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Result: S. Thomas’ College won by 11 runs
17:45 – Royal College 247/9 in 50 overs. H. Vithanage 33, H. Ramanayake 18, K. Perera 2/47.
Royal College 206/6 in 43 overs. H. Vithanage 33, T. Senaratne 62 n.o, P. Ratnayake 3/37.
15:32 – Royal College 103/4 in 23 overs
14:53 – Royal College 69/1 in 14 overs
14:10 – Royal College (target 259) 6/1 in 5 overs
13:33 – S. Thomas’ College 258/7 in 50 overs
R. Nallapperuma 52, I. Perera 36 n.o, H. Vithanage 4/41.
12:33 – S. Thomas’ College 187/3 in 40 overs
R. Kodituwakku 95.
11:14 – S. Thomas’ College 87/2 in 23 overs
R. Kodituwakku 52 n.o.
10:41 – S. Thomas’ College 63/1 in 15 overs
R. Kodituwakku 44 n.o.
10:20 – S. Thomas’ College 29/0 in 6 overs.
10:12 – Royal College won the toss and elected to field vs S. Thomas’ College.
By Chris Dhambarage
S. Thomas’ College missed out on a great chance of pulling off an outright victory as bad weather intervened to their 138th Battle of the Blues Inter-Schools Big Match against the traditional rivals Royal College which ended in a draw at the SSC Grounds in Maitland Place on Saturday (11).
Even then, the Thomians will be really disappointed with the final result as they were within a chance of forcing a result and were well set to avenge their last year’s Big Match defeat at the same venue.
In fact, Royal were struggling at 154 for eight in their second innings when bad light halted play early with an overall lead of just 52 runs and two wickets in hand.
Royal’s hero in the second innings was their middle order batsman Thevindu Senaratne who held the batting together after they had collapsed to 61 for five at one stage.
Senaratne together with Ahan Sachintha frustrated the Thomian bowlers with some stubborn batting as the pair rescued Royal from disaster while adding a valuable 68 runs for the sixth wicket.
Trevin Eriyagama did the early damage while claiming three quick wickets but the Thomians were not able to add the finishing touches as the Royal tailenders held on determinedly to force a draw.
Earlier, S. Thomas’ took their first innings total past the 350-run mark following some splendid batting from their top order.
Skipper Romesh Nallapperuma (92) and opening batsman Ravindu Kodituwakku (98) both missed out on scoring Big Match hundreds while wicket-keeper batsman Sithara Hapuhinna(59) smashed a half century to extend their lead.
By M. Shamil Amit
The first day’s proceedings of the 138th Battle of the Blues between traditional rivals Royal College and S. Thomas’ College played at the SSC ground saw the Thomians end the day on 33 for no loss.
Royal, who were bowled out for 255, were helped by dropped catches by the Thomian fielders at crucial stages which saw Himesh Ramanayake and Ganith Sandeepa taking advantage as the pair added a valuable 83 runs for the eighth wicket.
The bowling effort put in by left arm pacie Kalana Perera who ended with impressive bowling returns of 5 for 47 proved to be vain as Royal made a good recovery being 172 for 7 at one stage.
The morning session saw Royal lose their first wicket at 16 but a 69-run stand for the second wicket between Ronuka Jayawardena and Pasindu Sooriyandara saw them coming back into the game.
But soon after the separation of the pair with the score on 85 they lost another wicket before reaching 100 runs with Kalana doing the damage. The two freshers Kavindu Madarasinghe and Ahan Sanchitha took Royal through to the lunch break on 108 for 3.
The post lunch session saw Royal losing two wickets for the addition of 33 runs, that of Sanchitha and Madarasinghe. Skipper Vithanage and Thevindu Senaratne added 24 runs for the sixth wicket before the former was dismissed with Royal on 165 and Senaratne did not last long as he perished after scoring seven runs.
Himesh Ramanayake was dropped by Dulith Gunaratne off Kalana Perera’s before he opened his account and that proved to be crucial as Ramanayake and Ganith Sandeepa slowly but surely took Royal out of the woods as Royal went into the tea break on 198 for 7.
The duo batting with caution went on to post their 50-run partnership and in the process Royal reached the 250-run mark. Five runs later they were separated with Sandeepa running himself out and Royal lost their remaining two wickets without any addition being bowled out for 255.
S. Thomas’s in their turn saw the openers Ravindu Kodituwakku and Dulith Gunaratne negotiating 10.3 overs before bad light put a stoppage to proceedings with the Thomians score of 23 for 0.
Royal 1st innings
Yuvin Herath lbw b K. Perera 06
Ronuka Jayawardena b K. Perera 32
Pasindu Sooriyabandara c Wijeratne b K. Perera 35
Kavindu Madarasinghe lbw b Ratnayake 38
Ahan Sanchitha hit wicket b Ratnayake 06
Helitha Vithanage c Wijeratne b K. Perera 10
Thevindu Senaratne c Kodituwakku b Eriyagama 19
Himesh Ramanayake c Peiris b Gunaratne 41
Ganith Sandeepa run out 42
Abhishek Perera b K. Perera 00
Manula Perera not out 00
Extras (b5, nb5, w16) 26
Total (all out: 71.3 overs) 255
Fall of wickets – 1-16, 2-85, 3-93, 4-116, 5-141, 6-165, 7-172, 8-255, 9-255, 10-255.
