DIMUTH Karunaratne’s unbeaten 133 – an innings defined by its smoothness and control – ensured Sri Lanka’s first brush with day-night Test cricket was a success. They moved to 254 for 3 by stumps, after debutant Sadheera Samarawickreme contributed a delectable 38, and Dinesh Chandimal progressed to the verge of another cautious half-century. Earlier in the day, Kaushal Silva had hung around for 27 off 71 balls as well.Pakistan had got themselves in the match soon after the tea break, when Samarawickreme and Kusal Mendis fell in quick succession. Though they had Sri Lanka 136 for 3 at one stage, no further wickets came in the second half of the day.Their frustrations were compounded in the last half an hour when Mohammad Amir pulled up in the middle of the 88th over and left the field clutching his thigh, prompting concerns over the state of his hamstring. Sarfraz Ahmed also burned their two reviews trying to dismiss the irritating Chandimal.Though the quicks gleaned good movement with the new pink balls, it was Yasir Shah who was the most menacing bowler, getting faster and faster turn off the Dubai pitch through the day. He bowled 29.3 overs and returned figures of 2 for 90. Amir was the other bowler to make a breakthrough – his first in the series.While other batsmen advanced at varying rates around him, Karunaratne was Sri Lanka’s day one metronome. Samarawickreme produced a boundary-filled cameo; Chandimal and Kaushal stonewalled, almost becoming completely inert at times.Karunaratne, however, progressed evenly, never getting pinned down, never pressing the attack for long. He struck three fours off one Mohammad Amir over just before the tea break, but that was as exciting as his day got. Otherwise, he was seen flicking balls to his favourite midwicket region, and working the spinners towards square leg. Over a hundred of his runs, and 11 of his 16 boundaries came on the legside.This seventh career hundred – his first in the first innings since 2015 – is an extension of his excellent run in 2017. Though he missed out on triple figures at Abu Dhabi, where he was run-out on 93, Karunaratne has nevertheless struck three high-quality centuries this year, all against good attacks.Following two years in which he constantly tested the selectors’ patience, this has been a long-awaited harvest.Gone from his game are the impetuous flashes that frustrated him early in his career, and the tentativeness that plagued him twelve months ago. The Karunaratne that has emerged in 2017 is versatile and tempered – rarely short of scoring options for long, and often able to weather testing spells.Yesterday, he saw out some early swing from Amir, and defused Yasir expertly, though the spinner was already gaining substantial turn from this surface. Even late in the day, he would make calculated trips down the track, to the spinners.SCORECARDSRI LANKA 1st inningsDimuth Karunaratne not out 133Kaushal Silva c S. Ahmed b Shah 27Sadheera Samarawickreme c & b Amir 38Kusal Mendis c Shafiq b Shah 1Dinesh Chandimal not out 49Extras: (lb-1 nb-4 w-1) 6Total: (for 3 wickets, 90 overs) 254Fall of wickets: 1-63, 2-131, 3-136.Bowling: Mohammad Amir 16.3-5-59-1, Mohammad Abbas 18-5-48-0 (nb-1), Wahab Riaz 13-5-25-0 (nb-3) Yasir Shah 29.3-5-90-2, Asad Shafiq 8-1-16-0 (w-1) Haris Sohail 5-1-15-0.
The draw for next years Munster Championships has pitted Tipperary’s Senior Hurlers against the winners of a quarter final clash between Limerick and Clare.Defending champions Cork will face Waterford in the semi-finals.In football Tipp will face Waterford in the quarter finals – victory would see Peter Creedons side take on All Ireland champions Kerry in the Munster semi-final. Cork will face the winners of the Clare – Limerick quarter final.
Mims Davies MP, the UK Minister for Sports & Civil Society (DCMS) has praised GVC Holdings new safer gambling and mental-health research commitments, announced yesterday alongside the launch of the firm’s new ‘Changing for the Bettor’ campaign.A core corporate commitment for 2019 and beyond, GVC governance has detailed that the FTSE100 enterprise will lead the industry in reducing problem-gambling, tackling gambling addictions multiple complexities through science, research and better treatment.Beyond promoting safer gambling protocols, yesterday GVC became the first industry stakeholder to back the development of a new research project – ‘Division on Addiction’, spearheaded by Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School faculty.The FTSE betting group will commit $5 million to develop new research modules on gambling addiction and prevention, with Cambridge Health allowed access to player data across a range of its brands, sports betting, and gaming products.GVC has detailed that the research collaboration will focus on (but not limited) to the following criteria: –Patterns of normal internet gambling behaviourBehavioural markers of gambling problems among internet players generally and on specific betting and game typesCross-product analysesCross-brand analysesThe effects of the expansion of gambling in new marketsAs the Minister overseeing UK gambling, Mims Davies MP personally backed GVC’s corporate commitment, highlighting the firm’s collaboration with health/science stakeholders as a progressive directive for the industry to follow.“Gambling operators have a key role to play in protecting people from harm and identifying potentially risky betting behaviour. Research is essential to progress in this area and GVC’s ‘Changing for the Bettor’ campaign will make an important contribution to tackling problem gambling.”“We are committed to protecting consumers across the country and are working with industry to create a healthy and more socially responsible sector.” Related Articles Share Share StumbleUpon GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile August 25, 2020 GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Submit