01March2017

Eleven hours after the Queen officially opened the Games of the XXX Olympiad and seven British youngsters lit the Olympic cauldron, the first gold medal of the Games was awarded. China's Yi Siling was victorious in the women's 10-meter air rifle shooting, an event which began before noon Saturday in London.

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ONDON – The Queen made her acting debut (in a James Bond scene, no less), Mary Poppins outdueled Lord Voldemort’s evil magic, the flame was lit in truly unique fashion – by seven unknowns, no less – and the 2012 Olympic Games were open.

Even the rain stayed away except for the briefest of showers as London, the first city to host an Olympics on three occasions, set off 17 days of sporting celebration Friday on what can only be described as a resounding victory. 

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Schoolboy off spinner Akila Dhananjaya for Under 19 World Cup Featured

An unknown schoolboy off spinner called Akila Dhananjaya who failed to make it into the Sri Lanka Under 19 for the forthcoming Under 19 World Cup or the Sri Lanka A Team has stunningly been called up for the Sri Lanka’s 30-man preliminary squad for the ICC World T20 to be held in Sri Lanka in two-months’ time. 

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සංචාරක ඉන්දීය පිල සහ ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා පිල අතර තරග පහකින් සමන්විත එක්දින ක‍්‍රිකට් තරගාවලිය ආරම්භ කරමින් සූරියවැව මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ ජාත්‍යන්තර ක‍්‍රිකට් ක‍්‍රීඩාංගණයේ අද (21) පැවැති පළමු තරගයෙන් (දිවා/රාත‍්‍රි) ඉන්දීය ක‍්‍රීඩකයෝ ලකුණු 21 ක ජයක් ලැබූහ.

ලකුණු 315 ක ජයග‍්‍රාහි ඉලක්කය හඹාගිය ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා පිලට  ඕවර 50 යේදී කඩුලූ 9 ක් දැවී ලබාගත හැකි වුයේ ලකුණු 293 ක් පමණි.

කුමාර් සංගක්කාර විශිෂ්ට ඉනිමක් ක‍්‍රීඩා කරමින් පන්දු 151 කදී හතරේ පහර 12 ක් සමගින් ලකුණු 133 ක් රැස්කරමින් සිය 14 වැනි එක්දින ශතකය වාර්තා කළේය.

තිසර පෙරේරා වේගවත් ඉනිමක් දියත් කරමින් පන්දු 28 කදී හතරේ පහර 3 ක් සහ හයේ පහරක් සමගින් ලකුණු 44 ක් රැුස්කරමින් ශ‍්‍රී ලංකාවට බලාපොරොත්තුවක් ඇති කිරීමට සමත් විය.

ඉන්දියාව  ඕවර 50 යේදී කඩුලූ 6 ට 314 (විරේන්ද්‍ර සෙවැග් 96, විරාට් කෝලි 106, සුරේෂ් රයිනා 50, මහේන්ද්‍ර සිං දෝනි 35, තිසර පෙරේරා 70/3)

ශ‍්‍රී ලංකාව  ඕවර 50 යේදී කඩුලූ 9 ට 293 (උපුල් තරංග 28, කුමාර් සංගක්කාර 133, දිනේෂ් චන්දිමාල් 13, මහේල ජයවර්ධන 12, තිසර පෙරේරා 44, ලසිත් මාලිංග නොදැවී 19, ඉර්ෆාන් පතන් 37/2, උමේෂ් යාදේව් 76/2, රවිචන්ද්‍රකුමාර් අෂ්වින් 46/2)

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Sri Lanka Army’s Rifle-Shooting contender in the forthcoming Olympics on the eve of his departure to London met the Commander of the Army to receive his Chief’s blessings and best wishes on Wednesday (18) morning.

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It’s been a while since my last column, so I thought it would be a good time to check in before the British Open next week. I recently won my third tournament of the year at the AT&T National, and feel good about my game heading across the pond to compete at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in England.

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Pakistan may have scored enough to prompt Sri Lanka to play for a draw after the hosts, already 1-0 up in the series, failed to finish off the Pakistan innings early on the final day. Asad Shafiq marched towards his second Test century and Adnan Akmal, batting with a hairline fracture on his left ring finger, bravely kept them at bay for more than 28 overs, stretching Pakistan's lead to 269 and leaving Sri Lanka with 71 overs to bat.

Sri Lanka have only chased more than 200 to win twice in Tests, though the pitch under sunny skies in Pallekele didn't show any major signs of threat. The movement for the seamers was negligible, and same with the spin for Rangana Herath.

It helped Pakistan that Sri Lanka only attacked from one end. Shafiq batted calmly, his task made easier by the fact that Sri Lanka employed a spread field when he was on strike. He initially tried to protect Akmal, refusing singles, but ultimately showed no hesitation in turning the strike over, as Akmal proved he was more than capable at blocking one end.

Shafiq had a fielder in the deep in the V, and two near the boundary square of the wicket, and he comfortably worked the ball around for singles, twos and also dispatched a full toss from Dilhara Fernando for a boundary through midwicket. Akmal defended well, felt the pain when the ball hit the bat hard but stuck it out, playing spin with more ease, even reverse-sweeping Herath for a four.

Following the first hour, with a clear message from the dressing room to step it up, Akmal repeated that shot and Shafiq slog-swept Herath for four more. Amid a spate of singles picked through square leg, midwicket and in the in-field on the off side, Shafiq also thrashed Thisara Perera through long-off and deep extra cover, before getting a top-edge to the fine-leg boundary. He brought up his century half an hour before lunch, immediately prompting Misbah-ul-Haq to declare the innings.

Seventy-one overs in conditions favouring batsmen, against a line-up that bats deep, left the visitors with a stiff task of forcing a victory and levelling the series. However, with their seamers, led by Junaid Khan, bowling flat out, the hosts were under pressure to survive that attack. Pakistan did sense a chance with Tharanga Paranavitana on strike, as he chased a wide delivery from Umar Gul to be beaten first ball, then getting a leading edge past gully against an away-going delivery.

Junaid didn't take long to go round the wicket to the right-hander, Dinesh Chandimal's tendency to shuffle across and fall over giving the bowler a healthy chance of an lbw. But Chandimal middle the ball well, his natural inclination to attack taking over. He slashed Gul through point, drove him down the ground and pulled him through square leg, all in the over before lunch to mark a positive start.

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A number of U.S. Olympic athletes including decathlete Ashton Eaton and members of the U.S. women's volleyball team are featured in ESPN The Magazine's upcoming Body Issue, which annually features athletes photographed in the nude.

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