Yet another roller-coaster year comes to an end, leaving us sports fans with mixed emotions as we head to a fresh start in a couple of days. From embarrassing defeats to remarkable wins, Sri Lanka has experienced an appreciable year in all sports. In this article, we look at the best and the worst moments of 2017 in the local sporting arena.
Despite winning the game against Bhutan, the Sri Lanka women’s team lost to Nepal and Maldives in the group stages of the SAFF Games in January 2017.
As a result, they were kicked out of the tournament. The Sri Lanka women’s team has never made it to the knockouts.
After losing 3-0 in the Test series, Sri Lanka bounced back to win the Twenty20 series 2-1 despite losing Angelo Mathews to an injury. Heroics from all-rounder Seekuge Prasanna and Niroshan Dickwella led the visitors to an excellent win five wickets in the decider.
However, the Test series was a disaster for Sri Lanka.
“I have been part of many defeats but as captain, this is certainly the worst. We kind of expected to do better than what we did. But there was no improvement,” said former skipper Angelo Mathews.
Nipun Ransika led Sri Lanka U19 to an emphatic win over South Africa U19 at Paarl to claim the all-important series. Zimbabwe U19 failed to make it to the final. Sri Lanka crawled their way to 156 in 44 overs but restricted South Africa to 79 in 32 overs.
Army Man Asela Gunaratne steered Sri Lanka to an unbelievable Twenty20 series win in Australia. Sri Lanka won the first two games but Australia bounced back to avoid losing the third.
The boys in blue were on a row with back to back series wins against two top teams in the world.
Sri Lanka got the better of six-time champions Pakistan to win the West Asia Baseball Cup title in Islamabad. Skipper Akalanka Ranasinghe scored the winning runs for the visitors.
“The tournament was a tough one for us. But we’ve been dreaming of this moment. Pakistan have a very decent team. They have been playing tournaments on Asian level so we are glad to have finally beat them,” he said.
Dilantha Malagamuwa excelled by winning the NGK 3 hours Enduro with Armaan Ebrahim and Ashan Silva in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo at the Dubai Autodrome. Ashan Silva won race 1 and race 2 NGK racing series on his Lamborghini debut.
Moreover, Dilantha and Armaan finished second in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo race.
Sri Lanka failed to find the edge over Bangladesh in all three formats but the visitors were the happier bunch playing away from home. The two-match test series, three-match one-day international series, and the two-match twenty20 series ended 1-1.
In the Test series, Rangana Herath bagged his 1000th first class wicket by dismissing all-rounder Mehedi Hasan Miraz. A local newspaper declared the team dead subsequent to their defeat against Bangladesh in the 2nd Test.
Heavy defeats to Chile, Hong Kong and Namibia restricted Sri Lanka from proceeding to stage 2 of the world series qualifiers.
Sri Lanka showed some fight in the final game against Namibia but the opposition was a little too strong. The match ended 26-14.
Sri Lanka got the better of South Africa to win the all-important Tuanku Ja’afar Trophy at the International Under 15 Cricket tournament held in Malaysia.
The final was won by 131 runs as South Africa was bowled out for just 35 in the 18th over of the innings. Sri Lanka outsmarted South Africa, Bangladesh, and Malaysia in the first round.
Zainab Saumy emerged victorious in the Under 2000 Women’s competition at the FIDE World Amateur Chess Championship in Spoleto, Italy.
Zainab’s priceless achievement was second to none but this was the second world title win for Sri Lanka. The same title was previously won by a Sri Lankan in the year 2007.
A total of over 200 chess players from 50 countries participated in the tournament.
Himasha Eshan finished behind China’s Hong Mi in the Men’s 100m event at the Asian Grand Prix in China.
Overall in all three legs, Lankan athletes won three gold, two silver and three bronze medals (Indunil Herath (two golds), Gayanthika Abeyratne (gold and a bronze), Himasha Eshan (two silvers) and Nimali Liyanarachchi (two bronze medals).
A total mess up on the field knocked Sri Lanka out of the ICC Champions Trophy. Pakistan won the match and qualified to the semis with 3 wickets and 5 overs to spare.
Sri Lanka made 236 in the first innings and had Pakistan in all sorts of trouble during the chase. However, drop catches gave Pakistan the win. Angelo Mathews’ men only had themselves to blame for losing out on an easy win.
Kalinga Kumarage won Sri Lanka’s first gold medal in the Thailand Open Athletic Championship at the Thammasat University Stadium, Bangkok. He finished the Men’s 400m event in 47.55 seconds.
