Well, the 2017 calendar year, of course, was not the best year in sport for the island nation but we had a few things to celebrate in the course of the 12 months. There were few victories coming the Lankan way that the enthusiastic sporting fans cherished during the year.
We take a look at our Top 12 list for this year’s best moments.
1 Sri Lanka’s win against India in the Champions Trophy
It is a different playing field when Sri Lanka takes on India. The national cricketers set sail for the Champions Trophy with little or no hope but chasing 321 for victory, Sri Lanka cruised to victory with efforts from Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilake, Kusal Perera later allowing Angelo Mathews to complete the heist.
2The Geelong miracle
Needing 36 off the last two overs in the t20 against Australia, it seemed like an almost impossible task but it was Asela Gunaratne who did the impossible. Needing two off the last ball, the lone warrior cleared the field taking Sri Lanka to a famous victory.
As the commentary echoed, “He’s off, so are the Sri Lankans, so are the crowds..What a performance from Sri Lanka”
3 Sri Lanka’s first t20 series win since 2014
The heroics of Seekuge Prasanna helped Sri Lanka through to their first t20 series win since the T20 World Cup in 2014 in the land down under. Chasing down 169 in Cape Town, Prasanna smashed a quick fire 16 ball 37 to take them to a series win in the 3rd t20
4 Tennis back in the main game
In 2016 when Sri Lanka was relegated from the Davis Cup Group II, they took it upon themselves that 2017 will be the year they fight themselves back to the top division. The national men’s team led by the veteran Harshana Godamanne took the hopes of Sri Lanka back to the top division winning the Group III tie that was played in Colombo this year
5 A league won Royally
The year 2017 couldn’t have been a better for the Royalists. The came down to the final game between Royal College and Trinity College. The Royalists who came down to the Lion’s den overhauled the Trinitians winning the game and taking home the league. They later ended up winning the Bradby Shield as well.
6 First for Joes!
A revamped Joes outfit entered the 2017 rugby season with a purpose and with Nilfer Ibrahim in charge, their hard work paid off when they clinched the
defeating Isipathana College. It was the first rugby silverware for the Darley Road boys.
7 Something to celebrate for Sevens
Despite the poor show in the first two legs of the Asia Sevens Series in 2017, Sri Lanka staged a comeback in the third and final leg that was played in Sri Lanka to come third defeating South Korea in the 3/4th play off. The Tuskers finished fourth in the series.
8 Lifting Sri Lanka to greatness – Ransilu Jayatileke
This year has been the national powerlifting champion Ransilu’s glory days. From winning gold and three silver medals at the Commonwealth Power Lifting Championship, the stalwart went on to establish a new Asian record at the IPF Championships. Later this year, Ransilu conquered the Asian championships equalling his earlier set record.
9 Taking Sri Lanka’s pride – Lucion Pushparaj
The year of 2017 has been the year for the bodybuilding icon Lucion Pushparaj. Defying the odds, Lucion went on to win the highest honour at Mr Asia contest. Not limiting himself from there, the Lion went on to compete at Mr Atlas where he was placed 4th. He was recognized for his leadership award. Known as the Black Lion of Sri Lanka, he continues to inspire much more to take up the sport.
10 1st team to win in UAE!
Sri Lanka had little to celebrate in cricket this year but the UAE test series win was special. Losing 3-0 at home against India, skipper Dinesh Chandimal’s team made history becoming the first team to win in UAE against Pakistan. Sri Lanka whitewashed the series 2-0
11 Triple Basketball crown for Royal
It was a glorious year for the boys from Reid Avenue sweeping all trophies on offer for basketball in 2017. Their campaign started off with them winning their annual basketball encounter against S. Thomas’ and followed up the success winning the National School Games title.
To finish off things, Royal College edged out St. Joseph’s College in the finals of ThePapare Basketball Championship 33-48 to complete a trio
12 Wijaya and Katana win back to back!
Wijaya Sports Club and Katana United retained their silverware in the Dialog President’s Gold Cup Volleyball this year stamping their dominance in the local volleyball arena.
Did we miss out any? Add your submission in the comments.