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Lacklustre City held by Huddersfield in Cup

February 19, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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Manchester City face an unwanted replay in the last 16 of the FA Cup after labouring to a 0-0 draw at second tier Championship side Huddersfield on Saturday.

Aguero

Pep Guardiola’s side struggled to find any tempo against Huddersfield and must now try again at the Etihad Stadium to book their place in the quarter-finals.

A disappointing day all round for City saw unused substitute Raheem Sterling apparently targeted with a plastic bottle thrown by a supporter from the main stand as as he warmed up in the second half.

The bottle missed the England winger, leaving Guardiola to worry more about his team’s lacklustre display with star forwards including an off-key Sergio Aguero unable to break down the Terriers’ stubborn defence.

The Championship side began the game brightly and might have led early on through Rajiv van la Parra.

He was teed up on the edge of the City penalty area by Collin Quaner but his shot was too close to City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

But it was the visitors who should have led moments later as they were denied by some desperate goalkeeping and defending.

Nolito found himself in the clear but his shot was blocked well low down by Joel Coleman in the Huddersfield goal before Mark Hudson made a crucial goalline clearance from Jesus Navas’s follow-up effort.

Aguero lifted a shot just over for City from the edge of the area moments after being admonished by Guardiola for not pressing defenders quickly enough.

But then came two scares for the Premier League side, first when Jack Payne’s shot was tipped over by Bravo and then when Philip Billing found the City net but was denied the opening goal by an offside flag against team-mate Martin Cranie.

Nolito saw another shot deflected just wide as the game remained an end-to-end affair.

Van la Parra was then denied again by Bravo as the City keeper held comfortably onto his tame shot following a cross by Quaner.

The next chance fell to Aguero after a clever sequence of passes on the edge of the Huddersfield box, but the striker’s effort was saved smartly by Coleman.

Aguero was back in the action just a few seconds into the second half when he weaved into the Huddersfield box but saw a firm shot turned away well by the diving Coleman.

Some more fine footwork by the Argentine then took him away from two Huddersfield players but his pass for Fernandinho was overhit and Coleman gathered.

The game became disjointed and lacking in tempo, although there then came the talking point on the touchline as Sterling went through his paces.

A plastic bottle was thrown from the home fans in the main stand towards the England winger, who did not respond as fellow substitute Bacary Sagna stared at supporters.

Bale sees silver lining in injury misery

February 19, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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Gareth Bale hopes three tough months on the sidelines will have their recompense by helping Real Madrid’s bid for La Liga and Champions League glory and Wales’ hopes of reaching the World Cup.

Bale

Bale made an instant impact on his first taste of action for 88 days after damaging ankle ligaments as he fired home Madrid’s second in a 2-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday just 13 minutes after coming off the bench.

And the Welshman hopes he can match his fantastic form from the final three months of last season after suffering from injury problems earlier in the campaign.

“Every cloud has a silver lining, hopefully I am a bit fresher than maybe some others,” said Bale.

“It can work in my advantage to be out for a little bit, but the important thing now is to get back to 100 percent and playing well and to help the team.”

Victory took Real four points clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a game in hand.

However, Zinedine Zidane’s men face an intense final few months of the campaign with 18 La Liga games and their defence of the Champions League still to play for.

Bale’s return is also a timely boost for Wales boss Chris Coleman ahead of his side’s crunch World Cup qualifier away to the Republic of Ireland on March 24.

“I plan not to get injured any more,” added Bale.

“Hopefully now I can keep building my fitness up over the next few weeks…hopefully I can be fit for Real Madrid as soon as possible to play 90 minutes, and obviously for Wales as well.”

Bale was given a hero’s reception on his return by the Santiago Bernabeu crowd.

And he admitted getting on the scoresheet was just a bonus to the joy of being back among the action.

“I was happy just to be on the pitch. To get a goal is an extra bonus and thankful to help the team and see the game off,” he continued.

“There has been some tough moments, but we have an amazing medical team here. Jaime Benito (physio) has been incredible for me, my family have been amazing, my fiancee, my kids.

“It’s been a difficult time but when you get a reception like that it makes it all worth it.”

Madrid face tougher tests over the next week with trips to Valencia and Villarreal to come.

And Bale insisted he isn’t expecting to be rushed back into the starting line-up by Zidane.

“I’ve been out for three months so it will take a few weeks to get back to 100 percent, it’s just about managing my game time.

“It depends how I feel game-by-game. Today was 20 minutes. I will speak with the manager about Valencia and Villarreal.”

However, Zidane admitted Bale brings special qualities that others can’t offer.

“We only have one Gareth Bale,” said the Frenchman. “We are happy to see Gareth back with the team. He is a special player, he gives us something different from the rest.”

Nishikori battles into Buenos Aires final

February 19, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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Japanese top seed Kei Nishikori reached his second final of 2017 with a gruelling 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq at the Buenos Aires clay court tournament.

Nishikori

World number five Nishikori needed two hours 45 minutes to see off wild card Berlocq, the 34-year-old world number 77 to set-up a Sunday title showdown against Ukraine’s Aleksandr Dolgopolov who beat Spanish fourth seed Pablo Carreno-Busta 7-5, 6-2.

Nishikori made the final on hard court in Brisbane in January but was beaten by Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in three sets.

The 27-year-old will be chasing his 12th career title on Sunday and third on clay after triumphs in Barcelona in 2014 and 2015.

Dolgopolov, 28, has not dropped a set all week to reach his seventh ATP final.

He will be contesting his first title match in three years, since falling to Rafael Nadal in Rio de Janeiro in 2014.

“I feel very good,” said world number 66 Dolgopolov. “It’s really nice to be in a final again because because I had a couple of tough years.”

Nishikori will square off against Dolgopolov for the sixth time, having won all 10 sets played.

Chelsea’s Pedro, Costa muzzle Wolves in FA Cup

February 19, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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Second-half goals from Pedro and Diego Costa earned Premier League leaders Chelsea a 2-0 win in a difficult FA Cup fifth-round tie at second-tier Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

Costa

Pedro headed in after 65 minutes following an intricate build-up involving Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Willian.

Costa sealed a place in the quarter-finals in the 89th minute after defender Matt Doherty inadvertently deflected a pass into his path.

The prolific Chelsea striker had the time and space to easily stroke the ball into the Wolves goal, finally killing off the Championship side’s brave resistance.

Having accounted for the Premier League scalps of Stoke City and Liverpool in previous rounds, Wolves looked in the mood to add the division’s leaders to that list.

In front of Molineux’s biggest crowd for 36 years, the home side made an electrifying start.

Asmir Begovic had already been required to tip a dangerous Conor Coady cross over his bar in the opening exchanges when former Chelsea youngster George Saville found the ball at his feet 15 yards out.