Long jumper Dhanuka Liyanapathirana and 3000m steeplechase runner Nilani Rathnayake won silver for Sri Lanka.
Chamari Atapattu became the first Sri Lankan women’s cricketer to sign a contract with a franchise-based T20 league. Yorkshire Diamonds got hold of Atapattu for the second edition of the Kia Super League. She replaced Aussie batsman Beth Mooney.
“I was on holiday with my family in Anuradhapura when I got a call, asking if I’m available. I said yes immediately. it was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect to play in the T20 league because most of the teams had already announced their squads,” said Atapattu.
Kyle Abeysinghe became the first Sri Lankan to win a medal at any Commonwealth event in swimming. Abeysinghe finished the 50m Freestyle event in 23.38 secs and the 100m Freestyle event in 50.93 secs.
However, he failed to get past the preliminary rounds in the 200m Freestyle event.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli powered his side to a 9-0 tour clean sweep in all formats of the game. The boys in blue were completely outplayed in their own backyard. It was a series to forget for Sri Lanka.
Long jumper Amila Jayasiri covered a distance of 7.45m to win silver in the Men’s Long Jump event at the Asian Indoor and Martial Art Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Amila’s medal was the first for Sri Lanka in 2017.
#SHARE #Videoඅමිලගෙන් ලක් මවට රිදී පදක්කමක්. Amila Jayasiri made Sri Lanka proud with a Silver Medal in Long Jump with a leap of 7.45m. Tien Trong of Vietnam – GOLD 7.48mMing Tai of Hong Kong – Bronze 7.44m
Posted by Ceylon Athletics on Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Korea’s Sung Hun and Lasantha Ranaweera emerged joint champions in the Men’s Singles of the ITF Futures Series Thailand Wheelchair Tennis Championship.
Lasantha won the first set 6/4 but was trailing 2/5 before the match was called off due to bad weather.
Pakistan completed series whitewashes in ODI and T20 while Sri Lanka won the two tests, first ever pink ball test. Rangana Herath was on fire in the Tests but Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan and Imam Ul Haq had their revenge in the shorter format.
Thisara Perera led the Twenty20 team for the very first time and the final twenty20 was played in Lahore.
“It’s a tough tour. For Pakistan fans, thanks for inviting us. My team-mates gelled like a family. Last three matches, we had to take a lot of positives. We need to do something for our batting unit,” said Thisara after the final T20.
After a reasonable performance against the Maldives, Sri Lanka lost 10-0 and 6-0 against Uzbekistan and Tajikistan AFC U19 Championship Qualifiers at the Republican Central Stadium, Dushanbe Tajikistan.
Sri Lanka had no say and were thrashed out of the competition.
Moreover, the national team was pushed to 200th in FIFA World Rankings, the worst ever.
Shafraz Junaid and Akhry Ameer becomes second runner up at FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (Motor Sports)
Shafraz Junaid and Akhry Ameer won the island’s first podium finish by becoming overall second runner-up in the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship at Chikmagalur.
In three decades of APRC, the lion flag was elevated at the podium for the very first time this year. Local boy Gaurav Gill won the final leg and went on to claim the APRC Championship.
Ransilu Jayatilleke also known as the Sri Lankan Juggernaut became the Asian Champion in the 120kg category at the Asian Power-lifting Classic competition which concluded in India.
Jayatilleke won gold in squat and dead-lift clearing 285kg and 315kg but was restricted to Bronze in bench press lifting. In total, he accumulated 735kg.
In the masters category, Athula Wijewickrama won overall gold while Hiran Fernando won Bronze for Sri Lanka.
Hong Kong cemented their place in the World Junior Rugby Championship by outsmarting Sri Lanka in both legs to win the Asia U19 title.
Hong Kong beat Sri lanka 37-8 in Colombo and 40-7 at the Hong Kong Football Club.
Sri Lanka fought really well in the Tests but failed to do the same in limited over cricket as India sealed the ODI and T20 series 2-1 and 3-0.
India won the Test series 1-0, credit to an impressive display of batting from Sri Lanka in the decider.
Lakmal was on fire in the 1st ODI and had India 7 down for 29 at one stage. All in all, Sri Lanka showed glimpses of brilliance but India had things covered.
So there you have it folks. Here’s to a more prosperous 2018 for the world of sports in Sri Lanka.
/ 1 year ago
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