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28th November 1999

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Muttiah Muralitharan best in the Business

The number of times he has hit the stumps in these "little battles" reflects the quality of his bowling. Apart from the turn, the bounce that he manages to extract has resulted in several catches in the silly point and short leg areas. And the man at slip has to be very alert, when the offie spins the ball sharply across the left-hander. Murali is a cleverer bowler these days; he can control the extent of turn and mixes them up pretty well.

By Ramesh Joseph

Even as he releases the ball, the spirit of Muttiah Muralitharan can be seen in his big, bold, buoyant eyes. So full of hope, so full of life. They tell their own story about the man, his struggle his ultimate triumph.

Like the lovely brush strokes on the canvas, Saqlain Mushtaq's delightfully deceptive deliveries, take one's mind away from the chores of the mundane world. There is much passion, much pride in the Muttaiah Muralitharanmanner the unassuming Pakistani goes about his job even in the most desperate situations.

Murali and Saqlain, the two premier off spinners in contemporary cricket, in their own contrasting ways, have added lustre to their craft - both are attacking bowlers, love the scent of a battle, have won matches on their own.

It has been an eventful journey for the Lankan spin wizard, and it is only Murali's ability to smile his way through troubled times that has enabled him to surmount all hurdles. With heavy bats calling the shots, off-spin was almost going out of fashon, when he arrived on the international scene in the early 90s.

Murali was lucky too that he had an encouraging skipper in Arjuna Ranathunga, who nursed him carefully, and backed his man during times of extreme distress (remember the chucking controversies in Australia?).

There is an old fashioned charm about this 28 -year-old confectioner's son; he is affectionately called Koti Petiya (tiger cub) by fans. The Tamil from Kandy has effortlessly cut across barriers and is among the country's most popular cricketers.

Murali is once again in the news, for all the right reasons. He posed searching questions to the Aussies in the Test series and scripted Sri Lanka's win in Kandy, the nation's maiden Test triumph over Australia (there is always a bit of needle when he bowls to men from Down Under).

Murali has come on a great deal from the rather unidimensional bowler he was in the early stages of his career, when he spun his off breaks prodigiously, but was pretty predictable. Now, he has added the top spinner, and the leg-break to his armoury, and is proving more than a handful to the batsmen.

This bowler with the astounding ability to turn the ball viciously on any surface, is also one of those rare bowlers, who has a natural loop. It is a thrilling sight when he throws the ball up outside the off-stump and invites the batsman for the drive or the cut.

The number of times he has hit the stumps in these "little battles" reflects the quality of his bowling. Apart from the turn, the bounce that he manages to extract has resulted in several catches in the silly point and short leg areas. And the man at slip has to be very alert, when the offie spins the ball sharply across the left-hander. Murali is a cleverer bowler these days; he can control the extent of turn and mixes them up pretty well.

The fact that he can keep going for long spells without his bowling losing any of its bite, and can run through line-ups almost singlehandedly (he destroyed England with 16 wickets in the Oval Test last year), make him a dream bowler for any captain.

His unique wrist action is the result of a physical deformity (a double jointed wrist and a bent but inflexible arm), and the quirkiness before he releases the ball can be primarily attributed to this. The action has helped him to achieve almost unbelievable turn, and it has now been scientifically proved, that.

If the extent of turn is Murali's chief asset, Saqlain's "mystery ball" one that drifts away from the righthander, a delivery he can send down at will, is the Pakistani's biggest weapon. Saqlain uses the thumb and the forefinger to great effect and it is extremely difficult with the top spinner and he too can get his deliveries to bounce.

Like Murali, being punished by the batsman does not bother Saqlain; he is always quick to applaud a good shot, and in fact, fancies his chances more. The manner in which he uses the crease, varies the trajectory (the loop is a major factor here) the line, and lures the batters to their doom is a fascinating experience. The contribution of Pakistan's spirited wicket-keeper Moin Khan, who shares a wonderful chemistry with Saqlain, has to be acknowledged.

Saqlain's ability to hold his nerve, even in the cauldron of the end overs, has seen him develop into an outstanding bowler in overs limited cricket. The quickest to reach 100 wickets in one-day internationals Saqlain has invariably changed the course of the game in a single spell.

In Test cricket, he took a longer time to find his feet, as Pakistan possessed fearsome fast bowlers, and then there was Mushtaq Ahmed, a class leggie, who often grabbed the lone slot for a spinner in the team (here Murali has a huge advantage as he is the lone strike bowler for his team, gets more overs to bowl).

