Cricket: Asanka Gurusinha takes over SLC’s Brain Centre from May 15

With Asanka Gurusinha taking over as chief cricket operations officer from May 15, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will hope to streamline the player production line to take the sport to the next level. 

Currently employed as cricket manager and selector, Gurusinha will now be in charge of SLC's 'Brain Center', a facility that collects and analyses player data, and the High Performance Center based at Kettarama. 

He will also be head of all cricket operations in the country. 

This gives him a wider scope of work as overall in-charge of men’s and women’s cricket, the U-19s and Sri Lanka 'A', tasked with producing top class cricketers to wear the national jersey when required. 

“We are comfortable with (Chandika) Hathurusingha. So we need an administrative manager and Gurusinha is a level III qualified coach," said SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala, on the appointment. 

"His technical knowledge is so good that we feel he would be of better use in the high performance field." 

"There are people at the national level getting injured and they take longer than we expect to recover," he continued. "So our rehabilitation situation is not ideal with some guys taking three to four months to come back. In high performance, we need a top qualified coach and we're happy Gurusinha has agreed to take over." 

The Australia-based former Sri Lanka World Cup winning cricketer was enrolled as cricket manager in February 2017 and later appointed to the national selection committee. 

He is likely to continue as team manager for the forthcoming series in the West Indies in the event a manager is not appointed in time, but Sumathipala said Gurusinha will relinquish his duties as a selector. 

Adding that his top priority will be to help head coach Chandika Hathurusingha in preparing Sri Lanka team to win the coveted World Cup title in 2019 in England, he said he has tough task at hand in getting the team in perfect frame going into the tournament next year. 

“The coach needs at least a squad of 25 players whom he could pick at any given time," Gurusinha stated. 

"My job is to try and create those 25 players for Chandika so that he doesn’t have to worry about anything else and pick any players out of the squad provided,” 

“That’s going to be the path." 

One of the biggest challenges the 51-year-old will face is to keep the players free from injury. 

Sri Lanka’s biggest obstacle in recent months has been injuries to several fast bowlers including Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal. 

“Injuries have been a major issue for us over the last several months,” Gurusinha said. 

“The last three weeks, I have been spending a lot of time trying to understand all of that, by talking with Simon (Willis) and physios, doing research and talking to my old physio, Alex Konuntoris and getting his thoughts on what we need to do. The Board has spoken to a lot of others as well. We are trying to see what we can do. As you said, if we want to win the World Cup, we need a fit team." 

Gurusinha, a level III qualified coach, said going into the World Cup they might implement certain strategies including resting key players for longer periods of time to keep them fit and ready for the national duty. 

“We will be resting players,” he said. 

“That’s the best way to manage them. We will look at certain gaps and get their fitness levels up. We might sometimes pull out a player for a month and give him to the trainers and say build their stability and fitness again before bringing them back." 

With three tours to New Zealand, Australia and South Africa just before the World Cup in England next year poses a greater threat to its fast bowlers and the administration is keen to have their best seamers ready. 

“Going to the World Cup, our biggest worry is the last three tours," Gurusinha reflected. 

"We are going to New Zealand, straight to Australia and then to South Africa and then the World Cup. In those three tours, we are going to play on fast tracks where we will be using fast bowlers often. So unless Hathuru gets about 8 to 10 fast bowlers from whom he can pick and choose, we will be in trouble. This is our main short-term plan." 

Sri Lanka has been in five World Cup finals, including three T20 World Cups since 2007 but their performance has taken a nose-dive in recent months with consistent injuries playing a major role. 

Gurusinha also said he likes the idea of having a separate T20 team to reduce to the quantity of cricket being played by cricketers but said Sri Lanka does not have the required players do so at this point in time. 

“It can be a possibility,” he said. 

“When I first started, I had an idea of having a completely separate T20 team including a coach, more like the World Rugby 7’s team. 

“I spoke to the President and he was interested but then you need to have players to pick and choose," he explained. 

"But going to a World Cup, I think we have a high percentage of playing both, specially the bowlers. I am not sure whether we are in a position right now to do that. But that’s something we will work towards."

