Chandimal’s blessed day when Sri Lanka triumphed and trumped over Aussies | Sunday Observer

Chandimal’s blessed day when Sri Lanka triumphed and trumped over Aussies

16 July, 2022
Observer SLT Mibitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2009 Dinesh Chandimal
Observer SLT Mibitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2009 Dinesh Chandimal

The brightest moment in former Observer-SLT Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Dinesh Chandimal’s Test career was witnessed at the Galle International Stadium last week.

He produced a magnificent unbeaten double century – the first by a Sri Lankan against Australia, to pilot the home team to a convincing innings victory with more than a day to spare.

A brave 206 not out by Chandimal and a dream debut match bag of 12 wickets for 177 by Prabath Jayasuriya guided Sri Lanka to an innings win. It was Sri Lanka’s first-ever innings victory against Australia in Test cricket.

Chandimal became the first ever Sri Lanka batsman to score a double century against Australia, surpassing the previous best of 192 by Kumar Sangakkara in Hobart 2007.

It was also the first occasion that Australia had lost a Test by an innings, after being crushed by South Africa in November 2016 in Hobart, Tasmania.

Australia’s previous innings defeats after batting first in Asia were both at the hands of India - by an innings and 219 runs in Kolkata in 1998 and an innings and 135 runs in Hyderabad in 2013.

Jayasuriya’s magical match analysis is the best for Sri Lanka on Test debut and the fourth-best overall. The previous best by a Lankan on debut was by Praveen Jayawickrama - 11 for 178 against Bangladesh.

Born on November 18, 1989 in Balapitiya, Lokuge Dinesh Chandimal made his Sri Lanka debut in less than one year after his Observer-SLT 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.

Chandimal has now aggregated 4,665 runs in 68 Test matches at an average of 42.02. Apart from the unbeaten double century he made last week, he has scored 12 other Test hundreds and 21 more half centuries. All in all, he has cracked 34 sixes and 484 fours in Test cricket.

Besides Test cricket, Chandimal has proved his class in One Day Internationals too, aggregating 3,807 runs at an average of 31.33 with four centuries and 24 fifties in 154 matches.

Representing Sri Lanka in 68 T20 Internationals, he has also aggregated 1,062 runs with six half centuries.

Former Sri Lanka captain Chandimal was in fine domestic form about two years ago, 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.

His 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 scored 1,027 runs in eight matches with three centuries and four fifties to become the second batsman to pass 1,000 runs in this domestic Premier league season. His historic triple ton enabled him to go past 8,500-runs for 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 Jayawardena (374) and Chandimal (354 no), the other who scored triple centuries were Kithruwan Withanage (351), Minod Bhanuka (342), Thilina Kandamby (340 n.o), Sanath Jayasuriya (340 in a Test), Kusal Perera (336), Kumar Sangakkara (319 in a Test), Udara Jayasundera (318) and Ramesh Mendis (300).

Dinesh Chandimal has two younger brothers – 22-year-old Lokuge Kamesh Nirmal and 17-year-old Lokuge Ayesh Shashimal.

Kamesh Nirmal also played for Ananda as well as Tamil Union as a wicket keeper batsman. Ayesh Shashimal is playing for the current Ananda under-19 team.

Meanwhile, the final selections of the 2022 Observer–SLT Mobitel School Cricketers of the Year are expected to be made after the remaining school big matches.

The Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA), the Umpires Association, along with the organisers, the Sunday Observer and the sponsors SLT Mobitel are expected to meet shortly to decide the grand prize winners and the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Cricketers of the Year 2022.

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

The Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Cricketers of the Year 2022 are likely to be found shortly after the final stages of the ongoing voting which has gathered pace.

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-SLT Mobitel School Cricketers show 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 15th successive year.

The Sunday Observer’s great sporting partnership with SLT Mobitel has grown from strength to strength with SLT Mobitel sponsoring it for the 15th year.

The Sunday Observer realized the need to reward the country’s schoolboy cricketers way back in 1978-79 at a time when there had been no organized tournaments, apart from the traditional First XI matches. 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/Managing Director of ANCL Anusha Palpita, who is also the Secretary to the Ministry of Media, together with Director Editorial Sisira Paranathantri, Director Legal and Administration Janaka Ranatunga, Director Finance Prof. Harendra Kariyawasam and Director Operations Manjula Makumbura have helped this show to go from strength to strength.

Meanwhile, the local inter-school arena was stunned after Nalanda defeated traditional rivals Ananda in their annual Battle of the Maroons last week. It was Nalanda’s first big match win in 69 years since they beat Ananda under W.W. Silva in 1953.

A superb 88 by Chanul Athukorala and a useful 40 by Raveen de Silva helped Nalanda to make 289 for 9 wickets declared. Shakthi Udara (5 for 90) and Pulindu Kiriella (3 for 57) shared the bowling honours for Ananda.

Ananda, who were 69 for 5 wickets at close on day one, were shot out for 139, despite a fighting knock of 70 not out by Iruth Gimshan. Ananda were forced to follow on and failed in the second essay too shot out for 180, giving Nalanda that elusive big match win. Vinuja Ranpul (4 and 33 and 2 for 40) and Raveen de Silva (3 for 33 and 4 for 80) shared the bowling honours for Nalanda who had just a 31-run target.