But with Mushtaq being hampered by niggling injuries, Saqlain, with skipper Wasim Akram egging him on, finally received a fair run in the longer version of the game. Right now, Murali has the edge in Test cricket, where his success rate is truly astonishing. Saqlain less experienced, has played fewer Tests, but then, his form in the last few matches has been awesome.

In limited overs cricket, though, it is Saqlain who is the undisputed winner. Both have plenty of cricket ahead of them. The race should be exhilarating.

Shame about the rain

The first Test between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe fizzled to a draw ultimately as rain robbed the entire final day's play. The initial three days when play was possible the sparring contest was absorbing. Both attack lacked the explosive firepower in the bowling department which enabled the batsmen to be in control provided they got about their task with patience.

In the days gone by a captain would hardly ever put the opposition in to bat when it came to a long game. It was considered as a wasted opportunity by not taking first lease. Coaches used to advice captains to think hard but then should the coin roll in their favour, then, the only option was to bat first.

Times have changed. Players believe they must look at the practical angle. Yes, theoretically the pitch will most likely take spin on day four and five. So what? Wrest the initiative from the opposition by the end of day three.

To make Test cricket interesting for spectators, Curators are now advised to prepare result producing pitches. This means assistance for either pace or spin or assistance for both parties during certain periods of the five days. The latter is not easy to produce. Theoretically, the ideal surface should seam around with some pace and good even bounce on day one. Less seam, same pace, bounce and comfortable for the batsmen on day two. Less bounce same pace, should be the best day for batting. Assistance for the spinners without the pace reducing much should bring the slower bowlers into the action on the fourth and fifth days. Yet the batsmen must have a chance, should you employ effective footwork to minimise permitting spin off the pitch. It is a very minor percentage of the pitches that will produce such characteristics.

Last week in Bulawayo the Curator did produce a satisfactory strip for a first Test in the series. Taking into account the quick men who competed, had he been able to increase the pace somewhat a more competitive contest could have been witnessed.

Pramodya Wickramasinghe bowled to the best of his ability in the first innings of the game and Chaminda Vaas was not far behind. The Sri Lankans sure missed big Nuwan Zoysa. After being sidelined from a few games in the recent past Wickramasinghe has come back well. He is definitely much more focused on the job at hand and in making a genuine effort whenever he has the ball in his right palm. Now he is bowling with good rhythm and that is the way he has got to stay.

Chaminda Vaas is dismissing top order batsmen now. That is valuable for a quick bowler. He then knows that on his day a bagful of wickets is there for the taking. You have to be bowling well to regularly be getting top order batsmen out and that is what gives a quick bowler confidence.

Everybody in this nation had reason to rejoice over Marvan Atapattu's 216 not out. It was classic Test match batting. Many a great opening batsmen of the past would have saluted Atapattu's innings. Again, the performance coming at the correct time for both the player and his country. The juice that was on the pitch on the first day had almost disappeared when Jayasuriya and Atapattu went out to bat on day two. If Sri Lanka missed Zoysa then certainly Zimbabwe missed Heath Streak. He could have extracted some life off that surface. Now the Sri Lankans had to graft for their runs and that they did well.

Jayasuriya, de Saram and Kaluwitharana spent valuable time out in the middle. Atapattu refused to concede his wicket to the opposition. After he moved past his half century, he began to grow in confidence. His footwork was immaculate, his balance when executing strokes around the wicket was perfect. The sign of a batsman picking the flight path early and in good luck. All the batsmen should now realize that there are plenty of runs available should they apply themselves thoroughly.

The Zimbabweans did not play to the best of their ability. They must be consoled with the draw after three straight canings received from the Aussies and South Africans.

Their strength is their batting. Too many of them did the hard work and then threw it away. Two run outs in the first innings of a Test match is unacceptable. That too it was two of the top order. They will no doubt get to the drawing board to iron out those mistakes. They could have been in trouble had all the cricket been played. Now they have two Tests to look forward to and start from scratch. Should the rains keep away the games will be keenly contested.

1970: Peaceful Jaffna

Having hung up my boots at the end of 1969 I applied for a transfer to Jaffna as I wanted to be with my mother and also accede to her request to get married in our village temple. There was a lot of resentment of my going on transfer to Jaffna as many were of the opinion that I had several more rugby years ahead of me. But during the latter part of December, I received orders transferring me to Jaffna Headquarters Station from 1.1.1970.

