Cricket: Fate of Windies tour to be decided on Tuesday

Sri Lanka’s tour of the West Indies hangs in the balance due to a financial crisis facing West Indies Cricket Board. 

Sri Lankan cricketers are due to leave on Friday for the three-match Test series in the Caribbeans–their first since 2008 but faces the danger of a cancellation, postponement or an alteration to the original scheduled. 

“They are in a major financial crisis and are exploring all options available for the tour. We should hear from them by Tuesday,” said Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva. 

But de Silva is confident of going ahead with the tour. 

“They are looking at the possibility of playing only two Tests and a ODI series instead of three Tests,” he explained. 

The tour scheduled to start on June 6.

Cricket: Ex-cricketers want to take over administration to save the game

Former National cricket star Pramodya Wickremasinghe, who was a member of Sri Lanka's 1996 ICC World Cup winning effort, says that more than 80 percent of the former international cricketers are ready to unite in an effort to clean up the of cricket in Sri Lanka. 

Wickremasinghe said that former national stars, together with a host of prominent entrepreneurs who include high profile names such as Muttiah Muralitharan, Roshan Mahanama and Sidath Wettimuny, to name a few, are willing to shoulder the wheel to bring about some sanity into the game of cricket, which is gradually slipping way below the ICC rankings of Afghanistan and Bangladesh. 

A disgruntled Wickremasinghe said, “There is a large gathering of high-profile ex-national cricketers who want to have a say in the fate of the game. The list also includes some of the big names who are employed by Sri Lanka Cricket at present, but are bit coy because of their employment contracts; but the day won’t be long before they start talking.” 

He said that at present the election system at Sri Lanka Cricket has been fine-tuned by some politicians as well as cricket administrators, so that it would make things easy for people in the gaming industry and the media business to survive in the Sri Lanka Cricket Administration. 

Their agenda had been aided and abated by people who hold very high political office. 

Wickremasinghe added, “For instance Arjuna Ranatunga being one of those former cricketers who have been very critical about the present status of the game in Sri Lanka is a senior government member holding a cabinet portfolio, but even he is powerless to effect any changes in the prevailing structure.” 

He also explained that the SLC hierarchy is gloating about the Rs. Billion plus generated, but, most of that monies came through FTP agreements that made in 2014. 

The only significant income generating move made by the present SLC administration was only the Nidahas Trophy where the Lankans even could not enter the final of a Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India Triangular. 

Then he also queried: “In recent times they have made several changes to the Sports Act and some of them have made a direct impact on cricket. But, at the same time, did the minister of sports effect any legislation for a cricketer retiring the game to get involved? I do not think so. Yet, they have brought legislation to keep them out by adopting regulations, like having to complete two years in office to be eligible to hold SLC office”. 

He said that what they need is a voice in cricket because the game is gradually slipping down to the point of no return. 

He said, “We are aware at one point of time the Prime Minister was keen to bring about a solution to the impasse, but that too was thwarted at the eleventh hour. 

“As cricketers who are concerned about the game what we are seeking is an audience with the highest authorities of the country – the President and the Prime Minister and make them listen to the voice of cricket. All what we are asking is to appoint a committee to run the game for a given period of time – I mean the cricketers – and change the constitution of Sri Lanka Cricket so that it would be easy for the people who are concerned about the game to be stakeholders and they will be the game changers.”

Dialog-ST 2018: Kamindu Mendis, Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2018

For young Kamindu Mendis the path is almost clear. Up to now his record has spoken for itself and that mere fact made our task of selecting Schoolboy Cricketer of the year was made easier that we thought. 

While at school when at walked on to the crease for Richmond, he scored hundreds and he was the automatic captain for the SLC Under-19 team. 

Besides that when he bowls he is ambidextrous. 

Kamindu is the Dialog 4G-the Sunday Times Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2018 and his performances in the school tournaments and in the international arena reasonably justifies the selection. 