Bowling – Kalana Perera 19.3-2-47-5, Dinura Gunawardena 3-0-8-0, Thevin Eriyagama 10-01-55-1, Pavith Ratnayake 19-1-69-2, Dulith Gunaratne 4-2-4-1, Dellon Peiris 15-3-59-0, Ravindu Kodituwakku 1-0-8-0.
S. Thomas’ 1st innings
Ravindu Kodituwakku not 23
Dulith Gunaratne not out 10
Total (0 wicket: 10.3 overs) 33
Bowling – Himesh Ramanayake 4-2-12-0, Helitha Vithanage 2-0-8-0, Yuvin Herath 3-0-9-0, Ganith Sandeepa 1.3-0-4-0.
By Chris Dhambarage
S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia with an unbeaten record in the current season will start favourites when they take on the traditional rivals Royal College in their 138th annual Inter-Schools Battle of the Blues Big Match which begins at the SSC Grounds in Maitland Place on Thursday (9).
The Thomians have certainly dished out some outstanding all-round cricket in the current season and are confident of putting up a solid performance having notched up five outright victories.
The secret behind their success this season is because all their senior players have performed with equal brilliance and have given one hundred per cent on the field in all departments of the game.
Royal of course have rallied around through their senior players and will be hoping to produce an improved performance in this vital encounter.
They are yet to register an outright victory which could be a worrying factor for the team and their preparations for the Big Match also took a backseat when they suffered a morale shattering defeat at the hands of Prince of Wales College on their home grounds at Reid Avenue.
However, despite this setback Royal still have confidence of their team and are banking heavily on their five coloursmen and the rest of the senior players to deliver the goods.
Royal will also have a psychological advantage going into the Big Match having won last year’s encounter at the same venue.
Meanwhile, S. Thomas’ suffered a major blow ahead of their Big Match as Skipper Romesh Nallapperuma was hit on the head by a delivery during a practice session and is now doubtful for the three-day encounter.
Even then, S. Thomas’ can be proud of their batting as they have with them three top batsmen who have compiled over 500 runs in the current season and two others who are nearing the 500-run mark.
Vice-Captain Ravindu Kodituwakku is their highest run-getter this year with over 750 run to his credit inclusive of one hundred and four half centuries.
The manner in which he has accumulated those runs has been really outstanding as he has been able to maintain a strike-rate of just under 100 runs which is a fantastic effort.
The Royal batting has been spearheaded by Skipper Helitha Vithanage who has scored over 1,000 runs in the current season.
Vithanage has been quite consistent throughout the season having struck three centuries and eight half centuries while Madarasinghe has one hundred and four fifties to his credit.
Even then, Royal’s bowling attack has lacked more penetration and variation with only their Vice-Captain and paceman Himesh Ramanayake striking form with over 40 wickets to his credit.
Ramanayake has taken up the responsibility and done the bulk of the bowling and also had a five wicket haul in the game against Prince of Wales College.
The Thomian bowling department is spearheaded by the left-arm spinner Pavith Ratnayakewho has captured over 80 wickets with a best effort of seven for 47 against Dharmapala Pannipitiya.
Ratnayake of course has lived up to expectations as the main strike bowler and has done the bulk of the bowling while claiming five wickets in an innings on seven occasions.
Meanwhile, Dellon Peiris has claimed 54 wickets with a best performance of six for 13 against Moratu MV and has two five-wicket hauls to his credit.
The Thomian bowling attack has plenty of variation as well with the left-arm pacemen Kalana Perera, Tehan Schaffeter and Dinura Gunawardena providing the back-up support.
In fact, Schaffter returned his best bowling figures when he captured five for 37 in the match against Mahinda College.
Royal College (from): Helitha Vithanage (Captain), Himesh Ramanayake (Vice-Captain), Ganith Heshan Sandeepa, Pasindu Sooriyabandara, Kavidu Madarasinghe, Chamaka Edirisinghe, Thevindu Senarathne, Abishek Perera, Gothama Ranasinghe, Ronuka Jayawardane, Madara Thalduwa, Charuka Hathurasinghe, Hasanga Themal, Yuvin Herath, Kawshan Kulasuriuya and Mathisha Amarasinghe.
S. Thomas’ (from):Romesh Nallaperuma (Captain), Ravindu Kodituwakku, Dinura Gunawardena, Bhathiya Dissanayake, Anuka Bulankulama, Dulip Gunaratne, Ishen Perera, Manthila Wijeratne, Sithara Hapuhinna, Kalana Perera, Trevin Iriyagama, Tehan Schaffter, Mohamed Ishaq, Shalin de Mel, Dellon Peiris, Pavith Ratnayake and, Dineth Kannangara.