I took leave of Colombo where life was hectic and reported on transfer at the Jaffna Police Station which was very peaceful then. The Police Station was by the Jaffna esplanade and the Dutch Fort. The SSP in charge of Northern Division was R. Sunderalingam who was a man for all seasons and who could handle any problem to the satisfaction of everyone with a smile and for this he earned the name "Shape Sunda". He later went to become the Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (Ranges) and is now working for Interpol based in Lyon, France. His official bungalow was inside the Fort. The Asst. Superintendent's at Jaffna were W.B. Rajaguru, a product of St. Anthony's College, Kandy and a long distance runner who later became Inspector General of Police and today he is the Deputy High Commissioner in South Africa, and the other was Dr. Dharmadasa Silva, who later became Deputy Inspector General of Police and till recently worked for the United Nations as Advisor to the Sierra Leone Police.

The HQI was Inspector S. Manikam who worked with me as IP Admin when I was attached to Mirihana Police as a "rookie" Sub-Inspector. Later he was replaced by Upali Wijeratne, a former Trinitian ruggerite and when he came on transfer to Jaffna there was a dearth of residential houses and he shared a large house in which my wife and I were living in front of the famous Nallur Temple along Chetty Street till he found alternate accommodation. He later became SP in charge of President J.R. Jayewardene's security and then passed away early in life whilst serving as SP in charge of Kandy.

The other members of the Inspectorate were W.T. Sanders, a Senior Inspector and a tall, fair and smart personality who was one of the finest athletes produced by Jaffna College. He also went to Trinity College. He was in charge of the Jaffna District Intelligence Bureau. Inspector P. Rajeswaran, an Old Thomian and a 400 metres athlete, who was in charge of crimes. He was killed by the terrorists when he was SSP in charge of Jaffna. Inspector K.B. Pussella was in charge of Jaffna Traffic. Sub-Inspector Waragoda was in charge of the Vice Squad. He was killed by the subversives in 1989 when he was in charge of the Sapugaskande Refinery Security. I was Inspector in charge of Administration.

My wedding took place on January 19 at our village temple Valliyanantha Pillaiyar Kovil in the night between 11.00 p.m. and 12.00 midnight. The whole village was up that night and I was taken in procession from our ancestral home with several receptions on the way and my wife too was brought to this temple in a procession. After the wedding the celebrations went on for three days which was attended by several friends from Colombo who flew to Palaly by Air Ceylon plane and the ride cost only Rs. 35/- and they resided at the Point Pedro Rest House.

After the marriage I with my wife took up residence at Chetty Street, Nallur which was nearly about 100 yards from the Nallur Temple. This was one of the best periods in my life with my wife and I regularly prayed at the Nallur Temple, venerated by Hindus all over the world. And during this period I was blessed with my eldest daughter Renuka who is presently doing her PhD at the University of Massachusetts. She was given delivery by ceasarian operation by Dr. K. Ganeshan, the famous gynaecologist and the son of Dr. K. Kangarathnam who was Superintendent of Health Service, Colombo, and a family friend of ours from the time he was DMO, Point Pedro. He too was present during the operation alongside his son Dr. Ganeshan and everything was successful to the joy of everyone.

Cricket umpiring must improve

By Bernie Wijesekera

In any demoractic set up be it sport or otherwise then the judiciary must act without fear or favour. In this aspect for cricket to make much headway then the standard of umpring should improve at all levels of the game, be it international, club or school.

Undoubtedly, the game at international level has made vast strides since we gained I. C. C. status in 1981. Our cricketers have performed well, be it test or in the overs game at home and abroad. But much cannot be said about the standard of umpiring. The umpires have failed to be consistent with their decision making.

There may be human errors which is part and parcel of the game. But some of them are dubious decisions that put the game to shame.

Good books

Are they under pressure, or do they want to be in the good books of interested parties. If it's that, it isn't cricket.

There is quantity in the umpires association, but not quality to maintain a high standard. Sri Lankan umpiring has a long way to go to produce an umpire of the calibre of Frank Chester, Dickie Bird and Policeman turned internatioal umpire Nigel Plews, the tallest from England. Sri Lanka, too had their quota - A.C. Amath, Collin Silva, Dodwell Soysa, brothers M. A. and J. M. C. Jayasinghe, just to name a few. Some of the present day umpires apparently are trying to bootlick players and officials. If they refrain from this malady then they should emulate their predecessors, who acted without fear or favour.