Kamindu has already begun his journey in the path of cricket, and is currently in action in the ongoing Sri Lanka Cricket Super 4 Provincial Limited Overs Tournament, representing Team Colombo. 

Besides winning the topmost award in the Dialog 4G-the Sunday Times Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2018, Kamindu has two other awards under his belt — the Best Batsman and Best Fielder awards in the All-Island Schools category. 

Winning a hat-trick at any event will be dream run for any athlete and Kamindu, deservedly has earned this honour. He belongs to the generation of national cricket. 

Coming second best to Kamindu is Savindu Peiris of Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa, who will be crowned the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2018 runner-up. 

Savindu became the Best Allrounder in addition to finishing second best among Bowlers among All-Island Schools. 

Hareen Buddhila of St. Aloysius College Galle won the Best Bowler award making Savindu to second best, while two St. Joseph's College players finished second to the best of the best, Kamindu Mendis in the two award categories he clinched. 

Josephian Revan Kelly was the runner-up in the Best Batsman while his team mate Sachintha Ravindu was the runner-up in the Best Fielder both behind Kamindu, the showstopper. 

S. Thomas' College will have many reasons to rejoice this season with the brand of cricket they dished out during this season. 

To garnish their top award was Dellon Peiris' success as the runner-up in the Best Allrounder award, which the top was won by Cambrian, Savindu. 

Then came the second, when Sithara Hapuhinna was picked as the Best Wicketkeeper, ahead of Teron Baskaran of D.S. Senanayake College. 

After heavy scrutinise S. Thomas' College was declared the Best All-Island Team, for their unbeaten record and by virtue skipper Dellon Peiris was named the Best Captain. 

Coming second best to the Thomians were two teams from the south, who maintains a healthy rivalry in cricket — Richmond and Mahinda colleges. 

Both teams were declared joint runners-up after heavy discussions and hot air that came across. 

The southern region looks to have a healthy system of producing good cricketers as Raveen Yasas of Devapathiraja College, Rathgama was named the Dialog 4G-the Sunday Times Emerging Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2018. 

Raveen should definitely be proud of his achievement as he became the Best Batsman among Emerging Schools, which includes institutions that play Division II and III cricket, and help his team reach Division I next season. 

Coming second to Raveen at both occasions is Randeera Ranasinghe from St. Anne's College Kurunegala. 

Randeera emerged runner-up in Emerging Schoolboy Cricketer, Best Batsman and Best Allrounder, which was won by Pathum Madushanka of Devapathiraja Rathgama. 

Tamashana Abeykoon of St. Anthony's College Kandy emerged the Best Fielder among Emerging Schools as Ishara Maduwantha of Karandeniya Central pocketed the runner-up award. 

After a long lapse St. Peter's College Negombo produced a champ, when Umesh Kurera grabbed the Best Wicketkeeper award while its runner-up title went to Kavindu de Livera of Devananda College, Ambalangoda. 

Rohan Sanjaya Silva of Tissa Central, Kalutara was the pick among the rest, as he became the Best Bowler among Emerging Schools, while Chathura Jayanath proved cricket is for all when he won the runner-up title and gave his school, Debarawewa National School in Tissamaharamaya, the much needed attention. 

Tissa Central College, Kalutara had a good record to be named the Best Emerging Team as St. Anthony's College, Kandy emerged runners-up. 

Awards for teams on Provincial level were also picked by the selection committee prior to selecting the winners of the newly introduced category, the Girls' Schools. 

With cricket among girls picking up gradually, it was an easy task to pick the best with only one official tournament taking place. 

Worthy champions, Devapathiraja College, Rathgama were declared the Best Girls' Team while Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda emerged runners-up. 

Kaveesha Dilhari of Devapathiraja, was picked the Dialog 4G-the Sunday Times Most Promising Girls Cricketer of the Year 2018. 

