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Ananda’s defeat by St. Benedict’s has made them stronger: Coach

The past couple of seasons had been the best for the first XI cricketers of Ananda College Colombo. The Ananda boys had been gracious and at the same time joyous with their victories during the past two years. This season, however their performance has been contrasting. They went through the agony of defeat at the hands of St. Benedict’s after 48 years, an encounter they would definitely wish to put out of their minds. Opposing the mere possibility of a certain downfall, the Anandians took that bitter experience optimistically to make an effective comeback in the schools cricket competition.

“The last two years we have been winning against St. Benedict’s but this year it is apparent that they are stronger. The main reason behind our defeat was the disarray of the team. If I may recall, this was the first time the team played in such a manner. The after effects of the game was normal as usual but when our defeat made news saying it created history for the Bens, we felt ghastly about it. The loss in one way made us stronger as a unit and opened our eyes which has helped us to perfect ourselves,” Lucky Rogers Fernando, the Ananda cricket coach said.

After Ananda’s first defeat after some years and after three games of this season, they made changes to bounce back with two consecutive wins – against Dharmapala and Lumbini. But Ananda is not a weak team to be graded as underdogs this year. According to Rogers who is handling the team for the fourth season, the 16-member squad has the services of eight seniors making them an experienced outfit this year. Among them is a fifth year player, a fourth year player, couple of third year players and four second year players. All of them played in last year’s big match against Nalanda. The side is led by fourth year player and all-rounder Pasindu Madushan and Thushara Samarakoon acts as the vice captain.

With several wins during the previous couple of seasons Ananda was sitting pretty as one of the leading contenders to dominate the local schools cricket competition. They have won eight and seven games in the past consecutive seasons out of 20 games. This year too they are longing to equal the record.

To make this possible they have a strong batting line up coupled up with a versatile pace and spin attack. Experienced campaigner Geshan Wimaladharma who captained the team last year opens the batting for Ananda with Danuka Madushan. Wimaladharma cracked a century and 11 half centuries to amass 910 runs last year and this year, so far he has carried out his form by closing in on 400 runs. Young Imesh Lakkana is a budding talent for Ananda and he follows in as the one down batsman. Next to follow in the order is skipper Pasindu. Sisuru Samarakoon, deputy skipper Thushara and wicketkeeper Ushan Gunathilake are the batsmen who fill the top and middle order. Two slots are taken by two all-rounders Thamalaka Atulatmudali and Venuka Ashen and the remaining places are filled by a spinner and a couple of seamers.

The bowling department is spearheaded by left-arm pacie Venuka Ashen. Right-armers Tiran Wijesuriya and Sisuru Samarakoon are there to assist Ashen. The spin department is led by skipper Pasindu who is an off-spinner with immense talent. Leg-spinners Isuru Gunasekara and Thushara and off-spinners Atulatmudali and Wimaladharma are the other bowlers of the side who can make an impact.

According to Rogers with such a strong line-up the team’s goal is to maintain the winning streak and continue their dominance in schools cricket for years to come. The coach also added that Ananda has no big aim for this season as they have learnt the ups and downs of the sport and the most important part is to preserve the sportsmanship.

“Ananda is a school which has continuously contributed players to the national stream. Dinesh Chandimal is the latest to enter the list. We already have three players – Pasindu, Geshan and Venuka of immense promise. Our hope is to maintain our standards and continue this contribution,” Rogers said.

 

Posted on 2012-01-10 14:47:07
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QUESTION?

Should Dilshan have continued until Cricket World Cup 2019?

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THE DAY'S QUOTE

“That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him.” “We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” - Angelo Mathews

FEEDBACK/COMMENTS

Cricket is a game of fine margins and Mathews is set to be a modern great. Hang in their Angie, this team can achieve something on this tour. Thirimane and the youngsters form was a real positive. Prasad was missed. Chameera should be persisted with. If Bairstow was our early outcome could have been very different.

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