Watersports: Canoeing and Kayaking beckons Sri Lanka

Buoyed by the recent success achieved by our athletes in boxing and weightlifting, at the recent Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia, undoubtedly, the best performance by the country to date at Commonwealth Games, this article explores the future prospects for a relatively new sport introduced to Sri Lanka 14 years ago, in 2004. 

Canoeing and Kayaking is an Olympic Sport in over 158 countries and covers many a discipline namely, C1, C2 and C4 in Canoeing and K1, K2 and K4 in Kayaking. 

There is also the discipline of Canoe Slalom (CSL), for C1 and for K1, which are usually held on whitewater courses, but this discipline is yet to be introduced in Sri Lanka for competitions. 

Canoeing is in a kneeling position on the boat, while Kayaking is in a seated position. 

Yet another difference is that the Canoeing paddle has a blade only at one end of the paddle, whilst a Kayaking paddle has blades at both ends. 

The 1s, 2s and 4s in both Canoeing and Kayaking means competitions with 1 paddler, 2 paddlers and 4 paddlers in each boat, respectively. 

The same applies to Para paddling, but Para competitions are restricted to 1s and 2s at present. 

Competitions are carried out on flat water, rapids and in the ocean. 

Then there are also Surf Ski, Canoe Ocean Racing (COR), Stand Up Paddling (SUP), Dragon Boating (Synchronised paddling by teams of 10/20 paddlers in each boat, to the beat of a drum), which is now the latest discipline to be introduced to the country, by the National Association for Canoeing and Kayaking, Sri Lanka (NACKSL). 

All of the aforementioned disciplines require strength and power from the shoulders, the arms and the legs, along with synchronised use of body and mind, in addition to stamina and technique. However, the primary muscles used for CSL Paddling and COR are the core trunk muscles and not the arms, shoulders or legs. 

Dragon Boating is ideally suited for Leadership Training and Team Building Exercises. 

"It has been quite a struggle and a learning experience to have nurtured a sport from its inception to date, given there are not many takers for positions as volunteers, especially when a new sport is introduced to a country. Fourteen years is not a long period for a new sport, considering that a majority of Sports in Sri Lanka are almost a century or more in existence. Furthermore, the task becomes even more difficult, particularly in schools, with demands of the curriculum taking precedence. Yet, schools are where budding talent exists, which could be gradually developed over the years to reach international levels. Then, there are the issues of funding and sponsorships for new sports, with the already long established popular sports attracting most of the sponsors and the limited resources available with the Ministry of Sports, to ensure a reasonable spread of funding amongst the numerous sports registered with them," Prithiviraj Perera founder president of NACKSL said. 

It is under such circumstances that the NACKSL has paddled its course to date. 

Starting from base in 2004, it now has a stock of over 48 boats, covering a good majority of the disciplines in Canoeing and Kayaking, namely, C1,C2, C4, K1, K2 and K4, Para Canoes, Kayaks and Dragon Boats, all of which have been obtained through donations from other Asian Federations such as India, Iran and Japan whose Japan Canoe Federation (JCF) gifted 2 Dragon Boats. 

"We also had International Canoe Federation (ICF) certified coaches sent here to train our trainers, from the Asian Canoe Congress (ACC) and the Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association (IKCA), courtesy the ICF. The ICF-Olympic Solidarity has also sponsored a Level 3 coaches training programme for our National Coach at the Semelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, a leading centre for capacity building in Water Sports. All this involved much networking with our counterpart International Federations such as the ICF, ACC, JCF, and those of Iran and India. Attending Annual Congresses of the International Federations are deemed very important, to establish valuable contacts and networks amongst the International Community towards building capacities," Perera added. 

Over the years, the sport has grown in Sri Lanka, with a wide array of disciplines and more paddlers taking part in competitions, particularly from the Defense Services, with the Sri Lanka Navy playing a major role and some senior paddlers having entered the semifinals and finals at Asian Championships. 

The NACKSL has also been able to identify and promote some young talent too. 

Visulmina Samanga of St. Sebastian's College, Moratuwa, who has been practising the sport from the age of 14 years, has grown to compete well in Kayaking Sprints at the Asian Regional Level. 