It's they, who control the game at the middle, not the players or officials. Today the umpires' lot has been improved monetary- wise unlike in the past. They are afforded with fringe benefits, etc.

To survive

There is no need for them to call anyone 'Sir' be it players or officials to be in their good books, to survive in the panel. The controlling body should make it a point to address their mind and pick the panel on merit but not on mere hearsay or on captain's report. But certainly they could delve into the reports and take remedial measures but not act on mere reports.

No umpire should point a finger at the media when they are exposed saying "What about the lapses made by the neutral umpire". No comparison. Just admit your lapse and concentrate on the game. The umpires, officials or players must realise - when the journalists are struck at without a reason, then they will strike back very hard. They should bear in mind that "Truth is the greatest religion" take it in the correct spirit rather than running from pillar to post to humiliate the media.

The umpiring in school cricket apparently in some quarters is found wanting. No matter in what grade they stand but at all times must maintain a high standard. As a result some of the lesser known schools are at the receiving end. This has been the bane.

In some quarters they say that umpires could be bought over, due to competitive cricket from junior level onwards. But some leading schools are not taking part in competitive cricket. They say the game is more important than winning trophies. This breeds hatred, jealousy and cheating to win at all costs to be in the final line-up. Very true. In the end deteriorating standards in sportsmanship, and their future well-being.

A good example. S. African fielder - the acrobatic Jonty Rhodes held Sanath Jayasuriya close to the wicket in the Moratuwa test. Up went the umpire's finger. But Jonty, revoked it saying that it was picked off the ground. How many of the present day cricketers will emulate this fine gesture of Rhodes, who is a great believer in Faith along with Hansie Cronje and Shaun Pollock (S.A.).

Rhodes when questioned, said that his parents have taught him not to cheat even on the playing field. Both parents are teachers. This makes the umpire's task much easier.

Couple of years back it did happen at Asgiriya - in the Trinity-Royal match. Trinity on the edge struggling with all their frontliners gone. Royal sitting pretty. The Trinity batsman was ruled out caught by the umpire. But the Royal skipper Chanaka Perera said it was taken off the ground and advised the umpire to revoke his decision. In the end Royal lost the match to Trinity, in Viv de Kretser's year where Mahes Rodrigo was one of the members of the team.

Genial sportsman

Now a politican has taken over the ACUSL as its president. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lakshman Kiriella. His first act is to improve their lot and their future well-being after retirement. It's a fine move for the umpiring fraternity to live with respetcability. In the past the ACUSL was in two camps. It was late genial sportsman and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, T. B. Werapitiya who became its president and sewed it up. Later Upali Mahanama continued his good work.

Kiriella is determined not to bring politics and pollute it, nor he's going to act on hearsay, but on its principles laid down by him. This includes the accounts, too.

A charming personality Kiriella is not going to mix his punches but to maintain a high standard on and off the field for a better future, for the gentleman in the white coat. He will also stress that umpires must maintain the same levels, even in school matches - the embryo of Sri Lanka cricket. It will in the end bring dignity to themselves and to the ACUSL. The past is forgotten - turn a new leaf for the millennium.

Ananda's achievements for 1999

Athletics; Colombo South Divisional Meet; (A) Relay Championship; (B) Overall Boys Athletic Championship; Colombo Zonal Meet: (a) Relay Championship; (B) Overall Boys Athletic Championship; Western Province Meet: (A) Relay Championship; (B) Overall Boys Athletic Championship; National School Relay Championship: (A) Under Fifteen (15) Championship; (B) Overall Boys Relay Championship; Junior Public Schools Meet (Sir John Tarbat-Junior): (A) Under Fifteen (15) Championship; National School Games: (A) Under Fifteen Championship; (B) Under Seventeen Championship; (C) Under Nineteen Championship; (D) Overall Boys Relay Chamionship; (E) Overall Boys Athletic Championship.


(i) 1998 under thirteen (13) All Island "A" Division championship held in January 1999; (ii) Champion at the under (15) Invitational Tournament.

Cadeting: Annual Battalion Camp - 1999; (A)Champions - Squad Drill; (B) Champions - Physical Training; (C) Champions - Hut Inspection; (D) Champions - Directors' Test; (E) Champions - Civic Oriented Subjects, test.

