Another winner shows his class | Sunday Observer

Another winner shows his class

30 August, 2020
Dinesh Chandimal hits career-best unbeaten 354
Dinesh Chandimal hits career-best unbeaten 354

Yet another former Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year created history in Sri Lanka’s domestic Premier league as the 42nd Observer-Mobitel School Cricketers of the Year is set to unveil next month.

Former Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal, who emerged the Obsever-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2009, was at his best last Wednesday, cracking an unbeaten 354 for Army Sports Club in their Premier League Tier ‘A’ match against Saracens SC at Katunayake. Chandimal’s marathon innings included nine hits over the rope and another 33 power-packed boundaries in a 391-ball innings.

The 30-year old Chandimal’s mammoth knock accounted for more than half of Army SC’s first innings total of 642 for 9 wickets declared. The aggressive wicket-keeper-batsman proved that he has not lost his old magical touch as he played this match-winning knock. He once again proved his tremendous potential and drew the attention of the cricketing world.

Chandimal made the highest individual score in an innings this season. He became the second Sri Lankan batsman to score the most runs in an inning in first class cricket.

What was unique in Chandimal’s gallant innings was that there were no other centurions to support his triple century, other than for two fifties by Pethum Dilshan (67) and Ashan Randika (63).

Chandimal has now scored 1,027 runs in eight matches with three centuries and four fifties. Thus, he became the second batsman to pass 1,000 runs in this domestic Premier league season. Chandimal’s historic triple ton enabled him to go past 8,500-runs with a first class aggregate in 120 matches in 204 innings with 24 centuries and 41 half tons.

Chandimal’s elegant innings is the second highest in the all-time list of first class triple hundreds behind Mahela Jayawardena’s best Test innings of 374.

Besides Jayawarndena (374) and Chandimal (354 no), the other who scored triple centuries were Kithruwan Withanage (351), Minod Bhanuka (342), Thilina Kandamby (340 no), Sanath Jayasuriya (340 in a Test), Kusal Perera (336), Kumar Sangakkara (319 in a Test), Udara Jayasundera (318) and Ramesh Mendis (300).

Born on November 18, 1989 in Balapitiya, Lokuge Dinesh Chandimal made his Sri Lanka debut in less than one year after his Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer glory in 2009. He first made his ODI debut on June 1, 2010. In the following year, he made his Test debut in the Boxing Day Test against South Africa in 2011.

Playing in 57 Test matches, he has scored 3,877 runs in 103 innings at an average of 40.81 with 11 centuries and 18 half tons and a career-best 164. In 164 ODI innings, Chandimal has scored a 3,599 aggregate with an average of 32.42 inclusive of four tons and 22 fifties. In 54 T20 Internationals for Sri Lanka. he has aggregated 800 runs with four fifties.

Meanwhile, the final selections of the 2020 Observer Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Cricketers of the Year are expected to be held sometime next month.

The Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA), the Umpires Association, along with the organisers, the Sunday Observer and the sponsors Sri Lanka Mobitel will meet next month to decide the grand prize winners and the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Cricketers of the Year.

The statistical data provider of the event is the popular cricket website which is playing a big role in this contest under its CEO Kumara Gamhewage.

This year, the overall champion team will not be named as the official final leg matches were not played, although the provincial champion teams would be named. The worldwide Covid-19 epidemic interrupted the last few matches of the 2019/2020 Under-19 inter-school league including a couple of outstation big matches

Nevertheless, the glamour events will comprise the mega awards show including the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Cricketers of the Year 2020.

The Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Cricketers of the Year 2020 is likely to be found at the end of next month after the final stages of the ongoing voting.

The battles for the Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Cricketers of the Year 2020 have become exciting battles for supremacy.

Sri Lanka’s flagship national newspaper - the Sunday Observer, provided the initiative for the Mega Show which has now gone from strength to strength for over four decades producing many world beaters. Although there have been a couple of similar events that emerged subsequently, the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer has remained the Mega Show.

The concept of rewarding schoolboy cricketers at the end of each season was introduced to Sri Lanka by Lake House and it started the prestigious event in 1978/79. Organized by the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL), the event is sponsored by the country’s national mobile service provider Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel for the 13th successive year.

The Sunday Observer’s great sporting partnership with SLT Mobitel has grown from strength to strength due to the untiring efforts of its CEO Nalin Perera. Great sports promoter Mobitel who are sponsoring it for the 13th year, provided the ideal financial support for the oldest Cricket Awards Show in Sri Lanka.

The Sunday Observer realized the need to reward the raw talent of the country’s schoolboy cricketers way back in 1978-79 at a time when there had been no organized inter-school cricket tournaments, apart from the traditional first XI matches between the so-called leading schools.

With the introduction of the Show and its expansion to have a separate segment for outstation schoolboy cricketers it went a long way in inspiring the talented players from remote areas.

The ANCL Chairman and board of management have always given their best possible support to keep the Mega Show alive and kicking. Chairman/President’s Counsel W. Dayaratne, together with Director Editorial Dharma Sri Kariyawasam, Director Legal and Administration Rakhitha Abeygunawardhana, Director Finance Janaka Ranatunga and Director Operations Canishka Witharana have helped this show to go from strength to strength.