He is now in the Sri Lanka Army. 

In addition, Kavindi Ranatunge, a 15-year-old girl from St. Bridget's Convent, Colombo, was awarded a scholarship to compete at the qualifying competition held in Barcelona, Spain, in early April, with a view to qualifying for the Summer Youth Olympics, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in August. 

The NACKSL stresses that all these efforts are necessary for experience and exposure for a fledgling sport in Sri Lanka, to enable its paddlers reach the next international level. 

In Canoeing and Kayaking, Paddlers generally peak from their mid 20s to early 30s. 

"Our biggest success to date has been in Ocean Kayaking, where 32-year-old Chathura Vishwanath Jayaratne, a Network Engineer working in Singapore, who has competed in Dragon Boat Paddling, Outrigger Paddling and Surf Ski competitions held in Italy, Australia, Singapore, Hawaii and Hong Kong, won Gold at the Asian Canoe Ocean Racing Championships in Hong Kong, in November, 2017 and also finished 25th out of 292 competitors, at the ICF World Ocean Racing Championships in Hong Kong, the same week. He is being coached by Hungarian Denes Szaszek, who describes Chathura as a natural champion who has the potential to perform at international levels, given proper financial and training support. He would, therefore, need more race experience, equipment support and preparation competitions, estimated to cost about US$ 60,000, over the next 5 years," explained Perera. 

"Chathura's future success can bring an island nation like Sri Lanka, great recognition worldwide, as an Ocean Kayak Racing (OKR) hub, expose the possibility of hosting international OKRs in the country and nurture a dedicated national athlete who could support the local paddling community with paddling clinics and coaching." 

Most countries plan out strategies for sports development and then invest thereto with intentions of producing world champions. 

An island nation such as Sri Lanka, with so many waterways spread islandwide, can really take Water Sports to centre stage, if given the required focus, support and sponsorship. 

The Defense Services too could play an important role, given their outreach countrywide, to spread the sport using the available waterways in the country. 

Dragon Boats also offer great opportunities for Sports Tourism and Dragon Boats festivals, with the sport present in over 70 countries worldwide, including China, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, the USA, Australia and Canada. 

"We owe our progress to our founder members, our present office bearers and Executive Committee members who have given their unstinting honorary support, whenever needed, despite their busy schedules in their respective professions. We urge schools, clubs and the corporate sector interested in Canoeing and Kayaking, to please get in touch us at the Diyawanna Rowing Centre," Perera urged in conclusion.

Horseracing: Queen of Little England, Alcazaba win RTC Magic Million Raceday

'Alcazaba', pinup girl of the Nuwara Eliya Racecourse, kept her date with the SriLankan Airlines-RTC Magic Million in 'Little England'. 

But this time, the darling of the local turf, owned by Deepthika Jayakody and Purni Edwards, had to really produce magic to conjure up a hard fought victory. 

National Carrier SriLankan Airlines could not have asked for a better way to wing into the Horse-racing scene, as corporate sponsors of the season’s richest Horse-race- the 'SriLankan Airlines-RTC Magic Million'. 

The crowds that thronged the Racecourse were on their feet, as the 8-year-old chestnut mare 'Alcazaba', ridden by Irvan Singh, fought it out against the 7-year-old bay gelding 'Meheran', ridden by Imran Khan, in an epic battle, the likes of which the picturesque Nuwara Eliya has not seen. 

"I always make sure to interact with the horse I ride, and 'Alcazaba' is one of the tamest runners I have come across. She is a darling in the stables and a fierce fighter on the track. I have been associated with 'Alcazaba' for some years now, and we have that bond that makes a race easy to finish," the soft spoken Indian jockey, Irvan Singh said after the gallant win. 

After 1,800 metres, on a soft track, a mere neck was all that separated the pair and, while the mare managed to prevail, 'Meheran', owned by Hasanga Jayaratne, was gallant in defeat. 

'Celestial Fire', owned by Fearless Stables and ridden by A. Vishwanath, finished 3rd. 