Result: S, Thomas’ won by one wicket
17:10 – S. Thomas’ College 2nd innings (target 122) 124/9 in 40.5 overs
Romesh Warnaperuma 35*, Vimukthi Netumal 3/45
16:22 – S. Thomas’ College 2nd innings (target 122) 108/9 in 34 overs
Romesh Warnaperuma 19*
14:57 – S. Thomas’ College 2nd innings (target 122) 44/2 in 11 overs
R. Kodithuwakku 24*, D. Peiris 111*
14:11 – S. Thomas’ College 2nd innings (target 122) 13/2 in 3 overs
R. Kodithuwakku 8*, Sithara Hapuhinna 0*
Trinity 2nd innings 76 all out
M. Suhaib 1*
13:07 – Trinity 2nd innings 48/6 in 13 overs
Tisaru Dilshan 13*, Badugoban 0*, Kevin Iriyagama 2 for 13
12:12 – Trinity 2nd innings 17/2 in 6 overs
Sanoogith Sanmuganadan 9*
S. Thomas 1st innings 179/9 dec in 52 overs
Sitara Hapuhinna 76, Vimukthi Netumal 5 for 63
10:40 – S. Thomas 1st innings 145/8 in 41 overs
Senan Peries 9*, Harin Ratnayaka 0*, Dimukthi Netumal 4 for 37
17:41 – S. Thomas 1st innings 123/3 in 27 overs at close
Mantila Wijeratne 27*, Sithara Hapuhinna 71*
17:11 – S. Thomas’ College 1st innings 92/3 in 20 overs
Mantila Wijeratne 16*, Sithara Hapihinna 51*
16:09 – S. Thomas’ College 1st innings 20/2 in 6 overs
Dinura Gunawardana 9*, Tisara Hapuhinna 6*
Trinity 1st innings 224 all out in 64.5 overs
Himanga Suriyampola 36, Hasintha Jayasuriya 26, Sanogith Sanmuganadan 35, C Ratnayake 5 for 54
15:12 – Trinity College 1st innings 219/8 in 61 overs
M. Sohib 2*, T. Banugoban 24*
14:22 – Trinity College 1st innings 210/7 in 56 overs
Thisaru Dilshan 8*, T. Banugoban 20*, K. Ratnayake 3/36
13:23 – Trinity 1st innings 167/6 in 40 overs
Purna Wanasinghe 12* T Banugoban 0*, K Ratnayake 3 for 32
12:06 – Trinity 1st innings 141/4 in 29 overs at lunch
Hasitha Boyagoda 20*
10:35 – Trinity 1st innings 48/1 in 10.3 overs
Himanga Suriyampola 18*, Sanogeeth Sanmuganadan 2*, Hasintha Jayasuriya out 26
Trinity College won the toss and elected to bat first
Match Postponed due to bad weather.
Day 1 – Match between St. Sylvester’s College vs S. Thomas’ College has been delayed due to overnight rain.
Following a last minute decision to change the age limit for schools 1st XI cricket tournaments S. Thomas’ College coach Dinesh Kumarasinghe was critical of the officials of Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA), saying certain individuals have taken positions at the association solely to push their personal agendas.
“It’s a sad state of affairs as most of them don’t have any previous experience or have played cricket even with a rubber ball and the ultimate result is that the standard of cricket, which has a strong following, is deteriorating” said a concerned Kumarasinghe.
SLSCA officials, in early March, sent letters to all principals around the island informing them that the present school U19 tournament was going to be changed to U20 but has now made a U-Turn putting some of the schoolboy cricketers in a tricky situation.
Consequent to the letter sent by the SLSCA officials in March some of the boys had taken the decision of not sitting for GCE ‘A’ level examination and they had not signed for it having postponed to sit for the examination next year.
The letter sent in March had stated that the cutoff date will be changed from the present September 1 to January 1, but another letter sent on July 25 it stated there won’t be any change. The cutoff date in both the U15 and U17 tournaments is January so why not do this to the senior category too?
Dinesh said that the present September 1 date has a hiccup and that if two boys in the same class are born on August 31 and September 1 the former would not be able to play for his school team.
Dinesh speaking of the present structure under which the SLSCA is conducting the U19 cricket tournament does not suit the requirements and the best option is an U20 tournament.
“Two years back the school cricket season comprised of 16 matches which includes the traditional and tournament games,” Dinesh said, adding, “The present structure is now too strenuous for the boys. The school cricket season starts in September and in all, with the league, traditional matches, limited over and T20 tournaments the number of matches the boys have to play amounts to 37 matches.”
“There is no logic in this and it affects their studies and added to that once the U19 tournament is finished some of the boys have also to play in the U17 cricket tournaments so just think of how the boy is going to cope with this burden,” Dinesh queried.
“If the other sports like rugby, boxing and athletics are conducted in the U20 age groups why can’t they do this to cricket? Even in England the junior cricket tournament is conducted at U20 level,” he said.
“Just see the improvement of the Afghanistan side at junior level and how they performed in the recently concluded U19 World Cup, the reason for that is they have a good plan and structure.”
He also lambasted the SLSCA saying, “it is disheartening to see some of the responsible officials holding important posts are from schools that are playing in the division three category so how could we expect any development of school cricket in the island? It’s pathetic.”
“From the SLSCA president downwards I wonder who are trying to develop school cricket whether they have played cricket at all? How can they do it as decisions are taken by one side?,” he asked.
Dinesh was adamant and was of the view that if the school officials are genuine and if Sri Lanka Cricket is serious about developing cricket the only best thing is to conduct the schools cricket tournament at U20 level and scrap the U23 tournament as there is a big gap and conduct an U21 tournament.
Dinesh added that there is abundance of talent in this age group and the talented young cricketers when leaving school could look forward to continue their cricket career, and also that SLC should give financial support to these young cricketers as some of their parents are not in a position to support them due to other family commitments.
