Chandimal shows tremendous enthusiasm
The year 2009 was a significant one for young Dinesh Chandimal, the
current Sri Lanka Test Vice Captain, and Twenty20 captain, who led
Ananda College in the ‘Big Match’ - the ‘Battle of the Maroons’
encounter against Nalanda College.
The elegant right hander went onto clinch the prestigious Sunday
Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer Award in the same year after a
successful school career in 2009. He was another player who was oozing
with talent and a player ear-marked for the future which resulted him in
winning his Sri Lanka ‘cap’ in an ODI on June 1, 2010 against Zimbabwe,
where he scored an unbeaten 10 when Sri Lanka won by nine wickets after
chasing 119 runs.
Dinesh Chandimal - youngster with much promise
On July 3, 2011, young Chandimal struck his first ODI hundred against
England at home of cricket – Lord’s when he helped Sri Lanka to win the
third ODI by six wickets to lead the series 2-1. Two years after winning
the country’s prestigious award for a schoolboy cricketer, Chandimal
made his Test debut in Sri Lanka’s historic Test win at Durban, where
the islanders beat South Africans for the first time in a Test in South
“I thought if I win the Sunday Observer Schoolboy Cricketer Award I
would definitely be selected to the Sri Lanka national squad one day.
Going through the history of past school cricketers, who had won the
Sunday Observer Award, it was evident that most of them have represented
Sri Lanka with distinction,” said Dinesh Chandimal, who made Test debut
in 2011 at Durban.
Chandimal who crossed over from Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda to
Ananda which further enhanced his cricket career, said that the Sunday
Observer/Mobitel Cricket Show is undoubtedly one of the best
competitions in the Island and gives the young cricketers great
Under the leadership of Tillekeratne Dilshan, Chandimal made twin
fifties in his dream debut in 2011 on the ‘Boxing Day’ Test at Durban
against South Africa.
Batting first, Sri Lanka were struggling with five down for 162 at
one stage, and the 21-year-old Chandimal was given a chance to bat at
number seven and proved his mettle as regular wicket-keeper Prasanna
Jayawardene was not included in the tour due to an injury and replaced
Kaushal Silva who failed to score in the First Test and dropped for the
second paving the way for young Chandimal to don the wicket keeping
Dinesh Chandimal, who loves to play the cut and the pull with good
timing and placement, joined Thilan Samaraweera who (scored a century)
in the fast and bouncy Durban track and saved Sri Lanka’s blushes by
getting the Lankan innings towards 273 for 6 while Chandimal’s
contribution was 58, after sharing a 101-run partnership for the sixth
wicket. Eventually Sri Lanka made a commanding 338 in the first innings.
Chandimal had to restore the Lankan second innings again as they were
struggling losing five wickets for 141. This time Sri Lanka’s potential
youngster joined the crease with Kumar Sangakkara (Sangakkara made his
first Test century in South Africa) to forge a 108-run stand for the
sixth wicket and Sri Lanka set a 450-run target for the Proteas and the
islanders recorded an emphatic 208-run win.
Chandimal became the Sri Lanka’s youngest Twenty20 captain (24 years
and 253 days) when he led Sri Lanka against Bangladesh on March 31, this
year at Pallekele, where Sri Lanka won by 17 runs. The wicket-keeper
batsman has been inspired by one of Sri Lanka’s pinch hitting
wicket-keeper batsmen, Romesh Kaluwitharana.