"The track was soft, unlike other days I have competed earlier, probably due to overnight rain. But 'Alcazaba', being a champion horse, made sure she completed the 1,800-metre course victorious. I did what I do normally as a jockey, and the understanding I have with the mare made the victory a special one," Singh added. 

It was a colourful day at the Royal Turf Club (RTC) as New Year revellers enjoyed the sunshine, and a card of 6 Horse-races gave both purists and the novices a day to remember. 

The Shivantha Thambiayah Memorial Magic Million was the other major attraction on the cards, and this too, produced a real scorcher. 

A 10-Horse field whittled down to 8, after two horses were withdrawn on veterinary grounds. 

But the race still produced a thrilling finish, with the 6-year-old 'Areca Wonder' owned by David Anthony and ridden by A. Ramu, led from start to finish, over the 1800-metre circuit, to peg back 'Charlemagne', who came with raking strides, but found the winning post so close but yet so far. 'Charlemagne', owned by Praveen Shinde, was ridden by James Mathew. 

Jockey S. Suganthan rode 'Aventus', owned by J.R. Irugalbandara, to 3rd place. 

The day started off with the Sunday Times Cup, a 1,000-metre race for the Half-bred Handicaps, which was won by 'City Shot' ridden by L. Ravi Kumar and owned by M. Loganathan. 

'Sarura Boy', ridden by S. Pradeep and owned by Sudaghar followed after a limp, while 'Arundathi' ridden by K. Sanjeewan and owned by Periya Swamy, finished a close 3rd. 

Frenchman Charles Perkins made a memorable debut at Nuwara Eliya, by riding 'Krabi' to victory in the 1,400-metre Class 5 Handicap Race for the Dedigama Group Challenge Cup. 

Perkins, an experienced jockey who has competed in racecourses worlwide, showed his professionalism by coming from behind to lead the Dhanawardene Guruge owned horse. 

"It was a wonderful experience to earn a debut win. The track can be rated as international standard, though it was softer on the day. I have ridden on tracks in France, Australia, Hong Kong and in other parts of the world, and the racecourse here is second to none in the world. I definitely would look forward to record more wins in the coming races," Perkins, who was slotted in 4 of the 6 races of the day, stated. 

'Krabi' beat 'Zulu Fantasy', owned by Mr. and Mrs. Edwards and ridden by L. Dayalan to 2nd place and 'Waiting for Glory', owned by Hasanga Jayaratne and ridden by K. Sanjeewan, to 3rd place. 

The Sporting Times Cup, a 1,400-metres for Class 4 Handicaps race, was clinched by 'Another Ace' ridden by Imran Khan and owned by Hasanga Jayaratne. 

Jockey Khan proved his ability as a professional competitor in the race to follow, by almost taking 'Meheran' closer to a mega win, and here he outsmarted Anura Delgoda's 'Torpedo', ridden by Praveen Shinde, to 2nd and 'Honourious' owned by Fearless Stables and ridden by A. Vishwanath, to 3rd. 

Jockey Vishwanath, who was craving for a win, finally got his moment of joy by guiding 'Spirited Touch', owned by Fearless Stables, in the 1400-metre Sporting Star Cup for Class 3 Handicaps.

French jockey Perkins finished 2nd on 'Gazaki', owned by Mr. and Mrs. Edwards, while 'Charming Grey' ridden by Dinesh and owned by Deepthika Jayakody, came in 3rd. 

The RTC will wind up its April Holiday Season Racedays with The Governors Cup, next Saturday (28) at the Nuwara Eliya Racecourse.

Motorsports: VW ownership drive – a tremendous success

The VW Beetle Owners’ Club held their 19th Annual Pride of Ownership Drive on Sunday the 25th of March. 

This year's Drive was a resounding success with over 60 VW Beetles, Vans, the much-admired Karmann Ghias, VW Variants and a rare Trekker joined the event that flocked to the Hilton Colombo, as in the past 10 years, which has been the venue for the Grand Start of this Annual Event. 

The Club is most grateful to the Hilton Colombo for the support towards the “Pride of Ownership” Drive and members were greeted at the Recorders Table in typical Beetle Camaraderie. 

