Rahula confront Dharmapala
The inaugural big match between two leading Buddhist educational institutions of learning in the island Rahula College Matara and Dharmapala College Pannipitiya will commence at the Uyanwatta Stadium Matara on April 7. Rahula College host this years encounter.
Vihanga Kalhara Kottawasingha leads the Rahula team to the inaugural first match in the series. He is an all-rounder scoring 565 runs with centuries against Maliyadeva and Karandeniya and has taken 18 wickets. Nadun Tharanga is his deputy. Nadun is also an allrounder who is an explosive right hander scoring 494 runs with a century against Sri Jayawardenapura MV and has captured 12 wickets. All rounders Piushan Kulathunga with 512 runs and 12 wickets, Harsha Rajapaksa with 540 runs, Mayura Galappaththi, Lasindu Nimsara and Sameera Chathuranga are members of the National under 19 pool who are a strength to the team. Old Rahulian who led the first XI in 1982 Rohana Sumudu Ariyathilaka was appointed coach this season.
Although the Rahula team comprise of exceptional cricketers they lacked the motivation this season. Playing in division two of the schools cricket tournament they registered first innings wins against St Anthony’s College Wattala and St Sebastians College Katuneriya. The game with Sri Jayawardenapura MV was drawn. They lost in the first innings to Ibbagamuwa MV, Karandeniya MV and Dharmaloka MV Kelaniya. They lost out right to St. Mary’s College, Negombo.
The friendly encounters with Maliyadeva, Kurunegala, Dharmasoka, Ambalangoda, Ricmond Galle, Mahinda, Galle, St. Thomas’, Matara and St. Servatius ended in draws. But lost the games against Dharmaraja and Sri Devananda. Yasith Lakshitha leads the Dharmapala team to this historic inaugural encounter. He has scored 589 runs this season. Malith Madushan is his deputy. Malith has 336 runs and 9 wickets to his credit as at date. Right hand opening bat Ashan Jayasanka on 910 runs will try to reach the magical 1000 runs in a season at the Uyanwatta stadium. Right arm off spinner Imasha Liyanage with best figures of 6 for 42 against Mahanama and 30 scalps this season will be a threat to the Rahula batsman as spinners have an advantage at Uyanwatta. Coach Susila Gunawardena is confident that his team will perform well.
Dharmapala play in the elite division one of the schools cricket tournament. They drew their game against Joseph Vaz College Wennappuwa and Lost in the first innings to Mahanama, Prince of Wales, Royal College and St Anthony’s College Kandy. They lost ought right to Thurstan, St. Peter’s and Wesley
he friendly games against S.thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia and Isipathana were drawn. They lost to Dharmaraja, Dharmasoka, Zahira, Maliyadeva, Mahinda and Ananda.
These two teams met in the finals of the last Olcott Memorial Schools cricket tournament where Rahula College emerged winners on that occassion.
By P D De Silva