SRI LANKA CRICKET NEWS (MAY 2021) Compiled by Victor Melder

Sri Lanka beat the touring Bangladeshi’s by 209 runs to win the second Test played at Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium, Kandy. Scores:

Sri Lanka, 1st Innings – 493/7 dec (Thiriamanne 140, Karunaratne 118, Fernando 81, Dickwella 77no, Mendis 33, Nissanka 30, Ahmed 4/127, T. Islam 1/83, S. Islam 1/91, Miraz 1118)

Bangladesh, 1st Innings – 251 (Iqbal 92, Haque 49, Rahim 40,  Jayawickrama 6/92, Lakmal 2/30, Mendis 2/86)

Sri Lanka, 2nd Innings – 194/9 dec (Karunaratne 66, de Silva 41, Nissanka 24, Dickwella 24, T.Islam 5/72, Miraz 2/66, Hassan 1/22, Ahmed 1/26)

Bangladesh, 2nd Innings – 227 (Rahim 40, Miraz 39, Hassan 34, Haque 32, Jayawickrama 5/86, Mendis 4/103, de Silva 1/19)

Sri Lanka won the 2-match series, 1-0

Points: Sri Lanka 60, Bangladesh 0.

Player of the Match: Praveen Jayawickrama (Sri Lanka)

Player of the Series: Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)

Test Debut: Praveen Jayawickrama (Sri Lanka)  and  Shoriful Islam (Bangladesh)

Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera announced his retirement from international cricket a short while ago. The 32-year-old cricketer’s decision comes after recent announcements made by the selectors of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), revealing that they were considering dropping many senior cricketers, including Perera himself for the upcoming One-Day International (ODI) matches. The former Sri Lanka captain made his international debut on December 24, 2009, against India. He has since gone on to represent the Sri Lanka national team in over 250 matches Having represented  Sri Lanka in 166 ODIs, 84 T20I matches and six Tests, Perera has scored one hundred and 14 half-centuries in his international career. (Ceylon Today, 4.5.2021)

Sri Lankan cricket selectors have axed the old guard and brought in new faces to the ODI set-up along with some of the experienced campaigners with a firm message to all that there will not be room for anyone to go by names and past laurels while recalling batsman Kusal Mendis who had been grappling with disciplinary issues and form. The new-look squad’s first assignment will be a three-match series against Bangladesh on May 23, 25 and 28 away.Kusal Janith Perera has been named as the new captain replacing Dimuth Karunaratne while also out from the side is Angelo Mathews, both of whom will have to prove their fitness for future ODI appearances while the rest in the tour party have been told to deliver or depart in what is supposed to be a new policy and procedure that Sri Lanka Cricket has put in place in consultation with the Cricket Committee. Also recalled along with Kusal Perera is Kusal Mendis, Isuru Udana and Akila Dananjaya. The new faces who have not featured in an ODI match are fast bowlers Shiran Fernando, Binura Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne and Ramesh Mendis. Despite his form in domestic cricket, batsman Janith Liyanage has not been able to secure a slot.Sri Lanka squad: Kusal Janith Perera (captain), Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka de Silva, Kusal Mendis (vice captain), Dananjaya de Silva, Ashen Bandara, Dasun Shanaka, Niroshan Dickwella, Wanidu Hasaranga de Silva, Ramesh Mendis, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Dushmantha Chameera, Shiran Fernando, Binura Fernando, Asitha Fernando and Chamika Karunaratne. (Sunday Observer, 9.5.2021)

Former captains Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal and Dinesh Chandimal along with current Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and a few regulars will not sign contracts offered by Sri Lanka Cricket after they were forced to undergo significant pay cuts, The biggest gainers in the new contracts that will be announced shortly will be wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva, who will each earn US$ 100,000. In fact, they are the only two players in the top category. Mathews will lose as much as US$ 50,000 after his retainer was cut from US$ 130,000 to US$ 80,000. He will turn 34 next month and with the selectors indicating that they intend to move on with a younger crop of players for limited over games, there will be little motivation for him to accept the contract especially with Sri Lanka set to play just two more Tests for this year.