Members having completed the registration were welcomed to a Breakfast with the kind courtesy of the Hilton Colombo. 

The Club President Peter Jasinghe called the event to a start and as in the past a group photo was taken of all present prior to the line-up of the event and the traditional flagging off of the Drive. 

The drive was officially flagged off by Ms. Gigi De Silva, Manager Promotions of the Hilton and in pure lady luck the drive took off with cheer with the Police Escort that lead the way along the line up of VW’s through Galle Face turning towards Duplication Road with the first line-up alongside the Ratmalana Airport. 

The Drive continued with two more line-ups at Panadura and Kalutara and did a right turn to the sandy beaches of the Eden Resort and was welcomed by a host of tourists who were stunned to witness so many VW’s that came to rest alongside the Indian Ocean to be welcomed by the Hotel with a thirst quencher. 

Another first this year was an idea that was spurred by the Patron of the Club, Kapila Jayawardena having noted of the Eden that was full of German Tourists, came up with the suggestion of selecting the best VW’s with the judges being selected by the German tourists. 

Much to the surprise, two out of the three judges were employed at VW in Germany and took great pride in selecting the best 3 VW’s at the event. 

The tourist was ever so happy to witness so many VW’s in one location and took home many great memories of the event of the day.

Cricket: SLC says ‘Nidahas Trophy’ was the most successful tri-nation ever in Sri Lanka

The recent Nidahas Trophy may have been a cricketing disaster after Sri Lanka made a first round exit, but the tournament has been a huge commercial success if the figures quoted by Sri Lanka Cricket is true. 

A statement of income and expenditure of the tri-nation cricket tournament between Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh has generated a net profit of Rs. 943 million (Rs. 942,794,669), an increase of Rs. 748 million as against the projected net profit of Rs. 195 million (Rs. 195,262,619). 

“We made a turn-over of Rs. 1.38 billion–the highest ever revenue collected for a seven-match tri-series played in this country,” said Thilanga Sumathipala, President Sri Lanka Cricket. 

“This is the most successful tri-nation tournament ever played in this country. As a tournament it was very successful. We invested in it heavily to increase the market opportunity which has paid us dividends. 

Out of the total income, Sri Lanka Cricket has generated Rs. 1.38 billion (Rs. 1,381,109,042) by selling television rights, broadcasting rights, digital rights, sponsorships and advertising, mobile streaming, royalty fees and ticket sales. 

According to statistics, international television rights of the seven-match tournament has been sold to a price of Rs. 691 million (Rs 691,071,005) while the board has made an income of Rs. 187 million (187,379,041) through the sale of international broadcasting rights. 

They have also made a whopping Rs. 338 million (338,349,880) through sponsorships and advertising. It has also earned Rs. 46 million (46,431,0000) through the sale of digital broadcast rights. 

Accordingly SLC has made an income of Rs. 1.26 billion (1,263,230,898) by selling international media rights–television rights, broadcasting rights, digital rights, sponsorships and advertising internationally while the sale of local media rights have earned them an income of Rs. 118 million (Rs. 117,878,143) including Rs. 80 million (80,131,600) derived through the sale of tickets. 

The team sponsor Dialog Axiata has also paid a sum of Rs. 16 million as sponsorship fee for unscheduled matches. 

The biggest cost of the event was the television production which has cost Sri Lanka cricket Rs. 212 million (Rs. 212,364,225), followed by Rs. 108 million (Rs. 108,180,445) for administration and logistics, Rs. 57 million for players and officials related expenditure and Rs. 51 million (Rs. 51,803,020) on international marketing expenses. 

The international marketing expenses were 10 times more than what was initially budgeted (Rs. 5 million). 

Accordingly the event has incurred a total expenditure of Rs. 438 million (Rs. 438,314,373). 

The two-weeks long tournament played at the R. Premadasa Stadium saw India winning the title in a tense final against Bangladesh in March.

Volleyball: Teejay Lanka, Casualwear win Brandix Rasadiya Championship

Teejay Lanka PLC, Avissawella, regained the Brandix Rasadiya Volleyball Championship 2018, which they lost in 2016, by dethroning reigning champions Brandix Athleisure, Polonnaruwa, 2-0 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium courts. 

