Black Caps Prepared for Sri Lanka Pressure!

The Black Caps are dismissing the pressure of what’s effectively a do-or-die quarterfinal against Sri Lanka at the Twenty20 World Cup overnight.

New Zealand meets Sri Lanka in their final group match, which decides the other group one team to advance to the semi finals alongside South Africa.

Opener Kane Williamson says they’ve laid all the foundations for a solid performance.

“I think we just need to progress a little bit from previous games to what we’ve been learning.

“Sri Lanka’s been playing very good cricket and we know it’s a heck of a quarter-final match, so if we can go out and express ourselves then there’s no reason why we can’t play the cricket that we know we can.”

Play’s underway from 2.30AM.

The White Ferns face South Africa overnight in their final group match.

Dynasty Star Kate O’Mara Dies!

Former Dynasty star Kate O’Mara has died at the age of 74, her agent said. The British actress was best known for her role as sister to Joan Collins’ Alexis Colby in the US soap. She also had prominent roles in the ’80s series Howards’ Way and Triangle, and in Doctor Who. Her agent said she died in a Sussex nursing home following a short illness.

O’Mara’s first television roles were in the 1960s, but she came to public attention playing the manipulative Cassandra “Caress” Morrell in Dynasty. Co-star Joan Collins tweeted: “Tragic news about Kate O’Mara , we had great fun on Dynasty when she played my sister Caress… RIP.”

O’Mara played a ruthless businesswoman in BBC drama Howards’ Way and was briefly a regular on the North Sea ferry drama Triangle.
She also appeared in Doctor Who, opposite both Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, as renegade Time Lord The Rani – a role she said she would love to return to.

On hearing the news of her death, Doctor Who co-star Baker tweeted: “Oh my goodness. Kate O’Mara is no longer with us. Sad sad news. A delightful, committed and talented lady and actress. We are the poorer.”

In the 1990s, O’Mara starred in BBC comedy Absolutely Fabulous as Joanna Lumley’s on-screen sister Jackie, and in 2001, she made a string of appearances in ITV drama Bad Girls.

More recently she had appeared in ITV soap Benidorm and a 2012 stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Death On The Nile. One of her final public appearances saw her hosting An Evening With Kate O’Mara in London last October.

She published two autobiographies and two novels, When She Was Bad and Good Time Girl. She was married to actors Richard Willis and Jeremy Young and leaves a sister, actress Belinda Carroll. Her son Dickon died last year. The actress last posted a message on Twitter on 17 March. “Thank you so much for your kind tweets,” she wrote. “It’s both humbling and completely overwhelming to read all of your messages. Much Love x.”

SLFPA Wins Provincial Election!

SLFPA won the provincial council elections, but with smaller than expected margins in a crucial mid-term test for President Mahinda Rajapakse, official results showed Sunday.

The president campaigned for polls held Saturday for southern and western provincial councils, both in the ethnic majority Sinhalese heartland, which account for more than a third of the country’s electorate.

Freedom Alliance party secured 33 of the 55 seats in the southern province, down from 38 at the 2009 poll, with three opposition parties winning the rest, final results from the election office showed.

The SLFPA suffered a bigger erosion of support in the western province where it won 56 of the 104 seats up for grabs, down from 68, with the smaller opposition parties making inroads.

Elections for the councils, the highest level of local government, are seen as a gauge of popularity for Rajapakse — who has maintained an iron grip on power since 2009 — and his party ahead of parliamentary and presidential polls due in 2016.

SLFPA won comfortably in Hambantota, with 57.42 percent of the vote, but down from 66.95 won in 2009 in that district, one of three that make up the southern province.

There was no immediate comment from the SLFPA or the main opposition United National Party whose vote remained steady.

Two smaller opposition parties — the Marxist JVP or People’s Liberation Front, and the Democratic Party of former army chief Sarath Fonseka — made significant gains.

The department of elections is expected to announce more detailed results in the coming days, including outcomes for individual candidates.

The SLFPA tried to turn Saturday’s vote into a referendum on a UN Human Rights Council’s resolution last week to set up a war crimes probe into the island, a move that angered the Rajapakse government.

The party asked voters to send a strong message to the UN that ordinary Sri Lankans were against an international probe into allegations up to 40,000 civilians were killed in the final months of the island’s war.

The UNHRC adopted the US-led resolution Thursday censuring Colombo and calling for the investigation into the final seven years of the island’s Tamil separatist war between 1972 and 2009.

The ruling party was routed at a similar provincial council election in the island’s former war zone in September when the country’s main ethnic Tamil minority party, the Tamil National Alliance, swept the vote.

Walk of Life – Dire Straits

“Walk of Life” is a song by the British rock band Dire Straits. It appeared on their best-selling album Brothers in Arms. It subsequently appeared on their live album On the Night. It was released as a single in November 1985 but had first been available as the B-side of “So Far Away” released in advance of Brothers in Arms. The track peaked at number seven in the US charts and was their biggest commercial hit in the UK, peaking at number two. The track also appeared on two compilation albums: 1998’s Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits, and 2005’s The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler: Private Investigations.

HALES STORM HITS SRI LANKA!

Opener Alex Hales smashed a maiden hundred to help England upset world number one Sri Lanka in a thrilling World Twenty20 Super-10 stage match in Chittagong yesterday.

The 24-year-old smashed a 64-ball 116 not out as England chased down a challenging 190-run target in 19.2 overs.

With England needing 23 off the last two overs Hales smashed Nuwan Kulasekara for a six to reach his hundred off 60 balls and then hit Angelo Mathews for the winning six, to anchor England’s best chase in all T20 cricket.

Hales hit six sixes and 11 boundaries in a breathtaking display of batting.

The victory gives England their first win in two games while Sri Lanka lost their first in three to leave Group One wide open with South Africa beating the Netherlands by six runs earlier in the day for their second win in three matches.

New Zealand have one win in two matches.

England were rocked by Kulasekara (4-32) in the first over when he bowled Michael Lumb off the fifth ball and had Moeen Ali caught in the slips off the last to leave England reeling at 0-2.

But Hales and Eoin Morgan took the attack to the Sri Lankan bowlers, as Hales smashed three sixes and a four off Ajantha Mendis.

Mendis went for 52 runs in his four overs as spinners found the ball hard to grip because of the excessive dew.

Morgan was finally dismissed by Kulasekara with 38 needed for victory.

The previous best third wicket stand in all T20s was 137 set by thed New Zealand pair of Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson against Zimbabwe at Auckland in 2012.

Sri Lanka’s total was built around 89 by Mahela Jayawardene and 55 by Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Jayawardene hit 11 boundaries and three sixes during his 51-ball knock and Dilshan smashed two sixes and four fours in his 47-ball innings as the two added 145 for the second wicket.

Jayawardene was lucky not to be out off the first ball he faced when television replays showed Lumb took a brilliant catch off Jade Dernbach.

But the on-field umpires – Rod Tucker at the non-striker’s end and Aleem Dar of Pakistan – referred the catch to television umpire Steve Davis.

Davis, also from Australia, ruled replays were inconclusive.

That did not end England’s misery as their fielders dropped as many as four catches, twice off Jayawardene on five and 82, and one off Dilshan on 21 and in the final over off Thisara Perera who made 23 not out.

England dismissed opener Kusal Perera for three in the second over. Jayawardene smashed James Tredwell for his eighth boundary to complete his ninth half-century off just 32 balls. He was finally bowled by Chris Jordan. Both Jordan and Dernbach picked up two wickets apiece.