SRI LANKA CRICKET NEWS – MAY 2019 – By Victor Melder




(MAY 2019)
Compiled by Victor Melder




Sri Lanka have slipped to number nine in the official ICC Rankings that was updated yesterday. Dimuth Karunaratne’s side is ranked sixth in Test cricket. India finished top of the Test rankings while England finished number one in ODIs. The ninth rank is Sri Lanka’s lowest and now they are in jeopardy of not qualifying for further ICC events directly.

ICC Test Team Rankings

1 India 113 (-3), 2 New Zealand 111 (+3), 3 South Africa 108 (+3), 4 England 105 (+1), 5 Australia 98 (-6), 6 Sri Lanka 94 (+1), 7 Pakistan 84 (-4), 8 West Indies 82 (+5), 9 Bangladesh 65 (-3), 10 Zimbabwe 16 (+3)

ICC ODI Team Rankings – Rank Team Points

1 England 123 (-), 2 India 121 (+1), 3 South Africa 115 (+3), 4 New Zealand 113 (+1), 5 Australia 109 (+1), 6 Pakistan 96 (-1), 7 Bangladesh 86 (-4), 8 West Indies 80 (+4), 9 Sri Lanka 76 (-), 10 Afghanistan 64 (-), 11 Zimbabwe 54 (+1), 12 Ireland 46 (+3), 13 Scotland 40 (+7). (Daily Island, 3.5.2019)

Having spent ten days in the United Kingdom acclimatizing to the conditions, the national cricket team will feature in their first game of the long tour when they take on Scotland in an ODI today in Edinburgh. The two match series is preparation ahead of the World Cup campaign that beings early next month. These two games will give an opportunity for the Sri Lankan management to decide on their composition for the World Cup campaign. Players like Angelo Mathews, Kusal Janith Perera and Nuwan Pradeep, who are returning from injuries, will be on show in today’s game. Not just for the three of them, but for majority of Sri Lankan players in the squad, the two games will be an opportunity to find their ODI form. Sri Lanka’s selectors surprised everyone when they picked as many as five players in their World Cup squad, who had not featured in an ODI for more than 18 months. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne and leg-spinner Jeewan Mendis haven’t played an ODI for more than four years. Premier fast bowler Lasith Malinga has been rested for the two games. Scotland and Sri Lanka have played two ODIs so far with Sri Lanka  winning both encounters. The Sri Lanka Squad (From):    Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Lasith Malinga, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Janith Perera (wk), Avishka Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana,  Milinda Siriwardena, Jeewan Mendis, Jefferey Vandersay, Suranga Lakmal and  Nuwan Pradeep. (Daily Island, 18.5.2019)

The first ODI between Sri Lanka and Scotland yesterday at Edinburgh was called off without a ball being bowled due to inclement weather. (Sunday Island, 19.5.2019)

Britain’s leading newspaper The Daily Telegraph claims that corruption investigations in Sri Lanka will drag on at least till the end of this year and that more individuals will be charged before September, possibly after the World Cup. Sri Lankan cricket is rocked by serious allegations of corruption with former Test captain Sanath Jayasuriya banned from the game for two years and several other individuals charged. Former Fast Bowling Coach Nuwan Zoysa, former Batting Coach Avishka Gunawardene, former all-rounder Dilhara Lokuhettige and Sri Lanka Cricket’s Performance Analyst Sanath Jayasundara have been all charged for various breaches of the Anti Corruption Code. The newspaper reported that the focus of the ICC Anti Corruption Unit at the moment will be to ensure a corruption free Cricket World Cup, the sport’s showpiece event. It said that the investigators have taken the extraordinary step to warn suspected match fixers against travelling to England for the World Cup having launched the biggest ever protection operation ahead of the ten team event that will get underway later this month in England and Wales. As a result, anti-corruption officers will be posted with each of the ten teams, a step undertaken for the first time. In addition, there will be two investigators and one evidence analyst on duty throughout the tournament. The ICC has also taken steps to contact suspected match fixers through solicitors and warned them that they will be thrown out of cricket grounds if they were spotted during a game. The game’s governing body is confident that the World Cup will be clean and poses a low risk due to extra security measures. “Badly run events attract the corrupters and they look for vulnerabilities in events and players but the World Cup is highly organised, well run, well governed and the players are well protected so we expect it to be clean,” Alex Marshall, the General Manager of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption unit was quoted as saying.  (Daily Island, 21.5.2019)

South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 87 runs, to win their ICC World Cup Warm-up match, played at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, UK. Scores:

South Africa – 338/7 in 50 Overs (du Plessis 88, Amla 65, van der Dussen 40, Phehlukwayo 35, Lakmal 2/63, Pradeep 2/77, Udana 1/42, de Silva 1/44, Mendis 1/45)  

Sri Lanka – 251 all out in 42.3 Overs (Karunaratne 87, Mathews 64, Mendis 37, Phehlukwayo 4/36, Ngidi 2/12, Duminy 1/27, Tahir 1/31, Pretorius 1/34, Rabada 1/40)

Australia beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets, to win their ICC World Cup Warm-up match played at The Rose Bowl, Southampton, UK. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 239/8 in 50 Overs (Thirimanne 56, de Silva 43, B.K.G.Mendis 24,  B.M.A.J. Mendis 21,Zampa 2/39, Smith 1/9, Maxwell 1/14, Cummins 1/23, Starc 1/38, Lyon 1/48)

Australia – 241/5 in 44.5 Overs (Khawaja 89, Maxwell 36, Marsh 34, Stonis 32, Vandersay 2/51, de Silva 1/17, Pradeep 1/28, Siriwardana 1/28)

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