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Thread: The cream always rises: Sri Lanka's journey to the top

  1. #1
    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    The cream always rises: Sri Lanka's journey to the top

    I've started a new game with Sri Lanka so I've decided to write a story about it. They're a decent side with a lot of young talent so I'll think they'll be an interesting team to manage. More to come.
    "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever."

  2. #2
    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    The England Tour

    Newly instated coach Robertinho Dela Cruz sent out a clear message with the selection of a distinctly young-looking Sri Lankan squad - the future of the national side would be well looked after under his reign. With all but 4 of the 18-strong touring party under the age of 30, and an average age of 27.5 years, it was clear that, provided they impressed, many of the names would be in the squad for years to come.

    Many were surprised at the inclusion of the virtually unknown batting duo of Abagahage & Weerapurage Fernando, however Dela Cruz stated firmly that he believed that the pair would "become two of Sri Lanka's premier batsmen in a few years". The exclusion of 21 year old dynamo Upul Tharanga was put down to "human error" and English scheming. 28-year old Mahela Jayawardene retained the captaincy.

  3. #3
    I can't believe I ate the whole thing NZTailender's Avatar
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    But looks a top story, anyway
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  4. #4
    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    3 Day Friendly vs Combined Universities

    An extremely young Sri Lankan side took the field in the 3 day friendly against Combined Universities and they did not disappoint. 21-year-old Weerapurage Fernando, playing in just his 2nd first-class match, struck a fluent 179 off a mere 279 balls, in an electrifying innings that featured 24 boundaries. He was ably supported by T Samaraweera (111*), K Sangakkara (91), M Vandort (50), fellow newcomer A Fernando (38) and D Dissanayake (31*) in helping Sri Lanka post a first innings total of 6/546 declared. The good performances didn't stop there as D Dissanayake took 6/63 and 3/19 in bundling Combined Universities all out for 151 and 141 (following on) in their two innings. B Amarasinghe also chipped in with 3/43 and 3/19 to secure a mammoth innings & 254 run victory for the tourists.

    Sri Lanka 6/546 dec (145 overs)
    W Fernando 179 (279)
    T Samaraweera 111* (210)
    K Sangakkara 91 (130)
    A Radley 2/125 (30.0)

    Combined Unis 151a.o. (47.5 overs)
    F Corry 65 (97)
    D Dissanayake 6/63 (16.5)
    B Amarasinghe 3/43 (17.0)

    Combined Unis following on 141a.o. (53.1 overs)
    N Dyke 37 (74)
    D Dissanayake 3/19 (10.0)
    B Amarasinghe 3/20 (9.1)
    N Kulasekara 3/51 (17.0)

    Sri Lanka wins by an innings & 254 runs.

    MotM: W Fernando (179).

  5. #5
    Cricketer Of The Year James90's Avatar
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    The cream always rises
    Stedders' Supported XI
    Tamim Iqbal, JA Burns, UT Khawaja, *SPD Smith, Shakib Al Hasan, C de Grandhomme, +AT Carey, PJ Cummins, Rashid Khan, Mustafizur Rahman, JP Behrendorff.

    RIP Fardin. RIP Craigos. RIP Prince.

  6. #6
    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    3 Day Friendly vs Derbyshire

    A Sri Lankan side changed only slightly to include old hands S Jayasuriya and C Vaas, back-up keeper T Dilshan and right-arm paceman C Fernando, continued to wow spectators with a spectacular display against county side Derbyshire. Derbyshire batted first and its batsmen grafted their team to 320 all out, with C Fernando taking 4/85 in an impressive bowling performance. Sri Lanka's innings got off to a shaky start and at 3/40 with skipper Jayawardene and hot prospect Abagahage Fernando at the crease, things looked shaky. That was until the two combined to put on an awesome 301 runs for the 4th wicket, with A Fernando matching his namesakes effort in the previous game to stroke his way to a dazzling 158 off just 208 balls. Despite this, his innings was overshadowed by that of captain Jayawardene's - 403 minutes, 350 balls, and 254 well-deserved runs. Even more remarkably, his last 90 balls produced 120 runs. These two great displays carried the Sri Lankan total to 597 all out, with C Vaas joining in at the end with a quickfire, 32-ball 49*. Due to the restricted amount of time, the Sri Lankans could only manage to reduce Derbyshire to 6/188 at stumps, with Fernando again chipping in with 2/32. Despite the result, it was a clear indication of the form that the tourists were in.

