By Chris Dhambarage
S. Thomas’ College retained the Mustangs Trophy for the fourth successive year when they edged-out the traditional rivals Royal College by 11 runs in their annual Inter-School limited over cricket encounter played at the SSC Grounds in Maitland Place on Saturday (18).
The Thomians who were put into bat, piled up a formidable 258 for seven from their 50 overs and then produced an outstanding performance on the field to restrict their rivals to 247 for nine in 50 overs.
The S. Thomas’ innings was built around two magnificent half centuries from opener Ravindu Kodituwakku and Skipper Romesh Nallapperuma who were also associated in a match winning third-wicket stand of 73 runs.
Kodituwakku was rather unfortunate to have missed out on a century by just five runs as he played the sheet anchor role to spearhead S. Thomas’ to a commanding position.
Kodituwakku also dominated an opening stand of 59 runs with Dulith Gunaratna before Nallapperuma opened out during the latter stages to add the finishing touches along with Ishen Perera.
Royal of course made a sedate start to their run chase against some accurate bowling and were well behind the required run-rate at the beginning of the innings.
However, they picked up after the initial setback and were well on course towards their target at one stage with opener Lakindu Nanayakkara leading from the front.
Even then, S. Thomas’ were able to apply pressure on their opponents by capturing wickets at regular intervals with Pavith Ratnayake causing the early damage.
Thevindu Senaratna kept Royal’s hopes alive almost until the end as he compiled a fighting half century while batting under tremendous pressure.
But after his dismissal, Royal completely fell apart and could not maintain the same momentum and eventually fell short by 11 runs.
In contrast, S. Thomas’ held their nerves during the vital last few overs of the game with Kalana Perera claiming two important wickets to add the finishing touches in style.
S. Thomas’: 258/7 in 50 overs (Ravindu Kodituwakku 95, Romesh Nallapperuma 53, Ishen Perera 36 n.o, Helitha Vithanage 4/42, Ganith Sandeepa 2/47)
Royal: 247/9 in 50 overs (Lakindu Nanayakkara 44, Helitha Vithanage 33, Thevindu Senaratna 71, Pavith Ratnayake 3/37, Kalana Perera 2/47).