Brandix Casualwear, Seeduwa, clinched the Women's championship in their maiden appearance in a final. 

In the 8th edition of this event, Teejay Lanka and Brandix Athleisure locked horns in the finals for a record 3rd time, with over 5,000 spectators witnessing absorbing Volleyball in both the Men's and Women's finals. 

In the Men's finals, Teejay Lanka scored a thrilling 27-25 win over arch rivals Brandix Athleisure. 

At one stage in the 2nd game, reigning champions Brandix Athleisure were in front at 19-15. 

A sudden burst of 4 consecutive points by the Avissawella lads swung the game in Teejay Lanka's way, to finish the 2nd game in a close 25-22 win, to be the proud owners of the Brandix Rasadiya Volleyball championship with a 2-0 win. 

Brandix Casalwear scored an easy 2-0 win over Brandix Fast Fashion, Avissawella, to annex the Women's championship. 

The Avissawella lases never lived up to their reputation as a strong outfit, losing 15-8, 15-7. 

Sachini Hansika (Brandix Casualware) was adjudged Best Women's Player, while Haritha Hashan Fernando (Teejay Lanka) was adjudged Best Men's Player.

Swimming: Killerwhale and Visakha Colombo win National Short Course Championship

Killerwhale Aquatic Club 245.5 points and Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo, 273 points, emerged Overall Men and Women Champions respectively, at the National Short Course Swimming Championship 2018, concluded at the Isipathana College Swimming Pool Complex.
Dilanka Shehan of Nalanda College (Nalanda) was adjudged Best Men's Swimmer for winning 5 events, while Sandu Savindi of Visakha was adjudged Best Women's Swimmer for also winning 5 events. 

Winners of Individual events: 

400m Freestyle 
Women- E. Senanayake (Sri Lanka Army) 4:40.53 Men- B. Dilanka Shehan (Nalanda) 4:14.59 

50m Breaststroke 
Women- Monali Weerakkodi [Gateway College, Colombo (Gateway)] 36.26 Men- Chathusha Dalpathadu (Ananda College, Colombo) 31.58 

200m Individual Medley (IM) 
Women- Thimali Bandara (Killerwhale) 2:32.11 Men- Dilanka Shehan (Nalanda) 2:14.58 

200m Backstroke 
Women- Ganga Seneviratne (Visakha) 2:29.58 Men- Shevinda De Silva [St. Joseph’s College, Colombo (SJC)] 2:10.50 

100m Butterfly 
Women- Sandu Savindi (Visakha) 1:07.04 Men- Sandev Senarathne [Ananda College, Colombo (Ananda)] 57.91 

400m IM 
Women- Thimali Bandara (Killerwhale) 5:18.56 Men- B. Dilanka Shehan (Nalanda) 4:47.24 

200m Breaststroke 
Women- Pulvini Vihara Jayatilleke (Vihara Maha Devi, Kiribathgoda) 2:53.89 Men- Lahiru Lihinikadu (Killerwhale) 2:28.07 

100m Freestyle 
Women- Sandu Savindi (Visakha) 1:00.91 Men- Stephan Perera (Gateway) 52.91 

50m Backstroke 
Women- Ganga Senevirathne (Visakha) 31.34 Men- Shevinda De Silva (SJC) 27.35    

50m Butterfly 
Women- Sandu Savindi (Visakha) 29.87 Men- R. De Silva (Lyceum, Wattala) 25.79 

200m Freestyle 
Women- Thimali Bandara (Killerwhale) 2:11.57 Men- Dilanka Shehan (Nalanda)1:54.59 

100m Backstroke 
Women- Ganga Senevirathne (Visakha) 1:08.94 
Men- Shevinda De Silva (SJC) 59.72 

1500m Freestyle 
Men- B. Dilanka Shehan (Nalanda) 17:00.50) 

100m IM 
Women- Sandu Savindi (Visakha) 1:12.55 Men- Pavalachandran Arukshan (Killerwhale) 1:02.04 