The unmarked midfielder unleashed a powerful left-foot shot that thundered against the left-hand post, with Andreas Weimann blasting a follow-up effort over.

That was the start of an absorbing cup tie, with the Championship side putting their league troubles behind them and going toe-to-toe with a Chelsea team who made seven changes from their least league game.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte had still fielded a strong line-up, however, with former England international John Terry continuing his ever-present status in the FA Cup and Fabregas handed a start.

Fabregas looked capable of picking a hole in the home defence and did precisely that after 12 minutes when his lofted pass sent Willian sprinting into the area.

The Brazilian attempted to chip over Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, who did well to put a touch on the shot and steer it over his net.

The tie had plenty of aggression and a raucous atmosphere, especially when the home supporters claimed Weimann had been brought down by Willian in the area midway through the first half.

That appeal was turned down by referee Jonathan Moss, but Wolves maintained the pressure when Helder Costa turned neatly and unleashed a low shot that Begovic smothered well.

But Chelsea still posed a serious threat as Fabregas and Willian attempted to find the pass that would play in Costa over the Wolves back four.

A number of times the tactic came close to working and in first-half injury time a cross from the right by wing-back Victor Moses was met by Costa, back to goal, who hooked an effort wide.

Wolves opened the second half in similar, threatening fashion, with Pedro the first Chelsea player cautioned for a crude trip on the dangerous Helder Costa.

But it was Chelsea’s Nathaniel Chalobah who was presented with the first shot of the half, a low strike from the edge of the area that went directly at the goalkeeper.

Chelsea’s Costa also received yet another neat pass from Hazard and almost set up Chalobah for an attempt on goal, only to be denied by more committed Wolves defending.

Wolves’ Costa eased the pressure momentarily with a high free-kick that Danny Batth headed into the arms of Begovic.

But soon after his namesake was played in by yet another Fabregas pass and left Batth on the floor before shooting into the side-netting.

The opening goal was not long in coming, although Dave Edwards looked like he might head in an equaliser minutes later, only to be denied by an important defensive header from Kurt Zouma.

In the closing stages, Fabregas should have doubled their advantage when he shot wide from Eden Hazard’s pass, before Costa’s strike — his 16th of the season — put the game to bed.

Farah sets new European record in final indoor race

February 19, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah marked his final race indoors by winning the 5,000 metres at the Birmingham Grand Prix on Saturday in a new European record time of 13 minutes 9.16 seconds.

Farah

The 33-year-old British distance great, who won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games, plans to retire from all track events to concentrate on road-racing after the World Championships in London in August.

In Birmingham, he was run close by Bahrain’s Albert Rop, who managed to stay with Farah after he burst clear from the rest of the field before being beaten in a sprint finish.

“I had amazing support from the crowd today and I can’t quite believe it’s my last indoor race,” Farah told the BBC after improving his own record for the event.

“I’ve had a great career indoors and particularly on this track,” added Farah, who finished a disappointing seventh at last month’s Edinburgh cross-country.

“I knew I needed to do some work after Edinburgh, I had to leave my family but hard work pays off.”

In other events, Britain’s Andrew Pozzi ran a new personal best and world leading time of 7.43 seconds in the 60m hurdles, with the United States’ Aries Merritt, the 110m hurdles world record-holder third.

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, the reigning Olympic 100m and 200m champion, won the women’s 60m in 6.98 seconds — the eighth-fastest time ever.

The women’s 1,000 metres saw Britain’s Laura Muir just miss out on a world record as she won in two minutes 31.93 seconds.

Muir’s time was just a second off Maria Mutola’s world indoor record of 2:30.94.

However, the 23-year-old Scot’s time was a new British record, beating a mark set by Kelly Holmes in 2004 — the same year Holmes won gold in both the 800m and 1500m at the Olympic Games in Athens.

“I am delighted. I wanted to come away with a win on home soil but to break Kelly’s record, I’m so chuffed,” said Muir, now the favourite for both the 1500m and 300m at the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade in March.

“The crowd were huge, I couldn’t hear myself breathing they were so loud…I’m in the best shape I can be so I’m hoping to win some medals in Belgrade.”

Ibrahimovic treble downs Saint-Etienne in Europa League

February 18, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic resumed his torment of Saint-Etienne with a hat-trick as Manchester United claimed a 3-0 victory in their Europa League last 32 first-leg encounter on Thursday.

Zlatan

Saint-Etienne were the Swede’s favoured prey during his time with Paris Saint-Germain and his treble took his tally against the French side to 17 goals in 14 games, and 23 for the season.

Victory gives Jose Mourinho’s side one foot in the last 16 ahead of Wednesday’s return leg, although things would have been very different had Nolan Roux not spurned a chance just before United’s second goal.

As it is, United are unlikely to miss Ander Herrera at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard after he received a booking for handball that will incur a one-game suspension.

The win meant United star Paul Pogba came out on top in his first competitive appearance against his elder brother, Florentin, and he came close to scoring with a header that hit the bar.

“We created good chances. It was important to get a good win at home. It was a good game but I think we can do better,” Ibrahimovic told BT Sport.

“We are winning but in a short time everything can change. It’s important to keep getting the wins we need. Everything can change but we’re happy at the moment.”

Prior to kick-off, Saint-Etienne’s fans lit up Old Trafford’s East Stand with a mass of red and green flares.

Smoke hung above the pitch at kick-off and there was a distinct fogginess to Eric Bailly’s first contribution, with his careless back-pass almost letting in Romain Hamouma.

But after Anthony Martial had warmed Stephane Ruffier’s palms from 25 yards, United went ahead in the 15th minute in doubly soft fashion.

Ibrahimovic was awarded a free-kick despite minimal apparent contact from Jordan Veretout and the Swede’s shot struck Vincent Pajot in the wall before rolling tamely past the grounded Ruffier.

United had two good chances to extend their lead, with Juan Mata seeing a volley saved by Ruffier from Pogba’s clever lofted pass.

Martial then tore through the visiting defence before dispatching a low shot that Ruffier blocked with his left foot.

- Perrin dazed -

Ibrahimovic instinctively scuffed the rebound goal-wards, but over the bar.

Saint-Etienne began to exploit pockets of space in United’s half as the first period wore on, however, and Hamouma in particular gave them some uncomfortable moments.

Mourinho sent on Jesse Lingard for Marouane Fellaini at the break in a bid to keep the play in Saint-Etienne’s half.

But while the early skirmishes all took place in and around the visitors’ box, they had more to do with flailing limbs than dashing football.

Martial was booked after catching Kevin Malcuit with his left forearm, which left the Saint-Etienne right-back spitting blood.

A clash of heads between Chris Smalling and Loic Perrin, the two captains, left both on the turf, but although Perrin in particular seemed dazed, both men stayed on.

