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Sri Lankan Cricketers celebrated their 100th Test match victory in style by beating Ireland 2-0 series | Nilanga Daldeniya

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Meanwhile Prabath Jayasuriya became the fastest-ever spinner to get 50 Test wickets and broke a 71 year old Test record.

Sri Lankan cricketers have humiliated visiting Ireland cricketers by beating them in both test matches after losing to Blackcaps and falling short to reach the World Test Championship Finals. Captain Dimuth Karunarathne elected to bat first in favour of Gall pitch in the first test and Lankans made 591/6 before declaring their first innings. Karunarathne led the score card by scoring a dashing 179 followed by the no 3 batsman Kusla Mendis’s 140. Vast experienced Dinesh Chandimal and young Sadeera Samarawickrama were put cherry on the top by scoring unbeaten 102 and 104 respectively.  Left arm spinner Prabath Jayassuriya’s 7 wickets for 52 runs sent Ireland back to the pavilion for 143 by asking visitors to bat again. It was a nightmare for visiting Irelands when Ramesh Mendis and Prabath Jayasuriya started to wreck their second innings. Mendis got 4-76 while Jayasuriya ended up with 3-56 to reduce Irelands for 168 to celebrate the innings and 280 runs massive victory. Prabath Jayasuriya’s 10 wicket haul recorded Sri Lanka’s biggest ever test victory in the history while Ireland tasted their 5th consecutive test defeat since 2018 after receiving the test status.

Ireland came with a big hope for the second test in Galle. Curtis Campher’s 111 and Paul Stirling’s 103 helped visitors to reach 492 mark. Once again Prabath Jayasuriya took 5-174 to close to his 50 wicket milestone. Lankan batters destroyed the Irish hopes by piling massive 704-3. Once again Karunarathne played a captain’s knock by scoring 115 followed by fellow opener Nishan Madushanka scoring his maiden double century (205). Kusal Mendis displayed his batting skills by scoring 245 in 291 deliveries with 18 fours and 11 sixes. Former captain Angelo Mathews ended up with an unbeaten century. Trailing 212 Ireland stepped into the pitch with some sort of a hope but Ramesh Mendis’s 5-64 pushed them to their 6th straight test defeat. Prabath Jayasuriya dismissed Paul Stirling in the fourth over of the morning to become the quickest-ever spinner to take 50 wickets, in just seven Tests by overcoming Fellow left-arm Alf Valentine of West Indies who had taken eight games to the milestone more than seven decades earlier. Further Lankans wrote the record books by registering their 100th Test match victory since receiving their test status in 1981. Kusal Mendis was awarded the player of the series for his ruthless batting while Prabath Jayasuriya was the Man of the match for his classic spin bowling.

Young Athletes shine in the Under-18 Youth Athletics Championship in Uzbekistan by winning Two Silvers and Two Bronzes.

Sri Lanka’s Thushen Silva’s silver medal in the boy’s pole vault was highlighted in the event. Thushen’s 4.70m effort brought him to the mother island for the first ever silver medal after 72 years in a pole vault event at the U18 Asian Championship. This remarkable journey started in a very disappointing manner because the status of this game is really low in Sri Lanka. It had been decided to remove this event even for the junior selection trials. However, after repeated requests from Thushen and his coach Sanath Gunarathne, this event was included in the championship selection trials. Not only that Thushen couldn’t afford to take his pole in the plane due to the Sri Lankan Athletic Federation refusing to pay the associated fee. He left the country without the pole and Balabin Maxim, the Kazakh athlete kindly gave his pole to Thushen to compete the event. This is a true example for the spirit of this game. Thushen is from Maris Stella Negombo.

Meanwhile Ayomal Akalanka from Ambagamuwa Central College managed to win a bronze medal in the boys’ 400 m hurdles event by recording an excellent performance of 51.40 seconds. It is the best recorded time so far for a 400 m hurdles event in the Under-18 age group and it is special that Ayomal’s timing is included among the world’s best 10 in the 400 m hurdles event.

Nilupul Pehesara from Vijitha Central College, Dickwella won a silver medal in the boys’ high jump event with a feat of 2.01 meters along with Kasuni Nirmalee Wickramasinghe of Wickramabahu National College, Gampola who participated in the girls’ 800 m event, won the bronze medal. Kasuni clocked 2.17.04 minutes to run with a serious hamstring injury and was unable to walk at the end of the event. This reflected the true commitment and the moral of our young Sri Lankan athletes.

Gayanthika and Aruna perform well at the International Athletic Competition at Shizuoka Japan.

This Japanese athletic meet is a ‘C’ grade international competition and a good opportunity to collect points to improve their ranking for the next Hungarian World Athletic Championship.  Sri Lankan athlete Gayanthika Abeyrathne finished first in the 800m race with an overall race timing of 2.04:35 Minutes. Aruna Darshana clocked his personal best 45.59 seconds to finish his heat second and overall third. Both athletes have already qualified for the Asian Games and are looking for World Athletic Championship qualification as well as the next Olympics. They both ran again on 07th May in Osaka, Japan.

By Nilanga Daldeniya.

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