In conclusion Dinesh, a coach with experience of nearly three decades who has had stints as the Malaysia national junior coach, a premier club coach of the domestic cricket tournament and at present a coach of one of the top schools in Colombo, was of the view that the best option was to develop cricket at junior level is an U20 and U21 cricket tournament.
“This would open the gates for talented young cricketers to join a mercantile firm where cricket is taken seriously and also give them an opportunity to continue the game earn and reach the greater heights in cricket,” he said.
ThePapare Basketball Championship concluded today after two thrilling finals which went right down to the last second.
Good Shepherd Convent beat St.Joseph’s Girls School Nugegoda at over time as the scores were level when the clock ran out. At half time Good Shepherd led 23-12.
Good Shepherd Convent won the game 57-48.
In the boys final S.Thomas’ College beat St.Joseph’s College Colombo after trailing the game 14-20 at half time. S.Thomas’ College won the game 53-49.
3rd place play-off
In the girls 3rd place play-off Holy Family Convent defeated Presbyterian Girls’ School 49-34 after being down 17-20 at half time.
Royal College defeated Maris Stella College 51-47 to clinch boys’ 3rd place.
ThePapare Most Valuable Player (Boys) - Adrian Gunawardhene (S.Thomas’ College Mt Lavinia)
ThePapare Most Valuable Player (Girls) - Nirma Sasanthi (Good Shepherd Convent)
The semifinal stage of ThePapare U-19 All Island A Division Boys tournament will commence today (15th July) while the Boys’ and Girls’ 3rd place and finals will be held during the weekend at the Henry Pedris Basketball Court.
Maris Stella College beat St.Benedict’s College in the quarter final encounter 75-41 while St.Joseph`s College beat last year’s champions Asian International School 69-61.
Among the other two, S.Thomas` College beat Lyceum International School 74-52 and Royal College beat Ananda College 54-47 in the final match of the quarter final stage.
S.Thomas` College will take on Maris Stella College in the first semi final at 3.45 pm while Royal College will take on St.Joseph`s College at 5.45 PM.
Good Shepherd Convent met Holy Family Convent in the first girls semi-finals as they won 37-28 while St.Joseph`s Girls’ School beat Presbyterian Girls’ School 32-21 in the second semi-final.
Good Shepherd Convent will take on St.Joseph`s College Girls’ Nugegoda in the Girls’ final on the 17th of July at 3.45 pm while Holy Family Convent will take on Presbyterian Girls’ School in the third place match on 16th of July at 3.45 pm.
The tournament is sponsored by ThePapare.com and the matches will be live streamed on ThePapare.com website.
The Schools U20 rugby season is now at its tail-end with just three matches left in the Milo President’s Trophy.
The first two games, the semi-final encounters of the tournament are scheduled to be played at Royal College Sports Complex ground in Reid Avenue today and tomorrow.
The winners will square off in the grand finale which is scheduled to be played on July 9 at the same venue.
The first battle is between reigning schools rugby league champions Isipathana College and St. Peter’s College while the other game is between arch-rivals Royal College and S. Thomas’ College at the same venue.
Interestingly, all four teams were in the same group of the schools league championship played earlier this year.
Isipathana vs St. Peter’s
The two teams met in the latter part of April where the Havelock Park boys prevailed with a 36-21 win in a game which they dominated in the second half.
Since then the Isipathanians led by centre Kushan Indunil have gone from strength to strength while the Peterites led by full back Sandesh Jayawickrama have had fluctuated fortunes.
Isipathana will be favourites having bagged the league title.
Skipper Kushan has a host of players in the likes of second row Sumudu Rankothge, No 8 Vageesha Weerasinghe, full back Gayan Wickramaratne, wingers Chamod Fernando and Ranidu Pramod and flankers Devin Gunaratne and Sashmitha Fernando who have all been in the forefront in Isipathana’s success to deliver the goods.
On the other hand the Peterites underwent some anxious moments in their quarter-final encounter against St. Anthony’s College, who they managed to overcome by six points (37-31) and they cannot afford to repeat that performance with the Isipathanians.
Skipper Sandesh will depend on second row Rahal Delpachithra, hooker Ravin Yapa, scrum half Avishka Heenpella, flanker Shane Gurusinghe, fly half Stephan Selvaraj and man in form and center Theekshana Dissanayake, who had a fine game last time out, to put their best foot forward if the Peterites are to make any impression.
However, with the scale in favour of the Pathanians, a closely contested game could be expected and the Peterites will also be seeking to book a slot to the final after a lapse of five years.
Royal vs S. Thomas’
These two teams met each other in the league tournament in the early part of April where the Thomians prevailed with a close 21-15 win.
Since then the Thomians led by hooker Pandula de Silva went on to remain unbeaten until the final week when they lost what turned out to be the deciding game of the league title by just four points (24-28) while the Royalists led by No 8 Nikhila Gunadheera had to be satisfied with a third place finish.
The Royalists will no doubt be coming into the game to avenge their defeat in the league encounter. On the other hand the Thomians will be looking forward for a repeat of their previous win.
All eyes in the match will be on the Thomian winger Navin Henakankanamage who scored a hat-trick of tries in their quarter final match against Zahira with one being a 80-metre dash.
In fact Navin was the thorn in the flesh of Royal in their last match as his last minute try ensured a victory for the Thomians who were trailing 14-15.
On the other hand, the Thomians will have to be more sharper this time around as they will have to confront the Royal pack which has been the gateway for them in accumulating their points.