200m Butterfly 
Women- Pulvini Vihara Jayatilleke (Vihara Maha Devi, Kiribathgoda) 2:42.52 Men- Sandev Senarathne (Ananda) 2:10.90 

50m Freestyle 
Women- Sandu Savindi (Visakha) 27.33 Men- R. De Silva (Lyceum, Wattala) 24.21

Cricket: Victoria’s UTSC go down under to MCA by 36 runs

Despite an elegant 99 runs by the Club President, 45-year-old, Devon Ranaweera, for the visiting United Tarneit Sports Club (UTSC) from Victoria, Australia, Tyrone de Silva’s MCA Invitation XI coasted to a comfortable 36-runs win, in their friendly 20+20 Cricket encounter at the MCA Grounds.
Ranaweera (99 in 58 balls, with 4 sixes and 12 fours) unfortunately was run out while going for a 2nd run to reach his well deserved ton. 

Earlier on, the MCA Invitation XI batting first, put up a challenging 209/5 in 20 overs, which was built on two productive partnerships- 57 runs for the 2nd wicket between Sujith Perera (42) and Namal Seneviratne (50 rtd in 26 balls, with 4 sixes and 4 fours) and 61 runs for the 4th wicket between Wasanthalal Fernando (45 rtd) and Punnyakantha Abeygunasekera (26 n.o.) 
A tidy spell by Angelo Dissanayake (4-0-20-2) turned the tide against the visitors, who could only muster 173/6 in 20 overs. 

Best Batsmen: Namal Seneviratne (MCA); Devon Ranaweera (UTSC) 

Best Bowlers: Angelo Dissanayake (MCA); Jagmeet Manget (UTSC) 

Men of the Match: Punnyakantha Abeygunasekera (MCA); Devon Ranaweera (UTSC) 

MCA Invitation XI 209 for 5 wickets (20) (Namal Seneviratne 50 rtd; Wasanthalal Fernando 45 rtd, Sujith Perera 42, P.K. Abeygunasekera 26 n.o., Mahesh de Alwis 25; Jaqmeet Manget 3/25) 
UTSC 173 for 6 wickets (20) (Devon Ranaweera 99, Udara Kodituwakku 25; Anjelo Dissanayake 2/20)

Golf: Sachin de Silva wins Overall RCGC Monthly Medal

The Royal Colombo Golf Club embarked on its’ new calendar year, with the ushering-in of the new Committee for the 2018/2019 Term of Office with the generous sponsorship by Standard Chartered Bank of the April Monthly Medal 

Avancka Herath was elected Captain of the RCGC, whilst former RCGC Captain and President of the Sri Lanka Golf Union Nimal Piyaratne was elected President. 

W.A.K. Fernando was elected as the Vice Captain along with a mix of senior and new faces to complete the RCGC committee for 2018/ 2019. 

The April Monthly Medal, the first event counted for the RCGC Grand-Prix, comprising 25 rounds was teed-off in exemplary style with about 235 players in varied categories vying for an array of prizes lined-up by the generous sponsorship of Standard Chartered Bank. 

Sachin de Silva a prolific winner of RCGC event throughout the year continued his excellent form with a three under par Gross 68 to win the Overall beat Nett Score too beating all and sundry with a stunning Nett 66 off a 2 Handicap. 

Sachin celebrated his brilliant round in the morning with the Longest Drive of a ‘mega’ 330 yards to win the Overall Longest Drive for Men in another feature event, the Night Long Driving Contest introduced at the RCGC for the first time, combined with the launch of “Priority TEE PASS” an exclusive ‘golf pass’ enabling access to Golf Courses around the world by Standard Chartered Bank presenting a special facility to the golfing community. 

The Night Long Driving Contest created huge interest with the Ladies Event won by Anusha Senadhira with a mighty 180 yards and many Golfers Teeing-off under ‘lights’ to be the “longest hitter’ in the Club!!! The fun was capped by the fellowship, Cocktails and BBQ, hosted by the Sponsors Standard Chartered. 

Bingumal Thewarathanthri, Head of Retail Banking Sri Lanka, representing Standard Chartered Bank together with the Captain RCGC Avancka Herath gave away the prizes. 


