With only ten wickets falling on the first day, the 56th “Battle of the Babes” between St. Sylvester’s College and Vidyartha College appears to be heading towards a draw unless there is some dramatic batting collapses today at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. The match will be continued at 9.30 a.m.
Vidyartha College won the toss and sent their opponents in on a wicket more helpful to the batsmen. The Sylvestrians lost an early wicket, that of Faiz Ahamed, with the total at 8 but a second wicket stand of 82 runs between opener Indunill Samarananda 74 (9 fours and 149 balls) and vice captain Waruna Wijesinghe 48 (66 balls, 5 fours, 2 sixers) helped them to recover before Wijesinghe was run out off a direct throw from short extra cover by Niluksha Galapitage.
Next Harsha Madhushan (44 with 8 fours, 1 five, 1 six 66 balls) and Indunil Samarananda, put on 79 for the third wicket to put the Sylvestrians in the box seat at lunch time with the total being 130 for 2.
But after the lunch break Madushan was trapped leg before and Samarananda too followed suit caught at short extra cover by Vidyartha’s skipper Galapitage off medium pacer Isuru Weerasinghe. In fact Galapitage excelled fielding in that position two catches and also running out a key batsman with a direct hit.
The Sylvestrians total slumped from a healthy 190 for 3 to 220 for 7 before the closure was applied at 250 for 9 wickets. Medium pacer Isuru Weerasinghe took 4 for 69 and leg spinner Keshan Gamage 3 for 44.
The Sylvestrians opened their attack with two left arm spinners in Nimesha Mendis and Sumedha Dissanayake and tasted success with the score at 12 when Galapitage was caught in the slips by Ruwantha Ekanayake off Mendis for 06. At close Vidyartha had scored 27 for 1 in reply. But the match is destined to end in a draw unless the Sylvestrian bowlers run though opponents batting twice today.
St. Sylvesters’ College 250/9 declared (Indunil Samarananda 74, Waruna Wijesinghe 48, Harsha Madushan 44) Vidyartha College 27/1 (Ruwan Bandara 14, Nimesha Mendis 1/15)
-By U. J. Jezeem