The Thomians will miss their burly No 8 Sachitha Jayatileke who has fractured his arm and did not get onto the field in their last game against Zahira.
However skipper Pandula has the ammunition to keep the Royalists at bay and apart from Henakankanamage he has players in the caliber of prop Mahinda Deshapriya, second row Dhanuja Wijeratne, center Ashwantha Herath, full back Mayo Jayawardena, fly half Bumindra Fernando and scrum half Dion Dias from whom much will be expected.
Royal skipper Nikhila has in his ranks players in the caliber of hooker Azmir Fajudeen who has been in top form, flanker Pasindu Amarasinghe, second row Ashen Fernando, prop Ayesh Maduranga, winger Sabith Feroze, scrum half Ashok Vijayakumar and full back Ovin Askey.
S. Thomas’ last won the knockout title in 2009 while Royal’s last was in 2010 when they shared the trophy with St. Peter’s.
S.Thomas’ College survived a mighty scare against Gurukula College, Kelaniya to win by 15 runs in their Singer Schools T20 knockout round match, played at S.Thomas’ College ground.
S.Thomas’ were in trouble at 52 for 5 before captain-vice captain duo of Sachitha Jayathilaka and Yohan Mendis resurrected them with a 67 run partnership. Gurukula Captain Jayamal Wanniarachchi picked a 20th over hat-trick to bowl S.Thomas’ out for 134.
While Gurukula wickets fell at regular intervals, Lasindu Arosha stroked a valiant 61 in 40 balls. However, Arosha fell to Sithara Hapuhinna at a crucial stage as the Thomians tightened the screws to have the visitors all out for 119.
Winning the toss Sachitha Jayathilaka had no hesitation in giving his side, which had no less than six big-hitters, the first bat. However the hosts were not able to get off to the start they wanted.
Dulith Gunarathne fell for no score wasting ten deliveries while Malindu Viduranga dismissed the dangerous pair of Rashmika Opatha (12) and Hapuhinna (9). Dilendra Gunathilaka was just the second batsman of the top five to get into double figures as Udara Ravindu and Nuwan Chanaka got into action to dismiss Gunathilaka (13) and Ravindu Kodituwakke (1).
Thereafter, Mendis and Jayathilaka rebuilded the Thomian innings with a 67 run partnership in 52 balls. The captain was the aggressor scoring 47 in 34 balls inclusive of four 4s and three 6s. Jayathilaka was particularly brutal towards Sachintha Chamith where he scored 18 in one over, before Chanaka bagged his wicket in the 18th over.
Wanniarachchi started the last over taking the wicket of Ravindu Tillakaratne (2) and Mendis the very next ball for 32. He completed the memorable feat when Pathum Mahesh caught Ishen Perera (0). Shenal De Silva hammered two fours in the next two balls but became Wanniarachchi’s fourth victim in the last ball of the innings.
In Gurukula’s reply, De Silva dismissed Duminda Sudaraka (6) in the first over and Shanon Fernando took Pruthuvi Rusara (2) in the next. Arosha made the Thomians pay after he was dropped by Tillakaratne off the bowling of Jayathilaka when the score was 34 for 2, scoring 26 in a third wicket partnership of 31 in 18 balls.
While Arosha continued the assault his teammates were unable to provide support as Tillakaratne and Jayathilaka ripped through the middle order. Jayathilaka’s inspired bowling change of Hapuhinna, Thomians reserve wicketkeeper, brought about the wicket of Arosha.
When Arosha got out as the 7th wicket, Gurukula College still had a gettable target of 34 runs in 40 balls but the Thomian bowlers were that much more ruthless to restrict them for 119 in the 19th over.
S.Thomas’ College – 134 all out (20 overs) – (Sachitha Jayathilaka 47, Yohan Mendis 32, Jayamal Wanniarachchi 4/ 36, Malindu Viduranga 2/21, Nuwan Chanaka 2/21)
Gurukula College – 119 all out (18.2 overs) – (Lasindu Arosha 61, Sachitha Jayathilaka 3/16, Sithara Hapuhinna 2/13)
A resolute Royal team which was battered on day one, came back strongly on the third to score a seemingly impossible four wicket win over S. Thomas’ in their 137th Big Match at the SSC grounds. A team that had scored 350 for 5 in the first innings was rolled over for a paltry 127 in their second essay. Careless batting and a confusing batting order combined to cause their rout.
At the end, which came at 6.10 p.m. there was no headlong rush to victory. It seemed a case of meandering towards their target. Probably Malith Kariyawasam knew that overs were on his side but the light had faded. Some of the scenes were bewildering and bizarre.
This is Royal’s second win in four years, after Devin Pathmanathan’s side beat the Old Enemy in 2013.When Royal started their pursuit of a 150 run target in 49 overs, one expected pure, unadulterated aggression. Naveen Vidanapathirana provided it early on by playing a few scintillating shots. With his dismissal, there seemed to be a run crawl. The Thomian tactics were strange. A lot of pace was employed. It may have been in an effort to use up time. Funnily enough, Royal seemed content to follow the Thomian lead. Sooriyabandara was among the runs once again but he lacked fluency.
Skipper Geeshath Panditharatne hastened matters after his advent. In tandem with Kariyawasam, he pushed the score along at a more acceptable rate. He scored a brisk 19 before swinging wildly at Tillekaratne and losing both his bat and his wicket.
