‘Stop artillery attacks on civilians’, HRW asks Sri Lanka

NEW YORK: A leading international watchdog has asked the Sri Lankan government to “immediately cease” its indiscriminate artillery attacks on civilians in the northern Vanni region and review its policy of detaining displaced persons in internment camps.

In a report released on Saturday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said since early January 2009, civilian casualties have skyrocketed in the fighting between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The 45-page report, HRW said, is based on a two-week fact-finding mission to Vanni region of northern Sri Lanka in February. The government has prohibited journalists and human rights monitors from going to the battle zone in the Vanni, making access to information difficult.

“This ‘war’ against civilians must stop,” said James Ross, legal and policy director at Human Rights Watch. “Sri Lankan forces are shelling hospitals and so-called safe zones and slaughtering the civilians there.”

Human Rights Watch also called on the LTTE to allow civilians to leave the war zone, stop shooting at those who try to flee to government-controlled territory, and cease deploying forces near populated areas.

Human Rights Watch said that both the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE were responsible for the dramatic increase in civilian casualties during the past month, approximately 2,000 killed and another 5,000 wounded, according to independent monitors on the ground.

source : jang.com.pk


Sri Lanka reach 120-2 at lunch in first test

KARACHI: Kumar Sangakkara and Malinda Warnapura hit half-centuries to help Sri Lanka reach 120-2 by lunch on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan here on Saturday.

Sangakkara was unbeaten at the break on 51 with skipper Mahela Jayawardene on five not out after Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat on a flat pitch.

Warnapura earlier steadied the innings with a brisk 48-ball 59 to help his team recover from the early loss of debutant opener Tharanga Paranavitana, who was dismissed for a first-ball duck.

Pakistan’s frontline paceman Umar Gul struck with the fourth ball of the innings when he forced left-hander Paranavitana to edge into the slip where Misbah-ul-Haq took a smart catch.

Warnapura and Sangakkara added 90 for the second wicket before first-change Yasir Arafat provided the breakthrough. Warnapura, who hit nine boundaries, edged Arafat to Haq who held a low catch in the slip.

The 32,000-seater National Stadium wore a deserted look as policemen outnumbered the spectators in the first session of the Test, the first in 14 months that Pakistan has participated in.

source : jang.com.pk

Sri Lanka focused on Jayawardene farewell

KARACHI: Sri Lanka test regular Thilan Samaraweera wants to use the cricket tour to Pakistan as an opportunity to send outgoing captain Mahela Jayawardene off on a high note.

“Everyone knows his record as a captain, which is brilliant in both test cricket and one-day cricket,” Samaraweera said Monday. “I think we will give a good farewell to him as a captain.”

Jayawardene, 31, has announced he will quit as captain at the end of the second test at Lahore on March 5. The first test will be played at Karachi from Feb. 21. Jayawardene has struck 24 test centuries–11 as captain—and overall has scored 7,959 runs in 100 tests at an average of 52.36

source : jang.com.pk

Pak-SL-BD triangular series cancelled

KARACHI: The triangular series between Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh scheduled for April this year in Dubai has been cancelled.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Saleem Altaf told Geo News that Sri Lanka team is not available in April for the series and thus the event has been cancelled.

He further said that the Pakistan cricket team would tour Australia in the beginning of the next year to play a series of Test matches and One-day Internationals against the hosts.

source : jang.com.pk

Jayawardene announces to quit as Sri Lanka captain

COLOMBO: Mahela Jayawardene has announced here on Wednesday to resign as captain of the Sri Lanka’s cricket team and said that the upcoming Test series in Pakistan would be his last series as captain.

The 31-year-old batsman said he has decided to resign in the best interest of the Sri Lankan cricket.

Jayawardene said that he has taken the decision after thoroughly considering it and it was the right time to leave the captaincy.

He said that the captaincy should be handed over to a young player for going into preparations for the 2011 World Cup.

Jayawardene said that the two-Test series in Pakistan would be his last series as captain.


Sri Lanka elects to bat in final India one-day

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and elected to bat in the fifth and final one-day international against India here on Sunday.

India, leading 4-0, made two changes from the side, which won the fourth match by 67 runs here on Thursday, bringing in all-rounder Ravinder Jadeja and pace man Lakshmipathy Balaji in place of Pragyan Ojha and Praveen Kumar. Jadeja is making his debut, while Balaji returns to the one-day side after three years. The hosts replaced pace man Dilhara Fernando and all-rounder Angelo Mathews with unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis and Thilan Thushara.