Special Dialog 4G awards 

With enthusiasm picking up, Dialog Axiata, the partners of the show, introduced a new set of awards for the ever improving awards ceremony, all related to their brand Dialog 4G and its main theme –speed. 

Two of the awards were based on the theme and the third was on the fastest to 1000 runs. 

From the Limited Overs competition the Dialog 4G Fastest to 50 Runs award was claimed by Josephian Revan Kelly while the Dialog 4G Fastest to 100 Runs went to Hasitha Boyagoda of Trinity College, Kandy. 

The Dialog 4G Fastest to 1000 Runs award had just one contender and that was none other than Revan Kelly of St. Joseph's College. 

The fourth award was for the Dialog 4G Most Number of Outright Wins in 2018, which Richmond College Galle claimed with ease.  
ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2018 

The organisers also made it a point to recognise and honour the Sri Lanka Under-19 team that participated in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2018, held in New Zealand. 

This team was led by the glamour boy Kamindu Mendis and the team had a total of 15 players. 

Hasitha Boyagoda of Trinity College, who claimed the world record for the highest knock in a Youth ODI, is in line to receive the Most Promising Player from the international competition. 

The talents of all schoolboy cricketers were highly considered and scrutinised before being aptly picked by a large selection panel of experts, headed by renowned cricketing personality Jayantha Seneviratne, the Chairman. 

Others who contributed with their expertise were Brendan Kuruppu, Carlton Bernadus, Aubrey Kuruppu, Upul Sumathipala and Lakshman Ranasinghe as independent judges, SLSCA officials Oshara Panditharathna (President and Co-Chairman of Selection Panel), Dilshan de Silva (Secretary), Jagath Senaratne (Vice President), Kapila Jayalath (Vice President), Nihal Fernando (Treasurer), Kamal Indrajith (U-19 Tournament Secretary) and representing the Association of Cricket Umpires' — Daminda Cooray (Vice President), Harsha Peiris (Vice President), Rohitha Kottachchi (General Secretary), Thassim Junkeer (Assignment Secretary, Rohan Chandrakantha (Assistant General Secretary) and Nishantha Dissanayake (ExCo/Provincial Representative). 

The statistics for selection was provided by Batsman.com run headed by Kumara Gamhewage and his team consisting Chaminda Kaushan, Eranga Madushanka and Viraj, based on matches played in the concluded Singer Schools Under-19 Cricket Tournaments. 

The coordinator for the selection and the event is evergreen Ajit Bodinagoda. 

All winners have been given prior notice by the organisers to gather at the BMICH in Colombo on June 20 which will be the special day dedicated for them. 

The eventful Wednesday promises to be an unforgettable one to all winners in particular those who won the top awards. 

Dialog Axiata and the Sunday Times humbly wish that, all winners will be able to continue with their fine performances, which were helpful in being recipients of these awards, to reach greater heights in cricket. 

All-Island 

Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2018 
Winner: Kamindu Mendis (Richmond College, Galle) 
Runner-up: Savindu Peiris (Prince of Wales College) 

Best Batsman: 
Winner: Kamindu Mendis (Richmond College, Galle) 
Runner-up: Revan Kelly (St. Joseph's College) 
Top 10: Kamindu Mendis (Richmond), Revan Kelly (St. Joseph's), Navod Paranavithana (Mahinda), Lasith Croosepulle (Maris Stella), Lahiru Attanayake (Ananda), Ravindu Sebukuttige (St. Aloysius), Kevin Perera (Maris Stella), Hasintha Jayasooriya (Trinity), Tharusha Fernando (St. Sebastian's), Pubudu Bandara (Trinity) 

Best Bowler: 
Winner: Hareen Buddhila (St. Aloysius College, Galle) 
Runner-up: Savindu Peiris (Prince of Wales, Moratuwa) 
Top 10: Savindu Peiris (Prince of Wales), Mohamed Ameen (St. Peter's), Vimukthi Nethumal (Trinity), Pasindu Ushetti (Maris Stella), Hareen Buddhila (St. Aloysius), Dhyan Vimukthi (Lumbini), Sandun Mendis (Richmond), Kaumal Nanayakkara (Prince of Wales), Dunith Wellalage (St. Joseph's) 