Saint-Etienne were beginning to live dangerously, with Ruffier blocking from Martial and Antonio Valencia and Pogba shooting inches wide.

Pogba’s influence continued to grow and he came within inches of doubling United’s lead by slamming a header against the bar from Daley Blind’s free-kick.

Four minutes later Saint-Etienne squandered a huge chance to level as Ole Selnaes picked out fellow substitute Roux, only for the former Lille man to loft his shot onto the roof of the net.

It was a miss they quickly came to rue as United substitute Marcus Rashford darted to the byline on the left and centred for Ibrahimovic to tap in his second in the 75th minute.

The United number nine had the last say with two minutes left, steering a low penalty past Ruffier after he had been caught on the heel by Kevin Theophile-Catherine.

Wizards rout Pacers while Bulls edge Celtics

February 18, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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With a host of scoring threats, the Washington Wizards have become one of the NBA’s hottest teams, showing their scoring depth in a 111-98 rout of struggling Indiana.

wizards

Otto Porter Jr on Thursday had 25 points and eight rebounds, Markieff Morris added 21 points and seven rebounds, all-star John Wall contributed 20 points and 12 assists while Bradley Beal had 19 points as the Wizards led all the way.

“We have a lot of threats and it’s hard to key on any one guy,” Beal said. “We are enjoying this. Winning like this is fun.

“We are playing with a lot of energy and we don’t care who is scoring or anything like that. We enjoy playing for each other.”

The Wizards improved to 34-21, shooting 51.8 percent from the floor in inflicting the Pacers’ sixth loss in a row.

“We have been looking real good for the last few months,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “I think we are in a good spot, but I think the thing I love about this group is that they are not satisfied.

“We know we have a lot of work ahead of us. A tough part of our schedule is coming up. We are going to go into it with the right focus and challenge.

“We’re not going to win all of them, but we have to stick together when we don’t,” he said. “Our guys have done that.”

The Wizards — who currently force the most opponent turnovers per game, averaging 15.6 — rank third in the Eastern Conference after their ninth victory in 10 games.

“We are looking at the big picture,” Morris said. “We still have a lot of season to go.”

“We have to make sure guys are working out over the All-Star break. We just have to stay ready.”

Myles Turner and Paul George each had 17 points to lead the Pacers — now 29-28 and sixth in the East — one game ahead of the Chicago Bulls, who edged visiting Boston 104-103 in Thursday’s only other game.

The Bulls made all 22 of their free throw attempts, with Jimmy Butler sinking a pair with .9 of a second remaining to lift Chicago (28-29) to victory.

Bulls scoring leader Butler, 9-for-9 from the free throw line on the night, drew a foul on Marcus Smart off a jump shot on the Bulls’ final possession.

Boston’s Al Horford missed a fadeaway jumper as time expired.

Butler scored 29 points and had seven assists for the Bulls.

The Celtics, 37-20 and second overall in the East, were led by Isaiah Thomas with 29 points, including the Celtics’ final 11 points.

Thomas scored 20 or more points for the 41st consecutive game, breaking a franchise record previously held by Hall of Famer John Havlicek.

Gareth Bale returns as Zidane holds other stars in reserve

February 18, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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Gareth Bale will make his return from a three-month injury layoff when Real Madrid host Espanyol on Saturday, coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed on Friday.

Bale

However, Zidane has handed a weekend off to a host of other key men as Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and Keylor Navas were not included in the Frenchman’s 19-man squad.

Bale hasn’t featured since suffering ankle ligament damage in November and is expected to be eased back into action as a second-half substitute.

“Bale is with us. He will be in the squad and the idea is that he has minutes,” Zidane said on Friday.

“He is an important player. He has quality, pace, we know the damage he can do to the opponents.

“We are happy and he is even more so to get back playing. He is desperate to return.”

Madrid can move four points clear of Barcelona with a game in hand at the top of La Liga should they record a 10th consecutive victory over Espanyol.

However, after the demands of an intense 3-1 Champions League last 16 first leg win over Napoli in midweek and a La Liga trip to Valencia to come on Wednesday, Zidane insisted he didn’t want to take any risks with the fitness of Navas, Ramos, Modric or Benzema.

“We have two or three players with niggles. Not significant injuries, but niggles.”

Navas’s absence means Zidane’s son Luca is included in the squad as the third choice goalkeeper.

Zidane has already handed a first-team debut to his eldest son Enzo this season.

However, Kiko Casilla will start in goal, whilst Zidane confirmed that Alvaro Morata will finally get his chance to start in place of Benzema up front.

Spanish international Morata has been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu come the end of the season after becoming frustrated at his lack of action since rejoining the European champions from Juventus in June.

“I don’t want him to go. Alvaro is at home here,” added Zidane.

“He has had minutes, although fewer than Karim. Tomorrow he will start and I know that it is not the last game that he will start.”

Dinitha, Shehan crack half tons

February 17, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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By M. Shamil Amit

Half tons by Dinitha Basnayake and Shehan Fernando helped St. Benedict’s College taking first lease of the wicket make a score of 282 against St. Joseph’s College who ended on 3 for 0 on day one in the Under 19 inter-schools cricket match played at Darley Road.

S. Thomas’ College were on top against Trinity College at the end of the first day’s play in the match played for the Ranil Abeynaike memorial trophy at Mt Lavinia while Nalanda, Gurukula MV Kelaniya and Devapathiraja MMV Rathgama dominated proceedings against Maliyadeva, St. Anthony’s Wattala and Kegalu Vidyalaya.

Chief Scores:
At Darley Road
St. Benedict’s 282 (Dinitha Basnayake 64, Shehan Fernando 51, Dilan Chathuranga 42, Chalana Sankalpa 30, Maheesh Theekshana 21: Nipun Sumanasinghe 4 for 32, Ruchira Ekanayake 2 for 35)
St. Joseph’s 3 for 0

At Mt Lavinia
Trinity 224 (Vimanga Sooriyampola 36, Shanogeeth Shanmuganathan 35, Hasitha Boyagoda 32, T. Banugopan 27, Hasitha Jayasuriya 26, Poorna Wanasekera 23: Pavith Ratnayake 5 for 54, Dellon Peiris 2 for 40)
S. Thomas’ 123 for 3 (Dinura Gunawardena 18, Sithara Hapuhinna 71 n.o.)