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Irfan Pathan.

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Chamara Kapugedera, Thilina Kandamby, Farveez Maharoof, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thilan Thushara. Umpires: Brian Jerling (RSA) and Tyron Wijewardene (SRI)

source : jang.com.pk

India needs 321 runs to win

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka scored 320 for eight against India in the fifth and final one-day international on Sunday.

Sri Lanka batted first after winning the toss in the last match of the series being played here. Opener Dilshan and Jayasuria provided 66 runs opening stand. Dishan was unfortunate, as he narrowly missed the century being run out at 97.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka (Dilshan 97, Sangakkara 84; I. Sharma 3-60)

source : jang.com.pk

India beat SL by 147 runs, win series

COLOMBO: India beat Sri Lanka by 147 runs in the third one-day international here on Tuesday to gain an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan equalled the one-day bowling record before India clinched the series with a crushing 147-run victory in the third match.

The tourists posted a challenging 363-5 following rapid fire centuries from Yuvraj Singh (117) and Virender Sehwag (116) and then dismissed the hosts for 216 for an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

It was India’s second successive one-day series triumph in Sri Lanka, having won 3-2 on their last tour in August 2008.

Sri Lanka never looked like achieving a stiff target under lights despite a fighting 83 from wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara and cameos from Tillakaratne Dilshan (31) and skipper Mahela Jayawardene (30).

The hosts suffered a setback in the second over when hard-hitting opener Sanath Jayasuriya was bowled for no score, chopping paceman Praveen Kumar’s delivery on to his stumps.

Sangakkara hardly received support from the other end as Kumar (2-41) and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha struck just when the hosts looked like building a partnership. Ojha finished with 4-38, his best in eight one-dayers.

Sangakkara was the seventh batsman out after hitting nine fours in his 82-ball knock.

The afternoon session belonged to Yuvraj and Sehwag, who added 221 runs, India’s highest stand for the third wicket against Sri Lanka. The previous best was 175 between Navjot Sidhu and Mohammad Azharuddin in Sharjah in 1995.

Muralitharan equalled former Pakistani paceman Wasim Akram’s one-day record of 502 wickets in his 327th match when he had Yuvraj caught by Chamara Kapugedera at point in his eighth over.

But the Sri Lankan, the world’s leading bowler in Tests with 769 victims, failed to grab the record-breaking wicket in his last two overs and will look to reach the milestone in the fourth one-dayer on Thursday.

source : jang.com.pk

Retaining Malik as captain for indefinite period caused Pakistan defeat

LAHORE: Some senior players of the Pakistan cricket team did not accept by heart the Pakistan Cricket Board decision of Shoaib Malik retaining as captain for an indefinite period and this caused the national team’s humiliating defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the home series.

Think-tank of the Pakistan cricket team including coach, assistant coach and captain has revealed after a record margin defeat of 234 runs against Sri Lanka that some senior players of the team are unhappy on PCB chairman Ijaz Butt’s decision of extending Shoaib Malik’s captaincy to an indefinite period.

The senior players did not accept this decision which caused for Pakistan’s worst defeat.

However, Shoaib Malik has secured support from wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and some junior players but other senior players are not ready to cooperate with Shoaib Malik nor they want to play with s team spirit.

Sources said that as Shoaib Malik was appointed captain for an indefinite period chances for some senior players to become captain have nearly been vanished. This is why they want to see Shoaib Malik flopped as captain.

Salman Butt’s name has also been added to the names of some senior players as candidates for captaincy.

Close circles of Shoaib Malik said that the most disappointing moment for them was that when Sri Lankan batsmen were hitting Shahid Afridi for fours and Shoaib Akhtar and Afridi were laughing looking at each other.

Sources said that the captain should be appointed on series to series basis.

source : jang.com.pk

Pakistan draw first blood in ODI series against Sri Lanka

KARACHI: Pakistan easily defeated a strong Sri Lanka side by eight wickets with 25 balls to spare in the first One-day International here at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

After restricting Sri Lanka to 219, Pakistan made a solid start of 168 runs through magnificent batting display by openers Salman Butt and Khurram Manzoor. Experienced Butt hit a brilliant century, his eighth ODI hundred, while his junior partner Khurram hit an aggressive 83.

The left-handed Butt scored a 117-ball 100 with the help of 13 fours and remained not out as the home team reached the winning target of 220 runs in 45.5 overs with the loss of Khurram and Younis Khan.

source : jang.com.pk