SRI LANKA CRICKET NEWS (AUGUST 2019)Compiled by Victor Melder


SRI LANKA CRICKET NEWS (AUGUST 2019)Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor - eLanka

Sri Lanka Cricket has decided to terminate the contract of Chandika Hathurusingha, the Head Coach of the national cricket team, after the two parties failed to come to a mutual agreement to sever ties. Following the ICC Cricket World Cup where Sri Lanka finished sixth, SLC had indicated to the Head Coach that they were looking for a replacement but Hathurusingha was interested in staying on till the end of his contract in December 2020. SLC had agreed to pay him six months of his salary to bring an early end to the contract but Hathurusingha maintained that he could still help development of players. Hathurusingha is expected to fight his case in courts, much like Geoff Marsh, who successfully sued SLC eight years ago after being unceremoniously dumped from his job. Interestingly, it took Marsh four weeks since winning Sri Lanka their maiden Test match in South Africa to be booted out. Similarly, four months after winning a first ever Test series in South Africa, Hathurusingha has been sent home. SLC will indicate the national cricket’s terms poor performances as the reason for the early termination of contract. The board is expected to point out their displeasure at Hathurusingha’s conduct during the ball tampering controversy in the Caribbean last year as well. Hathurusingha will have a strong case to argue in courts as he was stripped of selector’s duty midway through his contract and he will point out that he cannot be held responsible for something that was beyond his control. Meanwhile Chief Operating Officer of SLC Jerome Jayaratne is set to take over as Interim Coach during the bilateral series against New Zealand. Jayaratne, one of the longest serving employees of SLC having joined the governing body in 2000 is a career coach with international reputation. Until 2017, he functioned as Director Coaching when SLC sprung wholesale changes to the coaching set up. The results since then have been disastrous. Jayaratne functioned in a similar role in 2015 after Marvan Atapattu stepped down as Head Coach. He is expected to be retained in his usual position of Director Coaching replacing High Performance Manager Asanka Gurusingha, whose contract will end later this month. (Daily Island, 6.8.2019)

Former Captain Dinesh Chandimal has been named in the 15-member Sri Lanka squad for the first Test against New Zealand, which starts on 14th August in Galle. Chandimal was dropped from all formats for loss of form in the past six months. Since captaining the team in Australia earlier this year, Chandimal missed the South Africa tour, World Cup and the recently-concluded Bangladesh series. However, he will have to fight for a place with wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella, who was the vice-captain of the Test team in South Africa, where Sri Lanka recorded a stunning 2-0 win.  Apart from Chandimal, Sri Lanka have also included Angelo Mathews, who missed the South Africa Test series due to a hamstring injury. Mathews, however played a key role with the limited-overs team in the World Cup and won the Player of the Series award against Bangladesh. From the 22-man preliminary squad announced earlier this week, Kasun Rajitha, Asitha Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilruwan Perera and Angelo Perera have missed out on selection. The more-experienced off-spinning all-rounder, Dilruwan Perera has been left out due to an injury concern and should be available for selection only from the 2nd Test in Colombo. Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya will be the main strike weapon for the hosts, along with Akila Dananjaya and Lakshan Sandakan as they form a three-pronged spin attack. Dhananjaya De Silva, provides another reliable off-spin option. Suranga Lakmal will be the more experienced seamer out of the three fast-bowlers included. Lahiru Kumara and left-armer Vishwa Fernando complete the attack. Sri Lanka Squad for First Test – Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Janith Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya De Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Oshada Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando. (Daily Island, 10.8.2019)

The three-day warm-up match between the touring New Zealanders and the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI, played at the FTZ Sports Complex (BOI), Katunayake ended in a draw. Scores:

Sri Lanka Board President’s XI – 323/6 dec (Gunathilaka 98, Samarawickrama 80, Priyanjan 56no, Nisanka 35, A.K.Perera 32, Patel 5/41, Somerville 1/70)

Sri Lanka defeated the touring New Zealanders by 6 wickets to win the first Test played at the Galle International Stadium. Scores:

NZ, 1st Innings – 249 (Taylor 86, Nicholls 42, Raval 33, Latham 30, Dananjaya 5/80, Lakmal 4/29)

Sri Lanka, 1st Innings – 267 (Dickwella 61, Mendis 53, Mathews 50, Lakmal 40, Karunaratne 39, Patel 5/89, Somerville  3/83, Boult 2/45)

NZ, 2nd Innings – 285 (Walling 77, Latham 45, Somerville 40no, Embuldeniya 4/90, de Silva 3/25, Kumara 2/31)

Sri Lanka, 2nd Innings – 268/4 (Karunaratne 122, Thirimanne 64, Boult 1/34)

Player of the Match: Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)  

The touring New Zealanders beat Sri Lanka by an Innings and 65 runs to win the Second Test, played at the P.Sara Oval, Colombo. Scores:

Sri Lanka, 1st Innings – 244 (De Silva109, Karunaratne 65, Mendis 32, Southee 4/63, Boult 3/75, Sommerville 1/20, Grandhomme 1/35, Patel 1/48)

New Zealand 1st Innings – 431/6 dec (Latham 154, Watling 105, Grandhomme 83, Perera 3/114, Embuldeniya 2/156, Kumara 1/115)

Sri Lanka, 2nd Innings – 122 (Dickwella 51, Mendis 20, Southee 2/15, Boult 2/17, Patel 2/31, Somerville 2/49)

Player of the Match: Tom Latham (New Zealand)

Player of the Series: B. J. Watling (New Zealand)

The 2-match series was levelled 1-1.  

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