At Campbell Place
Maliyadeva 126 (Dilshan Kollure 65, Damitha Silva 23: Lakshitha Rasanjana 4 for 13, Asel Kulatunga 3 for 17, Kalana Perera 3 for 35) and 0 for 0
Nalanda 206 (Dasun Seneviratne 66, Rusiru de Silva 27, Kalana Kathriaarahchi 27, Kasun Sandaruwan 23: Damitha Silva 5 for 46, Sanjeewan Priyadharshana 3 for 57, Kaveen Bandara 2 for 35)

At Wattala
St. Anthony’s Wattala 103 (Rashmika Mewan 35, Arinda Pasindu 30: Sachitha Chamith 3 for 10, Udara Ravindu 3 for 10, Lasindu Arosha 3 for 25) and 99 for 4 (Avishka Tharindu 35rtd, Rashmika Mewan 28)
Gurukula MV Kelaniya 143 for 7 declared (Pruthuvi Rusara 63: Thushara Madushan 2 for 29, Avishka Tharindu 2 for 30, Kavindu Maduka 2 for 32)

At Rathgama
Kegalu Vidyalaya 154 (Madushan Gunasinghe 26, Kavindu Prabashana 23: Sudeera Weeraratne 6 for 67)
Devapathiraja MMV Rathgama 197 for 6 (Thisara Dilshan 54, Pawan Sandesh 30, Sudeera Weeraratne 59 n.o.: Kavindu Prabashana 2 for 22, Madushan Gunasinghe 2 for 39)

At Kirindiwela
Dudley Senanayake MMV Tholangamuwa 268 (Lakjith Jayaweera 84, Pulasthi Galdeniya 53, Sandakan Jayaweera 35, Dilsanka Sampath 35: Dineth Sathsara 7 for 115, Nimal Romildan 3 for 88)
St. Peter’s Negombo 94 for 9 (Pasindu Navod 23: Pulasthi Galdeniya 2 for 10, Prasad Gunasekera 2 for 22)

Kandy run riot to humiliate lowly CH

February 17, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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By Shamzeer Jaleel

Defending Clifford Cup champions Kandy Sports Club sent out a strong warning to the other teams in the competition when they outclassed CH & FC by 121 points (19 tries, 13 conversion) to 3 (1 penalty) at the Nittawela Rugby Stadium on Friday.

At the short breather Kandy led 57-00.

504

It was one way traffic from the kick off, with Kandy being too fast and superior with their professional approach towards the game. CH, who were placed last in the league, were full of freshers in their team and found it difficult to contain the Up Country unit. Kandy dominated proceedings combining well with their forwards and three-quarter line to display running rugby to plant 19 unanswered tries in the game. Both their wingers Vishwamithra Jayasinghe and Richard Dharmapala stood out with lightning pace moves touching down four tries each. In forwards play once again it was Yakoob Ali and Buwanka Udangamuwa both being omnipresent.

Kandy drew first blood in the third minute of the game when their Fullback Thilina Wijesinghe broke free to touch down and add the extra points. From this moment onwards tries were free flowing. Vishwamithra Jayasinghe (2), Dhanushka Ranjan (2), Richard Dharmapala (2), Yakoob Ali and Chathuranga scored tries. Thlina converted six of those tries.

In the second half Kandy continued their good work and scored tries through Vishwamithra (2), Roshan Weeraratne, Buwanka Udangamuwa, Dharmapala (2), Lavanga Perera, Sooriyabandara and Jamaldeen.

Conversions were taken by Thlina Wijesinghe and Yakoob Ali. For CH & FC their only penalty was put over by Shamry Burah. CH & FC player Anurudha Ekanayake received a red card for stamping on an opponent.

The match was refereed by Aruna Rankothge.

Richmond cruise to innings win

February 17, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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By M. Shamil Amit

Richmond College cruised through to an innings and 29-run win over Dharmasoka MV Ambalangoda in the Under 19 inter-school cricket encounter concluded at the Surrey Village ground in Maggona on Friday.

The second day’s play saw Dharmasoka MV batting the second time with a deficit of 131 runs to erase being unable to achieve it as they were able to muster a score of only 102 runs.

A knock of 127 by Gajitha Kotuwegoda and a half ton by Thimira Supun on day two helped St. Mary’s Kegalle chalk a comfortable innings and 77-run win over St. Thomas’ Matale in the match which ended at Matale.

Jaffna Central thanks to a blistering knock of 167 by S. Kartheepan recorded a massive innings and 196-run win against Hindu Kokuvil in the match concluded at Jaffna yesterday.

At Maggona
Richmond 255 (Dhananjaya Lakshan 40, Sandun Mendis 40, Avindhu Theekshana 37, Kasun Tharaka 32, Ravishka Wijesiri 30: Kavindu Nadeeshan 4 for 61, Lohan De Soysa 2 for 43, Ushan Imantha 2 for 61)
Dharmasoka MV Ambalangoda 124 (Kaveesh Kumara 37, Harshajith Rushantha 30: Ravishka Wijesiri 4 for 24, Avindu Theekshana 3 for 19, Thilanga Udeeshana 2 for 24) and 102 (Kaveesh Kumara 37, Dinuka Dilshan 25:Dhananjaya Lakshan 3 for 13, Sandun Mendis 3 for 18, Thilanga Udeeshan 2 for 12, Ravishka Wijesiri 2 for 20)

At Matale
St. Thomas’ Matale 124 (Sajith De Silva 47, Bhawantha Samitharanga 19: Lasitha Udage 4 for 31, Daminda Gayan 2 for 24, Thimira Supun 2 for 24) and 184 (Lihaja Jayasundara 94, Sajith de Silva 71: Lasitha Udage 4 for 84, Thimira Supun 2 for 14, Mass Rahim 2 for 19)
St. Mary’s Kegalle (196/5 overnight) 385 for 9 declared (Gajitha Kotuwegoda 127, Thimira Supun 50, Mass Rahim 48, Sajeewa Ranjith 46, Lasitha Udage 43: Sasika Bandara 3 for 42, Deemantha Senanayake 2 for 71, Mohamed Ismail 2 for 77)

At Jaffna
Hindu Kokkuvil 90 (K. Thushyanthan 32: S. Thasopan 4 for 13, T. Sajeepan 3 for 21, S. Mathushan 2 for 29) and 143 (K. Bhanujan 56: S. Thushanthan 6 for 31, S. Thasopan 4 for 52)
Jaffna Central (295/6 overnight) 429 (S. Kartheepan 167, A. Jaroshan 52, U. Priyaluhan 40, K. Nixon 34: R. Nithsuhan 3 for 67, S. Nishanth 2 for 78, U. Nimalathas 2 for 89)

Ragama CC, Colts CC end campaign on winning note

February 17, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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By M. Shamil Amit

Ragama CC and Colts CC ended the Premier League campaign on a winning note when they recorded outright wins against Chilaw Marians and Tamil Union in the Super Eight encounters concluded at the Colts and Army ground in Panagoda on Friday.

Ragama CC coasted to a comfortable seven-wicket victory and the final day’s play saw them, resuming from their overnight score of 114 for 1 in pursuit of 188, racing to victory on the back of a half ton by Lahiru Milantha.