Kariyawasam together with Helitha Vithanage stood tall in the last half hour or so to keep the team on course. When the winning run eventually came there was a sense of relief that this confusing, even strange game had come to an end.
Pasindu Sooriyabandara, 97 not out overnight, took a mere two balls to become at 16, the youngest Big Match centurion. The first ball of the day was played off his pads for two. The next was dabbed through the untenanted gully area to the boundary.
There weren’t too many frills and fancy shots in his innings. Concentration, movement of the feet and precise timing were the hall marks of his batsmanship. He added 58 for the eighth wicket with Vithanage.
The Thomians made a bit of a meal of their second innings. From the start the batting was a little airy-fairy. First innings hero Rashmika Opatha started with a lovely back foot force for four. The he swished wildly and collected a top edged four to third man. Inexplicably, he then tamely drove Ramanayake to extra cover to get caught.
The Thomian contrived to lose wickets through faulty shot making. In no time, they found that they had lost five wickets for 60 runs in 17 overs by lunch. Quite apart from the approach, the batting order was bewildering. Their prized possession, Sachitha Jayatilleke came in at eight, followed at nine by Dilendra Gunatilleke.
Things got curioser and curioser. The damage was too deep seated. There was no way back even though Shenal de Silva batted with admirable sense and composure for his unbeaten 28. In fact, the last pair consumed 58balls. A telling indictment on some of the others who came and went.
Ramanayake was the primary agent of destruction. He bowled a good off stump line and the batsmen did the rest. Embuldeniya sealed up one end with his tantalising left arm spin.
(Aubrey Kuruppu/Sunday Times)
If the first day belonged to the Thomian trio of Rashmika Opatha, Yohan Mendis and skipper Sachitha Jayatileke, the second day saw Royal College duo Pasindu Sooriyabandara and Malith Kariyawasam grab the honours as they rescued the Royalists and took the side to safety against traditional rivals S. Thomas’ at the SSC ground on Friday.
Sooriyabandara and Kariyawasam came to the rescue of Royal when they were in a spot of bother at the end of the morning session of proceedings and struggling on 96 for 4 and the pair put on a match saving partnership of 139 runs for the sixth-wicket to end the day with their heads held high on 280 form 7.
Royal in reply to the Thomians score of 350 for 5 declared resuming on their overnight score of one for no loss saw the openers Naveen Vidanapathirana and Ronuka Jayawardena giving them a sedate start adding 37 runs before being separated.
This was followed by a brief 28-run stand for the second wicket between Ronuka and Pasindu and then Pasindu and skipper Geeshath Panditharatne adding 31 runs for the third wicket.
Right arm pacie Yohan Perera took the first Royal wicket and later dealt a double blow when he bagged the wickets of skipper Pasindu and Lasith Embuldeniya, as the Royalists went into the lunch break struggling on 96 for 4.
The post lunch session saw Sooriyabandara and Kariyawasam frustrating the Thomian bowlers and adding 77 runs as the Thomians were successful in taking only one wicket with Royal going into tea on 189 for 5 with Pasindu on 50 and Malith on 46.
The post tea proceedings saw Kariyawasam reaching his half ton and then the pair posted their 100-run partnership which followed with Royal posting the 200 runs.
They had little trouble from the Thomian bowlers and accumulated their runs with the minimum of fuss. They went on to post Royal’s 250th run and it was 11 runs later that the Thomians were able taste success with skipper Sachitha separating the duo with the wicket of Kariyawasam who made a dogged innings of 78 off 139 balls that included 22 boundaries.
With Royal on 261 for 6 they lost a quick wicket two runs that of Ganith Sandeepa. Sooriyabandara joined by Helitha Vithanage saw the side through to the end of the day’s proceedings with the score on 280 for 7 with their hero Sooriyabandara remaining unbeaten on 97 runs which had 13 boundaries.
The outcome of the match is now almost visible as it points out to an inevitable draw, but the Royalists will be looking forward to see Sooriyabandara reach his ton when play begins on the final day tomorrow.
S. Thomas’ 1st innings 350/5 declared (Rashmika Opatha 124, Yohan Mendis 64, Yohan Perera 38, Ravindu Kodituwakku 35, Sachitha Jayatileke 50 n.o.)
Royal 1st innings (1/0 overnight)
Naveen Vidanapathirana c Kodituwakku b Perera 24
Ronuka Jayawardena c de Silva b Peiris 25
Pasindu Sooriyabandara mot out 97
Geeshath Panditharatne c Nallaperuma b Perera 26
Lasith Embuldeniya lbw b Perera 00
Tiran Danapala c Gunatileke b Liyanaarachchi 09
Malith Kariyawasam lbw b Jayatileke 78
Ganith Sandeepa c de Silva b Liyanaarachchi 00
Helitha Vithanage not out 10
Extras (lb1, nb8, w1) 11
Total (7 wickets: 105 overs) 280
Fall of wickets – 1-37 (Vithanapathirana), 2-65 (Jayawardena), 3-96 (Panditharatne), 4-96 (Embuldeniya), 5-122 (Danapala), 6-261 (Kariyawasam), 7-263 (Sandeepa)
Bowling – Sachitha Jayatileke 19-8-21-1, Rashmika Opatha 13-4-42-0, Senal de Silva 10-3-14-0, Hansaka Liyanaarchchi 12-3-42-2, Ravindu Tilekeratne 15-4-38-0, Yohan Perera 14-4-39-3, Dhanush Peiris 15-3-51-1, Ravindu Kodituwakku 7-2-30-0
S. Thomas’ College opener Rashmika Opatha scored a century, while Yohan Mendis and skipper Sachitha Jayatileke supported with half-tons, as Royal College were left chasing the ball — and the game — for much of the first day of the 137th Battle of the Blues big match played at the SSC ground.
