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200 families feared buried in Sri Lanka mudslides

The Sri Lankan Red Cross has said around 200 families are feared buried by rain-triggered mudslides in three villages.

Thirty-five people are confirmed to have died after two landslides, which have forced 196,000 to flee their homes near the town of Aranayaka, 100km northeast of the capital, Colombo.

Rescue searches are continuing, after more than 350 people were brought to safety early this morning.

The Red Cross has set up a welfare camp for survivors.

Trevor Bayliss 'set to be appointed' new England coach

Trevor Bayliss has reportedly leapfrogged front-runner Jason Gillespie and is set to be appointed England's new coach if he accepts the offer.

Bayliss guided Sri Lanka to the 2011 World Cup final. Credit: PA

The consensus has been that the England and Wales Cricket Board would recruit Yorkshire's county championship-winning coach - and former Australia fast bowler - Gillespie in time for this summer's Ashes.

But instead, according to a report on the Daily Telegraph website on Monday, new ECB director of cricket Andrew Strauss has chosen another Australian.

The 52-year-old Bayliss is less well-known than his compatriot but has a fine coaching pedigree having led New South Wales to two Sheffield Shield titles, helped Sri Lanka to the 2011 World Cup final and won the Indian Premier League with Kolkata Knight Riders.

He is also a former colleague of current England caretaker coach Paul Farbrace, when they were both with Sri Lanka.

There has been no comment as yet from the ECB.

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Dilshan joins Derbyshire as overseas player

Tillakaratne Dilshan will have two spells with the county. Credit: PA

Tillakaratne Dilshan will spend two spells with Derbyshire over the coming season after the Division Two county announced the signing of the experienced Sri Lanka batsman.

The 38-year-old will be available for up to four NatWest Twenty20 Blast fixtures and two LV= County Championship matches when he takes the overseas berth from New Zealand international Martin Guptill in June.

Century from Jayawardene digs Sri Lanka out of hole

Mahela Jayawardene's 19th ODI century helped to dig Sri Lanka out of a hole and send them on their way to a four-wicket win over a spirited Afghanistan in Dunedin.

Mahela Jayawardene recorded his 19th ODI century. Credit: Reuters

Jayawardene, who hit eight fours and a six before departing on 100, combined with skipper Angelo Mathews (44) to get Sri Lanka back on track after their top order crumbled.

They were down to 51 for four after 12 overs in pursuit of 233 before Jayawardene and Mathews piled on 126 in a vital fifth-wicket stand.

Thisara Perera then took charge with 47 from 26 balls to see them over the line as they reached 236 for six with 10 balls to spare at the University Oval to get their World Cup campaign up and running.

It was hard on Afghanistan, who looked to have their opponents on the ropes as Hamid Hassan took three for 45 runs.

Watch Cricket World Cup highlights on ITV4 tonight at 10pm

Pope Francis: Only truth can heal Sri Lanka

Credit: PA wire

Pope Francis has said Sri Lanka cannot heal fully from twenty-five years of ethnic civil war without pursuing truth for the injustices committed.

Francis, speaking in Colombo at the start of a week-long Asian tour, did not refer specifically to Sri Lanka's refusal to co-operate with a United Nations investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the final months of the war.

A 2011 UN report said as many as 40,000 Tamil civilians may have been killed and that both sides committed serious human rights violations.

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At least nine dead in Sri Lanka mudslides

At least nine people have been killed and 10 others are missing in mudslides triggered by heavy rains today in the central hills of Sri Lanka.

More than 60,000 people have been evacuated and 3,000 homes destroyed as floods and mudslides covered many parts of the Indian Ocean island in the last four days, disaster officials said.

Nine people were killed and two injured in mudslides today in the tea-growing Badulla district when their houses were buried in landslides, Udaya Kumara, an official at the state disaster management centre, said.

Ten others were missing and rescue operations were temporarily halted due to risk of further landslides, Mr Kumara said.

The inclement weather has so far affected more than 500,000 people across the country.

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