Colts CC coasted to a massive 182-run win as Tamil Union resuming from their overnight score of 203 for 4 was bundled out for 279 runs after having been set a mammoth target of 462 runs by Colts CC.

Results:
At Colts
Chilaw Marians CC 168 and 295
Ragama CC 276 and (114/1 overnight) 191 for 3 (Lahiru Milantha 62, Samindu Fernando 44, Janith Liyanage 23, Akshu Fernando 38 n.o., Sameera de Zoysa 16 n.o.: Maduka Liyanapathiranage 2 for 61)
At Panagoda

Colts CC 218 and 411
Tamil Union 168 and (203/4 overnight) 279 (Sithara Gimhan 85, Manoj Sarathchandra 59, Dineth Thimodya 37, Ramith Rambukwella 32: Akila Dhananjaya 5 for 103, Ishan Jayaratne 3 for 76)

CR overcome Air Force in late drama

February 17, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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By Shannon Nicholas

CR & FC managed to book their place in the semi-finals of the Dialog Clifford Cup 2017 when they beat Air Force SC 36 points to 33 at the Racecourse Grounds on Friday.

CR vs AF

A solitary penalty made the difference between the two sides as both teams scored four goals and a try. CR & FC were given a scare during the second-half, which saw them trail by 33 points to 22 at one stage, but rallied back to grab victory.

The scores read 17-12 in favour of CR when Referee Priyantha Gunarathne blew for half-time.

Outside-half Gayantha Iddamalgoda put the Airmen ahead with just four minutes into the game through a try, after getting the better of the CR backline, and after Fullback Nuwan Perera bisected the poles with the conversion.

Five minutes later CR responded by pushing themselves up field and were awarded a penalty, which was successfully converted off the trusted boots of Tarinda Ratwatte, to amend the scores to 07-03.

Wing Kavindu Perera put the ‘Reds’ in front 10-07 when he executed a perfect run before touching down. Outside-half Nalin Kumara added the extras.

CR continued to dominate possession with many attempts to inflict damage and were successful when Kavindu managed to touch down five minutes later. The wing himself converted and CR were up 17-07.

Air Force managed to cut the lead to five points soon afterwards, when Lock Supun Madusanka went over the line to plant the Airmen’s second try of the evening. The conversion was wasted and the scores were amended to 17-12.

The scoreboard wasn’t amended for the rest of the first-half and it stood at 17-12 in favour of CR when the half-time whistle was blown.

CR began their attack again as soon as play resumed when Fullback Sashan Mohamed scored CR’s third try of the evening after collecting the ball through an Ashan de Costa pass close to the throw line. Air Force responded minutes later however, when Wing Anjana Vinod touched down and with Iddamalgoda adding the extras, the scores were made 22-19.

CR’s Anuradha Herath was sin-binned for a high-tackle and Air Force, with the advantage of the extra man on field, deployed troops up field in search of points. They were able to stun their opponents when Iddamalgoda came up with two back-to-back tries within a span of five minutes. Iddamalgoda converted the first while Nuwan added the extras in the second, to give Air Force a comfortable 33-22 lead.

With time running out, the CR bench were feeling the mounting pressure. The Air Force defense proved to be below-par as they let Kokila Sammandapperuma fly past them to touchdown. Naleen Kumara added the extras and the scores were set to 33-29 with 13-minutes to go.

Air Force stole the ball back and were seen playing up field gaining possession as the CR players watched the clock tick. With just five minutes to go Naleen Kumara scored the winning try for the Reds when he slipped through the leaky Air Force defense to touch down. He himself added the extras and the scores were amended to 36-33.

It was too late for the Airmen to overturn the score, and all efforts of grabbing some points by them were cancel-ed out by the CR back-line.

With the win, CR qualified for the semi- finals where they would face defending champions Kandy SC on Wednesday.

Live updates: St. Joseph’s College vs St. Benedict’s College

February 17, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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Result: Match drawn

17:36 – St. Joseph’s College 1st innings 364/8 in 88 overs

J. Fernandopulle 72, P. Perera 59, R. Kavishka 3/84

16:21 – St. Joseph’s College 1st innings 314/6 in 81 overs

J. Fernandopulle 46*, P. Perera 41*

15:45 – St. Joseph’s College 1st innings 275/6 in 71 overs

P. Perera 31, R. Kanishja 2/50

14:43 – St. Joseph’s College 1st innings 240/6 in 59 overs

N. Sumanasinghe 114

13:27 – St. Joseph’s College 1st innings 175/3 in 43 overs

N. Sumanasinghe 85, D. Madurawela 49.

12:23 – St. Joseph’s College 1st innings 109/2 in 30 overs

N. Sumanasinghe 48 n.o, D. Madurawela 28 n.o.

11:26 – St. Joseph’s College 1st innings 75/2 in 25 overs

N. Sumanasinghe 27 n.o.  

10:27 – St. Joseph’s College 1st innings 38/1 in 10 overs

Day two 

17:22 – St. Joseph’s College 1st innings 3/0 in 2 overs at close

16:59 – St. Benedict’s College 1st innings 282 all out in 91.4 overs 

D. Basnayake 64, C. Sankalpa 30, N. Sumanasinghe 4/32

15:07 – St. Benedict’s College 1st innings 163/5 in 66 overs

M. Theekshana 21 n.o, R. Ekanayake 2/21.

14:11 – St. Benedict’s College 1st innings 128/4 in 52 overs

S. Fernando 51, D. Chathuranga 42, R. Ekanayake 2/21

13:06 – St. Benedict’s College 1st innings 112/2 in 41 overs

S. Fernando 47 n.o, D. Chaturanga 38 n.o. 

11:33 – St. Benedict’s College 1st innings 67/2 in 26 overs.