    Derbyshire 320a.o. (115.3 overs)
    T Lungley 46 (84)
    C Fernando 4/85 (25.0)
    T Samaraweera 2/47 (16.0)

    Sri Lanka 597a.o. (127.3 overs)
    M Jayawardene 254 (350)
    A Fernando 158 (208)
    P Jones 6/122 (30.0)

    Derbyshire 6/188 (70 overs)
    C Taylor 62* (176)
    C Fernando 2/32 (16.0)
    S Malinga 2/64 (19.0)

    Match drawn

    MotM: M Jayawardene (254).

  7. #7
    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    3 Day Friendly vs Durham

    The young Sri Lankan side met stiff resistance when it travelled to take on county side Durham. Batting first, Sri Lanka limped to 5/134 before two players on the fringes stood up in a face-saving 6th wicket stand of 207 - T Dilshan nurdled his way to 88 from 254 balls, showing enormous grit and determination, whilst an equally determined and more successful B Warnapura grafted to an unbeaten 134 from 363 balls, setting up a total of 391 all out. The bowlers toiled hard as the Durham batsmen cashed in on the flat wicket, with B Amarasinghe shining with his return of 4/69, whilst C Fernando continued his good form with 3/99, as the home side posted 396 all out, with a lead of 5 runs. It wasn't until late in the last session that Sri Lanka were able to bat again, finishing 0/16 at the end of the match, which ended a draw.

    Sri Lanka 391a.o. (172.2 overs)
    B Warnapura 134* (363)
    T Dilshan 88 (254)
    G Breese 5/115 (57.2)

    Durham 396a.o. (111.2 overs)
    G Park 109 (244)
    J Lewis 93 (145)
    G Muchall 80 (137)
    B Amarasinghe 4/69 (23.2)
    C Fernando 3/99 (25.)

    Sri Lanka 0/16 (6 overs)
    M Atapattu 9* (18)
    W Fernando 5* (18)

    Match drawn

    MotM: B Warnapura (134* & 0/55).

  8. #8
    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    1st Test vs England

    Three of Sri Lanka's future stars debuted against England in the 1st test as, despite some brilliant individual efforts, Sri Lanka could only manage a draw as both sides failed to impress. England chose to bat first on a pitch offering little to the bowlers, which seemed like a correct decision when the home side found themselves at 0/122 and 2/214, until Sri Lanka's most potent weapon, M Muralitharan, showcased his immense bowling talent, taking 6/48 in his return from a broken finger, as England were bundled out for 282, with M Trescothick hitting a fine, 185-ball 111. Sri Lanka, despite being presented with a great opportunity, were unable to get themselves in a commanding position as many batsmen got starts but failed to go on, all except 35-year-old M Atapattu who stroked his way to an impressive 148 from 288 balls, Sri Lanka all out for 346 with a 64 run lead. England hit back hard, with K Pietersen smashing his way to 135 as his side posted an impressive total of 358, setting a target of 295 for the visitors in the last 2 sessions. There were some positive signs for Sri Lanka as they finished on 6/231 at the end of the match, with W Fernando scoring his maiden Test half-century. The result, a draw, was a just outcome for both sides, who both failed to take control of the match at vital moments.

    England 282a.o. (86.2 overs)
    M Trescothick 111 (185)
    A Strauss 57 (113)
    M Muralitharan 6/48 (24.0)

    Sri Lanka 346a.o. (130.3 overs)
    M Atapattu 148 (288)
    C Vaas 40 (112)
    S Harmison 5/126 (40.0)
    M Hoggard 4/102 (43.3)

    England 358 a.o. (105.4 overs)
    K Pietersen 135 (209)
    M Vaughan 74 (137)
    C Vaas 3/58 (25.4)
    C Fernando 3/95 (26.0)

    Sri Lanka 6/231 (72 overs)
    M Jayawardene 58* (111)
    W Fernando 57 (116)
    M Hoggard 2/51 (17.0)
    S Harmison 2/59 (18.0)

    Match drawn

    MotM: K Pietersen (17 & 135).