Best Fielder: 
Winner: Kamindu Mendis (Richmond College, Galle) 
Runner-up: Sachintha Ravindu (St. Joseph's College) 
Top 5: Sachintha Ravindu (St. Joseph's), Dellon Peiris (S. Thomas'), Kamindu Mendis (Richmond), Ravindu Rashantha (Dharmasoka), Lakshan Gamage (St. Joseph's) 

Best Allrounder: 
Winner: Savindu Peiris (Prince of Wales, Moratuwa) 
Runner-up: Dellon Peiris (S. Thomas' College) 
Top 8: Mahesh Theekshana (St. Benedict's), Savindu Peiris (Prince of Wales), Ravindu Fernando (Maris Stella), Dellon Peiris (S. Thomas'), Thimira Supun (St. Mary's Kegalle), Asel Sigera (Ananda), Dulaj Ranatunga (Maliyadeva), Dunith Wellalage (St. Joseph's) 

Best Wicketkeeper 
Winner: Sithara Hapuhinna (S. Thomas' College) 
Runner-up: Teron Baskaran (D.S. Senanayake College) 
Top 10: Thisuraka Akmeemana (Wesley), Amila Dayanaka (Dharmapala), Chathura Prabath (St. Aloysius), Dushan Ranmal (Lumbini), Pathum Mahesh (Gurukula), Sithara Hapuhinna (S. Thomas'), Malintha Peiris (St. Sebastian's), Risira Weerasooriya (St. John's Panadura), Vinura Hiranjith (Mahinda), Teron Baskaran (DSS) 

Best Team: 
Winner: S. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia 
Runners-up (Joint): Mahinda College and Richmond College 
Top 10: S. Thomas', Mahinda, Richmond, Maris Stella, Trinity, St. Peter's, Prince of Wales, St. Aloysius, D.S. Senanayake, St. Joseph Vaz 

Best Captain: 
Winner: Dellon Peiris (S. Thomas' College) 

Emerging Schools 

Emerging Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2017 
Winner: Raveen Yasas (Devapathiraja College, Rathgama) 
Runner-up: Randeera Ranasinghe (St. Anne's College, Kurunegala) 

Best Fielder 
Winner: Tamashana Abeykoon (St. Anthony's College, Kandy) 
Runner-up: Ishara Maduwantha (Karandeniya Central) 
Top 10: Umesh Lakshan (St. Peter's Negombo), Kavindu Irosh (St. Sebastian's Katuneriya), Sohan de Livera (Devananda Ambalangoda), Tamashana Abeykoon (St. Anthony's Kandy), Dineth Chandimal (St. Anne's Kurunegala), Pasindu Shanadith (Sri Sumangala Panadura), Pulasthi Atapattu (Kegalu Vidyalaya), Shehan Fonseka (Holy Cross), Dhananjaya Maduranga (Kingswood), Ishara Maduwantha (Karandeniya Central) 

Best Batsman 
Winner: Raveen Yasas (Devapathiraja College, Rathgama) 
Runner-up: Randeera Ranasinghe (St. Anne's College, Kurunegala) 
Top 10: Wanitha Wanninayake (St. Anne's Kurunegala), Umesh Kurera (St. Peter's Negombo), Nipuna Deshan (Sri Sumangala Panadura), Randeera Ranasinghe (St. Anne's Kurunegala), Pasindu Sooriyabandara (Royal College), Raveen Yasas (Devapathiraja), Kavindu Irosh (St. Sebastian's Katuneriya), Pathum Madushanka (Devapathiraja), Rajitha Ashan (Siri Piyarathana), Sohan Livera (Devananda Ambalangoda) 