Herman Loos Camp - 1999; (A) Championship - Squad Drill; (B) Championship - Hut Inspection; (C) Championships; Directors Test; (D) Best Commander - Squad Drill Lieutenant, Palitha Wijesinghe; (E) Hermon Loos Challenge Trophy.

Chess: Western Province Under Thirteen - Junior Chess Championship

Cricket : (A) Under Seventeen Singer Trophy - Runners up; (B) First Eleven - All Island Runners up (Best Team); (C) First Eleven - Lemonade Tropy Champions; (D) Bata/Observer: (i) 1998/99 School Boy Cricketer - M. Pushpa Kumara; (ii) Best All rounder; (iii) Best Fielder; (iv) Best Bowler; (v) Best All-rounder - Runner up - Thilina Kandambi; (vi) Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer - Runner up - Eshan Abeysinghe.

Gymnastics: All Island National School Games: (A) Overall Gymnastic Championship; (B) Under Nineteen (19) Boys Championship.

Hockey: (i) under thirteen (13) Equal Championships (ii) Under Seventeen (17) Runners up (Colombo - Schools).

Rugger: (i) President's Trophy - 1999 Under nineteen (19) Runners up; (ii) Western Province School Rugger Football Association Under nineteen bowl Championship.

Scouting: Island Merit Award - Qualicott- Bowl

Swimming: Pentathlon Swimming tournament - Runners up; (A) Under Fourteen Champion - Dharshana Tennakoon; (B) Under Sixteen Champion - Ruchira T. Perera; Age Groups Swimming Tournament; Under Nineteen 100m Free Style - New Record by Jayamal Wijerathne; Sri Lanka Schools Swimming Tournament; (A) under nineteen 100M - Back Stroke - New Sri Lankan Record by A. A. P. K. Perera; (B) Under Nineten 200M - Back Stroke - New Sri Lankan Record by A.A. P. K. Perera; (C) UnderNineteen 100m - Free Style - New Sri Lankan Record by Jayamal Wijeratne, SAF Games 1999 - Swimming: (A) Silver and Bronze Medals won by A. A. P. K. Perera (B) Silver and Bronze Medals won by Jayamal Wijeratne.

Tennis: (1) Public Schools Championships: (A) Under Eighteen - Championship; (C) Under Twelve - Runners up; (D) Under Ten - Runners up; Junior National Championship Under 10 - Champion Chavi Thalagala; under 16 - Runners up - Dinuka Ranaweera; under 18 - Runners up - Dinuka Ranaweera; Year Five Mini Tennis Championship - Adeesha U. Pieris.

Table Tennis; Under Fourteen All Island Junior Table Tennis Champion Gajendra Abeysinghe.

Wushu; Western Province School Championship.

How successful is a shot In the dark

By Neville D Abeygunawardene

Shooting as a competitive sport has a history as long as another Olympic sport. Yet in the realms of International sports it has yet to capture the appeal and attraction of the general public as much as the other major disciplines. It is in the 14th century that shooting in competition began, almost at the same time when the firearm was invented.

It is believed that the first documented shooting contest was by using shotguns with a large bore. The beginnings could be traced to the military, where improvements to firearms brought in the handguns, rifles, and pistols which not only became standard equipment but stood as a forerunner for shooting to be accepted as a sport.

In the first summer Olympics in Athens 1896, shooting was an introductory sport and at the next Olympiad in Paris 1900 it was an established discipline. In 1907 the world body for the sport 'Union Internationals de Tir' (UIT) was formed and since then it has come a long way making the sport competitively intense and interesting, though correspondingly yet to blossom into a mass sport.


It is a natural human tendency to be averse to the use of firearms, unless of course for combative operations and that too involuntary though compulsory. Perhaps this may be one of the reasons for the sport to remain numerically less appealing. Another major factor is the high sustenance cost in providing facilities and equipment quite apart from promoting the sport amongst the junior and youth segments of a country, particularly the less affluent nations. A sport to achieve technical excellence must have a strong nursery junior and youth base and the promotion of the sport in these categories is not only the most strenuous but most demanding. Unfortunately the shooting authorities in our country have hardly moved a finger in this direction. Shooting ranges, equipment, ammunitions and other facilities are unheard of in the twenty six districts of this country. Equipment is so costly that even the leading competitors find it extremely difficult to purchase these highly sophisticated firearms. Let me recall as then secretary of the Duncan White Sports Foundation only a few years back, how Vijitha Fernando, a member of the Board of the Foundation passionately appealed to fund a couple of shooters to represent our country abroad and for the purchase of modern equipment without which it was like a cart in the jet age. You can rest assured the situation is no better now and obviously apart from the usual rhetoric and cacophony the sport remains dwarfed.