  9. #9
    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    3 Day Friendly vs Sussex

    A side quite different to the XI named for the 1st Test took the field against Sussex, and several fringe players made solid claims for selection in the 2nd Test. Sussex batted well, guided by a century from R Montgomerie, to post 355 all out, with D Dissanayake taking 5/93 and N Kulasekara taking 4/113. Sri Lanka faltered in their reply, limping their way to 218 all out, with K Sangakkara stroking a fine 53 and M Vandort falling for 45. Sussex quickly capitalised on the situation, racing to 5/173 declared, with R Montgomerie once again shining with 83*, whilst B Amarasinghe took 3/58 and D Dissanayake took 2/58. Requiring 310 runs for victory on the last day, Sri Lanka played calmly, aiming to maximise batting time as they casually reached 4/221 at stumps, with Sangakkara again the top scorer with 87*. Despite the draw, several players moved well into contention for a Test berth.

    Sussex 355a.o. (99.3 overs)
    R Montgomerie 103 (150)
    C Adams 74 (121)
    D Dissanayake 5/93 (29.0)
    N Kulasekara 4/113 (29.0)

    Sri Lanka 218a.o. (83.2 overs)
    K Sangakkaa 53 (111)
    M Vandort 45 (85)
    R Naved-ul-hasan 4/74 (24.0)
    M Ahmed 3/68 (26.2)

    Sussex 5/173dec. (52 overs)
    R Montgomerie 83* (143)
    M Goodwin 48 (84)
    B Amarasinghe 3/58 (18.0)
    D Dissanayake 2/58 (18.0)

    Sri Lanka 4/221 (83 overs)
    K Sangakkara 87* (183)
    W Fernando 41 (104)
    M Ahmed 3/55 (24.0)

    Match drawn

    MotM: R Montgomerie (103 & 83*).

  10. #10
    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    2nd Test vs England

    On a bowler-friendly pitch, Sri Lanka's batsmen display immense grit and determination to notch up their 1st Test win under the new coach. Batting first, England struggled to a meagre 258 all out, with M Muralitharan again doing the damage with 6/81, whilst A Cook was solid in his 53. Sri Lanka, however, were unable to take advantage of England's failure and were bundled all out 245, with M Atapattu continuing his impressive run with a fighting 68. Leading by 13 runs, England faltered once more as they stumbled to 196 all out, A Cook chipping in again with 43, whilst M Muralitharan snared 3/15, C Fernando 3/52 and C Vaas 3/62 to set Sri Lanka 210 runs to win with 2 full days in which to score them. Despite a rapidly deteriorating pitch and being 3/50 at one stage, thanks to contributions from Vandort (54) and an unbeaten partnership of 72 from skipper Jayawardene (71*) and Fernando (48*), Sri Lanka cruised to 4/212 to notch up their first Test win under coach Dela Cruz, a comfortable 6 wicket triumph.

    England 258a.o. (103.1 overs)
    A Cook 53 (125)
    M Trescothick 52 (82)
    M Muralitharan 6/81 (34.0)
    D Dissanayake 2/76 (25.1)

    Sri Lanka 245a.o. (100 overs)
    M Atapattu 68 (153)
    T Samaraweera 43 (120)
    A Fernando 40 (77)
    S Harmison 3/52 (25.0)
    S Jones 3/54 (22.0)

    England 196a.o. (76.1 overs)
    A Cook 43 (120)
    A Flintoff 38 (94)
    M Muralitharan 3/15 (16.0)
    C Fernando 3/52 (15.1)
    C Vaas 3/62 (22.0)

    Sri Lanka 4/212 (75.2 overs)
    M Jayawardene 71* (169)
    M Vandort 54 (111)
    A Fernando 48* (88)
    A Flintoff 1/24 (10.0)

    Sri Lanka wins by 6 wickets.

    MotM: M Muralitharan (3 & DNB, 6/81 & 3/15).
    Last edited by Robertinho; 20-12-2006 at 05:50 AM.

  11. #11
    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    3rd Test vs England

    After winning the toss, Sri Lanka romped home in the 3rd Test to clinch the series 2-0. Opting to bat first, after nervous start which saw them fall to 3/91, Sri Lanka quickly stabilised and begun to amass a huge total, with K Sangakkara dominating with 141 from 246 balls, aided by solid contributions from A Fernando (58), T Samaraweera (47) and M Jayawardene (46), as the tourists were finally all out for 403. Wasting no time at all, the Sri Lankan openers tore into the England batting lineup, have them 2/3, 5/62 and 7/101, before finally, thanks an inspired 5/52 from C Vaas, dismissing them for 193 all out and enforcing the follow-on. England's second effort was even more spineless, as they were swiftly dismissed for 127, with all Sri Lankan bowlers chipping in, C Vaas with 3/30, C Fernando with 3/18, D Dissanayake with 2/36 and M Muralitharan with 2/41. The innings and 83 run demolition was a great way to secure the series for a young Sri Lankan side.