Overall Winner: Sachin de Silva 66 Nett B/B 9 

Division A – Handicap 0 to 09 – Nett 
Winner: Ravindra S. Wijeguneratne 71 Nett 
Runner Up: Vinod Weerasinghe 72 Nett B/B 9 

Division A -Handicap 0 to 09 – Gross 
Winner: Sachin de Silva 68 Gross 

Division B – Handicap 10 to 18 – Nett 
Winner: Chamara Abhayaratne 66 Nett 
Runner Up: Rohan de Silva 68 Nett B/B 9 

Division B – Handicap 10 to 18 – Gross 
Winner: Chamara Abhayaratne 78 Gross 

Division C – Handicap 19 to 28 – Nett 
Winner: Dhammika Ranasinghe 67 Nett B/B 9 
Runner Up: Suneth Wijesinghe 67 Nett 

Division C – Handicap 19 to 28 – Gross 
Winner: A. D. S. Gunasekera 87 Gross B/B 9 

Seniors Division – Nett 
Winner: Wijitha Perera 67 Nett 
Runner Up: Lester Weinman 68 Nett 

Seniors Division – Gross 
Winner: Lester Weinman 85 Gross B/B 9 

Masters Division – Nett 
Winner: Niroshan de Silva 64 Nett 
Runner Up: Harendra de Silva 66 Nett 

Masters Division – Gross 
Winner: Harendra de Silva 81 Gross B/B 9 

Night Long Driving Contest: 
Overall Winner Men – Sachin de Silva, 330 yards 
Overall Ladies Winner – Anusha Senadhira, 180 yards

Motorsport: Ashan and Ishan burn the track at Fox Hill Supercross 2018

Defending champions Ashan Silva and Ishan Dassanayake retained their respective Driver's and Rider's titles at the Fox Hill Supercross 2018, held at the Military Academy in Diyatalawa on Saturday (21). 

Silva overcame obstacles to defend his 'Champion Driver' title while Dissanayake had to battle amongst a bunch of experienced and young riders to retain his 'Champion Rider' title for yet another year. 

The Best Racing Team in Cars was won by Margni Racing represented by Silva and Missaka Naveen while Ceat and Sri Lanka Army shared the Best Racing Team in Motorbikes. 

Team Ceat included Ivon. B. Gurusinghe and Madhura Peiris while the SL Army team had riders Sameera Premaratne and Lahiru Jeevantha. 

Silva won both races in the main event for cars, the SLGT 3500cc, as he won his fourth Fox Hill title after 2013, 2015 and 2017. 

On both occasions he dominated and did not allow other competitors overtake him from start to finish. On both races Kushan Peiris and Ushan Perera finished second and third behind Silva. 

However due to a false start Peiris had to begin the second race from the fifth grid and the Course Marshall promoted Perera to second while Aravinda Premadasa was promoted to fourth.

Rider Dassanayake finished third in the first race of MX 125cc to 250cc but he managed to rectify all shortcomings to win the second race in style to claim the Champion Rider award. 

Buddhika Kasun Silva won the first race ahead of Sameera Premaratne and Dissanayake. 

But the winner of the first race Buddhika faced an accident in the second race, while Premaratne too failed to impress giving Dissanayake the opportunity to strike. 

Ivon B. Gurusinghe finished second followed by veteran rider Gayan Sandaruwan finished at third in his final race of the glittering career. 

Veteran driver Upulwan Serasinghe claimed a double winning the SLN up to 1300cc Ford Laser/Mazda and SLN up to 1500cc Ford Laser/Mazda events. 

But Serasinghe had to finish second fiddle to Kushan Peiris in the SLH up to 1618cc event. 

Imal Manchanayake claimed the win of the first race of SM 250cc to 750cc Super Motard event but he was outsmarted by Deshan Solanki in the second race. 

The first race of the M up to 250cc Standard and Modified event was won by Lahiru Jeevantha while Ivon B. Gurusinghe won the second race. 

The annual motorsport event was organised by the Sri Lanka Military Academy.