In every sport bar cricket, the respective controlling bodies are the least concerned to promote the sport systematically. The authorities await the emergence of one or two exceptionally potential athletes and that too on their own effort, to grab them, shower them with incentives and finally enjoy the kudos off their modest achievements and also a bash and splash of ego via the media.

Susanthika, Darsha, Sriyani, Sugath are living examples of this veiled exploitation. These athletes did not come through the nurseries or the junior or youth base but wholly through their own sweat and toil. In fact they came to the limelight in the year 1990 though the glory is pocketed by the usurpers today. Not only in biology but Botany too it provides with some exceptional specimens occasionally. Tulips they say grow on rough terrain sometimes but the gloss and colour of the bloom are distinctly different from the care and attention of the hybrid variety. It is similar in bringing up sportsmen too. But then who cares?

Company of the best

To the credit of Pushpamali Ramanayake and Mali Wickremasinghe must be said that their individual and collective achievements at shooting deserve all the encomiums in view of the many constraints, lack of proper facilities and equipment of class. However what is important is the level of competition and not merely foreign competition. Meals at the SAF Games and the Commonwealth Games woefully fall short of world class. The United States, Britain and the Euro bloc are a class of their own in the sport, while Japan, China and South Korea are equals amongst the best. In fact the standard of shooting in the Asian Games is far ahead of the Commonwealth Games and realistically evaluating our chances at the 2000 Olympiad, we should have given our shooters the exposure on a regular basis with the world's best, unless we would be satisfied being stargazers. However rhetoric not reasoning is what matters - it's not the quality nor the level of competition that is important but potty success at petty levels. The puerile claim of being Asian champions at netball - the annexation of the 'Neighbours Cup' at rugger and the medals at the SAF Games are a grim reminder of this hokum bunkum. Shooting may not be a mass sport but it is certainly a very intricate and difficult sport where the eye and the mind must reach perfect precision levels. Height, weight, power, speed and strength are not important but the nerve, mind and the eye needs absolute precision. The rifle or the pistol may have the firepower but the eye and the mind that have the winning power. Even a slight tick of the heartbeat could put the shooter out of contention and that's why the contestants wear several layers of clothing to insulate their heartbeats. It is only exposure to the beat in the world that could give the up and coming contestants the edge in these finer points of the sport. The Olympics is the dizziest height in competitive sports and all the avenues towards this pinnacle must be of the highest quality.

We are mindful of the poor preparatory planning in our sports, nonetheless while wishing our shooters all the best, let's pray it won't be a shot in the dark.

Swimmer Jayamal Wijeratna is Ananda's outstanding sportsman

Jayamal Wijeratne who represented Sri Lanka at the 8th South Asian Federation Games in Nepal, was picked the most outstanding sportsman of the year 1999 of Ananda College.

He will also receive the Ananda Padma Award at Ananda's colours Nite to be held at the Kularatne Hall on Thursday, December 2, at

Also receiving the Ananda Padma Award is swimmer Asela Pradeep and tennis player Dinuka Ranaweera.

In all 90 sportsmen will be awarded their colours at which the Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs and Plantation Industries will be the chief guest.

Ananda's sports has been well supported by Principal T.B. Damunupola, Deputy Principal Kulasiri de Soysa who is also the Prefect of Games and the Sports Council of Ananda College.

Saman to defend squash title

Saman Tillekaratne will defend his men's squash title at the Sri Lanka national open squash championships to be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium squash courts from December 8 to 12.

Saman is presently in France and will arrive in Sri Lanka next week together with Radika Perera from Australia.

The others in contention of winning the title are former national champion Gihan Fernando, under 19 national champ Navin Samarasinghe and the SSC open winner Janaka Swaris.

Mrs. Yasmin Zarook is the defending women's national champion who will have stiff opposition from under 19 and women's champion at the SSC open, Kushani Daluwatta, Sulashana Dias Abeygunawardena.

This year's nationals too will be sponsored by Orient Express Lines for the third successive year.

The events to be held are men and women's open, Masters over 45, men and women's intermediate, over 35 and men and women's novices.

Entries will close on Sunday, December 5 at the SSC at 12 noon, and the draw will be held on the same day at the SSC pavilion.