    Sri Lanka 403a.o. (141.4 overs)
    K Sangakkara 141 (246)
    A Fernando 58 (100)
    T Samaraweera 47 (133)
    M Jayawardene 46 (101)
    S Harmison 4/68 (31.0)

    England 193a.o. (69.1 overs)
    A Flintoff 73 (167)
    C Vaas 5/52 (17.1)
    M Muralitharan 2/42 (17.0)
    C Fernando 2/60 (17.0)

    England 127a.o. (76 overs)
    A Flintoff 34 (100)
    C Fernando 3/18 (15.0)
    C Vaas 3/30 (15.0)
    D Dissanayake 2/36 (23.0)
    M Muralitharan 2/41 (23.0)

    Sri Lanka wins by an innings & 83 runs.

    MotM: K Sangakkara (141).

  12. #12
    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    3 Test Series vs England

    Sri Lanka stormed home in the last 2 tests to take home the series in convincing fashion, claiming it 2-0. The series was largely dominated by the ball, with M Muralitharan taking 21 wickets @ 14.95, C Vaas taking 16 wickets @ 17.62 and C Fernando taking 12 wickets @ 28.17. In the batting department, the experienced M Atapattu scored 270 runs @ 54.00, whilst captain M Jayawardene lead by example with 223 runs @ 74.33. Young gun A Fernando hit 170 runs @ 42.50, whilst his younger namesake hit 110 runs @ 22.00 in the opening position.

    Man of the Series: M Muralitharan (19 runs @ 9.50, 21 wickets @ 14.95)

  13. #13
    International Regular cricketboy29's Avatar
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    Nice stuff, Rob. keep it going..
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  14. #14
    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    1 Day Friendly vs Essex

    Sri Lanka embarked upon their one-day campaign in fine form as they took on Essex. Bowling first, the Sri Lankans were clinical in their constricting of the Essex batsmen. T Samaraweera was outstanding with 3/34 from his 10, as was S Malinga with 3/42, and on the back of these performances, Sri Lanka restricted Essex to 9/196 from their full fifty overs. When it came Sri Lanka's turn to bat, they appeared to be under no pressure and the batsmen played their strokes. The undoubted star of the innings was 21-year-old W Fernando, who stroked his way to a brilliant 100 not-out, and guided his side to victory in an unbeaten 3rd wicket stand of 104 with captain M Jayawardene (44*), as Sri Lanka romped to an 8-wicket victory.

    Essex 9/196 (50 overs)
    A Flower 37 (64)
    T Samaraweera 3/34 (10.0)
    S Malinga 3/42 (10.0)
    N Kulasekara 2/27 (10.0)

    Sri Lanka 2/197 (42.2 overs)
    W Fernando 100* (114)
    M Jayawardene 44* (85)
    A Cowan 1/37 (8.0)

    Sri Lanka wins by 8 wickets.

    MotM: W Fernando (100*).

  15. #15
    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    1 Day Friendly vs Somerset

    Sri Lanka continued their cracking start to their one-day campaign, as the bowlers once again restricted their opposition to a sub-200 total which the batsmen comfortably chased down. Once again, as Sri Lanka bowled first, T Samaraweera shone as he took 3/23 off just 5 overs, and N Kulasekara built on his 2 wickets in the previous game to take 3/49, as Somerset were bundled out for 185 off just 41.5 overs. In a controlled batting display, Sri Lanka cruised to 4/186 from 46.2 overs with M Jayawardene playing a great captains knock of 82* to guide his side to a 6-wicket win.

    Somerset 185a.o. (41.5 overs)
    W Durston 54 (63)
    T Samaraweera 3/23 (5.0)
    N Kulasekara 3/49 (9.5)
    B Amarasinghe 3/55 (10.0)

    Sri Lanka 4/186 (46.2 overs)
    M Jayawardene 82* (124)
    A Laraman 2/40 (8.2)

    Sri Lanka wins by 6 wickets.

    MotM: M Jayawardene (82*).

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