Fruitful home series
The two one day internationals at Premadasa International Stadium
turned out to be nightmares for Sri Lanka as Pakistan came from behind
to register back to back victories.
Sri Lanka team returned from Dambulla with high hopes, having won the
first three games of the five-match series to take a winning 3-0. True
that the hosts had already won the series by then but the aim of the
hosts was to win the two flood-lit games in Colombo.
Sri Lanka had all reasons to dream of a complete whitewash, having
won the first three matches played at Rangiri Dambulla International
Stadium. But it was not so as Pakistan came back strongly to regain lost
Whatever the disgrace Pakistan team had to face in the first three
games were well compensated after those thumping wins under lights at
the Premadasa International Stadium - by 146 runs and by 132 runs
On both the occasions, Sri Lanka were dismissed within 37 overs as
the hosts totalled only 175 and 147 runs respectively.
The main reason for Sri Lanka's pathetic performance in the last two
one day internationals were the mercy shown by their bowlers towards
Pakistan batsmen. Sri Lanka's bowling was at misery as Pakistan batsmen
made merry with their willows, posting healthy totals of 321 for 5 and
279 for 8 respectively. Those targets were too much for Sri Lanka, when
batting under lights. The home team's batsmen were under tremendous
pressure and they never recovered from early shocks.
Had Pakistan won the third one day international at Rangiri Dambulla
International Stadium, they would have well won the five-match series.
It was so close and yet so far for Pakistan in the third match. Having
made a healthy 288 for 8 in their 50 overs, Pakistan were right on top
but a double century opening stand between former captain Mahela
Jayawardena and Upul Tharanga earned Sri Lanka a creditable win.
In fact, young Tharanga had a lone effort in the fourth one day
international, scoring 80 out of Sri Lanka's miserable total of 175 all
In contrast, Chamara Kapugedara had an unimpressive comeback. Despite
scoring 67 not out in the second game, in which Sri Lanka dominated
right throughout, he had innings of 8, 8 n,o, 8, 1 in the other four
It seems the team is over dependent on skipper Kumar Sangakkara.
Unless Sangakkara or former captain Jayawardene come good with their
willows, the rest of the batting has often failed. Sangakkara made 39
and 16 in the last two games and Sri Lanka could not even go past the
Nevertheless, Sri Lanka has a fruitful home series under Sangakkara's
dynamic leadership. The host won the three-Test series 2-0 and the
five-match one day international series 3-2.
The Lankans must now capitalise on that to beat New Zealand in the
upcoming Test series and also to emerge champions at the Triangular home
series scheduled for early next month.
It was another prod moment in the annals of Sri Lanka's badminton
history when Achini Ratnasiri and Upuli Samanthika bagged gold medal in
the Girls Doubles Event at the Asian Under-16 Junior Continental
Badminton Championships concluded at S. Thomas' gymnasium last Sunday.
Ratnasiri and Samanthika beat Oshadie Kuruppu and Sushmita Ilangakoon
21-5, 21-11 in the all-Sri Lankan girls doubles final.
August 9 appears to be a happy hunting day for Sri Lanka badminton.
Ratnasiri and Samanthika won the gold medal on August 9 and exactly
the same day last year, Thilini Jayasinghe rewrote local badminton
history by becoming the first Sri Lankan woman shuttler ever to compete
at Olympic Games.
It was a creditable achievement by the Lankan lasses as this was the
first occasion in local badminton history that Sri Lanka has won the
Gold and Silver Medals in an international Badminton Tournament.
Ratnasiri also won the bronze medal, partnering Omal Vishvanath
Dharmawardena in the Mixed Doubles. Ratnasiri first came to the
limelight, beating her childhood idol Jayasinghe at last year's Sri
Lanka National Championships.