Dimuth Karunarante, who has made rapid strides in Test match cricket this year, will also receive a pay cut of US$ 30,000. Suranga Lakmal will also get a pay cut of US$ 45,000 having been demoted to the second category from the first tier where he earned US$ 100,000 the previous year. Everything about the contracts are not gloomy though with someone like Pathum Nissanka, who made a stunning debut in the Caribbean two months ago receiving a retainer worth US$ 55,000. Kasun Rajitha would consider himself that he has won a lottery with him finishing with US$ 50,000. Dinesh Chandimal is in a lower category than Rajitha earning just 45,000 US$. Danushka Gunatilleke probably gets the unkindest cut of all having been lowered to the last category where he will earn a mere US$ 30,000. The left-hander has emerged as the most consistent batsman in white ball cricket in recent times having had a good tour of West Indies. (Daily Island, 18.5.2021)

The 2021 Asia Cup, which was shifted from Pakistan to Sri Lanka, was on Wednesday called off due to rising COVID-19 cases in the country. The Asia Cup, which was last held in 2018, was scheduled to be held in June but Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva announced that it will be difficult for them to conduct the tournament. “Due to the prevailing situation, it will not be possible to play the tournament in June this year,” De Silva told reporters. The tournament was supposed to be hosted by Pakistan but since India were unlikely to travel there due to political tension between the two nations, it was shifted to Sri Lanka. With all the teams planning for their FTPs for the next two years, the continental showpiece might only find a slot after the 2023 ICC 50-over World Cup. The Asian Cricket Council headed by BCCI secretary Jay Shah is yet to make a formal announcement. Due to multiplying cases of COVID-19, Sri Lankan government has put a 10-day ban on international air travel. Sri Lanka are touring Bangladesh for a limited overs series while they will host a second string India team for a six-match white ball series in July.(Daily Mirror Online, 20.5.2021)

Shammi Silva was elected uncontested as the President of Sri Lanka Cricket for the 2021 to 2023 period, during the Sri Lanka Cricket Elections held this morning, stated the Sri Lanka Cricket. The decision was declared by the Election Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket.Silva’s election marks his 2nd term in office as the President of Sri Lanka Cricket. “I am thankful for the membership for electing me uncontested as the President of Sri Lanka Cricket,’ said Mr. Shammi Silva, President-Elect, Sri Lanka Cricket. ‘This victory also proves the fact that our stakeholders have understood the yeomen service my previous administration has rendered for the development of the game,’ he further added. Daily News, 20.5.2021)

The touring Sri Lankans “A’ Team beat the Sri Lanka ‘B’ team by 2 runs, in their practice match played at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan No 3 Ground, Savar. Scores:

Sri Lanka ‘B’ –  284/5 in 40 Overs (Dickwella 88, K. Mendis 69, Karunaratne 35, Sandakan 27no, Gunathilaka 1/26, Fernando 1/27, Hasaranga 1/43.

Sri Lanka ‘B’ – 282 in 37.2 Overs (Bandara 80no, Hasaranga 79, Udana47, Perera 28, Karunaratne 3/40, Fernando 1/43) Players per side 9 (9Batting, 9 Fielding)

Bangladesh beat the touring Sr Lankans by 33 runs to win the First ODI, played at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. Scores:

Bangladesh – 257/6 in 50 Overs (Rahim 84, Mahmudullah 54, Iqbal 62, Hossain 27no, de Silva 3/45, Gunathilaka 1/5)

Sri Lanka – 224 in 48.1 Overs (Hasaranga 74, Perera 30, Mendis 24, Miraz 4/30, Rahman 3/34, Saifuddin 2/49)

Player of the Match: Mushfiqur Rahim (Bangladesh)

Points: Bangladesh 10, Sri Lanka 0

Bangladesh beat the touring Sr Lankans by 103 runs (D/L method) to win the Second ODI, played at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. Scores:

Bangladesh – 246 in 48.1 Overs (Rahim 125, Mahmudullah 44, Das 25, Chameera 3/44, Sandakan 3/54, Udana 2/49)

Sri Lanka – 141/9 in 40 Overs (Gunathilaka 24, Nissanka 20, Udana 18, Rahman 3/16, Miraz 3/28, Al Hasan 2/38)

Player of the Match: Mushfiqur Rahim (Bangladesh)

ODI Debut: Shoriful Islam (Bangladesh)

Points: Bangladesh 10, Sri Lanka 0.

The touring Sri Lankans beat Bangladesh by 97 runs to win the third and final ODI played at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 286/6 in 50 Overs (K.Perera 120, D de Silva 55no, Gunathilaka 39, Ahmed 4/46, Islam 1/56)

Bangladesh – 189 in 42.3 Overs (Mahmudullah 53, Hossain 51, Rahim 28, Chameera 5/16, Mendis 2/40, Hasaranga 2/47)

Player of the Match: Dushmantha Chameera  (Sri Lanka)

Bangladesh won the 3-match series 2-1.

Player of the Series: Mushfiqur Rahim (Bangladesh)

Points: Sri Lanka 10, Bangladesh 0.

ODI Debut: Binura Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne & Ramesh Mendis (Sri Lanka)

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