The opening pair gave the Thomians a flying start after Royal skipper Geeshath Panditharatne won the toss and chose to field, which played into the hands of the Thomian boys.
An opening-wicket partnership of 197 between Rashmika and Yohan laid the foundation for S. Thomas’, as skipper Sachitha put in the finishing touches to help the side post a formidable score of 350 for 5 declared in just 75 overs. The stand was a new Thomian record for the first-wicket, which eclipsed a record that stood for 80 years — that of 136 runs which was set by N. Scheffer and W. Jayatileke way back in 1936.
The pair had things their own way and the Royalists were left with few options in trying to make a breakthrough. Rashmika in particular was severe as he raced to his half-ton in just 55 balls which included ten boundaries and a six.
Later, the Thomians went into the lunch break after a flawless effort, with the score on 146 for no loss from 30 overs.
The post lunch session saw the pair continuing from where they left and in the process Rashmika reached his ton in just 94 balls which comprised 15 boundaries and three sixes in all.
Rashmika continued to torment the Royal bowlers as he accumulated his runs with ease before Royals right arm pacie Himesh Ramanayake made the breakthrough when he dismissed Rashmika, who made a quick-fire 131-ball knock of 124 that included 16 boundaries and four sixes having put on the record stand.
The Thomians underwent a setback when they lost two quick wickets as Mendis did not last long after, dismissed two runs later, making a valuable 64 runs with seven boundaries. Dilendra Gunatileke followed with the Thomians score on 219 for 3.
Ravindu Kodituwakku joined by Yohan Perera put on a recovery act with the pair further frustrating the Royal bowlers as they went into the tea break with the score on 247 for 3 in 60 overs. The pair were separated having added 22 runs in the post-tea session after adding 50 runs for the fourth wicket. Skipper Jayatileke, the next man in was dropped by Malith Kariyawasam off Ganith Sandeepa’s before he could open his account.
That proved to be crucial as Sachitha having added a brief 27-run stand for the fifth-wicket with Yohan Perera tore the Royal attack to all parts of the field to make a breezy 31-ball knock of 50 which included two boundaries and five towering sixes and was associated in a quick fire unbroken partnership of 54 runs for the sixth-wicket with Ravindu Tilekeratne before skipper decided to declare the Thomians innings on 350 for 5.
Royal were able to face only one over as a slight shower and bad light put a stoppage to proceedings.
S. Thomas’ 1st innings
Yohan Mendis st Dhanapala b Embuldeniya 64
Rashmika Opatha c Panditharatne b Ramanayake 124
Dilendra Gunatileke b Hettiarachchi 06
Ravindu Kodituwakku c and b Sandeepa 35
Yohan Perera run out 38
Sachitha Jayatilekee not out 50
Ravindu Tilekeratne not out 11
Extras (b10, lb7, nb3, w3 22
Total (5 wickets declared: 75 overs) 350
Fall of wickets – 1-197 (Opatha), 2-199 (Mendis), 3-219 (Gunatileke), 4-269 (Kodituwakku), 5-296 (Perera).
Bowling – Ronuka Jayawardena 2-0-10-0, Himesh Ramanayake 21-4-98-1, Helitha Vithanage 8-0-41-0, Duvindu Hettiatarachchi 16-4-55-1, Lasith Embuldeniya 12-3-42-1, Malith Kariyawasam 2-0-19-0, Geeshath Panditharatne 1-0-10-0, Ganith Sandeepa 13-0-58-1.
Royal 1st innings
Naveen Vidanapathirana not out 01
Ronuka Jayawardena not out 00
Total (0 wicket: 1 over) 01
Bowling – Sachitha Jayatileke 1-0-1-0.
Two of the country’s most prestigious schools–Royal College and S. Thomas’ College– will battle it out in the 137th Battle of Blues beginning from Thursday (March 10) at the SSC grounds.
The encounter deemed to be the second oldest inter-schools match to be played in the world after St. Peter’s College and Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, Australia which began in 1878 also has the honour of staving off two World Wars which did not prevent this game from being played.
This time out the scales are very much in favour the seaside boys who have remained unbeaten while Royal has had their unbeaten record tarnished from the 21 matches that the two schools have played this season, in the run-up to their traditional match.
The tally in the series is 34 wins each with Royal coming out winners in 2013 under the leadership of Devin Pathmanathan while S. Thomas’ recorded their last win in the year 2007 when the side was led by Ashan Peiris.
S. Thomas’ led by Sachitha Jayatileke and coached by Dinesh Kumarasinghe are having one of their best seasons having recorded seven outright wins which is their best in the schools cricket history spanning nearly 140 years. The seven outright wins they recorded were against St. Anthony’s Katugastota, St. Joseph Vaz Wennappuwa, President’s Kotte, St. Benedict’s, Wesley, Nalanda and De Mazenod while securing first innings wins against Prince of Wales, Dharmapala, St. John’s Jaffna, DSS, St. Sylvester’s, Ananda, St. Peter’s, St. Sebastian’s, Trinity and Richmond and they lost on first innings to Thurstan, Richmond and St. Joseph’s.