Best Bowler: 
Winner: Rohan Sanjaya (Tissa Central, Kalutara) 
Runner-up: Chathura Jayanath (Debarawewa MMV, Tissamaharama) 
Top 10: Rohan Sanjaya (Tissa Central), Anuka Jayasinghe (Sri Sumangala Panadura), Chathura Jayanath (Debarawewa MMV), Pathum Madushanka (Devapathiraja), Nimnaka Jayathilaka (St. Anthony's Kandy), Dishan Pramod (St. Sebastian's Katuneriya), Kavindu Jayawickrama (Kalutara V), Heshan Madushanka (Piliyandala C), Dilhara Kumara (Holy Cross), Manula Perera Royal College) 

Best Wicketkeeper: 
Winner: Umesh Kurera (St. Peter's College, Negombo) 
Runner-up: Sohan de Livera (Devananda College, Ambalangoda) 
Top 10: Umesh Kurera (St. Peter's Negombo), Kavindu Irosh (St. Sebastian's Katuneriya), Yohan Ravishka (Tissa C), Gayashan Chathuranga (Piliyandala C), Shehan Malinda (Debarawewa MMV), Hasith Hansidu (Ananda Shasthralaya), Dunith Nimhan (Kalutara V), Joel Praveen (St. John's Jaffna), Hareen Achintha (Devapathiraja), Sohan de Livera (Devananda Ambalangoda) 

Best Allrounder: 
Winner: Pathum Madushanka (Devapathiraja College, Rathgama) 
Runner-up: Randeera Ranasinghe (St. Anne's College, Kurunegala) 
Top 10: Pathum Madushanka (Devapathiraja), Raveen Yasas (Devapathiraja), Randeera Ranasinghe (St. Anne's Kurunegala), Kavindu Jayawickrama (Kalutara V), Pubudu Ganegama (St. Anne's Kurunegala), Madhawa Mavindu (Dharmaloka), Yugeesha Dishan (Dharmaloka), Sasith Ruwantha (Rahula Matara), Shaminda Senaratne (St. Anthony's Kandy), Navodya Imesh (St. Anthony's Kandy) 

Best Emerging Provincial Teams 

Western Province: Sri Sumangala College, Panadura 

Southern Province: Devananda College, Ambalangoda 

Central Province: Vidyartha College 

Uva Province: Bandarawela Central College 

North Western Province: St. Anne's College, Kurunegala 

Northern Province: St. John's College, Jaffna 

Sabaragamuwa Province: Dudley Senanayake Central, Tholangamuwa 

Best Emerging Team: 
Winner: Tissa Central College, Kalutara 
Runners-up: St. Anthony's College, Kandy 

Girls' Schools 

Best Team: 
Winner: Devapathiraja College, Rathgama 
Runner-up: Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda 

Most Promising Player: 
Winner: Kavisha Dilhari (Devapathiraja College, Rathgama) 
Top 6: Shikari Nuwanthi (Devapathiraja), Sathya Sandeepani (Devapathiraja), Harshitha Madhavi (Anula), Sanduni Nisansala (St. Anthony's GS Kandy), Rashmi Silva (Rathnavali BV Gampaha), Kavisha Dilhari (Devapathiraja) 

Dialog 4G Special Awards 

Limited Overs Fastest 50: Revan Kelly (St. Joseph's College) 

Limited Overs Fastest 100: Hasitha Boyagoda (Trinity College) 

Fastest to 1000 runs: Revan Kelly (St. Joseph's College) 

Team with most number of outright wins: Richmond College, Galle 

Sri Lanka Under-19 Team for World Cup 
Most Promising Player: Hasitha Boyagoda (Trinity College, Kandy)

Cricket: Mathews exited to be back – but will not bowl

Batsman Angelo Mathews says that he is “very excited to be back” as he approaches his anticipated return from a long injury lay-off. 