10:31 – St. Benedict’s 1st innings 34/1 in 11 overs 

10:07 – St. Joseph’s won the toss and elected to field first

Trinity College vs S. Thomas’ College – S. Thomas’ College won by one wicket

February 17, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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Result: S, Thomas’ won by one wicket

17:10 – S. Thomas’ College 2nd innings (target 122) 124/9 in 40.5 overs 

Romesh Warnaperuma 35*, Vimukthi Netumal 3/45

16:22 – S. Thomas’ College 2nd innings (target 122) 108/9 in 34 overs

Romesh Warnaperuma 19*

14:57 – S. Thomas’ College 2nd innings (target 122) 44/2 in 11 overs

R. Kodithuwakku 24*, D. Peiris 111*

14:11 – S. Thomas’ College 2nd innings (target 122) 13/2 in 3 overs

R. Kodithuwakku 8*, Sithara Hapuhinna 0*

Trinity 2nd innings 76 all out 

M. Suhaib 1*

13:07 – Trinity 2nd innings 48/6 in 13 overs

Tisaru Dilshan 13*, Badugoban 0*, Kevin Iriyagama 2 for 13

12:12 – Trinity 2nd innings 17/2 in 6 overs

Sanoogith Sanmuganadan 9*

S. Thomas 1st innings 179/9 dec in 52 overs

Sitara Hapuhinna 76, Vimukthi Netumal 5 for 63

10:40 – S. Thomas 1st innings 145/8 in 41 overs

Senan Peries 9*, Harin Ratnayaka 0*, Dimukthi Netumal 4 for 37

Day two 

17:41 – S. Thomas 1st innings 123/3 in 27 overs at close 

Mantila Wijeratne 27*, Sithara Hapuhinna 71*

17:11 – S. Thomas’ College 1st innings 92/3 in 20 overs

Mantila Wijeratne 16*, Sithara Hapihinna 51*

16:09 – S. Thomas’ College 1st innings 20/2 in 6 overs

Dinura Gunawardana 9*, Tisara Hapuhinna 6*

Trinity 1st innings 224 all out in 64.5 overs

Himanga Suriyampola 36, Hasintha Jayasuriya 26, Sanogith Sanmuganadan 35, C Ratnayake 5 for 54

15:12 – Trinity College 1st innings 219/8 in 61 overs 

M. Sohib 2*, T. Banugoban 24*

14:22 – Trinity College 1st innings 210/7 in 56 overs 

Thisaru Dilshan 8*, T. Banugoban 20*, K. Ratnayake 3/36

13:23 – Trinity 1st innings 167/6 in 40 overs

Purna Wanasinghe 12* T Banugoban 0*, K Ratnayake 3 for 32

12:06 – Trinity 1st innings 141/4 in 29 overs at lunch

Hasitha Boyagoda 20*

10:35 – Trinity 1st innings 48/1 in 10.3 overs

Himanga Suriyampola 18*, Sanogeeth Sanmuganadan 2*, Hasintha Jayasuriya out 26

Trinity College won the toss and elected to bat first 

Real Madrid bounce back to beat Napoli

February 16, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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Real Madrid shrugged off conceding an early away goal to take a huge step towards a seventh straight Champions League quarter-final as goals from Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Casemiro sealed a 3-1 win over Napoli on Wednesday.

Kroos

Lorenzo Insigne’s stunning 40-yard strike had the travelling hordes in dream land after just eight minutes of the last 16 first leg.

However, Benzema soon headed home an equaliser before Kroos and Casemiro fired home from outside the box early in the second half to give the holders a commanding lead ahead of the second leg on March 7.

“We played a great game, above all at the start,” said Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

“The shame was to concede given the start we made, but we equalised quickly to get back in the game and in the end it is a logical result.”

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri lamented his side’s slackness in possession, but believes they still have a chance back at the San Paolo given it had taken what he considered Real’s best performance in three months to beat them.

“Clearly Madrid played their best game of the past three months and we didn’t play our best,” said Sarri.

“If we manage to play at our best we are not that far away. We may lose (in the second leg) but we can go for it.”

With former Napoli great Diego Maradona watching on, the atmosphere reached fever pitch before kick-off as up to 10,000 travelling fans were estimated to have made the trip from Naples for only their side’s second ever appearance in the last 16.

By contrast, Real are in the knockout stages for the 20th straight season and it was the home fans who nearly had something to cheer inside 30 seconds as Benzema’s shot from close range was parried by Pepe Reina.

However, it was Napoli who got off to the perfect start just eight minutes in when Insigne took aim from 40 yards and caught Madrid ‘keeper Keylor Navas out of position with a superb effort that curled around the Costa Rica international.

Madrid, though, showed the response of champions to level just 10 minutes later when Dani Carvajal’s cross with the outside of his right boot picked out Benzema to power home a header from close range.

Cristiano Ronaldo should have had one of the two goals he needs to reach 100 in European competition on 27 minutes when great work from Benzema and Luka Modric freed the World Player of the Year inside the area, but he blasted well over the bar.

Madrid’s control of the first 45 minutes grew as the half went on and only a combination of Reina and the post denied the hosts a lead at the break.

This time Ronaldo was inch-perfect with his low cross for Benzema, but his effort was tipped onto the woodwork and behind by Reina.

The tie did swing decisively in Madrid’s favour within 10 minutes of the restart however.

Firstly, Ronaldo played provider once more with a fine run down the right and measured cut-back for Kroos to slot home from the edge of the box.

Then Napoli were struck by a thunderbolt from the most unlikely source as defensive midfielder Casemiro pounced on a looping clearance to volley first-time past a helpless Reina.

Napoli had the chances to set up a thrilling return leg as Dries Mertens, who had scored 14 goals in his previous 11 appearances, fired over with the goal at his mercy from former Madrid winger Jose Maria Callejon’s fine lay-off.

Mertens also saw another effort smothered by Navas from close range and Callejon a goal ruled out for offside as Napoli slumped to their first defeat in 19 games.

LeBron leads Cavaliers into break with win over Pacers

February 16, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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LeBron James scored 31 points, Kyrie Irving added 26 and Kyle Korver had 22 to spark defending NBA champion Cleveland over the visiting Indiana Pacers 113-104.

Cavaliers

In their final game before Sunday’s 66th NBA All-Star Game, the Cavaliers won their third game in a row and seventh in eight starts to stand 39-16 and atop the Eastern Conference. At 7-1 in February, the Cavs matched their win total from a 7-8 January.

“We’ve played some good ball,” James said. “Obviously we know January wasn’t such a good month for us, but overall, for the season, we’re in a good place.”

Korver came off the bench to become only the seventh NBA player with 2,000 career 3-point baskets. He made 6-of-8 3-point shots, netting 13 points in the fourth quarter.

“It means something to me for sure,” Korver said. “I’ve always taken a lot of pride in shooting and studying it and thinking about it and trying to be better, and obviously I’m working on it every day.”

Klay Thompson scored 35 points and Kevin Durant added 21 as the Golden State improved the NBA’s best record to 47-9 by routing visiting Sacramento 109-86.

San Antonio, with the second-best record in the NBA behind Golden State, never trailed in routing host Orlando 107-79 behind 23 points from LaMarcus Aldridge and 22 by Kawhi Leonard.

Boston’s Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points, matching John Havlicek’s 45-year-old Celtics record with a 40th consecutive 20-point game, to spark the hosts to their fourth win in a row, a 116-108 victory over Philadelphia.

Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook scored 38 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and passed out 12 assists to power the host Thunder over New York 116-105. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 30 points while Derrick Rose added 25 for New York.

