Kusal Perera leads Sri Lanka to big T20 win against India

Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka, left, celebrates with Thisara Perera, right, after defeating India by five wickets in their Twenty20 cricket match in Nidahas Triangular series in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (AP)
Updated 06 March 2018
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Kusal Perera leads Sri Lanka to big T20 win against India

COLOMBO: Kusal Perera hit a blazing half-century to power Sri Lanka to a five-wicket win over India in the opening Twenty20 international of the tri-nation tournament on Tuesday.
Chasing 175 for victory, the hosts rode on Perera’s 37-ball 66 to achieve their target with nine balls to spare at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium.
The left-handed Perera, who hit 6 fours and 4 sixes, overshadowed Indian opener Shikar Dhawan’s career-best 90 that saw the visitors post 174-5 after being put into bat first.
Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar hurt Sri Lanka’s chase by picking up two wickets each but Perera’s fiery start made sure the hosts stand tall.
The islanders lost an early wicket but a 58-run second-wicket partnership between Perera, who notched up his eighth T20 fifty, and Danushka Gunathilaka put their innings back on track.
Perera, who hit paceman Shardul Thakur for 27 runs with 5 fours and a six in the third over of the innings, took the steam out of the inexperienced Indian bowling attack.
Perera though faltered after getting stumped to Sundar’s off spin as the Sri Lankan chase wobbled with the Indian bowlers coming back with some disciplined effort.
Thisara Perera, on 22, and Dasun Shanaka, on 15, then put on an unbeaten 39-run stand to keep up the spirits of a raucous home crowd.
Earlier Dhawan’s 49-ball blitz, laced with 6 fours and 6 sixes, lifted India from a precarious 9-2 to put up a respectable total.
Dhawan put on a crucial 95-run third-wicket stand with Manish Pandey, who made 37, to test the Sri Lanka bowling but missed out on a ton after falling to Gunathilaka’s off-spin.
Pace spearhead Dushmantha Chameera claimed two wickets including the prized scalp of India skipper Rohit Sharma for nought in the first over of the innings.
India will take on Bangladesh in the next match of the tournament, which is timed to commemorate Sri Lanka’s 70 years of independence, on Thursday.


Saudia partners with ABB FIA Formula E Championship ahead of Ad Diriyah race

Updated 14 min 47 sec ago
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Saudia partners with ABB FIA Formula E Championship ahead of Ad Diriyah race

AD DIRIYAH, Saudi Arabia: The ABB FIA Formula E Championship on Tuesday announced a new long-term partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) - the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - as official airline partner of the all-electric series and race title partner of the inaugural Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix.

Coinciding with the introduction of a new visa process for fan travel to Saudi Arabia, Saudia has come on board ahead of season five and the debut of Formula E in the Middle East on December 15. The announcement was made at a special event hosted at Governorate Ad Diriyah, following a roadshow through the Saudi Arabian capital with the striking new-look Gen2 car.

Felipe Massa – Venturi Formula E Team driver – got behind the wheel of the official championship car for the very first time, adorned with new Saudia branding on the rear-wing spoilers and on top of the nose cone.

In preparation for the highly-anticipated new era of electric racing and the opening round in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia is to open to the world like never before as it launches a dedicated online visa process for international tourists.

Fans will be able to apply via the newly-created ‘Sharek’ platform, using an authorized ticket to permit entry to Saudi Arabia. The system will be implemented for the first time as the country gears up for the spectacle of Formula E - marking the introduction of easy application and verification for foreign travelers.

Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, said: “It’s fantastic news that Saudia is joining the ABB FIA Formula E Championship as official airline partner – ahead of the first race in Saudi Arabia and the debut of fully-electric racing in the Middle East. The partnership continues to show the appeal of Formula E on a global scale and I’m proud to welcome Saudia to the Formula E family as the excitement continues to build for the opening round of season five on December 15. When you consider Saudi Arabia is opening-up to international sports fans for the first time and we have a new partner who can connect those fans to our series, it really is a strong additional to the championship.”

Saudi Arabian Airlines Director General, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, commented: “Saudia is pleased to be supporting the ABB FIA Formula E Championship for the upcoming event in Ad Diriyah – a first for Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. The airline welcomes fans from around the world to the opening race at the historic Ad Diriyah site and to come aboard with SAUDIA as we get set to wish the teams all the very best for the race and a new era of electric street racing, starting with the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix.”

Beyond hosting the first fully-electric race in the region and staging it in a stunning UNESCO heritage site, hosts of the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix, the General Sports Authority and Saudi Arabian Motor Federation have confirmed ambitious plans for the opening race of season 5 and the Kingdom’s debut in the championship schedule.

Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, Vice-Chair of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority added: “We really want to celebrate this moment with the people of Saudia Arabia, all those passionate fans and families who want to experience a live E-Prix for the first time. But with the introduction of a new visa process, now we can celebrate it with the world. It’s an opportunity we plan to grasp with both hands with the addition of soon to be announced spectacular line-up of live music, culture and entertainment featuring global stars as part of an unmissable three-day festival.”

The 2018/19 season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship sparks into life in Ad Diriyah on December 15.