Mathews, who will be 31 next month, has not featured for Sri Lanka since January 17 owing to a hamstring injury sustained on national duty in Bangladesh. 

But he is back for the three-match Test series against the West Indies, his first Test tour to the Caribbean. 

Having spent the last three months in rehabilitation, the former Sri Lanka Test skipper has regained full fitness and successfully attended a week’s session training in Kandy prior to the team’s schedule departure to the Caribbean. 

“I am really excited,” Mathews said. 

“It was a break that I badly needed and I am thankful to everyone for the understanding and support extended to give my legs a bit more time to recover." 

After missing Sri Lanka’s national engagements during the three months lay-off, including the Nidahas Trophy tri-nation T20 competition, Mathews started playing domestic cricket in April in order to gain match fitness—a mandatory requirement for selection to the national side. 

“The main cause for my injuries was rushing back to cricket,” he said. 

“So everyone involved with the game, the coaches, trainers, physios and the selectors decided to give me that training block, so that my legs will be conditioned. We did everything possible from sprint training to gym training, weight training to rehab to capacity running, you name it. In the meantime, I started batting to build myself up to start playing a four-day game and three one- day games before I got selected to the squad." 

During the time Mathews was sidelined, Sri Lanka completed an excellent series in Bangladesh winning every trophy on offer, but missed clinching the Nidahas Trophy—a tournament organised to celebrate Sri Lanka’s Independence from British rule. 

Now that he is fit, his biggest challenge is to manage his workload diligently to be free from injuries. 

Mathews said that constant discussion with support staff and selectors will help him do that. 

“I think communication is very important when it comes to workload management with the support staff and the selectors,” he reflected. 

“The selectors are very open-minded. The physios will obviously know who are in the red zone, guys who have played a lot of cricket, and they will communicate that to the head coach and cricket selectors for them to take a call on a player. So going forward, managing players will be very important, especially since we are playing a lot of cricket during the next few months." 

As part of managing his workload, he will not bowl in either format at least for now, a decision he reached after thorough vetting and discussion with support staff and selectors. 

But he has no intention of giving it up completely. 

“Yes, initially that’s the plan,” he explained. “We’ve discussed it and, during the next few months I will refrain from bowling just to get that capacity. Once we are closing in for the overseas tours, where the ball moves around and does a little bit, I might consider sending down few overs." 

“But it all depends on how I feel," he continued. 

"I will try my best to come back into bowling as soon as possible and in the meantime I will not be rushing. I will just ease into it and keep communicating with the head coach and the selectors and then will make a proper plan for me to return to bowling." 

Mathews has been a vital cog in the Sri Lanka team ever since he made his international debut. 

He has contributed immensely as a bowler, particularly in the ODI format—an advantage Sri Lanka enjoyed during his prime. 

“Like I said, I want to bowl," he reiterated. 

"I have played my cricket as an all-rounder so I will miss bowling during the next few months. But when it comes to the longer format, I have played as a specialist batsman even though I send down few overs. But I feel I can bowl a few overs in one-dayers which gives the selectors and the coach a better option to balance the team. But I will not rush it to bowl. I will get my fitness and slowly start bowling to gradually build it up. Towards the end the year, especially during the overseas tours, I will try and bowl a few overs." 

Sri Lanka endured a rough patch in 2017 but Mathews—the limited-over skipper—believes that, in Chandika Hathurusingha, Sri Lanka has found the perfect mentor to turn fortunes around. 

“Since Hathu arrived, we’ve seen a difference in the atmosphere,” he said. 

“You can see how freely the guys are playing and he gives a lot of confidence personally to all the players. This is a huge thing for the players, talking to them individually, giving them that confidence." 

“You can see how the players have been performing over the past few months. Yes, we lost the Nidahas Trophy but boys played extremely well in Bangladesh. Our team is growing and, if we play with a lot of freedom, you can see results,” an optimistic Mathews said. 

Commenting on the tour, Mathews said the players are determined to put up a good show during the Tests where they are yet to win a series. 

