogged by the rain at the final hurdle. Saracens Cricket Club and Old Rajans had progressed through the early rounds showing good all round skills and met in the final. But ultimately, they had to share the spoils.

Old Rajans probably created the upset of the day when they toppled the strong Kandy CC side in the semi-final. The other Sara Trophy side in Kandy, Kandy Youth, were outwitted by the Saracens in the other semi-final.

If one were to nominate a player for the best batsman's award, the honour should go to Kandy CC skipper Suresh Pieris who batted superbly every time he went to the crease. His driving and pulling were very good indeed. Dharmaraja's skipper Muditha Wijekoon also made good contributions with the bat.

In a tournament where the bat usually dominates, Buddika Gunasena (Saracens CC) bowled a fine over in the semi-final, conceding five runs and picking up the two most important wickets.

Chaturanga Gunasekera (Kandy Youth), Asela Gunasena (Saracens), Chintaka Fernando (Kandy CC) and Nuwan Ekanayake (Old Rajans) were the others who impressed.

For the record Saracens CC defeated Galagedera SC, University and Kandy Youth on their way to the final, while Old Rajans defeated Bank of Ceylon and Kandy CC. In a sense, this year's tournament was played in comparatively better weather whereas last year, even the semi-finals were decided on the toss of a coin. Secretary of the KDCA Janaka Pathirana did a competent job of organizing this tournament. However it was distressing to note that several important members of the committee were conspicuous by their absence.

Kandy's cricket fans and club cricketers bemourn the absence of a regular limited over tournament. The last one took over two years to complete. At the time of writing, the limited over tournament does not seem to be in the pipeline.

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