The draw will be displayed at the SSC Notice Board and at the Sugathadasa Stadium squash courts on Monday, December 6.

Pura Milk Cup replaces Sheffield Shield

Australia's first class cricket tournament which has been played for the Sheffield Shield for over 100 years was replaced this year after the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) was attracted by a sponsor.

National Foods Limited, the Manufacturers of Pura Milk paid an undisclosed sum to the ACB to acquire the sponsorship rights for four seasons. Accordingly. 220,000 Australian dollars will be offered as prize money for the tournament that will include 75,000 for the champions and 45,000 to the runners-up. As the Sheffield Shield has been running at a loss for several million dollars the sponsorship was a shot in the arm to the ACB.

Australian's Sheffield Shield tournament which is regarded as the best in the world will now be played for the Pura Milk Cup but will not undergo any structural changes.

Lately several other countries have also changed the names of their first class tournaments following sponsorship changes. South Africa (Currie Cup to Castle and now Supersport Series), West Indies (Shell Shield to Red Stripe and now Busta Cup), New Zealand (Shell Trophy now Plunket Shield) are some of the countries that have changed the name of their first class tournaments.

However, India and Pakistan continue to play for the long tradition of the Ranji Trophy and Quaid-E-Azam Trophy respectively while Sri Lanka which used to play their first class tournament for the P. Sara Trophy have now dropped that name. (MF)

Lindwall bowls Hutton with second ball

By Bruce Maurice

Continued from last Sunday

From 3 a.m on the morning of the 4th Test, queues had started to form around Headingly and long before play started, the ground was filled to capacity.

The first shock of the day came when Hassett won the toss and put England into bat. This was a most dangerous thing for Hassett to have done, because with rain and bad weather around, anything could have happened and it was almost certain that Australia would have last use of the wicket.

A deathly hush settled over the ground as Lindwall prepared to bowl the first ball to Hutton. It seemed as if the crowd sensed drama and it was there alright. The first ball was pushed into the covers. But in the grey dull light, the second ball swung in late, beat Hutton all ends up, and hit the top of his middle stump. A sigh, almost a groan went up as Hutton was unceremoniously knocked off his throne and began the long walk back in deathly silence. Next in was Graveney, but it was certainly not going to be an easy task for him after such a shattering blow. Headingly had always been regarded as England's hoodoo ground upto that time because they had never beaten Australia there in a Test. And with Hutton going to the second ball of the day, it looked as if the ground was going to live upto its reputation. England managed only one boundary in the first hour, when Edrich square cut Lindwall. However, Edrich was not destined to stay for long, and then England's other leading batsman Dennis Compton went ct Davidson B Lindwall also for a 'duck'.

When play ended for the day, England had crawled to 142 for the loss of seven wickets. And the only two batsmen to play the Australian attack with any confidence was Graveney 55 and Watson 24.

When play started on the second day, Lindwall opened the attack to Evans who was 18 not out. In the past Evans had played some useful knocks for England. But this time Lindwall saw to it. After hanging on for 93 minutes and 25 runs, Lindwall had him L.B.W. for 25. He was replaced by Reg Simpson, who had retired with cramp the previous day and when he attempted a third run to a ball that had been driven in the direction of midon, there was a loud and confident appeal for a run out by the entire Australian team. Chester, for some reason turned it down and Miller, especially did nothing to hide his resentment by gesturing menacingly to Chester for allowing Simpson to continue his innings, when it was blatantly clear to everyone that Simpson was run out.

But Simpson did not last long and England were all out for 167, Lindwall taking 5 for 54. The England innings was over at 12.35. Having batted for a whole hour they scored only 25 runs. At 12.45 Australia began her reply with Hassett and Morris. But lost her first wicket when Morris was ct. Lock b. Bedser for 10. Bedser also removed Hassett for 37 and by mid-afternoon Australia had lost both openers for 70. A little later Miller was caught by Edrich off Bailey and again he provoked Chester by not going until Chester signalled rather forcibly 'out' in response to an appeal from Edrich. Three down for 85 and things were looking desperate for Australia. But Neil Harvey and Graeme Hole did a rescue act for Australia with a stand of 84, before Harvey was out L.B.W to Bailey for 71. Graeme Hole made 53 and young Ron Archer gave proof of his batting abilities by making an aggressive 31 not out. At the end of the day's play Australia were all out for 266 and with that they had a lead of 99 on the first innings.


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