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DateLine Wednesday, 4 February 2009

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Motivation and team-work key to Colts' success

Motivation, commitment backed up by some excellent team work helped Colts Cricket Club clinch the SLC Premier League Tier A title for the 2008/09 inter club domestic cricket season.

Last week they added the finishing touches by completely outplaying Baduraliya CC on the first innings in the final match of the tournament on their home grounds at Havelock Park.

In fact Colts CC went into the final outing fully assured of lifting the championship as they needed only four points from dislodging the table leaders and the reigning champions SSC. They were more concerned on the unpredictable weather rather than their opponents who had little to offer in this one sided encounter.

The real fact was that Colts CC had played some fantastic cricket not from the beginning but especially during the latter stages of the competition. The draw for the tournament was also tailor made for them as they were up against weak opponents during their last couple of games.

However their coach and former Sri Lanka wicket keeper batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana described the team›s success as to sheer commitment and hard work. He pointed out the amount of talent and potential in the side combined with great team work that helped them to overcome the challenges during the season.

Kaluwitharana of course agreed that they did not make a good start for their campaign and were far behind compared to some of the other teams in the tournament. In fact they suffered a first innings defeat against the SSC and also went down to Tamil Union outright.

But Colts CC certainly believed in themselves and picked up their form as the season progressed. The players were willing to learn and they were more matured and prepared to face the challenges when the tournament reached its climax.

The other important factor was that Colts CC had the right person for the right job and that certainly helped them to remain always on top even against the toughest opposition. Kaluwitharana felt that there was always someone who came into their rescue whether it was while batting or bowling.

The secret behind Colts CC›s success was that they never depended on individual brilliance but always rallied around team work with significant contributions coming from the entire side.

This was quite clear considering the fact that there are three to four players who have collected over 400 runs in the tournament and in the bowling department too it has been a collective effort although Sajeewa Weerakoon is one outstanding player.

The left arm spinner was in a class of his own while claiming wickets quite regularly despite the reputation of the opposition. Weerakoon finished with a rich haul of more than 50 wickets for the season but it was his commitment and dedication that went a long way in helping them to regain the title.

Kaluwitharana also paid tribute to the veteran Chaminda Vaas who played his heart out and produced his one hundred percent whether it was batting or bowling. In fact the left arm seamer made himself available for the most important last few games of the tournament despite his commitments with the Sri Lanka team.

Vaas has been a long standing member of Colts Cricket Club and the team›s success after a lapse of four years would have certainly brought him a great amount of satisfaction. He was not able to play a major role but yet his presence and advice at some vital stages of the game really put them in a strong position.

Kaluwitharana believed that the team›s experience too went a long way in winning the championship with all rounder Jeewantha Kulatunga again making his presence felt. In fact this turned out to be a very successful season for Kulatunga who was able to make some big scores including a trail blazing double century.

Kulatunga emerged as a specialist batsman in the batting line up and held the middle order together with his sheer determination and concentration. Kaluwitarana also felt that the newcomers and the youngsters played their part well at different situations that made things much easier for them.

Ishan Muthalib who shifted from NCC this season made his presence felt with the bat and turned out to be more than a useful player for Colts CC. However Kaluwitharana was quite impressed with the performances of Roshane Silva, Thisara Perera, Rajiva Weerasinghe and Dhanuka Pathirana with all of them turning out to be match winners for the side.

The other significant fact was that the players were able to read and study the game well quickly and act accordingly to the situation. As a result each individual was well aware of his task and duties to perform whether it was batting, bowling or fielding.

Kaluwitharana rated all rounders Roshane Silva and Thisara Perera two former Josephians as future prospects for the country. The former collected over 450 runs in the tournament while batting at number six and also picked up some important wickets with his off spinners.

In addition Thisara Perera handled the new ball quite intelligently while delivering some vital blows and also excelled with the bat that helped them to further strengthen the late order.

Kaluwitharana also commended the excellent leadership of Malintha Warnapura who always led with an example on the field. In fact the elegant middle order batsman played a sterling role in their final outing against Baduraliya CC while scoring 95 and 100 not out in the two innings respectively.

Warnapura was exceptional in his captaincy because he was able to handle the pressure situations quite successfully and knew exactly the strength and weaknesses of his players. Kaluwitharana also commended the efforts of assistant coach Nishantha Weerasinghe, physio Dinendra, ground staff and the entire committee of Colts CC for their contributions.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
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