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SL athletes return after Asian “Para” Games in China



The contingent of Sri Lankan athletes that contested the Asian “Para” Games held in Hangzhou, China, arrived at the Katunayake Airport last night (30).

The athletes won 11 medals – two gold medals, five silver medals, and four bronze medals.

Sri Lanka finished at 18th place in the medal table.

Families of the athletes, State Minister of Sports Rohana Dissanayake as well as officials from the Ministry of Sports and the Sri Lanka National Paralympic Committee, were present at the airport to welcome them home.

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Sri Lanka announces squad for home series against India




Sports Minister Harin Fernando has approved the 16-member squad for Sri Lanka’s upcoming home series against India, with Charith Asalanka named as the Captain.

The squad includes notable players such as Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, and Chamindu Wickremesinghe.

India’s tour of Sri Lanka will feature a three-match T20I series followed by a three-match ODI series.

**Sri Lanka’s 16-member squad:**

1. Charith Asalanka – Captain
2. Pathum Nissanka
3. Kusal Janith Perera
4. Kamindu Mendis
5. Dasun Shanaka
6. Wanindu Hasaranga
7. Mahesh Theekshana
8. Matheesha Pathirana
9. Nuwan Thushara
10. Dunith Wellalage
11. Dushmantha Chameera
12. Binura Fernando
13. Dinesh Chandimal
14. Avishka Fernando
15. Chamindu Wickremesinghe

ODI Series at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
– August 2
– August 4
– August 7

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Athapaththu’s record-equalling ton gives Sri Lanka 144-run win




Chamari Athapaththu’s T20I best – an unbeaten 119 off 69 balls – formed the heart and soul of Sri Lanka’s crushing win over Malaysia at the Women’s Asia Cup in Dambulla.

There was also a dream outing for 15-year-old ambidextrous wristspinner Shashini Gimhani, who picked up 3 for 9 with her left-arm wristspin to send Malaysia on a tailspin in the powerplay from which they couldn’t recover, making it one-way traffic from start to finish.

Athapaththu starts sedately

Vishmi Gunaratne, the half-centurion in Sri Lanka’s win over Bangladesh, was out for 1 when she tamely chipped a check drive to short cover in the second over. But that hardly had any effect on Athapaththu, who kept putting the loose balls away from time to time. She also found some help from a series of lapses by the Malaysia fielders.

Athapaththu broke the shackles in the sixth over with back-to-back boundaries and raised Sri Lanka’s half-century in the next over. For much of the first half, Athapaththu’s elegance, and not her trademark brutality, took centre stage. With hardly any pace on the ball, she innovated at times to get well outside the line to flick and sweep, allowing Harshitha Samarawickrama some breathing space to find her gears during the course of a 64-run second-wicket stand.

Athapaththu hit back-to-back sixes off her opposite number Winifred Duraisingam in the 11th over to raise her half-century off 35 balls. Even then, there was a sense that Sri Lanka weren’t fully out of the third gear. Athapaththu received a lifeline on 56 when she was put down by Dhanusri Muhunan at backward point in the 12th over. That was the trigger for her to go into overdrive.

Athapaththu cranks it up

From 85 for 2 in 11 overs, Sri Lanka made 99 in the last nine. Athapaththu made 68 off her own, a majority of those coming in the last three overs. Unbeaten on 76 off 57 at the end of the 17th over, Athapaththu hit one four and five sixes in the last three overs. This included two back-to-back sixes off Aisya Eleesa’s military medium to bring up a century in the 19th, the first-ever in the history of the Women’s Asia Cup.

Athapaththu’s modus operandi was simple. Clear the front leg and muscle the ball into the arc from long-on to deep midwicket. Malaysia were so out of depth that they operated much of the second half with barely any protection on the leg side boundary against Athapaththu.

Anushka Sanjeewani had the best seat in the house during the course of their 115-run stand off just 62 balls. Sanjeewani’s own contribution to it was 31 off 24. The only semblance of cheer for Malaysia apart from their first wicket came right at the end when Duraisingham picked up two back-to-back wickets to close out the innings.

Winifred Duraisingam took 2 for 34 for Malaysia•Asian Cricket Council

Gimhani – Sri Lanka’s World Cup trump card?

Gimhani was one of the four changes Sri Lanka made in a bid to give everyone in the squad a run in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup. And she responded by picking up three wickets, including two in two overs inside the powerplay, with her left-arm wristspin.

Gimhani imparted plenty of revs on the ball and wasn’t afraid to toss it up. Sure, the quality of the opposition wasn’t the best to challenge her, but figures of 3 for 9 from four overs will be confidence-boosting. Malaysia’s chase never took off and from 17 for 3 in the sixth over, it only kept getting worse. Aina Najwa held on defiantly to bat out 43 balls for her 9 as Malaysia were bowled out for 40 in the final over.

Elsa Hunter, who hit the only two boundaries of the Malaysia innings, was one of Gimhani’s three victims.


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Jaffna Kings clinch 4th LPL title




Jaffna Kings clinched their fourth Lanka Premier League title with a dominant nine-wicket victory over the Galle Marvels on Sunday at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

They made light work of the 185-run target, thanks to explosive innings from Kusal Mendis and Rilee Rossouw.

Despite Pathum Nissanka being dismissed on the very first ball of their innings, Mendis and Rossouw led the chase with style.

Mendis, who had scored a century in the Qualifier 2 against the Kandy Falcons, contributed an unbeaten 72 off 40 balls. Rossouw, from South Africa, played a spectacular knock, finishing with an unbeaten 106 from just 53 balls, including nine fours and seven sixes.

Galle Marvels captain Niroshan Dickwella tried six different bowlers, but only Dwaine Pretorius managed to claim a wicket. The star spinner Maheesh Theekshana went wicketless, conceding 34 runs in his four overs.

Earlier, the Jaffna Kings chose to bowl first and their decision proved fruitful as they had Galle reeling at 24/3 in 6.5 overs.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa then played a pivotal role, scoring 82 runs from 34 balls. His innings included eight fours and six sixes, and he formed two crucial partnerships: a 62-run stand with Tim Seifert for the fourth wicket and a 72-run partnership with Sahan Arachchige for the fifth wicket. These partnerships helped Galle Marvels recover to 184/6 in their 20 overs.

Jaffna Kings’ pace duo, Asitha Fernando and Jason Behrendorff, also shone, with Fernando taking three wickets and Behrendorff conceding only 18 runs while claiming two wickets.

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