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Harshitha’s 69* helps SL make it two wins in two

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Bangladesh had had an excellent batting powerplay, but Chamari Athapaththu and Inoka Ranaweera slowed them down, and helped force the wickets that saw Bangladesh slump to 126 for 8, on a straightforward Newland surface.

Although there was an early wobble, Sri Lanka’s batters orchestrated a methodical chase. Harshitha Samarawickrama struck 69 not out off 50 balls to complete Sri Lanka’s second successive victory in this tournament.

Earlier, right-arm-seamer Marufa Akter had threatened to demolish Sri Lanka, as she dismissed three batters in her first two overs of the game, all inside the powerplay. She was the only bowler to take a wicket. None of Bangladesh’s batters, however, reached 30.

Harshitha’s magic

In the powerplay, she faced only 13 balls, but her effect on this match soon became clear. Where Athapaththu took it upon herself to raise the run rate, Harshitha’s job was to man watch the wickets column.

She did just that. At the end of the powerplay, she was 8 off 9 balls. By the halfway stage she was 22 off 22.

Finding her rhythm was what Harshitha did, for a while. Until in the second half of the innings, she began to find the boundary. Her most profitable stretch came in the 16th over, when she crashed two sixes and a four in the space of four deliveries. That burst put her innings into high gear, and she never climbed down, whittling away at Sri Lanka’s required rate, as Nilakshi de Silva kept her company.

The two put on a partnership worth 124 – de Silva making 41 of those runs. She had made a serious contribution too.

Marufa’s burst

If there’s any Bangladesh player who should feel aggrieved at a comfortable Sri Lanka win, it’s Marufa. After her first two overs, Bangladesh may in fact have had huge hopes of defending their modest total. She moved two balls away from Sri Lanka’s star batter Athapaththu, before bringing one back in at the left-hander and having her caught at mid-on – a classic dismissal.

Next over, she took two Sri Lanka wickets in two balls, and helped push the battle towards her side. In the end, she finished with 3 for 23 from her four overs.

Sri Lanka’s spinners leash the opposition

By this stage, it should be clear to opponents that some pitches are merely playing to type. But perhaps this was just good bowling.

Bangladesh got to 48 for 2 after six overs, and as such, could have been primed to get past 150. Instead the Sri Lanka spinners began to choke them.

Athapaththu was chief among the chokers, firing in accurate darts, as Ranaweera and Oshadi Ranasinghe tempted them into big shots. In the end, Athapatthu finished with 2 for 19 from her four overs. Which would have been the best figures, if not for Ranasinghe’s 3 for 23.

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President pays final respects to late Dr. Ariyaratne & Palitha Thewarapperuma (Pics)

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe today (April 19) paid his final respects to the late social activist and founder of the Sarvodaya movement, Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne as well as to former UNP Member of Parliament and former Deputy Minister, Palitha Thevarapperuma.Visiting the Moratuwa Sarvodaya Headquarters where Mr. Ariyaratne was laid to rest, the President offered his final respects and left a condolence note. He also shared condolences with the grieving family members. 

The President also paid his last respects and extended condolences to the grieving family and local community at the residence Palitha Thewarapperuma, in Yatadolawatte, Matugama.

UNP Chairman MP Wajira Abeywardena and several others attended the event.

(Pics : PMD)


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Flu & diarrhea cases among children on the rise

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Health Authorities have warned of a rise of diarrhea and flu cases among children after the New Year period.
Consultant paediatrician Dr. Deepal Perera advised parents to immediately seek medical attention if their children have been suffering from fever continuously for 3-4 days.

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Fortified rice distribution initiative commences

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The distribution of fortified rice, provided by the World Food Program (WFP) on behalf of the program initiated under the instructions of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, to provide a nutritious meal for school students, commenced today, (19) at the Veyangoda warehouse complex.

In an effort to reduce iron deficiency among school children, fortified rice is provided for school meals. This distribution will be conducted under the supervision of Mr. M.H.A.M. Riflan, Director General for the Partnership Secretariat for World Food Programme Co-operation (PSWFPC), which operates under the purview of the Presidential Secretariat.

As planned, the distribution of 735 metric tons of rice to provincial-level schools commenced today as part of the first phase and will continue tomorrow (20). This rice stock is being delivered to schools under the supervision of officials from the respective Provincial Departments of Education and Public Health Inspectors (PHIs).

Meanwhile, Director General for the PSWFPC, Mr. M.H.A.M. Riflan stated that 378.835 metric tons of dhal, 412.08 metric tons of sunflower cooking oil, and 300 metric tons of dates will be distributed to schools following the start of the new school term on May 19.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Education has implemented measures to provide a main meal at school for all students in grades 1-5 across the country. Following nutritionists’ recommendations, students receive breakfast between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. daily before engaging in educational activities.

Under the theme of ‘Healthy Active Generation,’ the 2024 school meal program aims to reduce nutritional problems among students, increase daily school attendance, foster good eating and health habits, contribute to the improvement of educational achievement levels, and fulfil the fundamental objectives of promoting local food culture.The school feeding program for this year extends its benefits to 1.6 million students, including primary students from 9,134 government schools, as well as smaller schools with fewer than 100 students. A budget of Rs. 16.6 billion has been allocated to the nine provincial councils by the government, supplemented by sponsorship from entities such as the World Food Program (WFP) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

(President’s Media Division) 

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