“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to play under lights due to rain but we were able to train during the day and it was very specific and it was absolutely brilliant," he held. 

"We had sessions with a psychologist and had two consultants working with fast bowlers and spinners. So, all in all, we are prepared well for the tour."

Hayleys Group crosses US$ 1 bn turnover in FY2017/18

Building on a strong momentum gathered over the final quarter of FY 2017/18, Sri Lanka’s leading diversified conglomerate, Hayleys PLC says it ended the year with “a record breaking top-line performance” as revenue expanded by 47 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to Rs. 163.2 billion in the 12 months ending March 2018. 

The group posted strong operating profits which expanded by 18 per cent YoY to Rs.11.4 billion. “However, increased borrowings, combined with the prevalence of higher interest rate conditions throughout the financial year resulted in net finance costs increasing to Rs. 5.93 billion, leading to a reduction in profit before tax (PBT) to Rs. 5.76 billion during the period in review,” it said in a media statement on Monday which was also released to the Colomb0 Stock Exchange. The results included that of Singer Sri Lanka which was acquired by Hayleys, six months ago.

During the year in review, the Hayleys made numerous bold new investments across the sectors which the diversified conglomerate operates in, with a view to repositioning its subsidiaries to capitalize on new growth opportunities over the medium-long term. 
Commenting on the performance of the group over the past year, Hayleys Chairman/CEO, Mohan Pandithage commended the determined efforts of all of the group’s subsidiaries in achieving the $1 billion revenue milestone and outlined plans to leverage investments made during the period in review to generate new growth opportunities over the coming financial year. – ENDS 

 

Dangerous ‘laze’ forms as Hawaii volcano lava reaches ocean

Authorities in Hawaii have warned of dangerous "laze" fumes as molten lava from the erupting Kilauea volcano reached the Pacific Ocean.

Two lava flows "reached the ocean along the southeast Puna coast overnight," on Hawaii's Big Island, the US Geological Survey, which monitors volcanoes and earthquakes worldwide, said in a statement Sunday.

A crack however opened in the ground under one of the lava channels, "diverting the lava… into underground voids," the statement said.

When the hot lava flow hits the water it produces acid fumes known as "laze" – lava and haze.

"The plume is an irritating mixture of hydrochloric acid gas (HCl), steam, and tiny volcanic glass particles," the USGS said.

"This hot, corrosive gas mixture caused two deaths immediately adjacent to the coastal entry point in 2000, when seawater washed across recent and active lava flows."

The USGS also warned that volcanic gas emissions "have tripled as a result of the voluminous eruptions."

Moderate winds means that areas downwind from the volcano "may experience varying levels of vog," or volcanic smog, a haze created when emissions react to oxygen, moisture, dust, and sunlight, the USGS said.

One giant lava flow grew to 20 feet (six meters) in height and blocked a portion of Highway 137, seriously impacting area residents, Hawaii News Now reported.

Kilauea is the world's most active volcano and one of five on Hawaii's Big Island.

It started erupting on May 3, prompting about 2,000 people to flee from their mountainside homes.

Scientists believe the volcanic activity may be a precursor to a major eruption similar to the one that shook the island in the mid-1920s.

But they say they expect no loss of life given that the most exposed residential areas have been evacuated and the region where the volcano is located — on the southeastern part of the island — is lightly populated.

Authorities have warned residents to stay away from the evacuated neighborhoods, warning that toxic sulfur dioxide seeping out of nearly two dozen fissures could prove deadly.

AFP

This US Geological Survey (USGS) image obtained on May 20 shows a lava channel emerging on Kilauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone

Five deaths and 6 missing due to adverse weather 

At least five persons have been reported dead and six others missing due to adverse weather conditions as heavy rains were reported overnight in most parts of the country, officials said.

 

The Disaster  Management Centre confirmed four of the five deaths while saying that more than 13,000 have already been affected due to floods and landslides in different parts of the country.

