Kingswood Stay alive In 106th Battle Of the Maroons
Back to the wall defence by Kingswood College’s batsmen saw them bat virtually the whole day save 8 overs, as they scored 215 all out on the opening day of their 106th ‘Battle of the Maroons’ against Dharmaraja College which began at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium yesterday. At close the Rajans had replied with 13 for no loss in 8 overs. The match will be continued today at 9.30 a.m.
The Rajans won the toss and invited their opponents to bat. Perhaps they had two things in mind. First it was to get their opponents out for a low score and then go for the kill on the second day. The other was for their young left arm spinner Arvinda Withanarachchi, who was knocking at the door of the 100 wicket club with 97 wickets, to get the three wickets he required to accomplish this feat and if he did, become the first Rajan to do so. But strangely both these did not materialise yesterday and they were made to wait for another day and this will be known only when the final ball is bowled today.
The Kingswoodians taking first strike lost their first wicket before a run appeared on the beard but they were not ruffled. They started their campaign slowly and the hundred came up for the loss of 4 wickets. Supun Bandara who has managed just 200 runs for the season, seized this opportunity and appointed himself as the “anchor man”.
He stayed at the wicket for a long time, facing 164 balls and was seeing the cricket ball like a football and did not allow the deadly Rajans spin attack comprising left arm spinners Lakshan de Silva, Arvinda Withanarachchi and off spinner Deneth Lanka to exploit the conditions, at least not from his end. He punished the ball when it deserved the treatment and hit 10 fours with some crispy drives to top score with a fine 70, which held the fort like the mythical Roman “Horatio”
Useful contributions from skipper Nisitha Weerakoon 26 (4 fours, 1 six), Dasitha Kandanarachchi 26 (2 fours) and later Lakmal Hettiarachchi 45 (4 fours, 1 six, 79 balls) saw them not only frustrate the Rajans attack but also bat for a good 91 overs.
Off spinner Deneth Lanka was the pick of the bowlers taking 3 for 62 bringing his tally for the season to 70 wickets. Left arm spinner Arvinda Withanarachchi managed just 1 for 46 which brought his tally to 98 wickets for the season.
At close the Rajans had scored 14 for no loss after batting for 8 overs. Kingswood College 215 all out in 91 overs (Nisitha Weerakoon 26, Supun Bandara 70, Dasitha Kandanarachchi 26, Prabath Jayawickrema 14, Lakmal Hettiarachchi 45, Deneth Lanka 3 for 62, Sasith Gunasekara 2 for 29, Nuwan Karunaratne 1 for 23, Lakshan de Silva 1 for 24, Dhanuka Prabath 1 for 26, Arvinda Withanarachchi 1 for 46) Dharmaraja College 14 for no loss in 8 overs.
-By U. J. Jezeem