Detroit never trailed in a 98-91 victory over visiting Dallas, with Reggie Jackson scoring 22 points and Jon Leuer adding 20 points and eight rebounds. German star Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Mavericks, who lost both games against the Pistons in a season for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign.

Miami’s Hassan Whiteside had 23 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots in powering the Heat over host Houston 117-109. Miami never trailed as Dion Waiters added 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. James Harden led the Rockets with 38 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists.

Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points and the Milwaukee Bucks held off a late rally to defeat host Brooklyn 129-125, inflicting the Nets’ 14th loss in a row and stretch their home losing skid to 16 games.

Kyle Lowry scored 21 points and sparked a Toronto rally from 17 points down to defeat visiting Charlotte 90-85. Lowry’s 3-point play late in the fourth quarter gave the Raptors the lead for good.

New Orleans forward Solomon Hill scored a season-high 23 points to power the Pelicans past host Memphis 95-91. Vince Carter closed the Grizzlies within 92-91 on a 3-pointer in the final minute, but Anthony Davis sank a jumper and Langston Galloway made a free throw to seal the victory.

Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe had his third career triple double with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists as the host Suns took their most lopsided win of the season by routing the Los Angeles Lakers 137-101. It was Phoenix’s most lopsided victory over the Lakers in 240 all-time meetings, surpassing a 135-100 win in 1973.

Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins scored 40 points, cracking the mark for the fourth time this season in a 112-99 Timberwolves’ victory at Denver. Karl-Anthony Towns had 24 points and a season-high 19 rebounds for the winners.

Utah’s Gordon Hayward scored 22 points, passed off seven assists and grabbed six rebounds to lift the Jazz over visiting Portland 111-88, while Blake Griffin scored 17 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers over visiting Atlanta 99-84.

Thiago-inspired Bayern hand Arsenal 5-1 rout

February 16, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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Arsene Wenger’s future was plunged into further doubt on Wednesday as Thiago Alcantara inspired Bayern Munich to a 5-1 rout of hapless Arsenal to leave the Gunners facing a seventh straight Champions League last-16 exit.

Bayern Munich

Bayern extended their Champions League record to 16 straight home wins by flooring the Gunners with three goals in ten second-half minutes.

“That was a good performance, which perhaps wasn’t so expected,” said Thiago, who scored twice.

“We were playing at home, knew we had to score a few goals and everything worked very well after the break.”

Bayern knocked Arsenal out at the same stage in 2005, 2013 and 2014 and look comfortably placed to make it four times after romping through Wednesday’s first leg.

The Allianz Arena defeat raises the pressure on Wenger for the return leg on March 7 with only Alexis Sanchez’s away goal for comfort.

The result matched the 5-1 group-stage thrashing Arsenal received in Munich in November 2015 — the club’s joint record away defeat in Europe.

Arjen Robben’s superb curling shot gave Bayern the lead on 11 minutes, but Sanchez levelled by drilling home after Manuel Neuer saved his penalty on 30 minutes.

Robben also admitted he was surprised by the big win.

“Things worked very well,” said the Dutch winger.

“I am a bit surprised that we played so well, but on the other hand, I know the team has great character and can move up a gear when it matters.”

Bayern hit top gear after the break with a flurry of goals in quick succession.

Robert Lewandowski headed Bayern back into the lead on 53 minutes before Thiago added two in quick succession while Thomas Mueller came off the bench to complete the rout.

Bayern spent the opening minutes camped in the Arsenal half and took the lead on 10 minutes through Robben’s wonderful strike.

The Dutch winger cut in from the right and curled home a superbly-weighted shot off his left foot from outside the area.

Arsenal then raised the tempo and started pressing the hosts.

Bayern defender Mats Hummels was given a yellow card for fouling Sanchez just outside the box.

Mesut Ozil drilled the resulting free-kick at Neuer, but moments later Arsenal were awarded a penalty.

Lewandowski mistimed a clearance in the area and struck Laurent Koscielny’s raised leg.

Despite Bayern’s furious protests, Serbian referee Milorad Mazic pointed to the spot.

Neuer saved Sanchez’s penalty, but the Chile international drilled home the rebound at the second attempt.

It was the valuable away goal Bayern had talked about not conceding in the match’s build-up.

There were equally furious Bayern protests at the other end when David Alaba’s cross struck Hector Bellerin on the hand, but the referee waved play on.

It was 1-1 at the break, but Bayern stepped up the pressure in the second half.

Robben released Philipp Lahm who put in a perfect cross and Lewandowski twisted to tuck his header past David Ospina’s reach.

The Poland hot-shot then flicked Xabi Alonso’s pass into Thiago’s path and the former Barcelona midfielder fired past Ospina.

Lewandowski hit the crossbar on 61 minutes, but Thiago added his second when his shot from the edge of the box deflected past the Arsenal goalkeeper on 63 minutes.

Mueller came on for Lewandowski on 86 minutes and added Bayern’s fifth two minutes later after Thiago squared the final pass.

Richmond College vs Dharmasoka College – Richmond College won by innings and 29 runs

February 16, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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Result: Richmond College won by innings and 29 runs 

13:06 – Dharmasoka College 2nd innings 102 all out in 32.5 overs

D. Dilshan 25, S. Mendis 3/18, D. Lakshan 3/13

11:30 – Dharmasoka College 2nd innings 78/4 in 23 overs

K. Kumara 37, D. Lakshan 3/13

10:33 – Dharmasoka College 2nd innings (following on) 16/3 in 8 overs.  

Day two 

17:30 – Dharmasoka college 1st innings 124 all out in 36.5 overs at close

R. Wijesiri 4/24, A. Theekshana 3/19

17:14 – Dharmasoka College 1st innings 93/4 in 30 overs 

H. Rushantha 30, R. Wijesiri 2/4

16:32 – Dharmasoka College 1st innings 51/2 in 17 overs 

13:28 – Richmond College 1st inning 177/7 in 43 overs 

A. Theekshana 37, K. Tharaka 32, L. de Soysa 2/20

12:15 – Richmond College 1st innings 105/5 in 27 overs 

D. Lakshan 40, K. Nadeeshan 2/14

11:14 – Richmond College 1st innings 69/2 in 18 overs

D. Lakshan 34 n.o.

Richmond College 1st innings 23/0 in 6 overs

Dharmasoka College won the toss and elected to field vs Richmond College

S. Thomas’, Thurstan qualify to quarter finals

February 15, 2017 · Leave a Comment 

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By M. Shamil Amit

S. Thomas’ and Thurstan recorded outright wins to qualifiy to the quarter finals of the Under 19 inter-school with wins over St Sylvester’s and Maliyadeva in the matched which concluded at Panadura and Kurunegala on Wednesday.