Royal led by Geeshath Panditharatne on the other hand have been able to record only four outright wins against Royal Panadura, St. Anthony’s Katugastota, St. Joseph’s and De Mazenod. However they had their unbeaten record tarnished by Trinity.
Royal recorded first innings wins over St. John’s Jaffna, Richmond, Thurstan, St. Sebastian’s, Zahira, Mahanama Colombo, Ananda, St. Benedict’s, Maris Stella, Prince of Wales, Wesley and St. Aloysius and conceded first innings wins to St. Peter’s, Mahinda and Isipathana.
The two teams are oozing with talented players with the Thomian skipper Sachitha having in his ranks four centurions. He has the services of players in the caliber of Rashmika Opatha their top run getter this season who has scored over 850 runs inclusive of two tons and five half tons, Yohan Mendis (over 750 runs with a ton and four half tons), Ravindu Kodituwakku (over 700 runs with a ton and four half tons), Dilendra Gunatilke the other centurion who also has five half tons under his belt and skipper Sachitha himself who has made over 750 runs with seven half tons. Down the order there is Romesh Nallaperuma and Ravindu Tilekeratne who are capable of making useful contributions. So their batting has the depth and they have been in the forefront when the Thomians expected the best from them. It is left to be seen how they will confront the Royal bowlers in this crucial game.
The bowling will no doubt be spearheaded by skipper and left arm spinner Sachitha who has been their top wicket taker this season with over 75 scalps to his credit and with Ravindu Tilekeratne (59 wickets) could be the duo who would be the trouble makers for the Royal batsmen. Support will be expected from Dellon Peiris who has taken over 40 wickets, Senal de Silva 39 wickets, Dineth Kannangara 31 wickets and Yohan Perera to curtail the Royal batting.
Royal will pin their hopes on skipper Geeshath and his deputy Tiran Dhanapala who both have scored over 1000 runs. Geeshath tops their batting with over 1100 runs which includes three tons and three half tons while Tiran’s 1000 has four tons and four half tons.
The bowling attack will revolve around their top wicket taker and left arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya who is also the leading wicket taker this season having taken 118 wickets. He will be the thorn in the flesh of the Thomian batting. The two teams fight out the match for the D.S. Senanayake memorial shield and the match is sponsored by one of the island’s top mobile phone service providers Dialog Axiata.
Ravindu Tillakaratne’s four wickets and Rashmika Opatha’s swashbuckling 85 not out set up a 10 wicket win for S.Thomas’ College in their first match of the All Island One Day Championship.
Winning the toss Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala opted to bat first but things became sour as Hansaka Liyanarachchi ripped through the top order having the visitors reeling at 21 for 3, while missing a hat-trick after picking up Dulaj Ranathunga and Kavin Bandara off consecutive balls.
Thomian 2nd XI captain Ishen Perera then got into the act as he made up for his 8 wides in three overs, to dismiss Damith Silva (5) and Damith Perera (7). There was no respite for Maliyadeva with the introduction of Ravindu Tillakaratne as he bamboozled the rest of the batting lineup picking up 4 for 19 as the visitors folded for 109 with extras being the highest run getter alongside Sanjaya Wanninayka’s 19.
Thomians took around an hour to reach the target, with Rashmika Opatha going on a demolition derby. Opatha scored 85 in 42 balls which 9 fours and 6 sixes. 72 of his runs were off boundaries.
Kavind Bandara and Sehan Premarathne felt the brunt of the Opatha onslaught as they went for 31 and 24 respectively in their three overs.
Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala – 109 all out (25.5 overs) (Sanjaya Wanninayaka 19, Ravindu Tillakaratne 4/19, Hansaka Liyanarachchi 3/21, Ishen Perera 2/20)
S.Thomas’ College – 114 for no loss (14.3 overs) (Rashmika Opatha 85*, Yohan Mendis 17*)
Ishen Perera cracked an unbeaten ton which had 15 boundaries while Sithara Hapuhinna hit 78 inclusive of 12 boundaries and three sixes and Pavith Ratnayake made 60 with eight boundaries and one six to put S. Thomas’ College on top against traditional rivals Royal College on day one of their Mini Battle played at Mt Lavinia.
S. Thomas’ asked to bat first were bolstered by two valuable partnerships–first of 88 runs for the second wicket between Sithara and Dulith Gunaratne and the other of 109 runs for the fifth-wicket between Ishen and Pavith–which helped post a formidable score of 335 for 7 declared.
Royal in their turn were made to struggle for their runs as they lost the top five wickets with just 53 runs on the board before ending the day in a bad position of 108 for 7.
S. Thomas’ 335 for 7 declared (Sithara Hapuhinna 78, Pavith Ratnayake 60, Dulith Gunaratne 37, Dineth Kannangara 21, Shenal Fernando 16, Ishen Perera 100 n.o.: Gayan Dissanayke 3 for 69)
Royal 108 for 7 (Krishikaran Raveendtanathan 18, Kavindu Marasinghe 48 n.o.: Shenal Fernando 2 for 19)