The third cricket game in the series ‘Golden Battle of Ruhuna’ between Vijitha Central College Dikwella and Rajapaksa National School Weeraketiya will be played at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sooriyawewa on March 23 and 24.
The first two encounters in the series ended in no decisions. Vijitha has the edge in this year’s encounter.
Although both schools field teams for the under 13, 15 and 17 division three tournament conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association neither school play in the under 19 tournament even though they have all the required facilities. Both Vijitha Central and Rajapaksa NS are the leading sports schools in the Matara and Hambantota Districts.
Second year coloursman W. A Subash Prasanga leads the Vijitha team this year. He is a left hand batsman and was named the best batsman in the inaugural encounter for his score of 95. He keeps wickets too. All round player Harsha Ramesh Lakmal is vice captain. He is a right hand bat and bowls right arm leg spin and is a second year coloursman.
W G Amith Udayanga who led the Vijitha team for the inaugural encounter, Chalanaka Weerasingha, Ashan Nigamuni, Tharindu Yasarathna, Sajitha Priyaranga, Lakshan Ruwan Kumara and Mahela Nambuhewa are second year coloursmen in the Vijitha team.
Gayan Nigamuni, Lahiru Sandaruwan, Shashik Pravin Eshan, Rajitha Lakmal Amal Udayanga, Pravin Thulanjana and Sujitha Dissanayaka are freshers in the Vijitha squad. Jagath Nanda Kumara has been coaching Vijitha Central for the past three years and Buddhapriya Wickremeratna has been master in charge of cricket for the same period.
All-rounder W Manura Bhanuka, a second year coloursman, leads the Rajapaksa National School team on this years big match. He is a right hand batsman and bowls right arm leg spin. He is assisted by Rajinda Danesh as vice captain. Rajinda is a right hand batsman and bowls right arm fast.
He is a safe fielder in any position. It should be mentioned that all the players in the Rajapaksa NS team are right hand batsmen and Right arm bowlers. Wicket keeper Ishan Madusanka, Ayesh Maduwantha, Charith Samanthra and Niranja Madhumadawa are second year colours men in the squad. T. G. Dilan Hasaranga is a first year coloursman while Uditha Prabodh, Rumesh Dilshan, Jagath Asintha, Yasanka Madusara, Sandeepa Akalanka, Manthinda Dissanayaka, Hemantha Hasheka and Dilan Hasaranga are freshers who will strengthen the team.
It is Asela Sampath’s first season as coach of the Rajapaksa NS team. Priyantha Pushpakumara is Master in Charge of Cricket. Former coach and MIC Linton Wickremasuriya who was instrumental in starting this series is the prefect of games.
By P D De Silva