 

The highest rainfall was received in the Anamaduwa area, with nearly 300 mm of rainfall overnight ending a near four year drought condition in the region.

 

The Navy has deployed several of its boats to evacuate persons trapped due to floods in the Galle district while the Air Force has kept its helicopters standyby to help in the evacuation.

 

The Galle, Matara, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Gampaha are among the areas which have been affected by the floods and landslides while the upcountry areas including Hatton too are receiving heavy showers.

 

Irrigation officials warned that Colombo too could face mini-floods with the rise of the Kelani river water levels in the next 10 hours.

 

Several other areas too have experienced mini-floods forcing people to temporarily vacate their homes or remove their goods to higher elevations as their homes have experienced situations where water has flown in.

Some of the schools in the Ratnapura and Kegalle districts in the Sabaragamuwa province  and some schools in the south have been closed.

President Maithripala Sirisena has directed officials to provide relief material to the affected and that the required finance would be provided. 

Hockey: Seetha Devi girls win P.T. Rajan Memorial 6s

Reigning champions Seetha Devi girls, Kandy once again proved their dominance in school hockey by winning three championship titles (Under-14, 16 and 18) at the Kandy District Schools – P.T. Rajan Memorial Hockey 6s 2018 for girls (Under-14, Under-16 and Under-20) concluded at P.T. Rajan playground in Mahaiyava, Kandy. 

Seetha Devi lasses annexed Under-14, 16 and 18 titles and secured third place in the Under-20 age category. 

A total of 33 girls teams representing Mahamaya, Girls high School, Seetha Devi, Pushpadana, Suwarnamali, Hemamali, Vihara Maha Devi, St. Anthony’s convent and Nugawela Central participated in the two day tournament organised and conducted by Kandy Municipal council play ground section for the P.T. Rajan Memorial trophy. 

Final Results  

Under-14: Seetha Devi beat Swarnamali Balika 2-0 
Tharushi Adithya and Sanjana Dewmini scored a goal each for the champions. 
Best player: Lasanthi Kulasekera (Swarnamali) 
Best goalkeeper: Vidusha Ovindi (Seetha Devi) 

Under-16: Seetha Devi beat Pushpadana Girls Kandy 2-0 
For Seetha Devi D. Roshani and Paboda Divyanjali netted a goal each 
Best player: Dilhani Rajapaksha (Seetha Devi) 
Best goalkeeper: Nishanthi Rajapaksha (Pushpadana) 

Under-18 
Seetha Devi (Sajini Muthukumara 1 and N. Chathurika 1) beat Swarnamali by 2-1 
Best player: Tharushi Kasthuriarachchi (Swarnamali) 
Best goalkeeper: Kreshika Gurudeniya (Seetha Devi) 

Under-20 
St. Anthony's Girls School, Katugastota beat Swarnamali Girls School Kandy 1-0 
Best player: Sandunika Dewagiri (St. Anthony's Girls) 
Best goalkeeper: Sachithra Perera (Swarnamali) 

U.S. will not recognize Venezuela election result: State Department

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – The United States will not recognize the result of Venezuela’s presidential election on Sunday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told journalists.

The United States is actively considering oil sanctions on Venezuela and Sullivan said a response to Sunday’s vote would be discussed at a G20 meeting in Buenos Aires on Monday.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was seeking a six-year term in a Sunday election boycotted by the opposition and condemned by foes as the “coronation” of a dictator. Results are expected by late evening.

“We need to make sure we adhere to our goal which is to target corrupt regime officials and not the people of Venezuela,” Sullivan said. “We don’t want to damage the country in a way that makes it difficult to repair after democracy is restored.”

Argentine President Mauricio Macri shakes hands with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan alongside Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie during a meeting ahead of the G20 Meeting of Foreign Ministers in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 20, 2018. Argentine Presidency/Handout via REUTERS