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R. Premadasa Stadium

The Ranasinghe Premadasa Stadium is a cricket ground in Sri Lanka. It is named after the former Sri Lankan president Ranasinghe Premadasa, whose vision helped in the construction of this stadium, which is often called as the “Home of Sri Lankan cricket”. It is located on Khettarama Road, Maligwatta in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka.


The stadium is best remembered as the venue for the test match in which the highest total was scored.


The stadium has hosted over 100 ODIs and is the most prominent ground in the country. With a capacity to accommodate 35,000 spectators, it is also the largest ground in terms of capacity.


The stadium has four public stands: Pavilion A and B house the corporate boxes as well as having a two-tiered seating. Pavilion C and D are also two tiered, but are placed between the scoreboard.


R. Premadasa Stadium


History


The ground is located near the Khettarama stadium, and is built on a swampland that was ferried across by the monks who wanted to reach the revered temple.


The ground was officially inaugurated on 2nd February, 1986 and the first match played here was between the Sri Lanka ‘B’ team and the England ‘B’ team. The first ODI International was played here on 5th April, 1986 between Sri Lanka and New Zealand whereas the first Test match was played between Australia and Sri Lanka on 28th August 1992.


From 2009 to 2011, the stadium underwent a reconstruction project in preparation for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. The seating capacity was increased from 14,000 to 35,000 while various upgrades like media boxes were added to the stadium. The entire cost of the renovation project was eight million dollars.


Major Matches


The R. Premadasa Stadium hosted the match between India and Sri Lanka in 1997-98, in which the highest ever Test score was posted by Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan team declared at 952 for 6, with the former captain Sanath Jayasuriya scoring a humongous 340 runs.


It has hosted the 2011 Cricket World Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 in 2012. In the 2011 World Cup it hosted 5 group stage matches, a quarter final and a semi-final.


The semi-final was between Sri Lanka and New Zealand. The home fans were treated to delightful performances from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara who scored 73 and 54 respectively, which saw the home side win by five wickets.


The R. Premadasa Stadium played a key venue in 2012 ICC World T20 hosting a large share of the matches, including the final. The final was between Sri Lanka and West Indies where the hosts were disappointed as Sri Lanka's batting line up fell to the bowling from Sunil Narine and Darren Sammy.


Controversy


Being invariably flat, the pitches are slow in pace and low in bounce. In July, 2010, concerns were raised by the ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson over the condition of the outfield and the pitch as work continued at a snail’s pace.


The second Test of West Indies tour of Sri Lanka in 2010 was played with a temporary seating for spectators as the stands were under construction, however Sri Lanka defended the location saying it would help the players acclimatize themselves to the ground before the World Cup.


Recent Matches


It hosted the recent five-day ODI series of India’s tour of Sri Lanka in mid-2017. The last match of the series was played here, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar getting a five-wicket haul and Virat Kohli scoring an unbeaten 110, leading India to a six-wicket victory.


The only T20 following the series was also played there which India won by 7 wickets, as Virat Kohli starred again scoring 82 run knock, and Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav putting a great show.


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