The architects of the Thomian win were the ton scored by Ravindu Kodituwakku and five wicket hauls by Pavith Ratnayake and Kalana Perera which helped them crush St Sylvester’s by an innings and 38 runs.

Thurstan’s left arm spinner Naveen Gunawardena who earlier in the year achieved a rare bowling feat of ten wickets in an innings against D. S. Senanayake, ended with another fine bowling feat when he ended with impressive figures of 9 for 30 which paved the way for Thurstan to record a nine wicket against Maliyadeva at Kurunegala.

Meanwhile apart from these two teams to qualify to the quarter finals are Richmond, St Peter’s, Mahanama Colombo, Ananda, Dharmasoka MV and Maris Stella which has to be confirmed.

Results: 
At Panadura
S. Thomas’ 318 for 7 declared (Ravindu Kodituwakku 119, Sithara Hapuhinna 56, Romesh Nallaperuma 36, Manthila Wijeratne 28, Pavith Ratnayake 19 n.o.: Manuja Perera 3 for 51, Thusith Soysa 2 for 60)
St. Sylvester’s (67/3 overnight) 144 (Manuja Perera 30, Kanishka Jayasekera 25, Nadeera Balasuriya 20: Pavith Ratnayake 5 for 38, Dellon Peiris 3 for 38) and 135 (Chandula Jayakody 36, Thusith Soyza 23: Kalana Perera 5 for 29, Pavith Ratnayake 2 for 41)

At Kurunegala
Maliyadeva 181 (Damitha Silva 86, Dilshan Kollure 70: Naveen Gunawardena 5 for 55, Charana Nanayakkara 2 for 19, Sawan Prabash 2 for 30) and 102 (Dilshan Kollurer 33, Damitha Silva 31, Manelka Dharmadasa 20: Naveen Gunawardena 9 for 30)
Thurstan (141/4 overnight) 279 for 9 declared (Nimesh Lakshan 82, Yeshan Wickramaarachchi 44, Imesh Virange 37, Prageesha Mendis 25, Sawan Prabash 23: Damitha Silva 5 for 102) and 9 for 1

At Bambalapitiya
St. Peter’s 282 for 6 declared (Vinul Gunawardena 61, Santhush Gunatileke 53, Shalitha Fernando 52, Anishka Perera 39, Manelker de Silva 31 n.o., Shivan Perera 23 n.o.: Mohamed Alfar 2 for 34, Gihan Achintha 2 for 42)
St. Anthony’s (8/0 overnight) 141 (Nipun Ashok 30, Mohamed Abser 27, K. Stouter 27: Chathura Obeysekera 4 for 39, Mohamed Ameen 3 for 38, Santhush Gunatileke 2 for 26) and 96 for 9 (Mohamed Alfer 26, K. Stouter 21: Mohamed Ameen 5 for 12, Chathura Obeysekera 4 for 49)

At Matara
President’s Kotte 112 (Sachintha Liyanage 41: Kesara Nuwantha 5 for 26, Isuru Udayanga 3 for 13) and 177 for 9 declared (Dilshan Sigera 67, Hashan Priyadharshana 42: Charith Harshana 4 for 17)
St. Servatius Matara (122/8 overnight) 183(Thilan Prashan 57, Sasika Dulshan 51, Ruwinda Rochana 24: Chamod Wickramasuriya 4 for 38, Pramuka Gayshan 2 for 20) and 54 for 3 (Isuru Udayanga 16, Charith Harshana 16 n.o.: M. Rifaz 2 for 23)

At Rathgama
Devapathiraja MMV Rathgama 185 (Nimesh Chathuranga 52, Thisaru Dilshan 39, Sudeera Weeraratne 34: Tharindu Lakshan 4 for 47) and 189 for 6 (Nimesh Chathuranga 52, Sudeera Weeraratne 37, Pathum Madusanla 27 n.o., Pasindu Sathsara 20 n.o.: Shehan Hansika 3 for 37)
Revatha MMV Balapitiya (35/1 overnight) 295 for 9 declared (Kavindu de Silva 81, Dimuthu Kalhara 69, Shehan Hansika 59, Aminda Chehan 25: Nimesh Chathuranga 5 for 64)

At Matale
St. Thomas Matale (121/1 overnight) 264 for 5 declared (Lihaja Jayasundara 80, Pubudu Bandara 53, Sajith de Silva 43, Shashika Bandara 26 n.o.: Ishara Silva 3 for 36)
Royal Panadura 222 (Milan Fernando 61, Prashan Kalhara 47, Ishara Silva 38: Shashika Bandara 4 for 43, Mohamed Ismail 3 for 87)

At Sandalankawa
Sandalanka Central 165 (Thisaru Dilshan 39, Sudeera Weeraratne 34, Nimesh Chathuranga 51 n.o.: Tharindu Lakshan 3 for 40) and 151 (Tharindu Maduwantha 41, Waruna Harischandra 33: Mohamed Althaf 5 for 49, Nusky Ahmed 5 for 63)
Zahira MMV Akurana 205 (Mohamed Althaf 54, Shivakumar Subakumar 30, Mohamed Shahik 30: Binod Chathuranga 6 for 60) and 113 for 2 (Mohamed Rimaz 51 n.o., Nusky Ahmed 31 n.o.: Binod Chathuranga 2 for 46)

At Kirindiwela
Henegama Central 352 (Sisakalum Lochana 109, Kaveesha Pinimuthu 104, Vishad Lahiru 29, Pramith Dharshana 20: Shehan Lakshan 2 for 22, Senal Ransika 2 for 49)and 61 for 1 (Sisakalum Lochana 32, Kaveesha Pinimuthu 28 n.o.)
Kirindiwela Central (39/2 overnight) 191 (Shehan Lakshan 74, Shenal Ransika 36: Pramith Dharshana 2 for 26, Vimukthi Lakshan 2 for 26, Naveesha Sandaruwan 2 for 28, Ishad Lahiru 2 for 39) and 225 (Kalhara Sh, Isuru Dhananjaya 58, Sachith Lakshitha 29, Shenal Ransika 23: Ramith Chamal 5 for 61, Shehan Dinusha 5 for 72)

At Polgahawela
Dudley Senanayake MMV Tholangamuwa 187 (Pulasthi Galdeniya 32, Prasad Gunasekera 22: Maduranga Jagoda 4 for 53, Dhanushka Adikari 2 for 54) and 54 for 1 (Dhananjaya Karunaratne 21)
Sir John Kotalawala MMV Kurunegala (42/5 overnight) 77 (Prasad Gunasekera 4 for 17, Ravindu Sasanka 3 for 9, Sanjana Wickramaarchchi 2 for 7) and 163 (Chandimal Premasiri 61, Ijad Ahmed 53: Prasad Gunasekera 4 for 39, Ravindu Sasanka 3 for 29)

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